Lillies & Birds: Fantasy Printable Paper Doll

lilliesandbirds-logo-colorEvery paper doll set tells a story. As a kid, I remember I would tell all sorts of stories with my paper dolls. Some of them were the actual stories of the paper dolls- like Little Women or Cinderella. Far more often, I would design my own stories to be told with the paper dolls.

Now that I’m an adult, or so people tell me, my paper dolls don’t have the same sorts of stories. They do, however, often have worlds that I imagine they come from. In the case of today’s Margot paper doll, I imagine she comes from a pseudo-victorian world with her button up boots and her hats.

Speaking of hats, it was really important to me that either hat could be worn with either dress. Don’t get me wrong- the feathered hat was designed to match the bird-dress and the lily hat goes with the lily dress, but if you were feeling rebellious and wanted to put the feathered hat with the lily dress than I won’t stop you.

Live dangerously.

Anyway, as for her blue hair, I confess that as a total whim. I was coloring her and I thought, I should give her blue hair. So, I did.lilliesandbirds-princess-paper-doll-color

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I am actually quite pleased how the blue hair came out. I think it’s fun and unexpected.

I’ve always wanted to dye my hair blue, but I fear I am long past the point in my work life where I could get away with blue hair. Plus my hair goes down to my waist, so if I dye it than I have to live with it for a long long time.

So, we are cruising into December (so exciting!), there’s going to be fun things on the horizon and some announcements. The Pixie paper doll series is retiring and will be replaced by a new series. Lots of fun & crazy stuff.

Thoughts? As usual, I love to hear what you think about the paper doll or anything else in the comments.

Lillies & Birds: A Printable Paper Doll Coloring Page

lilliesandbirds-logo-bwThe trouble of posting from paper doll backlog, is that sometimes I get to the point where I’ve drawn something so many weeks ago that I have no real recollection of what I was thinking or planning when I designed whatever it is. This is one of those sets. I remember drawing it, but I don’t remember much about this set except worrying about drawing the lily flowers on her skirt and hat.

I decided I tend to always draw the same flowers and I wanted to try something different.

Beyond that, I feel like I can’t say much.

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Margot is showing off this set. I feel rather bad for Margot, since she hasn’t gotten a set since April when she was a Tudor lady. I think it is just that she got a LOT of love at the beginning of the year and then very little for the rest of the year.

Anyway, this is the last Margot set for 2015. The year is wrapping up my friends. ūüôā

As always, if you have thoughts, please share them in the comments and if you like the paper dolls than consider supporting them through Patreon.

Also, there’s going to be a really fun Q&A on Wednesday with a special guest from Dover publishing. I’ve been waiting to publish this for weeks. ūüôā

A Lady at Court in Color: Printable Tudor Paper Doll

logo-tudor-colorI confess the colors here were heavily influenced by the colors in the portraits that I used as inspiration. (Full list of those can be found in last week’s post.) That meant there was a lot of black. I confess that somehow Tudor clothing looks best to me in rich, vivid shades of red, gold and black, so I settled on that color scheme.

Most of the ways we think of history are influenced by our perceptions of the past, rather than the reality of the past. It’s easy to imagine the Victorian era entirely in sepia, because that is what we have available. I have been watching an excellent documentary by the BCC entitled Monarchy on Nexflix over the lat few days. It’s been fascinating, if at times a little confusing when I lose track of which Edward is which. Never the less, we’ve just gotten to Henry the 8th and I smiled when I saw the gowns of this era.

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Over the years that I have been drawing paper dolls, few eras have seen has intimidating as Tudor. I’m very pleased that I was able to tackle this period. My next major research project will be preparing for my Viking paper doll set for B&B. I just received from Interlibrary Loan on Friday the book Woven Into the Earth about textiles from Norse Greenland. So, I’ll be curling on this week with that on my couch trying to make sense of Viking attire.

Once I’m done with Vikings (which will be a few weeks, I am waiting a on a few more books), I’ll need a new period to research. For this purpose, I have put together a poll. These are all eras that I have either never really studied or generally think I don’t like. I want to force myself to do things which I wouldn’t normally be drawn too.

What historical period should I research next? (And therefore make a paper doll of...)

  • Ancient Greece and Rome (33%, 32 Votes)
  • Rennissance Italy (22%, 21 Votes)
  • The Mod Look of the 1960s (21%, 20 Votes)
  • The 17th Century (16%, 15 Votes)
  • The 1830s (8%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 96

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A Lady at Court: Printable Tudor Paper Doll

logo-tudor-bwLet me be clear here… this is not just a paper doll of the 1500s. Rather, my Margot paper doll is is showing off English Tudor dress from the mid-1500s, specifically Henrician gowns. This is an important distinction, because by the 1500s dress was highly regionalized, especially for people of wealth and status. My paper dolls nearly always have both wealth and status. (Mostly, because rich important people tend to get way cooler looking clothes.)

Both of Margot’s gowns are Henrician gowns, which are specifically gowns worn during the reign of Henry the 8th. She’s also got two french hoods (headdress A & C), one gable (or English) hood (headdress B), one pair of shoes and one set of underwear.

Please note that the underwear may not fit underneath the two gowns. I didn’t want to omit the smock from the underwear and smocks had really full sleeves that got crushed under the gowns and then were displayed through slits in the false sleeves and well… I didn’t want to deal with all that layering.

Moral of the story: She has under things. The underthings might not actually fit under things.

I should add that I knew very little about Tudor dress when I started researching this paper doll set and I am not about to claim that I have magically become an expert. I did my best to create an fairly accurate rendition of a noble woman’s garments of the 1540s through 1550s¬†considering the restrictions of Margot’s pose.

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As always, it is very important to me to be clear about what I studied at prior to drawing this paper doll set. Tudor clothing has always been very intimidating to me, but I wanted to challenge myself. A big part of my historical paper doll set goal is drawing things which “scare me”. Tudor dresses were one of those things.

Selected Sources:

Books:

Arnold, Janet. Patterns of Fashion: Englishwomen’s Dresses & Their Construction. London: Macmillan, 1983.
Ashelford, Jane, and Andreas Einsiedel. The Art of Dress: Clothes through History, 1500-1914. London: National Trust, 1996.
Mikhaila, Ninya, and Jane Malcolm-Davies. The Tudor Tailor: Reconstructing 16th-century Dress. Hollywood, CA: Costume and Fashion, 2006.
Norris, Herbert. Tudor Costume and Fashion. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1997. (Note: Norris’ book has some problems, since it was wirrten in 1927, but it’s useful as an accompaniment for other things.)
Reynolds, Anna. In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion. London: Royal Collection Trust, 2013.

Websites:

There¬†is a fairly large community of people who reconstruct Tudor clothing. I am always dubious of such sites, as they often lack citation (and y’all know that drives me nuts), but they can be excellent sources to corroborate primary and academic secondary documentation. As always with internet research, Caveat emptor.

Damsel in in this Dress: Tudor Kirtle and Gown from May 2014. (Accessed: March 2015)

Tudor Dress: A Portfolio of Images is clearly a product of the days of table’s on the internet, but still has good info.¬†(Accessed: March 2015)

What did a Tudor Noble Lady Wear? is all about the layers of Tudor clothing. (Accessed: March 2015)

Elizabethan Costume Page is older, but quality. Plus there’s an old school Java paper doll game!¬†(Accessed: March 2015)

Tudor Tailor¬†is the website of the people who wrote the excellent book “Tudor Tailor.” Though I think the book is more useful than the website, it would be remiss of me not to mention that it does exist. (Accessed: March 2015)

Portraits:

From the National Gallery, I looked at a lot of famous portraits from¬†Ann Boylen,¬†late 16th Century, Queen Mary the First¬†in minature, circa 1545, and Queen Mary the First¬†circa 1544, Unknown Woman’s Portrait, circa 1545, Jane Dudley, circa 1600, Queen Mary the First,¬†circa 1554 and Katherine Parr’s Portrait, circa 1545.

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s portrait collection, I looked at¬†Lady Lee (aka: Margaret Wyatt, born about 1509) circa 1540s, Portrait of a Young Woma circa 1540-1554,
Anne de Pisseleu, Duchesse d’√Čtampes, circa 1535-1540, and Lady Rich (Elizabeth Jenks, died 1558) circa 1540.

There are, of course, other sources of Tudor clothing and I am sure I missed some. I don’t think this will be my last trip to the 1500s. I really want to do a more “merchant class” tudor paper doll as well.

Weekend Denim: A Set of Paper Doll Print Outs for Morgan

Marisole Monday & Friends Logo- MargotOne of the things I really love to do is hold drawings where the winner gets a custom paper doll. Part of the fun of these contests is that I never know what people are going to ask for and sometimes I am really surprised.

Over the years, I have done everything from a 10th-century Anglo-Saxon paper doll to a pair of Puck paper dolls ready for a date. I’m always fascinated at what people ask for, though usually it’s a Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll set.

As always when I create one of these paper doll print outs, a part of me is very nervous. I always worry that I am not going to “get it right” for the person who asked for the paper doll set.

Morgan asked “For the clothes something comfy but still sort of dressy, tomboyish but still girly, if that makes any sense. For the hair color and style, curly long orangish red hair, blue eyes, and freckles. But if possible I would love to have the color theme be turquoise.” And she was kind enough to send me some great reference images.

A black and white paper doll print out with curly hair and a sixteen piece wardrobe. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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As I usually do with drawing winners, I wanted to post both of these sets at once, as I don’t think it is nice to make my winners wait when they have been so kind to wait a few weeks anyway.

Color scheme wise, I was asked for turquoise which is one of my favorite colors (well, teal really). Beyond being really hard to spell, it’s also a color with lots of variation. Since it can be a fairly green color or a fairly blue color, I wanted to use several shades. Now, I tend to stay away from monochromatic schemes, so I also used a bright yellow and a bright green as accent colors.

A paper doll print out with curly red hair and a sixteen piece casual wardrobe. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Anyway, I hope you like your paper doll set Morgan and if the color scheme isn’t quite what you imagined, let me know. I can recolor her. I always worry about color schemes. Meanwhile, to my other winner, I promise your paper doll will be up in a few weeks.

By the way, I think this is the first contemporary paper doll I’ve ever done with just pants and no skirts or dresses. I haven’t been through all the archives to confirm that, but I think it’s true.

Baton Twirling Majorette: Printable Paper Doll in Color

logo-majorette-colorI’ve been pretty sick this weekend, and I wasn’t sure I was going to get this up, but I’m on antibiotics now and am writing this between naps.

(When I’m sick, I nap a lot.)

I always say that I don’t do a lot of blond paper dolls, but I think I might do more than I realize. I do have a deep love of red hair. Anyway, I’ve done maybe thirty blond paper dolls over the years and a lot of those were because of multiple colored hair like on my Delaney paper doll or Spikes and Pleats paper doll set. Anyway, the girl who asked for this paper doll is blond, so I decided a blond paper doll made the most sense.

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An random interesting fact- The the white and red uniform is actually based on a photo of what the majorettes at the university I work for wore in the 1960s. We no longer have majorettes. I thought about doing the uniforms of some of the other area university majorettes, but a lot of the costumes were bit too skimpy or involved a lot of illusion netting. Because I want the paper doll outfits to be interchangeable among the various paper dolls regardless of skin tone, I tend to steer clear of putting skintone on the outfit pieces…. except shoes, where I can’t seem to avoid it.

As I mentioned earlier, I am sick, so I don’t know if I’ll get much posted this week. I have some stuff ready, but nothing pre-scheduled.

Twirling Majorette: A Printable Paper Doll

logo-majorette-bwThere are a few perks of knowing me in the real world. One of those perks is that when you ask for a paper doll set, it is a lot more likely to actually happen. It might take a little while, but eventually it will happen.

This request only took me a year to get to. I was asked to do a baton twirling or majorette paper doll by a young women I know who was one in high school.

Now, I’ll admit that I had no idea there even were baton twirlers anymore. I think it might be a Southern thing. I certainly don’t recall any on the West Coast and definitely not in Alaska where I grew up. If you have a chance though, do check out youtube for baton twirling. It’s pretty amazing watching someone who really knows what they are doing. Definitely a remarkable skill.

So, while I know nothing about baton twirling other than what I could learn on the internet, this paper doll was fun to draw and I hope I didn’t mess up anything too badly. After all, I’d like my baton twirling fans (if I have any) to be pleased. By the way, one thing I did notice, is a lot of baton twirling outfits are similiar to skating costumes, so I think Margot could share with my ice skating Marisole.

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One thing I did notice is that a lot of modern majorette costumes use a lot of illusion netting. I decided against the appearence of illusion netting in my costumes. I also found that my favorite outfits were those from the fifties and sixties, much more than I liked the costumes today. Margot has a few old fashioned outfits, along with boots with tassels, and a few modern outfits.

I gave her a normal baton, a sword baton and one on fire. Everything is better on fire.

So, any majorettes (current or former) out there want to tell me how I did?

Simple Sophisticate: Printable Paper Doll in Color

logo-margot-simple-colorSo, today’s paper doll set did not turn out like I thought it would. I tend to be of the opinion that anyone whose spent anytime doing anything artistic eventually has projects that just don’t come out as intended.

Sometimes, this is a bad thing and sometimes it is a good thing. Part of having deadlines, which come with any regularly updating enterprise, is that they force me to accept what I have created and then move onto the next project.

I find that to be a rather comforting thing. While I had intended this printable paper doll set to be done in bright colors, I ended up rather hating the bright color schemes and switched instead to a pastel scheme.

Pastels are, apparently, quite in fashion this winter.

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I’m wrapping things up for next year which starts this week (shocking, really). There will be a few things going up with a 2014 date on them as I post backlog content. It is rare for me to end the year with anything in backlog, so I am rather proud of myself.

Meanwhile, enjoy today’s paper doll and there will be another one later this week.

Simple Sophisticate: A Paper Doll in Black and White

logo-margot-simple-bwA few random things today and then a paper doll set, of course.

First of all, I’m always on the hunt for new paper dolls about the web. I’d like to share the work of Bethany, who shows off her paper dolls on her Pinterest board.

Secondly, it is that time of the year again where I usually run a contest. I haven’t decided what that contest is actually going to look like this year, but keep your eyes peeled. I’ve had several people ask when the next contest for a paper doll was going to be and it’s coming up.

Thirdly, I maybe taking another haitus in January. I don’t know yet. I’ve got a lot happening that month.

Meanwhile… Hey! It’s a paper doll.

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This is the third set of the paper dolls I drew back in September. It was not my favorite of the paper doll designs, but it came out well enough I suppose. I’ll talk more about the challenges of coloring when I post the color paper doll version next week.

I am embarrassed that this paper doll set has sat, just short of being finished, on my computer for literally five or six weeks. Here it is and now I can stop feeling guilty about it.

Victorian Ballerina Printable Paper Doll from the 1880s

logo-margot-victorian-1880Oh 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.


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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.


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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.