Ms. Mannequin’s 15th Century Burgundian Gown and Headdress


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Manuscript Illustration from 1470, this Manuscript Illustration from 1401-1500, this one from the same work, and this Manuscript Illustration from 1475

A Burgundian gown for a paper doll based on illuminated manuscript illustrations. Along with the gown, there is a headdress based on the designs of the 1450s.

A Burgundian gown for a paper doll based on illuminated manuscript illustrations. Along with the gown, there is a headdress based on the designs of the 1450s.

Today’s paper doll dress and headdress are both from the 15h century. The gown is known as a Burgundian gown named for the Duchy of Burgundy.

About 1450, this style of Burgundian gown became popular. The deep V-neckline revealed the kirtle (under dress) beneath. The trimming would have been fur or wool. The wide belt was placed above the natural waist and gives the gowns a pregnant look.

(Remember, being pregnant was a good thing for women in this time. After all, fertility was seen as a super critical part of a woman’s value.)

Women never had uncovered hair in this era. So, I needed a headdress to go with the Burgundian gown.

The headdress I chose to draw was based on this illustration of the Whore of Babylon from an 1470 manuscript. The headdress is from 1450, according to the Morgan Library where the manuscript is housed. I’m afraid I don’t know quite enough about the era yet (though I am studying) to make any claim either way.

By the way, the wonderful book Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands, 1325-1515 is currently on sale from the Morgan Library for just 20 dollars. I bought a copy for my library and I’d recommend it if you are at all interested in medieval dress. Though it doesn’t touch on how these garments were made, nor does it discuss how to make them yourself, so… don’t buy it if that is what you want.

Secondary Sources:

Houston, Mary G. Medieval Costume in England and France: The 13th, 14th, and 15th Centuries. N.p.: Dover Publications, 1996. Print.

Scott, Margaret. Fashion in the Middle Ages. N.p.: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011. Print.

Scott, Margaret. Medieval Dress & Fashion. N.p.: British Library, 2009. Print.

Ask me if you have any questions about the books or the manuscripts I looked at. There are links to all the manuscript illustrations at the top under the “inspiration” links list. I was just too lazy tonight to bother citing them all properly.

I know. I’m a rebel librarian sometimes. Happy Friday!

Meet Nikola: The New Ms Mannequin Printable Paper Doll


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: The Challenge of Olive Skintone 
A printable paper doll named Nikola with brown hair, blue eyes and olive skin. She has two pairs of shoes and can wear any of the Ms. Mannequin clothing.

A set of urban fashion inspired printable paper doll clothing from paperthinpersonas.com. One pair of jeans and two tank tops make up today's paper doll outfit.

I’ve written before about some of the challenges of paper doll skin-tones. It’s important to me that their be a variety of paper doll skin-tones. I also think it’s important that there not be too much variety, because if there is than it’s hard to share shoes among the dolls.

So, I wanted to do an olive skin-tone and that was how this paper doll’s skin-tone began. Once I had it created, I realized that it was really only one hex off from the skin-tone I created for Stella and Chloe.

At that point, I was like- Why not just use their skin-tone? There’s no difference once this prints, because printers just aren’t that precise. And I couldn’t even see a difference.

And so, Nikola can share her shoes with both Stella and Chloe and they can share shoes with her.

Nikola is a feminine form of Nicholas from countries including the Czech republic, Poland and Germany. I’m half Czech, so I thought it would be fun to give her a Czech name.

I gave Nikola blue eyes, because my sister has olive skin and blue eyes. It’s not a very common combination, but I’ve been told it’s more common in Eastern Europe than you see it in the US. I’ve never been (but I so badly want to go to Prague), but someday I will.

Tomorrow, there’s a curvy fantasy gown and then on Monday… I actually have no idea. I should sort that out. 🙂

Need some clothing for today’s Ms Mannequin paper doll? Pick Out Some Ms. Mannequin Clothing Here

A Fitted Dress from 1956 for the Ms. Mannequin Paper Dolls


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Vogue 8972, A Sewing Pattern from 1956A paper doll dress based on a pattern cover from 1956 for the Ms. Mannequin paper doll series in grape purple.

A paper doll dress based on a pattern cover from 1956 for the Ms. Mannequin paper doll series to print and color.

I’ve written before that part of what I like about drawing from fashion magazines is the simplicity of it. You see a shirt. You draw the shirt.

Thanks to the Vintage Pattern Wiki, I can apply a similar feeling to drawing vintage historical paper doll clothing. There are hundreds of vintage pattern covers in the Vintage Pattern Wiki, so if I feel like drawing 20th century clothing than I find it doesn’t take a lot of energy to track down something I like and draw it. I just pick a decade and start looking.

I’ll openly grant that this isn’t exactly the best research practice, but it’s fun and I like picking out things to try to recreate.

Today’s dress from 1956 comes from Vogue 8972. The Vogue pattern company began as a feature in Vogue magazine. In 1909, Conte Nast bought Vogue magazine and the pattern company was formed in 1914. This was around the same time most of the other big name pattern companies were getting started as well.

It might be confirmation bias, but Vogue patterns, even today, seem to be more couture styled than others.

When I chose to draw Vogue 8972, I thought it was an afternoon or dinner dress, but the pattern isn’t specific. I chose to make my a grape purple, because I like purple.

I am a little concerned that I might have made the skirt a bit shorter than it should be, but fashion figures have such freakishly long legs it can be hard to tell where the skirt actually stops.

There’s a few other patterns from the mid-1950s with similar narrow skirted silhouette are McCall’s 3461Vogue S-4627, Simplicity 1678, McCalls 4615 and Advance 8368. There are dozens of others, but those were a few I thought shared traits with today’s paper doll dress.

Well, what do you think of the 1950s? It is a favorite fashion period of yours? Let me know in a comment.

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

Summer Time Paper Doll Fashions for Ms. Mannequin


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Spring and Summer Fashions
Summer paper doll clothes from paperthinpersonas.com. A dress, tank and a pair of shorts.

Summer paper doll clothes from paperthinpersonas.com. A dress, tank and a pair of shorts.

I’ve been wanting for a while to take the Ms. Mannequin printable paper dolls back to their roots a little. So today’s post is contemporary spring and summer fashions. Contemporary fashion was what I originally designed them to be all about. Personally, I think today’s summer paper doll clothes are what a fashionable girl might wear to a picnic.

A super fashionable picnic- the kind with champagne and tiny sandwiches. I have never been to one of these.

I really wanted to play around with pastels this time and embrace soft smoky colors. I was particularly excited with how the blue dress came out. It really reminds me of blue linen, though I have no idea why.

Perhaps I am fantasizing about linen, because summer has finally come to Alabama. After a blessedly cold spring, we are now hitting the heat and humidity we’re known for. I very much dislike the summer in the South.

I think I would dislike it less if my office weren’t always freezing. Books like 65 degrees and 40% humidity. People are not so keen on those temps, so I wear a cardigan to work every day and swelter in the jaunt from my car to the office.

Still, it is more important that my collection is happy than it is that I am happy. I will suffer for my historical papers, as any good Special Collections librarian should. (This is also why I once draped by coat over a book in a sudden unexpected snowfall to protect it and froze walking back across campus.)

And now that I have managed to fill today’s post with complaining about the weather, which is basically the sport that rivals college football in Alabama, I would love to know what you think of today’s summer paper doll clothes. Leave me a comment ad let me know.

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

A Fantasy Gown for the Ms. Mannequin Printable Paper Doll Series


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Baroque Maiden

An elegant medieval inspired fantasy gown with stockings and shoes for the Ms. Mannequin printable paper doll series from paperthinpersonas.com. The gown has double puffed sleeves, a long skirt and a corset over top of it which is accented in piping. The shoes are multi-strapped high heels with stockings and garters.

An elegant medieval inspired fantasy gown with stockings and shoes for the Ms. Mannequin printable paper doll series from paperthinpersonas.com. The gown has double puffed sleeves, a long skirt and a corset over top of it which is accented in piping. The shoes are multi-strapped high heels with stockings and garters.

Today’s printable paper doll gown for the Ms. Mannequin paper dolls was based on a Marisole Monday & Friends set called, “Baroque Maiden.”

Even years after I did them, there are a few specific paper doll sets that I don’t like that much. Usually not because of my drawing skill, I can let those problems go. I mean, I always do the best I can at that moment which isn’t the best I could do today, but skills improve with time. No, it’s usually color choices that I regret after the fact.

One of the nice things about the project I’ve taken on to drew new paper doll content inspired by old paper doll content is that I can rectify some of those sets that I have mixed feelings about.

One such set is Baroque Maiden. I did the color scheme that way I did it, because I wanted to experiment with darker color schemes. However, I really hate the color scheme now that I’ve had to live with it for 5 years.

And the darkness of the colors means that there is no way to extract the line-work easily to make a black and white version.

Plus it is one of the few pale skinned Marisole versions and those always look off to me. I much prefer Marisole with her original skin-tone.

Anyway, I hope you like today’s re-imagining of Baroque Maiden.

If you hop over to the Patreon page, I posted my sketchbook photo of this dress a few days ago. The post is open to the public, so check it out if you’re interested.

And, as always, consider donating if you’d like to support the blog!

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

Meet Chunhua: The New Ms. Mannequinn Doll


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: New Skin-tones, Asian Paper Dolls and the Three Kingdom Period of Chinese History

An Asian printable paper doll with short hair and two pairs of shoes. Part of the Ms Mannequin series, she can share clothing with any of the other Ms. Mannequin paper dolls. She's free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

A set of urban fashion inspired printable paper doll clothing from paperthinpersonas.com. One pair of jeans and two tank tops make up today's paper doll outfit.

So, today’s paper doll was born out of a few different things. The first was that I wanted to create a paper Miss Mannequin doll with Asian features, since I hadn’t since 2015.

It also seemed past time to introduce another Ms. Mannequin paper doll skin-tone. This one is a bit redder than the skin-tone I use for the paper dolls with the orange bases (like Zola) and a bit darker then the tone I use for the paper dolls with the green bases (like Sunitha).

Her name, Chunhua, is a Chinese name meaning Spring Flower and was the name of a powerful woman in the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history.

I also happened to like the name a lot.

A few other little bookkeeping things, I’m in the midst of updating my tags and working on my Printable Paper Doll Index, so just be aware there maybe some updates and changes there.

Also, if you like the blog think about liking it on Facebook or supporting it through Patreon.

Goals for this month include getting some new stuff into the Etsy Story. And since it is the end of the second quarter of the year, putting together a blog income report for the second quarter. Stay tuned for that.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone for their kind wishes last week. I’m feeling much better. While I’m still not 100% (Alabama is the WORST state for allergies, I swear), I don’t expect there to be any blog disruption this week.

Need some clothing for today’s Ms Mannequin paper doll? Pick Out Some Ms. Mannequin Clothing Here

Ms. Mannequin’s Urban Fashions Are Jeans and Tank Tops


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Summer Dresses

A set of urban fashion inspired printable paper doll clothing from paperthinpersonas.com. One pair of jeans and two tank tops make up today's paper doll outfit.

A set of urban fashion inspired printable paper doll clothing from paperthinpersonas.com. One pair of jeans and two tank tops make up today's paper doll outfit.

I wanted to do something kinda this hip-hop inspired week I did for the Ms. Mann last year.  Unlike last year, I didn’t really do much research this time. I wanted to draw some stuff that would fit into that genre without being specific to anyone of the many hip-hop musicians who have become fashion designers.

Sometimes also called Urban Fashion, the style is defined by being influenced by contemporary city life and African-American culture. The word Urban is often a code-word for Black Inner-City Culture, such as Urban Romance.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about this tendency in our society to avoid talking about racial and cultural differences by using euphemistic language. However, Urban Fashion is at least shorter and easier to write than Fashion Influenced and Evolved From Black Inner-City Cultural Elements and Then Made into a Commodity by Free Market Economic Forces.

To return to the paper dolls, I think all of these pieces could mix and match well with what I created last year. The white tank would go well with these green pants, for example. The jeans would look nice wit this black and white tanktop as well. These cutoff shorts would be cute with today’s purple top.

I left the space between the black bra and the white tank uncolored, because it should be colored to match the paper dolls skin-tone OR should be cut out very very carefully with an exacto knife or something. I leave the choice up to you.

We’ll be ending the week with some steampunk styles tomorrow, so be sure to tune in (so to speak) for that and follow the blog on Facebook.

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

Ms. Mannequin’s Elegant Paper Doll Evening Gown


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Evening Gown from Pinterest

A long elegant modest paper doll evening gown in a rich orchid purple for the Ms. Mannequin paper doll series. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

A long elegant modest paper doll evening gown in a rich orchid purple for the Ms. Mannequin paper doll series. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

The gown today’s paper doll is based on was white and I felt like that wasn’t very interesting. Also, you can always use the black and white version of today’s gown to be the white version if you wanted too.

What I really wanted to try to capture with today’s gown was the drape of the fabric clinging to the body and then flaring on the ground.

Another thing I loved about the dress I based today’s paper doll evening gown off of was the modesty. It is rare to see an evening gown with such a high neckline and thick straps, but I think it ads to the beautiful modernist style of the dress.

A few house keeping things- If you like the blog and want to keep it on the internet and ad free, then please consider supporting it through Patreon. I haven’t been mentioning this as much as I was previously, because I worry that I’m bothering people. But consider this- 1 dollar a month is 5 cents per paper doll outfit.

If you think the enjoyment you get from this little corner of the internet is worth a nickel a paper doll outfit, than hop over here. 

If not, I totally get it. I know a lot of my readers are under 18 and I know a lot are not in the US, so no reasons need be given.

And if you’re wondering “where does the money go?” then check out this post from April about my first quarter income. It breaks all the expenses down.

I hope everyone has a super wonderful weekend. Leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite paper doll this week has been?

For me, I gotta confess a strange soft spot for the Space Pirates. Partly, because it is super fun to write the words, Space Pirates as often as I have gotten too.

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

Ms. Mannequinn’s Paper Doll Dresses for Spring or Summer


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Summer Dresses
Two summer dresses for paper dolls, free to print and play with from paperthinpersonas.com.

A paper doll prom dress with a cropped top and full floral skirt. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

A pair of super cute summer dresses for the Ms. Mannequin series paper dolls. I really wish I could sit here and wax philosophical about this set. I could talk about inspiration and such…

However, the truth is that I just decided that I wanted to draw a pair of spring/summer dresses. The blue dress is sorta meant to be chambray which is a fabric that looks like denim, but is really light weight. (It’s great for sewing doll jeans, FYI.)

Along with the dresses, this set has two purses. I sorta thought the blue purse could go with the yellow dress and the pink purse with the blue dress, but I encourage you to pick your own favorite.

Being that I live in the Deep South, the weather has been already very hot and very humid, even though it is just May. So, I think I maybe breaking out my maxi dresses early this year. I’m not much of a short dress person, but part of the fun of paper dolls is that they get to have wardrobes that maybe I wouldn’t want to have.

I mean, I’m not exactly in the business of wearing dresses like this work every day. Unless, of course, my work was being an evil sorceress in which case… I would totally wear that dress.

I digress.

What do you think of these two dresses? Your style? I personally love the yellow one best, but what do you think?

Also, there’s a new set of paper doll clothing in the Etsy store. Super cute summery outfits in color or in black and white for coloring. Check them out here.

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

Meet Ebele the New Black Ms. Mannequin Doll


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Really old files that I find on my computer
Ebele, a black paper doll, is a model for the Ms Mannequin series. She has a bobbed haircut and two pairs of summery shoes. Free to print in color or black and white.

Ebele, a black paper doll, is a model for the Ms Mannequin series. She has a bobbed haircut and two pairs of summery shoes. Free to print in color or black and white.

Today’s paper doll is the result of cleaning out some old files, plus last week I posted dolls for most of the series except Poppets (I don’t have a Poppet doll in my stash at the moment) and Ms. Mannequin, because I only have 5 days in a week.

So, it seemed fitting to start this week with a Ms. Mannequin paper doll. It has been a long time since I posted a a Ms Mannequinn doll with this dark of a skintone. My last one was back in 2015. That’s almost two years ago.

Ebele is a Igbo name which means “mercy, kindness.” Igbo is one of the languages spoken in Nigeria. Ebele can share clothing with Shayna and Kira.

This is why I got to give her such colorful shoes. I figured Shayna has brown and black shoes and Ebele can wear them, so she’s got summery fun shoes.

She’ll need some summer clothing, of course. I posted some super trendy stuff in March, but there’s also this older set of resort wear. If you think your paper doll is a more casual soul here’s a cute pair of cut off shorts. Alternatively, if she’s a bit of a hippy then this set might be more fitting.

It’s funny to me. When I first created the Ms. Mannequin series, I was certain I wouldn’t keep updating it, but I actually have really enjoyed getting to draw modern clothing for a doll series designed for wearing modern clothing.

That’s actually something I want to get back too. More contemporary fashion for the Ms. Mannequin is in the future, I think. What do y’all think? Let me know in a comment.

Need some clothing for today’s Ms Mannequin paper doll? Pick Out Some Ms. Mannequin Clothing Here