Alien Fashions for the Ms. Mannequin Paper Dolls

Link to sci-fi inspired fashions from the Ms. Mannequin paper doll series. Part of the Ms. Mannequin series, any of those paper dolls can wear these intergalactic fashions Yesterday, I posted Xylra my new alien paper doll and I wanted to get her fashions up today. Not just because I think they are neat, but because I have been rather neglectful of the blog this July and if I post these this week then I won’t feel so guilty.

Blog guilt is a powerful motivating factor in my life.

Xylra is a fashionable intergalatic astrophysist and I confess I have no idea how practical any of these pieces would be for someone studying astrophysics. Truth be told, I have no idea what an astrophysicist does all day, but then I suppose most astrophysicists probably don’t know what Special Collection librarians do all day which makes us even. (For those of you who haven’t read my about page, I am a Special Collection librarian when I’m not drawing paper dolls.)

Anyway, one of my rules with paper dolls is to avoid being bogged down by practicality or common sense when designing fantasy or sci-fi clothing. A rule I haven’t violated here.

Sci-fi inspired paper doll clothes from the Ms. Mannequin paper doll series in black and white for coloring. Part of the Ms. Mannequin series, any of those paper dolls can wear these intergalactic fashionsSci-fi inspired paper doll clothes from the Ms. Mannequin paper doll series. Part of the Ms. Mannequin series, any of those paper dolls can wear these intergalactic fashions

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I did want to take a moment and talk about the colors in today’s set of paper doll clothes. Originally, I was planning on a more traditional cyberpunk color scheme, but I wanted to see if I would work with colors that I actually didn’t like. Perhaps an odd mental exercise, but important, I think, to growing as an artist. I considered doing two coloring jobs, one with colors I liked and one with colors I didn’t, but once I’d colored the paper doll clothes with my “ugly color scheme”, I found that I actually rather liked them. Perhaps spending time with the colors softened me up towards them or perhaps I just didn’t want to recolor the whole thing. Either way, enjoy my foray into an “ugly color scheme” and if you don’t like it, well… there’s a black and white version for a reason. Enjoy!

Xylra: A New Ms. Mannequin Paper Doll from Space!

Link to Xylar an alien paper doll with two pairs of shoes in black and white and color. Part of the Ms. Mannequin series, she can wear any of the Ms. Mannequin clothing or her own intergalactic fashion set Back in March I mentioned that I was working on an alien/sci-fi Ms. Mannequinn paper doll set and this is the first part of that paper doll creation. After all, you can’t do alien fashions without having an alien to show them off. So, today I present Xylra, a leading intergalactic astrophysicist who happens to be fashionably dressed, though you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see her outfits. I was going to say she was an intergalatic fashion model and spy, which of course she still could be, but I was reminded of something I read years ago on the Toy Box Philosopher when she reviewed the Nova Stars dolls by MGA.

Novi Stars were aliens who had come to earth to to “try new things, update the fashion trends, and make new friends.” The dolls were cute enough I suppose, but as it was pointed out by Toy Box Philosopher at the time, “Why, oh why, does fashion have to be such a huge part of every doll’s personality? I mean, I love a fashionable doll, but can’t they be, say, rocket scientists who happen to have a good sense of style?”

So, I decided that Xylra would not be an intergalactic fashion model. Of course, if you personally want her to be, than I say go for it! That’s part of the fun of paper dolls.

Xylar an alien paper doll with two pairs of shoes in black and white and color. Part of the Ms. Mannequin series, she can wear any of the Ms. Mannequin clothing or her own intergalactic fashion set

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Xylra’s skin patterning was inspired by the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine race called the Dosi who show up in only one episode. Frankly, I think their makeup is a bit over the top for a Star Trek species, but I liked the patterns on their faces enough to adapt them. Besides, I see Xylra as being much more of a retro-space fantasy than anything even vaguely realistic. After all, how realistic can a paper doll with teal skin and pink eyes really be?

Xylra’s outfits will be up on Friday. :)

Prince and Gentleman: A Prince Paper Doll in Greens

A printable prince paper doll inspired by the 18th century in shades of green. At the moment, I am trying to get inspired to give the male paper dolls some love. I am trying to convince myself that male clothing is as interesting as female clothing. I am trying to develop the same interest drawing for guys as I do for girls.

It is not easy.

I realize that a lot of it is in my head. I don’t think I’m good at drawing males and my insecurity makes it hard to want to try. Usually, I think of drawing male paper dolls as something I do “for my readers” and not something I do for myself.

This is a line of reasoning that I am trying to stop using. Drawing things for other people is, for me, a fast road to burn out. No one keeps up a blog like this for as long as I have by doing it “for other people”. Trust me. You have to do it for yourself.

But I also want to challenge myself. I also want to try things that I have never tried. I want to create things that I have never created. I want to stretch and do things that scare me a little. So, male paper dolls it is.

A printable coloring page of a prince paper doll inspired by the 18th century
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I usually steer clear of monochromatic color schemes. Nothing against them, I just think that they can be boring. Still, green is a nice color and when I asked a friend of mine what color I should go with for male clothing, he said, “Green.”

So, green it is.

One of the nice things about green is that I don’t find any of the shades really horrid. I mean, there are shades of yellow I think are awful and shades of orange that I don’t like either, but green and blue are pretty much all okay with me. So, a green prince to match, I suppose, my yellow and my pink princesses.

Prince and Gentleman: A Prince Paper Doll

A printable coloring page of a prince paper doll inspired by the 18th century. Well, all I have to say about today’s paper doll set is this- Thank goodness for random old files that are discovered, half-finished, while confirming everything transferred properly after serious hard drive problems.

Seriously, there wouldn’t be a post today if I hadn’t found this Marcus 2.0 paper doll, mostly done, on Friday evening. So, I finished him up and here he is prepared to be gentleman or prince, depending on the need. He does not have a crown, but I’m sure you can draw your own.

I am working on both a dancer and a Space Princess! (yes, the exclamation point is required) for another time, but until then- here is Marcus 2.0 with fancy suits to wear while accompanying one of the many fantasy ladies of the Marisole Monday & Friend’s crew.

A printable coloring page of a prince paper doll inspired by the 18th century
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This fantasy prince set is the fourth Marcus 2.0 paper doll on the blog. While I don’t have big plans in the future for Marcus 2.0, I expect he’ll be getting a male friend fairly soon. What will come after that, I can’t say. I do want to do some more contemporary sets for him and I haven’t completely given up hope of dong a historical set, but I’m still undecided on what era. Most of my reference books focus on female fashions.

To be entirely honest, I have no recollection of drawing this set, though clearly I did, nor could I tell you what I was thinking when I drew it. Since I forgot about it for so long, I really feel rather at a loss. Never the less, I hope everyone enjoys this foray into fantasy clothes for Marcus 2.0.

Greta Goes out Hunting: A Fantasy Printable Paper Doll Coloring Page

A black and white printable fantasy warrior or huntress paper doll entitled, As I mentioned a while ago, my computer died while I was traveling to visit family in Alaska. I’m pleased to report it is working fine now and it just cost money. Also, I should really back up my data more often, because hard drive problems suck.

Anyway, let’s talk about nicer things like paper dolls.

One of the reasons I keep a backlog of paper dolls is that should disaster strike, I have some things to post. I confess that my backlog has gotten lower these last few weeks and this has been a rough week for finding time to do blog work. Five hour power outage, jet lag, computer problems… Yeesh.

So, here is Greta and she is going out hunting. I didn’t give her any arrows, but…. err…. No excuse for that one, actually. I just kinda forgot. Maybe she can garrote things with her bow string or something. The image of paper dolls garroting small fuzzy woodland creatures in order to make them into stew is now going to haunt me.


A black and white printable fantasy warrior or huntress paper doll entitled,
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Other news… Assuming I get my act together, there should be a Marcus paper doll on Monday and then some other stuff in the coming weeks. I am trying to get excited, but I am struggling to feel inspired at the moment. I’m sure it’ll come back. It always does eventually.

How do other people deal with lulls in inspiration?

Isadora Goes to the Ball: A Fantasy Princess Printable Paper Doll Coloring Page

Link to a fantasy paper doll coloring page with three dresses: Isadora Goes to the Ball. As part of the Mini-Maidens series, Isadora can share clothing with any of the other Mini-Maiden paper doll. This is not an Independence Day paper dolls, but I have some links to a few down at the bottom of the post. This is a princess paper doll.

Let’s be honest for a moment: A lot of the appeal of princesses lies in their glorious dresses.

We all know intellectually that being a princess would kinda suck. (There’s a great video about this by Amy Schumer.) You’d have to marry someone who you likely didn’t choose. Your value would be entirely defined in your ability to produce an heir. Also, that person you would marry might end up being your cousin.

Never the less, your wardrobe would rock.

So, I’m not sure if Isadora would be a princess, because she doesn’t have a crown. Do princesses need crowns? I suppose they should if they are coronated. But once they get coronated than are they actually queens?

Royal stuff is complicated.


black and white black printable paper doll with a contemporary wardrobe
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These three gowns are all ball-gowns in my head, but the glory of paper dolls is that we can choose what they are. Maybe these are what Isadora wears to the grocery store. Actually, if I had these dresses, I might wear them to the grocery store, though I have been told that driving in a hoop-skirt is really difficult.

So, this is the fourth of July or Independence Day in the USA. I did not, however, get a thematic paper doll done. If you wish for one, then I recommend Hazel’s 4th of July set, my Marisole Monday & Friends 18th century 4th of July set or Marisole Monday’s Nautical set which, while not technically 4th of July related, does have a red white and blue color scheme.

Jazz Age Baby: A Paper Doll with 1920s Fashions

A printable coloring page of a black paper doll with a 16 piece contemporary boho wardrobe. People who have been reading this blog for a while already know this, but I love 1920s fashions. I love the hats. I love the shoes. I love the stylized art deco drawings of the hats and the shoes. Seriously, this era is among my favorites.

Nevermind the fact that as a woman with serious hips, I would look awful in these styles. I don’t want to wear 1920s dresses, I just think they are beautiful on other people. (Mostly people made of paper who wear whatever I want them too, because I am their creator.)

One of the lovely things about paper dolls is that I can enjoy clothing that I would never want to wear myself.

I think part of what appeals to me about the 1920s is that people had outfits. It was not an era of mix and match clothing like we have today. People had outfits where hats matched their dresses and gloves and bags. I love the idea of matching outfits, as I have mentioned before. My obsession with trousseaux of clothing is well documented throughout this blog.

A printable coloring page of a black paper doll with a 16 piece contemporary boho wardrobe.
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So, let’s talk about sources… One of the interesting things about 1920s fashion is that, in the United States, 1923 is the date before which things are out of copyright. That means that things after 1923 begin to fall under various copyright extensions and other rules. Libraries often steer clear of digitizing works that are post 1923, because of concerns about copyright violation. So, I tend to rely on books more than digitized documents for my post-1923 fashion history needs.

To be honest, I don’t recall exactly what I used for this paper doll set, but I know I at least looked at these, as they are part of my history book collection. I know a few of her dresses come specifically from Classic French Fashions of the Twenties.

Sources:

Atelier Bachwitz. Classic French Fashions of the Twenties. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2012.
B. Altman & Co. 1920s Fashions from B. Altman & Company. 4th ed. New York: Dover, 1998. Print.
Blum, Stella. Everyday Fashions of the Twenties as Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs. New York: Dover Publications, 1981.
Lussier, Suzanne. Art Deco Fashion. Boston: Bulfinch, 2003.

For those who have missed my other forays into 1920s fashion, you can find them all under the 1920s tag.

Promenade and Play: Victorian Paper Doll Clothes for the Poppets

Victorian paper doll clothes So, life this week has been a roller coaster of sickness and travel, but I promised a second page of clothes for Peach in the Park to expand her Victorian paper doll wardrobe and I am pleased to say that here they are.

In no real order, in this set of paper doll clothes there is a promenade dress or afternoon dress, a gymnastics outfit and a set of underwear consisting of a chemise, drawers and a stayband or corset. She also has a pair of shoes with stockings and a ballgown for her doll. It is entirely possible that the doll’s little ballgown is my favorite piece of the entire set, though drawing that small was a challenge. (Seriously, the doll is like two inches tall in real life. I kid you not.)

I drew these designs based on illustrations from several different Victorian fashion magazines including Harpers Bazaar and La Mode Illustre, which as French. I highly recommend Dover’s excellent books of fashion plate reprints when working on Victorian period fashions- they bring a richness to the process of research that is of great value. Plus it’s fun to draw surrounded by open books (at least, I think it is fun.)

Medieval inspired fantasy outfits for the Poppet paper dolls coloring pagesVictorian Paper Doll and Dress from the 1870s in black and white for coloring
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By the late 1860s, early 1870s, sporting activities were encouraged for children. Gymnastic’s costumes like the one in brown are often shown in magazines along with yachting and skating outfits. While it is hard to imagine a child really running around in the bustled up skirts of the era, it is possible to imagine them doing so in one of these more practical outfits.

I also think it is important to remember that while fashion magazines show perfectly coifed children, actual children’s garments are often more worn and simpler. Kid’s did get out in play even in the 1800s and parents did not dress them like little adults, despite what my fashion history teacher told me. The length of a girl’s skirt indicated her age. The poppets are, in my mind, between the ages of 8 and 11, so their skirts are mid-calve. The skirts would slowly lower until maturity when they would be floor length for many, thought not all, activities.

As a reminder, because I forget this sometimes too- any of the Poppet paper dolls can wear any of the other Poppet paper doll’s clothing. So, while I was thinking of Peach when I made these outfits, they could also be worn by Petunia, Paradisea, Poppy, Posey, Petal, or Primrose.

That is a lot of P names.

Anyway, enjoy the Victorian paper doll outfits.

Greta’s Trousseau: Spring Costumes

So, way back in December of 2013, I started a project called Greta’s Trousseau with this post. The idea was that I would draw a complete trousseau for a paper doll inspired by neo-Victorian and steampunk styles. This is the sixth page of Greta’s Trousseau. I don’t think it’s the last one, but we maybe getting close.

Link to a contemporary asian paper doll coloring page with an extensive wardrobe entitled: Faye's Fashionable Geometrics. As part of the Mini-Maidens series, Faye can share clothing with any of the other Mini-Maiden paper doll.

Today, Greta has a carriage dress, a visiting toilette, a dinner dress, afternoon costume and morning dress. Her Carriage Dress is based on two gowns from Harper’s Bazar in 1873. One a watering place costume, published in the June 28, 1873 issue and the other a Carriage dress published in the July 5th issue of that same year. Harpers Bazar is a publication which is a little hard to find online. I used Dover’s book of reprinted fashion plates edited by Stella Blum, but you can see some issues of Harpers Bazar from the Home Economics Archive and others from the Hathi Trust. Hathi Trust has better image quality, but does not include the 1873 year.

Anyway, her visiting toilette has an additional hat, as does her carriage dress. Her dinner dress and afternoon costume are the same skirt with two different bodices, a common practice in the Victorian era. Her morning dress is, of course, the most simple gown she has and with it she has slippers, stockings and some correspondence.


black and white black printable paper doll with a contemporary wardrobe
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My goal was to create the massive wardrobe of an absurdly wealthy fashion obsessed neo-Victorian lady. Currently, Greta has sporting outfits including swimming, fencing, hunting, skating and riding. She has a seaside walking dress, two traveling suits, and clothing for exploring or hiking. For formal occasions, she has a ballgown with two bodices, opera toilette and two dinner dresses. For visiting, she has two outfits. There is a walking suit and a promenade costume. For the afternoons, she has an afternoon costume and a tea dress. For quiet days at home, she has a house dress and a morning dress. For the very rare occasion she might need one, she has a wedding dress and a diving suit.

Here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau in case anyone missed a page or something.

Peach in the Park: A Victorian Printable Paper Doll

Peach In the Park is a paper doll of a black Victorian child doll inspired by BJDs with her own antique fashion doll. She has one dress based on a 1869 fashion plate, shoes, a hat, and a doll. The doll has a dress of her own, also based on an 1869 fashion plate. Peach is part of the Poppet paper doll series and can share clothing with the other Poppet paper dolls. Today’s Poppet paper doll is all about Victorian children’s clothing of the late 1860s and early 1870s. I love Victorian children’s clothing. I just love it. I even love it in the 1840s when I generally think all the clothing looks really stupid.

I think it is a combination of my natural fascination with childhood studies and exposure to books like The Little Princess at a young and impressionable age. It is likely also because I have a fondness for the idea of antique dolls with little wardrobes of perfectly sewn clothing pieces. The Little Princess was full of dolls. Anyone else remember that book?

And I am not talking about the Shirley Temple movie version where her father wasn’t really dead. I’ve never forgiven them for changing that part.

Anyway, we have Peach, a new Poppet paper doll, with an elegant promenade costume from Godey’s Lady’s Magazine in 1969. Her fashion doll also has a Promenade costume from that same fashion plate. I couldn’t find a decent reproduction of the plate online. Because Godey’s plates folded out, when people digitize the bound volumes they rarely take the time to fold out the plates. The result is that the text is reproduced, but not the folded plate. This is one of my pet peeves about mass digitization projects.

Back to the paper doll- Peach has, of course, a French fashion doll with her who I have left unnamed. Her fashion doll has a walking dress of her own with a hat attached. I have rarely drawn something as small as the fashion doll and I am worried a little about the fit of the gown. I did a quick Photoshop fit test, but you might want to leave some black border for wiggle room on that one. I love the whole paper dolls with their own dolls which are also paper dolls thing. It is hard to pull off though.

A black and white printable paper doll of a ball-jointed doll with Victorian 1870s clothing and her own doll to dress. Peach is part of the Poppet series and can share clothing with the other dolls in that series.A color printable paper doll of a ball-jointed doll with Victorian 1870s clothing and her own doll to dress. Peach is part of the Poppet series and can share clothing with the other dolls in that series.
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Anyway, I used several sources when working on today’s paper doll. The doll herself is based on the brown-complexioned bisque bebe dolls produced in France and Germany by companies like Steiner, Bru, Jumeau and many others. You can see some examples of these dolls on my Pinterest Board about Antique dolls. These dolls were most common in the late 19th century. As I mentioned above, her dress is from an 1869 Godey’s Lady’s Journal fashion plate. I used Dover’s excellent book- 80 Godey’s Full-Color Fashion Plates, 1838-1880 (ISBN: 978-0486402222), now out of print, for the 1869 plate. I know there are lots of sources online today for fashion plates, but too many of them omit the context of the plates, since plates were often cut. That is why I like having books of fashion plates in my collection for reference.

Next week, I will share a related Poppet clothing set with some underwear from the 1870s- when even children wore staybands or corsets- and two more outfits and a ballgown for her doll. Also, another pair of shoes with stockings.

I really do have to draw more historical children’s clothing for the Poppets. I had far to much fun with this set.

Remember that you’ll need to cut along the shoulders of the paper doll, so that she can wear her dress.

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