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.

Beautiful Boho: A Black Paper Doll in Color

A printable black paper doll with a nineteen piece contemporary wardrobe with accessories in color. Summer in Alabama is probably my least favorite season. First of all, it is very hot and humid. Secondly, there are cockroaches. Thirdly, it rains in the afternoons, but the rain doesn’t actually cool anything down.

We are having a freakishly hot June. It’s been in the high 90s for the last week and it is not looking to cool down at all next week. I am miserable in this heat, but I suppose it could be worse.

Someone who is not miserable in the heat (or at least isn’t showing it) is Marisole in today’s colored version of Beautiful Boho. A big part of color selection for me is finding colors I wouldn’t normally think to combine. Part of this is instinct, but I borrow most of my color schemes from various sources around the internet and then alter them as needed. Design Seeds more muted palettes were what I used on this paper doll set. I wanted to use colors that felt like they were modern and came from nature.

A printable black paper doll with a nineteen piece contemporary wardrobe with accessories in color.
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I went back and forth about what to do about Marisole’s glasses in this set. Originally, I had them plain silver, but it just seemed so… well, plain. So, after some debate, I decided to make them a soft grey-teal color. It’s a color that shows up a lot in the paper doll set, but it is also fairly neutral. I also had a lot of fun painting her toe nails with her different sandals.

I don’t think I mentioned this last time, but the paper doll’s hair is based in part on the last hairstyle in this fantastic video of 100 years of black hairstyles 1910 to 2010. My only complaint about the video is that it ignores wigs which were commonly worn by black women, particularly 1940s through the 1960s. Never the less, it is a fascinating time-lapse piece.

Later this week there will be the first Flock post of 2015 (embarrassing but true).

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.

Beautiful Boho: A Black and White Paper Doll

A printable coloring page of a black paper doll with a 16 piece contemporary boho wardrobe. It has been a while since we saw Marisole, hasn’t it? I mean… at least since early April, I think.

As her friends grow, I find I sometimes miss her. She is the longest running paper doll on this site and I really do still have a fondness for her.

Today, Marisole is rocking a wardrobe inspired by the boho looks of brands like Free People. I have only recently discovered Free People and if I had a job where I could get away with wearing their clothes on a regular basis, I would. I also wanted to draw a jumpsuit. I don’t like jumpsuits, but they are in fashion and I am trying to be more open minded about them. Today’s Marisole paper doll also has glasses, because I think glasses are cute and I don’t draw enough paper dolls with glasses.

I also have horrendous eyesight and am blind as a bat without my contacts in. As a child, I had glasses and I hated them. Maybe a paper doll or two with glasses will help kids not dislike glasses so much.

A printable coloring page of a black paper doll with a 16 piece contemporary boho wardrobe.
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Over the years that I have been drawing paper dolls, which has been a fairly long time, I have come to realize that I really value diversity and variety in my paper dolls. I can’t imagine just drawing modern paper dolls or just drawing historical paper dolls or just drawing fantasy paper dolls. One of the things I like about paper dolls is that they can literally be anything. I’m about to get through the last of the backlog I have of Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper dolls. I have one more after this colored and one more waiting to be colored.

That means it is time for me to return to my sketch book. I’ve made a poll to help me decide what I should make next for them. Below I’ve listed my four major ideas. Vote on one of them and I might make it.

What Should I draw Next for Marisole Monday & Friends?

  • A ballerina or dancer. Tackle your fear of tutus. (38%, 36 Votes)
  • Space princess! Like a normal princess, but with ray-guns in space! (29%, 28 Votes)
  • Something for Marcus. Anything. Poor boy needs some more clothes. (19%, 18 Votes)
  • A warrior with armor. Lots of Armor. (14%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 95

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Cranach Gowns: A Paper Doll of Rennisance Saxony Dress in the Mid-1500s

Link to Cranach Gowns, a paper doll of a 15th century Saxony dress in Germany with two gowns, two hats, one pair of shoes in black and white or in full color for printingHappy Friday! Here’s a paper doll. :)

I first stumbled across Cranach dress or gowns in this rather gruesome painting of Judith with the Head of Holofernes months ago and her gown was fascinating. I didn’t know much about it, except that it was painted by Lucas Cranach. As it turned out, I discovered as I did more research, that the artist- Lucas Cranach the Elder- painted countless versions of this gown on countless both real and mythological figures.  Coming out of the Saxony area of Germany, Lucas Cranach was hired by Fredrick the Wise who to be the court painter of his court in 1505 and Cranach stayed there for the rest of his life. He was extremely prolific and his art is distinctly romantic and stylized. Even his portraits all rather do look the same after a while, I have to confess.

Around 1546, Cranach illustrated a manuscript for the Court at Saxony. This collection of portraits of Saxon princes and family known as Das Sächsische Stammbuch – Mscr.Dresd.R.3 is fascinating. I was immediately struck by the illustrations of the Saxon princesses (image 220, f. 89) and I knew I wanted to draw these dresses.

Cranach Gowns, a paper doll of a 15th century Saxony dress in Germany with two gowns, two hats, one pair of shoes in black and white for printing
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However, there is a debate as to whether or not Cranach’s gowns actually existed in the real world. Here’s my view: We don’t have an extant one, but then we don’t have very many extant garments from this era anyway. Should we find one the debate would be settled, but until then we have to work with the primary sources we have.  The value of fabric and the expense of clothing was so great the people usually chose to be painted to garments they actually owned.

Lastly, I tend to approach history with the belief that in the absence of proof to the contrary, we should assume that people of the era were not trying to mislead people of the future. Why commission a family history with crests and portraits of your family, if you are not going to accurately render the people in the images? Das Sächsische Stammbuch – Mscr.Dresd.R.3 is a collection of portraits of Saxon nobles. Why put the princesses in imaginary gowns?

The first question I struggled to answer was if the nets of pearls so often seen the women’s hair in these portraits were actually nets of pearls, or rather some sort of cap. This article on these caps lead me to conclude it was a cap, rather than part of her hair. Her shoes are fairly standard 15th century shoes with squared toes. Her hats are based on portraits of the era.

I picked out colors based on the main colors I saw in the portraiture which were red and black. I really wanted to do blue as well, like the illustrations of the Saxon princesses and so I did a blue gown as well. I did wonder, however, about the blue. Color is often symbolic in manuscript illustration and I wondered if perhaps blue was used to denote virginity (the Madonna was associated with blue) rather than to render the actual color of the gowns. Never the less, I thought they looked pretty and that was enough for me. I made her a redhead, because I have a thing for redheads and so did, it seems, Cranach.

ranach Gowns, a paper doll of a 15th century Saxony dress in Germany with two gowns, two hats, one pair of shoes in color for printing
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In my research, I am indebted to The German Renaissance of Genoveva , a blog devoted to recreating German Renaissance dress for reenactment and The Court Gowns of Saxony and article by Holly Stockley which was accessed via the Wayback Machine and The German Renaissance of Genoveva website.

Normally, this is where I would put my sources. The truth is that I was flummoxed in finding any really good secondary academic works on German Renaissance dress in English. I did use the Met’s collection of Cranach paintings, the Encyclopedia Britannica’s article on Lucas Cranach, this delightful bookplate from the National Gallery (USA), the National Gallery (UK) portrait of a noble woman, and this portrait of Princess Maria of Saxony.

The most useful document was Das Sächsische Stammbuch – Mscr.Dresd.R.3 and I owe a debt to the library that digitized it. It it through this digital work that people like me can see the great artifacts of Europe and study them. I am well aware of the risks and time such projects, so I am grateful when libraries and museums undertake them.

As always, if you want to know when I update this blog, feel free to drop your email on the sidebar to be anded to the updates mailing list. You can also follow me on twitter where you can see when the blog updates (though I usually tweet after I post by a few hours) and get to read about what I might be making for dinner.

And, of course, thoughts in the comments are always valued.

Classy Color Blocking: A Printable Paper Doll in Color

A printable coloring page of a paper doll with a seventeen piece contemporary wardrobe. Today’s color scheme is based off the Pantone Colors of Spring 2015- though I confess I don’t really like the Pantone colors of Spring 2015. Still, I try to do Pantone paper doll sets, because it gets me out of my comfort zone. Every once in a while, that’s crucially important.

Since the theme of this paper doll set was color blocking, I obviously had no pattern in it. The pieces were based on fashion magazine content that comes out in Spring. While I confess that the color scheme isn’t my favorite, I really like how both pairs of shoes came out and the blue top with the orange and yellow accents. I’d totally wear that top which is not something I can say about most of what I draw for paper dolls.

In the real world, my taste is fairly conservative and leans towards tweed trousers or boho blouses.

A printable coloring page of a paper doll with a 17 piece contemporary wardrobe.
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I don’t have much else to say about this paper doll set. She’s named Maeghan which I explained last week and you can see more of her with the rest of the Maeghans in my new, Maeghan category. I’d love to say that new exciting fascinating things will happen on the blog in the coming week, but I am pretty sure it will be pretty much just paper dolls.

And while I like to think paper dolls are new and exciting, its hard to argue that they are also what people come here expecting. Surely no one shows up thinking that this place is going to be full of cat GIFs or delightfully trained mongooses.

For the record, I have no idea what you would train a mongoose to do or even if you can train mongooses.

Faye’s Fashionable Geometrics: Black and White Modern Paper Doll

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. So, I’m posting a third paper doll this week, because I totally only posted one paper doll last week. I guess this is my “apology” paper doll. :)

Faye here is rocking some modern outfits with geometric patterns. As I think I mentioned before, Faye is named for a Chinese student I knew in graduate school. Someone asked me how I name my paper dolls and really it is mostly out of the clear blue sky, though I tend to avoid naming them after people I’ve known who I didn’t like. There’s certain names that shall never grace a paper doll.

I used one of my favorite tools to create the patterns in this paper doll set. It’s called a drafting template and they come in all different styles. I wrote about my favorite tools a while ago. Anyway, I love them and they make from a great starting point for interesting patterns on paper doll clothes.

I usually draw a single repeat or two of my pattern and then construct the pattern in Photoshop. It’s not a hard process, but is it something people would like to learn about? I could do a tutorial I think.


black and white black printable paper doll with a contemporary wardrobe
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Hazel also has a heavily geometrically inspired set of clothes from last year entitled Hazel’s Geometric Style. When I first named today’s paper doll set, I nearly used the same name which would have been awkward. The similar styles I think lend themselves to lots of fun mix and match opportunities though. If you combine today’s paper doll set with Hazel’s Geometric Style there’s 274 outfit possibilities, not even including the accessory items. Pretty remarkable.

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