Marisole Monday Medieval Maiden


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Medieval Dresses, Sort of…
A black printable paper doll with curly hair and her medieval fantasy dress up gown, shoes and stockings. A paper doll to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

A black printable paper doll with curly hair and her medieval fantasy dress up gown, shoes and stockings. A paper doll to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

So, today’s paper doll doll is Monica of the Marisole Monday & Friends crew with a fantasy dress up thing going. Her gown is vaguely medieval, vaguely not. Sometimes, I just want to draw a pretty dress. Nothing more, nothing less.

And this was one of those times.

I went with a pastel color scheme, because I thought that would look best against Monica’s rich skin tone.

Not sure which Marisole Monday & Friend’s doll is which? Here’s a guide I created last year when people had questions. I need to update it. I probably should write similar guides for all the paper dolls. Would folks find that helpful?

I confess that now that I have been looking at the colors in today’s paper doll dress for a while, they have begun to remind me of a sunrise. The blue dress being the pale sky and the pink and peach the colors of the clouds as the sun rises.

Along with her gown, Monica has white boots and stockings to fill out her paper doll fantasy dress up experience.

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

A Nurse or Doctor Paper Doll Outfit for the B&B Series


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:A Request from The Steger Family for Community Helper

A nurse or doctor paper doll outfit with teal scrubs and a white lab coat. A free printable paper doll from paperthinpersonas.com in color or black and white.

A nurse or doctor paper doll outfit with scrubs and a lab coat. A free printable paper doll coloring page from paperthinpersonas.com

So, I was asked by one of my Patrons, The Steger Family to create some paper dolls of community helpers like policemen, librarians, firefighters, that sort of thing, I struggled.

Let’s just say my attempt at a police women ended up looking like a stripper, rather than an actual member of the police force.

So, I tabled it for a while.

When I came back, I thought I would try something like scrubs to create a nurse or doctor paper doll. One of my friends here in Birmingham is a nurse and I’ve always really respected women in the medical field. I don’t know if this is really a doctor paper doll outfit or a nurse paper doll outfit, but I tend to think it could go either way.

The hardest part was drawing the stethoscope. Not a tool I draw that often, I must say.

I made the scrubs the same color as one’s I’ve seen the local hospital, but I have no idea how scrubs work. Are they like a uniform? Do people have to wear certain colors? Do certain colors mean different things?

Someone in the medical field should let me know in a comment. I have no clue.

Either way, here’s either a Doctor or a Nurse paper doll outfit for the B&B series to help out their community.

While it might be a while before I tackle a police woman printable paper doll outfit again, I might try a firefighter. I have no idea what firefighters wear, but that’ll be some research.

And I know some of my readers have been wanting a librarian paper doll for a while.

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

A Printable Paper Doll Dress from 1870 for Marisole Monday & Friends


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Fashion Plate from January 1870
A beautiful Victorian printable paper doll bustle dress based on a dress from 1870. Free to print in color or black and white from paperthinpersonas.com.

A beautiful Victorian printable paper doll bustle dress based on a dress from 1870. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

If I had to pick a favorite period of fashion history, I’m not sure I could. I love the 18th century, the 1920s, 1960s, the Regency, the 1300s… I could go on and on, clearly. However, if I had to pick a favorite era of the Victorian period, then the bustles absolutely win.

I love them all. I love the soft draped bustle of the early 1870s, the narrow skirted bustle of the early 1880s and the tea-tray supporting bustle of the late 1880s. I don’t care how absurd they look.

I just think they are so much darn fun.

Despite that, I have drawn very few paper dolls with dresses from 1870. I think the reason is that I’ve also been intimidated by the bustle. So many loops of fabric. So much drapery. The angle has to be just right to show off the fit. But I decided to try it this time, so here she is- a dress from 1870 for Marisole Monday & Her Friends.

Just the ladies. This won’t fit the gents.

It is based off this dress from 1870 published in The Queen, the Ladies’ Newspaper in January. Queen was an English fashion magazine that published French fashion plates and started in 1861. In 1968, it was purchased by Harpers Bazaar. Until 2006, in England anyway, Harper’s Bazaar was published as Harpers & Queen. I’ve yet to find a good online archive of The Queen, the Ladies’ Newspaper full-text, but if anyone locates one let me know. Their fashion plates are lovely.

Without the accompanying information, it is hard to know what exactly this dress was intended for. Based on the style, I am thinking a seaside nautical thing. January magazines often published the first Spring plates, so I suspect this is a Springtime outfit.

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

Poppet Paper Dolls Play At Snow White


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Snow White
A Snow White paper doll printable with a dress, apple and shoes. Free printable in color or black and white from paperthinpersonas.com.

A Snow White paper doll printable with a dress, apple and shoes. Free printable in black and white to color from paperthinpersonas.com.

One of my long term projects this year has been drawing fairy tale and nursery rhyme inspired Poppet paper dolls. You can find them all under the creatively named Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhyme Poppet Series. Today, there is a Snow White paper doll. Other fairy tales I have been working on are Hansel & Gretel and Little Red Ridinghood. I’ve already posted Little Bo Peep and the Princess and the Frog (though I did that one long before I started the series.)

In some fairy tales the look of the main character hardly matters, but Snow White is not one of those fairy tales. The 1857 edition of Brother’s Grimm contains the tale of Snow White and it opens like this:

“Once upon a time in midwinter, when the snowflakes were falling like feathers from heaven, a queen sat sewing at her window, which had a frame of black ebony wood. As she sewed she looked up at the snow and pricked her finger with her needle. Three drops of blood fell into the snow. The red on the white looked so beautiful that she thought to herself, “If only I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood in this frame.”

It seems somehow wrong to create a Snow White paper doll without giving her super pale skin, black hair and red lips. Her skin isn’t actually white, but it is fairer than any of the other skin tones I have ever done for the Poppets. So, she won’t be sharing shoes that show flesh with anyone.

For her dress, I wanted to show some of forest elements that are so integral to the story, hence the trees and butterflies. In the 1857 version of the tale there are three attempts on Snow White’s life.

The first is with a bodice lace (like a shoe lace but for a corset) that is laced so tight it strangles her. The second is with a poisoned comb and the third is the apple attempt. I did not draw a comb, but I did was to give my Snow White paper doll a lace up bodice to reference that first attempt.

Of course, the 1857 version also ends with Snow White and the Prince torturing the Evil Queen to death with red hot shoes. As usual, older Fairy Tales are a trifle violent and rather dark.

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

Sprites Get to be a Space Prince & Space Princess


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Space Prince & Space Princess, Also This Coat
Space Prince and Space Princess printable paper doll outfits in color or black and white from paperthinpersonas.com.

Space Prince and Space Princess printable paper doll outfits in color or black and white from paperthinpersonas.com.

I go through periods of super productivity and then I go through periods when I really struggle to come up with ideas. During one of these periods, I asked my Patrons for ideas.

Boots, of the blog Popculture and Paper Dolls, suggested searching “Outrageous Dresses” and seeing what came up.

So, bereft of ideas, I did.

And then in my second “Rachel Fails to Keep Her Sources” event of the week, I failed to Pinterest save the dress I found. But I found this super cool dress that had like gold armor on it and I thought, “OMG, Space Princess!”

And so, this set of Sprite Clothing was born.

This coat from my Sci-fi/Cyberpunk Fashion Pinterest board inspired the Gent’s outfit. I added the closures and made them gold to match the Lady’s outfit.

When I’m designing fantasy stuff based on history, I often think in terms of eras. I want to combine the 1820s and them maybe something renaissance and then… Well, you get tomorrow’s post.

But with sci-fi stuff, I think a bit about the world the clothing would belong in. Clothing is, after all, always a reflection of the society that birthed it. So for these outfits, I imagine a very technologically advanced society, maybe a utopia (or perhaps distopia?) sort of place.

What sort of world do you imagine these outfits belong in? I’d love to know.

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

Ms Mannequin and a 1960s Fashion Experience


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This 1960s Fashion Design
A paper doll foray into 1960s fashion with a blue and white shirt dress and tights. Free to print in color or black and white.

A paper doll foray into 1960s fashion with a mini-shirtdress and tights. Free to print in color or black and white.

Given how much I like 1960s fashion, it is a trifle weird how little of it has made its way onto the blog. I think part of that is the lack of online sources. Sadly, stuff created in the 1960s is still under copyright, because the open access date hasn’t moved forward as was originally intended. (Thank you, Disney for messing up that.)

I only have one book on 1960s fashion. To give a comparison, I have three on 1920s fashion. So, if anyone has a rec, leave it in the comments. I really should track down more, since I do enjoy the era. Today’s Ms. Mannequin outfit comes from this fashion design by Creators Studio.

The original dress was a blue and blue windowpane plaid, but plaid is my nemesis, so I omitted it.

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Meanwhile, there’s a 25% off coupon for my readers (Reader2017) good in my Etsy store until the end of the month. Nothing terribly 1960s in there, yet, but I have done some smashing evening gowns.

Need a paper doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick out a Ms. Mannequin Paper Doll Here

Some 1910s Clothing for my Curvy B&B Printable Paper Dolls


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Fashion Plate form 1915

A paper doll outfit based on 1910s clothing, specifically 1915. Available to print in color or black and white.

A paper doll outfit based on 1910s clothing, specifically 1915. Available to print and color for free.

There are periods of fashion I am naturally attracted too like the 1920s and 1870s, but others that I am learning to apperciate more. One of these is 1910s clothing.

1910s clothing can be broken down into two major eras. The early part of the decade has a column silhouette, like this dress from 1912. After the beginning of World War I in 1914, the skirts begin to flare out and shorten. The silhouette becomes much freer. Today’s paper doll outfit is from 1915 and falls into this flared skirt era. Other examples of this “look” include this fashion plate from 1916, this dress or this suit.

One thing I love about 1910s clothing is the profusion of really absurd looking hats, like today’s hat from this fashion plate. I mean, really? I would say that surely no one wore a hat like that, but check out this example and this example from the Met.

See? Absurd hats abound in the 1910s. Does anyone but me kinda wish we still wore hats? Let me know in a comment.

Clearly, I need to spend more time in this era. There’s some fun stuff there.

One quick historical note: No one wore socks like the ones I drew here in 1910, but I didn’t want do deal will bare legs (which would  have been a scandal in 1910) and I didn’t want to have draw full on stockings or attach the shoes to the dress, so this was my solution. Not perfect from a historical accuracy point of view, but there you have it.

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The Victorian Inspired Ballgown for Marisole Monday & Friend’s Printable Paper Dolls


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: A fashion plate I totally can’t find now
A printable paper doll ball gown inspired by the Victorian era. Free to print in color or black and white.

A printable paper doll ball gown coloring page inspired by the Victorian era. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com

So, this is like research rule 1: Write Down Your Sources.

And normally, I am super diligent about recording everything I use in Pinterest, so I can find it again when it comes time to write one of these fascinating blog posts.

This time though? So much of the not so much. I have a distinct recollection of look at a fashion plate which I think was late 1860s (because that’s when waists when up and skirts got all conical), but now for the life of me I can’t find the plate that was my inspiration.

Clearly, I am a bad librarian.

Needless to say, I hope I can distract y’all from my poor research habits by pointing out: Hey, there’s a pretty ballgown over there.

The truth is that I never meant for this to be a historical piece. It was part of a series of dresses in this silhouette that I designed back when I was doing the same theme for a whole week. I ended up just coloring two of them and you’ll see this one today and next Friday there will be a matching winter walking costume.

While the dress was inspired by a fashion plate from the late 1860s (I think), it looks much more 1820s to me, since I narrowed the skirt quite a bit.

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

The Poppets & Their Contemporary Applique Looks


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Polka-dot socks and Applique
A modern kids clothing paper doll outfit in color or black and white. Part of the Poppets series, it can be worn by any of the Poppets paper dolls. From paperthinpersonas.com.

A modern kids clothing paper doll outfit in color or black and white. Part of the Poppets series, it can be worn by any of the Poppets paper dolls. From paperthinpersonas.com.

One trend I have noticed in my children’s clothing research is a new appreciation for handwork like embroidery and applique. I love applique and so that was the source of inspiration for today’s contemporary Poppet outfit. Obviously, I designed the skirt first and then put together some other pieces to go with it.

Even as a grown up, I love the idea of a set of pieces of clothing that can be mixed and matched into different outfits. Heck, that’s how I shop for my own work clothing.

The trimming on the pants was added after I felt like they needed something a little extra. Sometimes, I find drawing the same basic thing over and over again a little dull. Pants are pretty much just pants, a lot of the time.

I say this as the girl who usually buys two pairs when I find a style that fits, but then I think my own dress choices don’t have to impact my artistic paper doll dress choices. 🙂

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I think that’s all my general announcements for the moment. 🙂

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

Marisole Monday in a Women’s 1920s Golf Clothes


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Golfing Outfits from the 1920s

Women's 1920s golf clothes for my Marisole Monday & Friend's paper doll series in full color to print from paperhinpersonas.com.

Women's 1920s golf clothes for my Marisole Monday & Friend's paper doll series in black and white.

I can’t tell you how many times my father has dropped hints that I should draw some golf clothing. He’s a fan of the sport. So, today I am pleased to present some 1920s historical clothing attire for the Marisole Monday & Freind’s paper dolls.

The history of women’s sports attire has always fascinated me. By the 1920s, from which today’s paper doll outfit hails, women were participating in many different team and individual sports including basketball, tennis, archery, fencing, and, of course, golf. Golf was pretty popular in the 1920s and women’s 1920s golf clothes were being designed by big names like this golf outfit by Worth.

Most women’s golf outfits have skirts, but there were also trousers options, like the ones shown in this article about golf in advertisements. I based today’s outfit off illustrations from my two favorite 1920s fashion history books, Everyday Fashions of the Twenties: As Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs and 1920s Fashions from B. Altman & Company, both of which are from Dover publications and are excellent resources on 1920s clothing. Sears was a more affordable company while B. Altman was much more fashionable and expensive.

Catalogs offer such a great window into what people could purchase in the past.

Anyway, I also had to draw a golf club for today’s outfit. Now, I will openly confess that I am not a skillful golfer, but I have taken a lesson or two. I based my golf club (I was not about to draw a whole set) on photos of 1920s golf clubs from Google Image Search. I know, I know. Not the best research practice.

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