Victorian Ballerina Printable Paper Doll from the 1880s

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll based on the historical period of 1880s in black and white or in color Oh man, what to say about the last few days…

Well, I have been working on backend server CPU issues with my shared hosting service. Nothing really serious, but stuff that has to be dealt with for the blog hosting to continue to be cheap enough for me to justify continuing to keeping it online and free.

Still, I owed a paper doll to my last drawing winner, Lina of Lina’s Historical Paper Dolls, and I was not about to put off finishing that for another week, because I would keep feeling guilty about it.

Lina requested an 1880s period Marisole Monday & Freinds paper doll with a ballet outfit and several other dresses. I had some trouble getting all the pieces to fit on a single page, so I omitted some shoes from the image.

Should you want proper shoes to go with this set, then I recommend checking out On the Board Walk in color or black and white or Mia Goes to the Bathing Place in color or black and white. Both of those sets both have button up style boots which, while not period, are close enough to not look totally awkward.


Victorian ballerina paper doll with a swimming costume, a ballgown and a tutu
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Lina was kind enough to send me reference photos and specific colors for the hair, skin and eyes of the paper doll, but left the color scheme mostly up to me. I wanted to use some rich colors, because by the 1880s chemical dyes were common and rich colors were very much instyle. There is a habit to think of the 19th century as sepia colored, because of sepia photos, but it was actually a rather garish era.

At least post, chemical dyes being invented.


Victorian ballerina paper doll with a swimming costume, a ballgown and a tutu
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So, Lina also asked for a tutu based on this painting by Degas. The painting dates from 1871, a little earlier than the other costumes in the set. I omitted the sash, since I based the dress on the center figure. I don’t think the layers of the skirts really look like tulle, which bothers me. Liana has some great tulle on her blog.

The ballgown was based on this fashion plate. The gown was red, but I made it peacock blue based on a description in English Women’s Clothing in the 19th Century by Wilett-Cunnington that mentioned peacock blue ballgowns. I hate drawing lace, but it came out all right, I suppose.

The last two outfits are a swimming costume and a house dress. Old swimming costumes were extremely complicated and not very easy to swim in. Generally, I think of them as wadding costumes. Lina sent me this picture and I based it off that.

The house dress is classic 1880s style with bustle, drawn up skirt and long pleats. It’s a pretty typical gown for its period. Lina sent me this photo and I based the dress off of it. I omitted the pattern on the dress, because I knew it would reproduce poorly in the small scale of the paper doll set.

And that, as they say, is that.

If you haven’t ever checked out Lina’s blog, Lina’s Historical Paper Dolls than I recommend taking the time to do so. She makes wonderfully interesting historical paper dolls.

Margot in Wonderland… Full Color Paper Doll to Print

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland I spent a chunk of my weekend coloring my Margot in Wonderland paper doll from last week. Today, Margot gets to be a blond and has, of course, a wardrobe of Alice inspired paper clothing pieces. As I mentioned last week, I’ve been inspired by Alice many times before and drawn her many times over the years.

After some time I decided to go with a jewel tone color scheme that was a bit bright. I wanted to capture the richness of color that could be captured with color lithography from the 19th century. I was also heavily inspired by this Lolita outfit. I really loved the rich colors since they are not the pastels or black that I normally associate with Lolita fashion.

As I mentioned with my Turn of the Century Pixie Paper Doll, I often collect ideas on my Pinterest boards, so you can check out the Lolita board I keep to see where some of these outfit pieces came from. Nothing was directly taken, but I find ideas and inspiration makes drawing paper dolls faster and easier than it would be without them.


paper doll to print based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

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The top hat’s floating tab is meant to be attached using the same method as I outlined in my instructions for attaching wigs and hats to paper dolls. This is one of my favorite methods of doing wig and hat attachment for the paper dolls I design and so I use it often.

By the way, yesterday I put up a new Featured Paper Doll Artist interview with Irma of Pabernukublogi. Check it out when you have a chance. :)

Margot in Wonderland… Printable Paper Doll to Color

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll I have been traveling a lot over the last three months. One trip every month which has made for scattered time for myself. I’ve mentioned many times on this blog that I normally work from a long backlog and that having a backlog of paper dolls allows me to plan my life.

Well… I’m out of backlog, so the fact that today’s paper doll happened was a shcok to me. I did not think I would get her done, but I am pleased that I did.

Alice in Wonderland paper dolls are something I have drawn before. I think in total I have done three paper dolls that I’ve posted.

Today’s paper doll version of Alice in Wonderland uses Margot, whose been a bit neglected. Her costumes owe a lot to both Neo-Victorian and Lolita styles.


printable full color paper doll with summer beach clothing

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I had an awful lot of fun putting together the rabbit pattern and the card pattern for the two skirts. I attempted to draw a more realistic top hat than I have in the past, but I’m not pleased with it. There’s something off about the perspective, I think. However, I shall eventually get over my problems with hats. I just have to keep trying, so expect to see more hats.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are books I love, but that I don’t think have aged very well in many ways. The general lack of agency for Alice, not to mention the fact that most of the jokes don’t really resonate with modern life (how many of us had to recite in school? I mean… really?), means that when most of us think of Alice, we think of iconic characters and symbols without actually remembering the story. The Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, or Dweedle-Dee and Dweedle-Dum are all so familiar it hardly matters that the Mad Hatter is a reference to the mercury poisoning common to men in that profession during the Victorian era.

Melissa Smith Colors Vivid Victoriana

Melissa Smith of Miss Missy Paper Dolls colored my Vivid Victoriana paper doll and did a lovely job. I’m always so flattered when people send me their colored in paper dolls. I have a few more paper dolls colored by other people to get up which I am going to try to do in the next few weeks.

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

I love Melissa’s coloring style. It feels very painterly to me, which is something I very much admire in other people’s coloring styles.

You can see the original black and white version of Vivid Victorian and the full color version are on this site of course.

Meanwhile, there’s a drawing/constest open for a custome paper doll. Check it out and enter, if you like.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper dollToday, Margot is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day is a festive holiday celebrating the life of St. Patrick and Irish hertiage and the excuse to drink a lot of beer, some of it dyed green. Despite being a Saint’s Day, there’s not usually a lot of religion in the celebrations (at least not a lot that I’ve seen…)

Normally I when I do a color and a black and white version together, they are both pretty small. I decided to try out a different formatting option this time. First we have the full color version and then, a little further below, the black and white version.


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I decided it would be fun to do some historical St. Patrick’s Day costumes, so Margot has an early 18th- Century mantua gown on the far right covered in clovers. The mantua was in style until about the 1740s when it got replaced by other styles, but it was very much popular in the early part of the century. The first USA celebration of St. Patrick’s Day occured in Boston in 1737, so a mantua made sense.

Next, she to that she has a 1903 blouse with skirt to commemorate the fact that in 1903, Saint Patrick’s Day became an official holiday in Ireland. The blouse should be worn over the skirt to get the pigeon breasted look which was so popular in the early 20th century. Margot’s hair is covered in a hat and she has a matching parasol.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll
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So, in 1962, the city of Chicago, known for it’s Irish population, dyed the Chicago River green for the first time using 100 lbs of vegetable dye. They continue that tradition today, though its only green for a few hours. I’ve never seen the river dyed, even when I was living in Illinois, but I’ve always wanted too. Margot has a 1960′s dress with high heels and a stylish flipped hair style.

Lastly, I included a modern pair of jeans and a t-shirt, in case you want a modern celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. I did not, despite a recommendation of a friend, include any green dyed beer. You’ll have to draw your own. :)

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.)

Marisole Monday: Vivid Victoriana Printable Paper Doll in Color

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable paper doll Something about the fall makes me introspective. Maybe it’s the grey days or the excuse to pull out my favorite tweed trousers again or the fact that I can feel the end of the year looming, but even here in Alabama where it’s hardly cool enough to feel like fall- I can see the leaves changing colors and I know that fall has arrived.

Fall introspection takes different forms for different people, but for me it usually focuses on the blog. It’s a little terrifying to think the blog might be turning four in January. If it was a child, it would be in pre-school.

Meanwhile… here’s a new printable paper doll. And who doesn’t want that?

Last week, we got to see today’s paper doll in black and white and here she is now in color. I wanted to go with a shabby chic color scheme and a break from the usual “Steampunk=Brown” mentality. As I always say when I post a paper doll like this, I’m not really sure how one decides if something is steampunk. Never the less, I’m very pleased with how she came out. She’s a Margot paper doll, because I thought Margot needed some love.

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll
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Thoughts on where the blog is? Where the blog is going? How it should get there? Please let me know. I know I don’t always respond to comments as quickly as I would like, but I do read every one and I love getting them.

Marisole Monday And Friends: Vivid Victoriana Printable Paper Doll

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll Well… I can say what this isn’t pretty quickly. This isn’t a Halloween printable paper doll. I wanted it to be, but sometimes life doesn’t cooperate.

Instead of a Halloween printable paper doll and her clothes, we’ve got a steampunk inspired neo-victorian Margot paper doll and her clothes. I think the paper doll is just as nice as something more themeatic, but it always seems to me like I should try to follow the seasons on the blog, even though I rarely succeed.

This year nothing really Halloween oriented has happened on the blog. I do hope to get a vampire Pixie paper doll I drew an embarrassingly long time ago finally finished and posted, but the truth is that September was such an insane month for me (wedding & flooded apartment) that I didn’t get any of my Halloween plans finished.

More Below!

Marisole Monday & Friends: Late Summer Flowers in Full Color

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Full color version of last week’s paper doll. I wanted the colors to be a little unexpected and I really like how the patterned shorts came out.

I don’t do very many blond paper dolls, so here is one, though in hindsight, I think she’d be cuter as a brunette. I could change her, but we all know that won’t be happening, because I hate re-doing old work.

Speaking of redoing old work, there might be some black and white versions of old Marisole’s showing up on the blog in the next few weeks. It’s related to a project that’s in the works. If anyone has requests, drop me a comment. This might be the only time I ever do this.

I find I tend to work in spurts. I realized I hadn’t done a paper doll with glasses in a really long time and now I’ve done two in a row. Chances are that I won’t do another one for six months now. Funny how that works.

By the way, the summer heat of Alabama is pretty bad. I sort of wish I was living somewhere colder, like my home of Alaska, but I’m learning to survive the 90 degree weather.

Marisole Monday & Friends: Late Summer Flowers

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A new Margot paper doll today in black and white for coloring. Also, she has glassess

It’s been a sort of surreal few days and I nearly didn’t get this done. I’ve been fighting a flea problem in my apartment, as I mentioned last week, and while I don’t see any fleas today, every time I feel a little itch, I get nervous. Needless to say, I’m not really keen on insects at the moment.

Meanwhile, the new school year starts in a few weeks which means things get busy at the library. I like it when the school year begins though, because I find campus feel empty when it is just staff and graduate students.

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