Ms. Mannequin’s 15th Century Burgundian Gown and Headdress


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Manuscript Illustration from 1470, this Manuscript Illustration from 1401-1500, this one from the same work, and this Manuscript Illustration from 1475

A Burgundian gown for a paper doll based on illuminated manuscript illustrations. Along with the gown, there is a headdress based on the designs of the 1450s.

A Burgundian gown for a paper doll based on illuminated manuscript illustrations. Along with the gown, there is a headdress based on the designs of the 1450s.

Today’s paper doll dress and headdress are both from the 15h century. The gown is known as a Burgundian gown named for the Duchy of Burgundy.

About 1450, this style of Burgundian gown became popular. The deep V-neckline revealed the kirtle (under dress) beneath. The trimming would have been fur or wool. The wide belt was placed above the natural waist and gives the gowns a pregnant look.

(Remember, being pregnant was a good thing for women in this time. After all, fertility was seen as a super critical part of a woman’s value.)

Women never had uncovered hair in this era. So, I needed a headdress to go with the Burgundian gown.

The headdress I chose to draw was based on this illustration of the Whore of Babylon from an 1470 manuscript. The headdress is from 1450, according to the Morgan Library where the manuscript is housed. I’m afraid I don’t know quite enough about the era yet (though I am studying) to make any claim either way.

By the way, the wonderful book Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands, 1325-1515 is currently on sale from the Morgan Library for just 20 dollars. I bought a copy for my library and I’d recommend it if you are at all interested in medieval dress. Though it doesn’t touch on how these garments were made, nor does it discuss how to make them yourself, so… don’t buy it if that is what you want.

Secondary Sources:

Houston, Mary G. Medieval Costume in England and France: The 13th, 14th, and 15th Centuries. N.p.: Dover Publications, 1996. Print.

Scott, Margaret. Fashion in the Middle Ages. N.p.: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011. Print.

Scott, Margaret. Medieval Dress & Fashion. N.p.: British Library, 2009. Print.

Ask me if you have any questions about the books or the manuscripts I looked at. There are links to all the manuscript illustrations at the top under the “inspiration” links list. I was just too lazy tonight to bother citing them all properly.

I know. I’m a rebel librarian sometimes. Happy Friday!

Mini-Maiden’s Romantic Princess Gown


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Dress from Pinterest
A romantic fantasy gown for the Mini-Maiden paper doll series.
Today’s paper doll dress was very heavily influenced by this dress on Pinterest. It’s not an exact replica, but it is really very close.I really loved the romantic style of the dress. It just felt so fairy tale to me.

The ribbon detailing on the sleeves and the bodice was one of the things that drew me to the dress. I didn’t like how  the bodice and the waist seam cut off the lines of the dress, so I changed that for my version.

I sometimes feel a little guilting drawing such close replicas to other’s designs, but I also know that clothing designs can’t be copyrighted, so I refuse to feel too guilty about it.

In my head, this is the sort of paper doll gown that a paper doll wears while lounging on a stone bench in the garden near a fountain playing her stringed instrument and looking super amazing. It is the opposite of these fantasy outfits.

There is no practicality here at all, except perhaps her shoes which I wanted to be simple given the complexity of the dress.

I do regret not doing some pattern on the trimming on the shoes, but I shall survive.

Meanwhile, I am three weeks into my graduate program. So far things are going pretty well. I have more work ahead of me, but I am feeling pretty confident about it.

I will admit that I’ve been struggling to find time to draw. I want to draw, but somehow I can’t seem to quite get into the right mental place to let things go and just relax into the process.

Friday there’s an amazing paper doll dress planned. A 15th century Burgundian gown for the Ms. Mannequin series. It’s glorious.

Also, Rosh Hashanah starts tonight at sunset, so Shana Tova everyone! May your new year be sweet.

Marisole Monday’s Early Fall Shirts & Jeans


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Fall Fashions
A pair of light colored jeans and two shirts for paper dolls to print.

Paper doll clothing from paperthinpersonas.com.

Growing up in Alaska, autumn came very quickly. As soon as there was fresh snow on the mountain, known as termination dust, it was time to pull out boots and give up on summer. In Alabama, autumn comes in more slowly. It’s a gradual shift from the humid tropical weather of summer to a damp crisp autumn. While I don’t think the weather will last into this week, last week really felt like fall. Mostly, because we got rain from Irma, just rain- nothing serious where I live, and it made everything cooler and grey.

Of course, for a paper doll drawer like myself, the change of seasons gets me thinking about clothing. So, today, I wanted to share some transitional pieces. I’m not sure tank tops are really autumnal, but since it was in the 80s yesterday, I think they could be.

The colors are more autumn than the paper doll clothing designs. In the fall, I think of wines, rich purples and dark teals. To counter balance, the rich colors, I did light washed jeans. Apparently, bleached denim is back, so I thought I would share some.

I hope everyone is having a great autumn. I’m settling into my routine with grad school and work. The students have returned to campus (yay!) and I am enjoying working with them. I don’t know what it is about college students, but I adore interacting with them.

Meanwhile, what’s your favorite thing about autumn? Food? Weather? Getting to finally wear boots again?

Need a Marisole Monday & Friends Lady Paper Doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick One Out Here

A Floral Fantasy Princess Gown for the B&B Paper Doll Series


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Renaissance Dresses & Princess Gowns

A fantasy paper doll gown inspired by the renaissance with stockings and shoes with a book as an accessory.

A fantasy paper doll gown inspired by the renaissance with stockings and shoes.

Confession time: I didn’t keep really good notes on this princess gown- I think of it as one even though there is no crown. I usually try to write down where an idea comes from or what images I look at as source material, but in this case, I really don’t have much of an answer. I know I wanted to do something renaissance inspired and fantasy gown, but with a very different aesthetic than the Sorceress Gowns Project.

I think of the Sorceress gowns as being all about layers and flow.

This gown, on the other hand, is very much a renaissance inspired gown, though it’s not historically accurate in anyway.

And I love, love, love the colors.

The colors were inspired by a sunset, but I really wanted to embrace the idea of rich yellows, oranges and greens. The cream blouse and socks are meant to counter the rich color scheme of the rest of the dress. The garters are orange, of course, to march the flowers. I trimmed everything in black to counter balance the bright yellow and orange.

Playing with color is such a fun part of creating paper doll fashions.

Need to get a Bodacious & Buxom paper doll to wear these fabulous clothes? Pick one out here.

Meet Nikola: The New Ms Mannequin Printable Paper Doll


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: The Challenge of Olive Skintone 
A printable paper doll named Nikola with brown hair, blue eyes and olive skin. She has two pairs of shoes and can wear any of the Ms. Mannequin clothing.

A set of urban fashion inspired printable paper doll clothing from paperthinpersonas.com. One pair of jeans and two tank tops make up today's paper doll outfit.

I’ve written before about some of the challenges of paper doll skin-tones. It’s important to me that their be a variety of paper doll skin-tones. I also think it’s important that there not be too much variety, because if there is than it’s hard to share shoes among the dolls.

So, I wanted to do an olive skin-tone and that was how this paper doll’s skin-tone began. Once I had it created, I realized that it was really only one hex off from the skin-tone I created for Stella and Chloe.

At that point, I was like- Why not just use their skin-tone? There’s no difference once this prints, because printers just aren’t that precise. And I couldn’t even see a difference.

And so, Nikola can share her shoes with both Stella and Chloe and they can share shoes with her.

Nikola is a feminine form of Nicholas from countries including the Czech republic, Poland and Germany. I’m half Czech, so I thought it would be fun to give her a Czech name.

I gave Nikola blue eyes, because my sister has olive skin and blue eyes. It’s not a very common combination, but I’ve been told it’s more common in Eastern Europe than you see it in the US. I’ve never been (but I so badly want to go to Prague), but someday I will.

Tomorrow, there’s a curvy fantasy gown and then on Monday… I actually have no idea. I should sort that out. 🙂

Need some clothing for today’s Ms Mannequin paper doll? Pick Out Some Ms. Mannequin Clothing Here

Mini-Maiden’s 1935 Dress & Shoes From Sears Magazine


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Sears Fashions from 1935
A black and white 1935 paper doll dress coloring page with shoes. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.
The Mini-Maiden paper doll series are getting some attention today with a 1935 dress and a pair of 1933 Shoes. Both the shoes that go with today’s day dress and the dress based on designs from the book, Everyday Fashions of the Thirties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs.

One of my favorite series of fashion history books are the Sears Fashions set from Dover Publications. Each book is a reprint of pages from Sears Magazines from a decade long period. There’s not a huge amount of contextual information, but they provide a vivid window into the fashions of the decade for children and adults. Plus, they are super reasonably priced, so not bad place to start a collection.

(Says the girl with over 50 fashion history books on her shelves.)

The 1930s is a fascinating period. Skirts get longer than the 1920s and there’s a lot of fun details like the scalloped collar on this dress. There’s also a lot of asymmetry in the styles as well which you can see from the side wrap style of today’s dress.

Right behind the 1920s (which are my first love) is the 1930s. Again, it’s not a period where it would look terribly good on me, but I love the details in the styles.

There’s also a theory in fashion history that really modern clothing begins in the 1930s and the changes that follow this era are fairly minor. I think there’s a lot of truth to that.

Really fashion hasn’t dramatically changed in the last 80 or so years.

So, what do people think of today’s paper doll dress? I always love to hear from people in the comments.

Need a Mini-Maiden paper doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick a Mini-Maiden Paper Doll Here.

A New 1920s Poppet Printable Paper Doll


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Children’s Fashions 1900-1950 As Pictured in Sears Catalogs
A paper doll of the Poppet series with brown skin, black hair and brown eyes. She has a 1920s set of underwear and two pairs of shoes.Today’s paper doll is a new addition to the 1920s Children’s Wardrobe Collection. My love of 1920s fashion is pretty well documented on the blog, just check out the 1920s tag.

So, for the last year, I’ve been drawing a lot of 1920s children’s clothing. The late 1920s to the early 1930s are perhaps my favorite era in the 20th century. None of the looks would look decent on me, but I adore them.

So far, I’ve drawn 5 dresses for the Poppet’s paper dolls 1920s Children’s Wardrobe Collection. It seemed high time that I added another new doll to the project. So, now my Louise Brooks clone paper doll has a friend.

Along with her shoes, today’s Poppet paper doll to print has a pair of combinations based on several different sets I’ve seen. I drew her so long ago, that I confess I’m not certain about my sources.

So, this may be a 1920s experience in feel, more than a precise act of historical research.

Anyway, I super hope you enjoy her and I really think she’d pretty cute. I’ve got a few more 1920s pieces drawn before I need to work on more. And there will be more.

Need a some clothing for today’s Poppet paper doll? Pick Out Some Clothing Here.

Regency Paper Doll Clothing For the Sprites Printable Paper Dolls


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: I looked at a lot of stuff to design these, but here are a few this fashion plate, this jacket, this dress and these shoes
A set of regency paper doll clothing to print from paperthinpersonas.com with a man's suit and a woman's day dress and shoes. The pieces are designed to fit the Sprite paper doll series.

A set of regency paper doll clothing to print from paperthinpersonas.com with a man's suit and a woman's day dress and shoes. The pieces are designed to fit the Sprite paper doll series..

I wanted to dabble in regnecy men’s fashion today. In part, because I have been reading a lot of regency romance novels lately. The Regency is also an era where I really love the men’s clothing. I think the women’s clothing is pretty nice, but the men’s clothing really enchants me.

As many of you know, I’m not quite as comfortable with men’s fashions as I am with women’s fashions in history. I can pretty well eyeball women’s clothing from the last 300 years and make a good guess at the era, but men’s clothing remains harder.

It’s partly that I find the changes more subtle and partly that I’ve never had a much of a passion for it.

But since I do love drawing for the Sprites, so I have been slowly trying to face my fears of men’s historical clothing. Which brings me to back to today’s set of regency paper doll clothing, that I created using a variety of reference images.

The man’s suit was based on this suit, this jacket, this suit and this suit. The dress is based on this dressthis dress, this dress and this dress. Her shoes are based on this pair, this pair and this pair. Because the dates on the source pieces range from the early 1800s until about 1820, I chose circa 1810 as the best middle ground date to describe these pieces of regency paper doll clothing.

Every time I post something “new” to me, I feel a little nervous, especially because I know that this is a era of fashion history that many people are very passionate about. Still, I hope to do what I do which is learn more and keep improving my understanding of the fashions of the era.

After all, every paper doll I create is a work in progress.

Looking for some Sprite paper dolls to wear these outfits? Pick out Sprite paper dolls here.

Marisole Monday Goes Cyberpunk with some Amazing Boots


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: The white dress in this Sprite set and the dress on the right

An african american paper doll with blond hair and a cyberpunk inspired dress with thigh high boots. She's part of the Marisole Monday paper doll series and is one of hundreds of paper doll designs.

A fantasy princess paper doll ball gown to print, color, and play with. One of hundreds of paper dolls to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

There are styles I come back to over and over again. This dress is very much like the white dress in this set and this dress, both designs I did years ago.

This is by far the most complex thing I have ever tried to create with the “shiny” look. It’s not perfect and there are problems, but I am not unhappy with how it turned out. Finding latex or vinyl reference images for the full bell skirt was basically impossible.

Also, google image searching the phrase “vinyl full-skirt” sometimes causes interesting results that are probably not kid friendly.

As for her hair, I was thinking of retro 1960s styles. I really wanted something that felt a little retro sci-fi. I

As for the color, I can’t really explain, but somehow once that dress was drawn I just knew it was going to be bright orange.

It’s like someone went clubbing and said, “I know! I want to look like a piece of cartoon fruit.”

And before I forget, I want to wish everyone a Happy Labor Day! In the words of Mother Jones, “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.”

Need a more outfits for today’s Marisole Monday & Friends Paper Doll? Find More Clothing Here

A new paper doll for the B&B Sorceress Gowns Project!


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Sorceresses and Flowers

A fantasy paper doll with a gown from paperthinpersonas.com.

A paper doll adventuring outfit with a belted tunic over a shirt, leggings and boots. She also has a sword.

Back in April I asked my Patrons what I could do for an ongoing series and they voted on sorceress gowns. So, my goal with the with the Sorceress Gowns Project was to create a series of gowns for a sorceress. That’s probably obvious.

I also thought I should make a few dolls to wear the gowns. So, I designed this one to go with my last one from April. There are plenty of B&B dolls that fit with the theme from before April of this year. I think this doll, this doll, and this doll both have a sorceress feel to them.

I thought about doing another over the top hair style as I did with last doll to go with the gowns. But I decided that the simple long hair was a nice counter-balance to the complex gown.

I had a lot of fun coloring the gown in these muted spring time colors. There’s something very spring feeling to me to this gown. I think it’s the light colors combined with the floral motif that gets me feeling that way.

Of course, she needs gowns to be a sorceress. There are four gowns so far, one for each elements. You can see them all here under the Sorceress Gowns Project tag. I do try to organize these things somewhat. It’s my natural librarian tendencies.

As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed the paper dolls this week and I always love to hear what you think, so leave a comment if you like.

Need to get some more clothing for this Bodacious & Buxom paper doll to wear? Pick out some clothing here