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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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.

Jaunty Summer Styles in Cheerful Color

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll So, interesting fact for your day… Today in 1945, Tennessee William’s play the “Glass Menagerie” premiered in New York in 1945. Not that I suppose anyone really cares about that fact, but I have a certain soft spot for the “Glass Menagerie.”

Anyway, back to our paper doll, she would not fit in a 1945 theater opening, but she certainly could go to a show today. I am strictly of the view that one should dress up for theater, out of respect for the nature of live performance. A part of me winces, when I see people show up to Broadway shows wearing shorts and flip flops. Have some respect for the theater, people…

Wow, that’s quite the off topic subject… let’s get back to paper dolls, shall we?


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I’ve decided, after quite a bit of dithering, to settle on Monica as my chosen name. I decided I liked the sound of Marisole, Mia, Margot and Monica. It’s different enough to stand out, but not different enough to be obvious. Minerva I think I should save for a fantasy paper doll and Miranda was a little hard at the end, but thank you everyone for your lovely suggestions. I really enjoyed getting to read all those M names.

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.)

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. :)

Poppets go Medieval… sorta…

Thumbnail of the printable paper doll clothes When I first drew the Poppets paper dolls, I knew I wanted to do historical costumes. This isn’t historically accurate by the way, but it does have a 1300s flair, I think. One of the reasons I steer clear of certain periods of history is that I feel like I don’t know enough about them. I am familiar enough with Victorian and 18th century costume that I feel fairly comfortable simplifying it without losing it’s authenticity, but I know very little about clothing in Europe before 1400.

As a result, I tend to categorize my forays into the “medieval” look as fantasy, rather than history. It keeps me from feeling guilty about not really knowing what I’m doing. However, Gwendolyn asked for a paper doll of a 10th century Anglo-Saxon when she won my drawing last week, so I guess I better learn something about the 10th century.

In the meantime, here’s a Poppet Medieval outfit strictly in the realm of fantasy being modeled by Petunia.

Full color Poppet Paper Doll clothes

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I’m also really pleased to say I’ve recently stumbled across a new paper doll blog called Paper is Suffcient. It’d a new blog, so go over there, check it out and drop Natalie a comment. We need all the paper doll blogs we can get. :)

Marisole Vintage Evening Gowns In Colors…

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll Last week, I posted this paper doll set in black and white for coloring. I promised I would talk a little about each of the gowns and where they came from.

I need to learn to streamline my method for dealing with elaborate florals, or I need to never do one ever again. Normally coloring a paper doll set takes about 2 to 4 hours, at most. Sometimes longer, but only if I take a lot of breaks and am doing a lot of other stuff. If I have my colors picked out and I’m on a roll, I can do the set in about an hour when I’m really on the ball, though formatting, saving and other detail work takes longer. That single floral dress took me nearly an hour, by itself, to color. NEVER AGAIN.

(I say that and I’m already thinking of other cool florals I might draw… I have a problem, people.)

Okay, so here’s the paper doll in full color:


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Let’s talk about where each gown came from. The floral gown, the blue gown and the red gown are all from the V&A in London.

The blue gown is based on this red dress from 1957. The red evening dress was drawn from this evening gown by Hardy Amies was made right after fabric rationing was lifted in England (1949), so lacks the layers of lace and silk that were common in evening gowns on this period. I love the simplicity and shape of the dress. The last dress from the V&A is my favorite, the floral evening gown made in Paris and worn by the wife of the British Ambassador. I tried, but I don’t think I captured the beauty of the rose patterned skirt and layered bodice.

The last pink dress comes from The Met, known as “Tree” this gown was designed by Charles James. Of all of the gowns I drew, I feel like this one didn’t work. My style of flat color just can’t capture the layering of the gowns beautiful fabric. Liana did a beautiful version of Charles james Butterfly dress on her blog several years ago which I think captures his work better than I did here.

Okay, that’s everything. Happy MLK Day to those in the US who are celebrating like me.

Marisole Monday: Queen of the Dusk in Full Color

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll Well… this is the last paper doll of 2013.

I’m pretty pleased with the year as it has turned out. I’ve been more consistent with my posting and I think the blog has grown in positive ways. I do have changes I would like to make in the future and some of them are the same changes I’ve been wanting to make for a while.

2014 will be here in a few days and I will return to work in a few days. I’m excited and nervous and looking forward to the New Year. The next post on this blog will be in 2014. YAY!

Meanwhile, I am totally pleased to show off the Queen of the Dusk fully colored. (By the way, I keep typing Queen of the Duck, which would be a totally different paper doll set, I think.) I started with a more traditional color scheme for me, which means I found a set of colors which I liked and was going to use on each paper doll dress, but after I used them I decided I really didn’t like them and instead went with each paper doll dress being monochromatically one color. I think this causes some problems for the shoes, but I rather like how the dresses came out.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll
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Any thoughts or comments on what you’d like to see the blog become or the blog should be, drop me a comment.

Poppets… Princesses and Poppets…

Thumbnail of the printable paper doll clothes So… again with the channeling Kate Greenaway thing, also a little bit of Peakswoods (a Korean ball jointed doll company), their fairies of fairytales were one of the inspirations for the Poppets series in general. I have noticed a tendency for ball jointed dolls to be dressed in totally over the top ruffled outfits (like this Little Red Ridinghood ensemble), so there’s a little of that here as well. I have a few dresses in process for the Poppets that take that concept on in a more fluffy way.

This set was drawn to go along with my second poppet paper doll Primrose. The dress, cape and hat, are all in the same color scheme and therefore can be mixed and matched. I am particularly fond of her little button up boots with spats on them.

I realize now that I’ve mentioned Kate Greenaway twice and I probably should pause to say who she was. Greenaway was an artist whose work was published mostly between the 1870s and the 1890s. She drew idealic angelic looking children in pseudo-regency costumes. You can see scans of her work at the Digital Library of illuminated books.

Full color Poppet Paper Doll clothes

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Last, but not least, I’d like to wish a very Merry Christmas to all my readers who celebrate it. I hope people have fun with family and friends today. I am with family myself and quite content.

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