Ms. Mannequin in Skinny Jeans and Peasent Tops

Thumbnail of the printable paper doll clothes One of the quirky things about working so far in advance is that sometimes I stumble across files I sort of forgot about. And today’s post is one of those files. Opps.

This set was completed last year and I actually thought I’d posted it, but when I was looking through my files, I realized I never had. After a few moment of, “Well, now I feel rather foolish…” I decided to put it up. After all, there’s no reason not to post it even if it’s a little old.

When I had started this series I had decided to stick to a pretty small selection of colors designed to provide the most mix and match options for outfits, but in hind sight, I seem to recall getting pretty sick of the color options before the set was completed.

black and white printable paper doll clothes for Ms Mannequin paper doll series

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Jinn in the Desert in Black and White

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll In my head, I imagine today’s paper doll as a companion to my Marauder princess paper doll from… wow, last year. That doesn’t seem so long ago. Time flies when you’re drawing paper dolls, I suppose.

Today’s paper doll was inspired by the Arabic folklore creatures called Jinn (or Genies). According to some sources, Jinn are made up of smokeless fire and scorching heat and they are sentient, like humans and angels. Jinn appear in many fairytales and folktales from the Middle East including the most famous to my readers, I suspect, which is the genie in Aladdin. Though there are some stories of Jinn granting wishes, this doesn’t seem to be something they do outside of fairytales.

I decided to give my paper doll a separate tail piece which is meant to be glued to her back once she’s been cut out. I thought it would be easier for the variety of clothing options which you might want to dress her up in. Her clothing has nothing terribly Middle Eastern about it, but that’s neither here nor there. As often happens, the resulting doll has wandered far from the source material.


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One of the things I really do like about today’s paper doll is the number of outfit options. With seven tops and four bottoms and two pairs of shoes, she’s got over 56 different outfit options and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

Oh, and before I forget, I did manage to get my email notices up and running again. If youve already put in your email than you should being receiving a notice when the site updates. If you haven’t gotten a notice and you think you should, please email me (paperthinpersonas (at) gmail (dot) com) and I shall see what I can do. If you want to receive a notice, just type your email into the box on the sidebar and you’ll be added to the list.

Poppets Go Roccoco

Thumbnail of the printable paper doll clothes One of the big myths of costume history is that children were dressed like adults, but in miniature. While this is sort of true, I have yet to see a decade where there is not some, however slight, difference between children’s and adults clothing. The differences are often subtle and children were considered adults at a much younger age than we consider children adults today.

This is all by way of saying that I really wanted to make sure this fluffy dress (which has NO historical accuracy about it at all) felt like a child’s dress and not an adult’s dress. I think of the Poppets as between 8 and 10 years of age and I really hate it when I see child dolls dressed like adults, especially in historical outfits or psuedo-historical outfits.

So, to maintain the principle, I’ve shortened the skirts of her fluffy dress. See.. I have some principles (not a lot of them… but I digress.)

Full color Poppet Paper Doll clothes

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Actually, I’ve been thinking about principle’s lately. If you read Liana’s interview from Friday (and if you haven’t than you really should), she talks a lot about the problems of paper doll poses and the complications of paper doll design. I think about these things when I design a paper doll as well, but I also find I think a lot about the principle of correctness. I made this principle up by the way, but for me I think it’s about the correct outfit for the correct paper doll at the correct time.

By my nature, I am scattershot personality. I tend to work on something in the grip of interest, give it up when I get bored, and then move onto something else. Paper doll designs, projects, work endevaors, whatever, all become mixed about in the messy world I exist in. If I’m reading up on women’s publishing, than somehow this filters into everything else I do. I am very envious of people who can have firm divisions in their heads between project A and project B, but I’ve never been wired that way. This means my paper dolls tend to be schizophrenic. Astronauts to mermaids all have happened over the years. I think this is sometimes the charm of PTP, but I also fear it’s a bad thing. I find I envy people like Boots who commit to a theme and then stick to it.

I can not imagine trying to limit myself like that.

Some Sets in Black and White…

So… I often get asked for more black and white versions to color of Marisole Monday paper dolls. Oddly, I have almost never been asked for black and white versions of other paper dolls, but that’s neither here nor there.


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This was specifically requested a while ago, so I wanted to make sure to do Ancient Chic and one of the sets.


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I forgot that I hadn’t done this in black and white. I would have sworn I had… but as it turned out, I was wrong. It’s odd to me to think this paper doll set in color was posted nearly two years ago. Wow… That was a while ago. I’m still not pleased with how the floral skirt turned out, but sometimes you just can’t win.


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Walk in the Woods in color was a set which I wanted to do some more casual wear and as I recall someone had asked for East Indian coloring, so that was my attempt at that. In hind sight, I rather like the accessories with this set like the apple, map and backpack.

So, here they are. A few sets in black and white to be colored. Enjoy them everyone.

Greta’s Trousseau: Operas and More…

In the continuing epic of Greta’s Trousseau, today we have a bunch of outfits designed to help Greta do more mundane activities than fencing or hunting. Like any fashionable neo-victorian lady, Greta simply must have a costume for all occasions and her trousseau provides.

Thumbnail of the printable paper doll clothes

Today’s outfit set includes an opera toilette which fitted into a rather odd spot in the ladies wardrobe. Opera attire and ballgowns were both considered to be full dress (the most formal sort), but opera outfits usually included some sort of cloak (which I have omitted because eventually I’ll do a whole set of outerwear) and some sort of hat or headdress. I’ve also noticed that they seem to be a little more fanciful than other costumes. Greta’s consists of an off the shoulder top with a boned bodice, a floral decorated top hat and a full skirt without a train. She wears matching shoes.

Her promenade costume and visiting attire would have both been semi-formal wear. The promenade costume features a military influenced jacket where as the visiting attire is softer and more lady-like. Both outfits have matching hats. Her only costume without a hat is her tea dress which she could have worn while receiving guests in her own home and therefore wearing a hat would have been odd. Changing the bodice and adding a hat, turns this outfit into a walking suit, less formal than a promenade costume but with the same military influences.

Hmm… I really should have drawn her a parasol. I shall have to do that in the future.


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All of the shoes, except the ones with the opera costume, are “borrowed” for the other sets in Greta’s Trousseau. I just find that I can only draw so many pairs of button up boots in one sitting, though I will be doing more shoes as we expand Greta’s activities. I know I need do to some winter boots for her and she’ll be needing some for the seaside as well.

Here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau. I am looking forward to adding more to it as time permits.

Jaunty Summer Styles

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll So, spring has finally come to Alabama, it feels like. I enjoy the changing seasons of fall and spring. Also, I’ve been reading some 1920′s clothing catalogs and they use words like “jaunty” in their descriptions and I think we should bring it back as a fashion term.

Today’s paper doll set, which like my Mia paper dolls from earlier this month (here in black and white and here in color), comes out of the March fashion magazines which publish the new spring fashions of the year. I decided to do a little bit more “girly” for this paper doll set, focusing on the feminine styles that are popular right now.

My one regret is that I didn’t do more pieces with patterns on this paper doll set, but instead focused on the shapes. I sort of wish I’d done something in color blocking or even stripes to mix things up a bit. Still, I love the dresses and the purses which I think offer some interesting variety. I always carry the exact same purse nearly every day, but my paper dolls can afford to be a little more adventurous. Plus money is no object when the fashions are all made of paper.

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I’m not totally pleased how the ruffled shift dress came out (far left). I like it, but I have mixed feelings about the execution, on the other hand I really like how both the other dresses came out and the high low t-shirt. I think I’ll come around to the dress once it has been colored.

I decided to use Magnolia, one of my new Marisole Monday paper dolls who I’ve decided to rename since someone pointed out that the Magnolia name is already taken. Suggest an “M” name in the comments and I’ll consider it. Right now, I’m split between Monica, Maureen and Mira, though I do think Mira is too close to Mia.

Marisole Monday Visits the 10th Century

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll It’s a Margot paper doll this Monday, the first for the new year, I think, and she’s sporting some stylish garb from the 10th century. Yesterday, I posted a pretty long ramble about 10th century Anglo-Saxon women’s dress and if you’re interested, I recommend reading that as well as this post, since the two rather go together in chronicling the epic research adventure this paper doll was.

One of my January drawing winners, Gwendolyn, who asked for this paper doll has been very kind as I slowly did my research and then set to work on drawing the set. I won’t pretend it hasn’t been both stressful and time consuming, because it has, but I am utterly pleased with the outcome and I hope she is as well.

Gwendolyn wrote me that:

I have actually thought a little bit about what I would choose if I ever won, so I can tell you now that I am interested in a Marisole-family doll, who is 10th century Anglo-Saxon. I would love a set or two of daily clothes, but I would also love a maille shirt and helm.

Speaking of the maile shirt, it is based on Anglo-Saxon finds in York and the helm is also based on the same thing. As women didn’t wear maile, I didn’t spend a huge amount of time researching the historical accuracy of such a garment. Personally, I’ll confess, armor doesn’t get me going like clothes do.

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So, let’s talk about the clothes. As I explained yesterday, 10th century Anglo-Saxon’s women dress consists of several layers of clothing. To begin with Margot (our Anglo-Saxon model with a French name…) wears a pair of leggings with windings around the calves and shoes. The shoes come from Anglo-Viking finds in York dating from the 9th Century. The windings around her calves are based on an illustration from the manuscript Psychomachia (British Library MS Additional 24199) which shows a barefoot women on horseback. Sadly, the manuscript hasn’t be digitized, but there is an illustration in Owen-Crocker’s Dress in Anglo-Saxon England. There is no way to know what the top of such leggings looked like. I made them like this so they could be worn with the maile shirt. Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll

The shift’s neckline is based on an illustration of a male farmer’s tunic illustrated in Tiberius B v calendar (British Library MS Cotton Tiberius B v, fol. 4r) and the sleeves are wrinkled as I discussed yesterday. The necklines of the other dresses are also based on the necklines of men’s tunics in the 10th century.

The veils are based on manuscript illustration, though I had added visible pins. Pins are commonly found from this period and it seems logical they were used to hold veils together. The green veil with broach is based on an illustration of the Virgin Mary from the first half of the 9th century (see Plate 1). The brown “poncho” is based on several illustrations and I discuss these cloaks a lot more in yesterday’s post.

Lastly, the embroidery on the red dress is not based on anything specifically. I wanted to use some patterns I found online, but they were far to detailed to easily make tiny enough to work as illustrations at such a small size. I did not include girdles as there is almost no published information on them and I didn’t want to just invent stuff. The colors used in these garments are based on the colors of the famous Bayeux Tapestry (which is not actually a tapestry, but that’s neither here nor there).

Well, I hope everyone has enjoyed the last two days in the 10th century. I certainly have had fun researching and I hope to do some more medieval period paper dolls now that I know more about the eras in question. (I think my next one will be 1300s, a little easier than 900s.)

Faye Visits the 1920s

Thumbnail of the printable paper doll clothes Faye has decided to do a little time traveling and visit the 1920′s. Inspired in part by Anna May Wong (the first Asian-American famous film actress), I knew I wanted to use Faye, my Asian Mini-Maiden in this set.

(I did not give Faye Anna May’s wonderful bangs because every time I tried to draw them they looked… off somehow.)

Faye has shoes, stockings, a girdle, a house dress, two day dresses and then a swimsuit. She should probably also have a swimming cap, but I didn’t really think about that until after I finished the set and then it was too late. ‘

Oh well…

I really had fun with this set since I just bought a few more books of 1920′s fashion and wanted an excuse to play with them.


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I’m trying to give more information on where I do my costume research when I say something is historically accurate, so I’m including a sources list, in case anyone else wants to dabble in the 1920s. It’s not exhaustive. There’s some other great books out there, just what I happened to use for this set and have on my own shelves at home.

A Few Sources for 1920′s Fashion History

1920s Fashions from B. Altman & Company. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1999.
Atelier Bachwitz. Classic French Fashions of the Twenties. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2012.
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/AOL Time Warner Book Group, 2003.
Peacock, John. 20th-century Fashion: The Complete Sourcebook. London: Thames and Hudson, 1993.

Do people find this idea of sources lists useful? I don’t want to do them all the time, but for my historical stuff I thought it might be helpful for folks. Thoughts from my fabulous readers?

Sewing the Seventies… A Paper Doll For Jo

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll This is the paper doll set I abandoned last week and instead posted the doodles. I am so happy I gave it another week to be refined. Jo was one of the two winners of my drawing in January. She asked for a “groovy” late 60s early 1970s Marisole paper doll based on pattern covers from patterns she actually had sewn at the time. How cool is that?

You can see a PDF of the pattern covers Jo sent me here. I loved all of the pattern covers and I wish I had been able to draw them all, but, of course, that would be way more than a one page paper doll.

Normally, I do two pairs of shoes for each Marisole and friends set, but I wanted to focus on things the patterns had, so a simple pair of clogs did the trick. Tiny calicos were the “in” thing in the 70′s, so I created some to decorate these groovy outfits using a new method that I’m experimenting with involving Photoshops pattern making tools.

I did a new Marisole paper doll face for this set, because I wanted to try to capture some of the whimsy of the pattern cover’s faces. I don’t think I did a good job of that, but I did have fun. Jo asked for bangs and brown hair, or I would have given into the temptation and tried to do Farrah hair.

(Okay, I did try. I confess. It came out… weird looking.)

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I had so much fun dabbling in the 1970s, especially since I’m not very familiar with the clothes of this era. So, fans who remember the 1970s… how did I do?

Captain Mannequin

Thumbnail of the printable paper doll clothes When I started the Ms Mannequin paper doll series, my goal was to draw primary contemporary clothing. I had high plans of doing stylish designers and other things. Maybe dabbling a little into vintage Dior, but mostly being contemporary. The dolls were designed to be models, not curvy at all, so they could wear the contemporary styles.

However, it wasn’t long before I was sketching and suddenly pirates reared their heads and demanded to be drawn. I ignored them for a while, but soon they were saying, “DRAW US.”

And I said, “Okay. No need to shout.”

And so this pirate set was born.

What can I say? I like pirates. I feel like there’s nothing “new” about this pirate set though, so I’m not sure it’s my best set. Still… sometimes you just have to draw pirates.

black and white printable paper doll clothes for Ms Mannequin paper doll series

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By the way, I’m doing site clean up, sometime I do every Jan/Feb to tidy up categories, fix things that seem broken and a little spring cleaning is done. So, things might be morphing and changing around here in subtle ways. Nothing to worry about, just me tidying up my files. :)

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