Lois: A Paper Doll of the 1930s

lois-logoI love the styles of the early 1930s and I wanted to create a paper doll that showed them off, so here is Lois- a paper doll of the early 1930s. That is to say, everything in it comes from 1930-1932.

It’s common to speak of the last century of fashion as though it happened in neat decade compartments. In reality, fashion doesn’t care what decade it is. It moves based on cultural and social shifts, often subtly, and then you look around and notice that the silhouette has shifted. Rarely, fashion changes dramatically over a short period, but only very rarely.

So, when looking at the early 1930s, as this paper doll does, you might be struck at how close these dresses are to the late 1920s. In truth, they are very similar, because fashion just doesn’t change that quickly. The Great Depression will catch up with the styles of the 1930s, it just hasn’t yet. All of these dresses are drawn from images in the book Everyday Fashions of the Thirties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs published by Dover. The Sears series from Dover is an inexpensive way to gather up books the show what people wore, rather than what fashion magazines thought people should be wearing. I own almost all of them.

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I have mixed feelings about my color choices. I knew I wanted to pick a color scheme where I hats could go with either of the dresses, but I don’t know how successful I was. I really do like how the white hat contrasts with her dark skin and I like how rich the red coat looks, but I’m not so sure about the yellow dress. The early 1930s is a very art deco influenced period and that makes me happy. I love the asymmetrical styles and the often surprising details.

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Unlike my 1920s Pixie Lynn, I actually gave Lois some undergarments. She has a girdle decorated with flowers to go under her dresses. She should, technically, have a slip to go over that and panties to go under it, but its a start.

I would have to pour through all my posts to be certain, but I think this is my second 1930s paper doll ever. The first was way back in 2010 for my original Curves Series and is just called 1930s. I got totally distracted looking through those old paper dolls trying to find the 1930s set I was pretty sure was there. It’s strange to go back and look at things I drew four or five years ago.

Some of them paper dolls I still really like and others I don’t. It rather makes me want to take on a project like Julie’s toddlers where she goes back to older color schemes. I’ll have to think on it. I don’t want to “redraw” old things, but there are some ideas there that I think could be reexamined fruitfully.

Lynn: A Paper Doll of the 1920s

logo-lynn-1920Let me state one thing first, on the record- Lynn’s underwear is not period. If I had drawn her period undergarments, than she’d never get to wear jeans. So, I chose to omit even a period slip for her in favor of fitting some fairly large hats onto a fairly small space. Pixies have big heads and therefore big hats.

I hope no one feels horribly cheated out of 1920’s undergarments.

It was really hard to give myself permission to do a small historical set for the Pixies. Normally, my historical Pixie sets are at least two pages and my Regency paper doll set was three. And I do have an 18th century set which has the dubious honor of being the largest collection I have ever drawn for the Pixies. It is literally five sketchbook pages. I’ve no idea how I am going to post it.

One of my big goals for 2015 was to draw historical paper dolls, because- frankly, I really like them.

But I also think if I always think “These sets must be huge” than it creates a lot of pressure to produce big sets. I think smaller sets can be just as fun.

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Todays paper doll’s three dresses are from two different sources. The short sleeved dress and the one with the chevron patter are from this image on Flickr. The party dress is from the Met and dated 1926 through 1928. Her shoes were based on this pair from the Philadelphia Art Museum.

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The color scheme was fairly arbitrary. I do wish I had done something a little more fun with the shoes rather than playing it safe with black. I like to think that these three dresses cover day and evening wear fairly smoothly for Lynn. Long term, it is my hope to do more smaller historical sets for the Pixies. There’s no logical reason why they shouldn’t get to share in the single page historical paper doll fun.

I say this having just begun coloring the largest pixie set I have ever drawn of 18th century dress. I might be unable to keep this single page historical Pixie set concept alive.

Jai: A Fantasy Paper Doll

logo-china-pixieThis isn’t an accurate depiction of Tang Dynasty dress. Though at times it seems to me that this would be obvious, most people (myself included) aren’t very familiar with the dynasties of China, let alone what they were wearing. Oddly, I never feel like when I draw stuff like this or this or this, I have to say it’s not accurate historical European dress, so perhaps my ned for a “disclaimer” is partly an assumption on my part about what my readers are familiar with.

So, anyway, these gowns were inspired by Hanfu and Tang Dynasty dress if anyone is keeping count. Of course, they aren’t accurate and they aren’t meant to be. I just had a lot of fun looking up gowns like this one and this one on Pinterest.

I find balancing research intense projects with non-research intense projects really helps keep me feeling sane. So, fantasy often seems to counter balance historical sets. I just finished, for example, penciling the largest 18th century set that I have ever drawn and then drew a space princess with a ray gun.

It’s all about contrast.

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I went with a muted color scheme that I found on Design Seeds. I wanted it to feel a little less bright and more nature inspired than a lot of my color schemes tend towards. I have a lof of bright colors. I think the gray greens and soft lavenders go a long way to keeping things feeling soft and delicate.

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I swear I had a reference from a contemporary Asian historical drama film when I drew her hair, but now I can’t seem to find the picture on Pinterest. Normally, I’m quite compulsive about saving these things, so I’m a little surprised to be so flummoxed.

Oh well… perhaps I shall find it later.

In the meantime, enjoy Jai and her fantasy gowns.

Nicole: A Fashion Printable Paper Doll

Pixie Logo- Nicole Paper DollToday’s Pixie is a fashion paper doll named Nicole with nine different clothing pieces. I created her, because of a reader request.

Back in November, I got a email from a reader who asked if I could name a paper doll either Lynn or Nicole for her. She wanted a paper doll named after herself. Now, originally, she asked for a Mini-Maiden or a Marisole Doll, but I have pretty strict naming patterns for those dolls.

I offered a Pixie instead and she said that she’d be cool with that option.

Today, I am pleased to present the result. A Pixie paper doll named Nicole with some layered tops (as requested). I was sort of obsessing over different bird illustrations for a while and so I decided to adapt some of them into a t-shirt design for Nicole. For those interested, her bird shirt was inspired by the work of Dante Terzigini, Inaluxe and Scott Partridge to name a few.

A fashion paper doll named Nicole with nine different clothing pieces. She's got long hair and glasses, along with sneakers and jeans. Free coloring page to print from paperthinpersonas.com
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I love bright color schemes that feel a little unexpected. The orange red and very pale yellow are both acting as my neutrals in this set. She’s my first paper doll with glasses since April Showers in color & black and white back in May of 2014. That’s nearly a year. How embarrassing. I really do have to do more paper dolls with glasses.

A fashion paper doll named Nicole with nine different clothing pieces. She's got long black hair and red glasses, along with sneakers and jeans. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com
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Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to remind people that to dress Nicole, you’ll need to cut long her shoulders under her hair. There are cutting diagrams that you can refer to if there are any questions about how to cut out the paper dolls.

While Nicole is a Greek name, I was thinking of a Mexican guy I work with while designing her skintone and hair color.

Jayla: A Black Printable Paper Doll with Florals!

Pixie Logo. Jayla. I have had a deeply frustrating month of February. My car was in the shop for a week and I got sick. I’m getting over it, but I haven’t been as productive as I would have hoped. We had a snow day on Wednesday and I was hopeful that I would get a bunch done.

Of course, I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped.

Jayla is an older printable paper doll. I showed a preview of her with this set of Pixie preview posts. I think of her has being kin to my floral set for Monica. Both paper dolls have a girly style with lots of floral pattern. I also think I drew them around the same time. These darker floral patterns seem to be in style at the moment. For this winter, I think they make more sense than the various pastel options.

A printable paper doll featuring a young black woman and her fashionable floral wardrobe. Ten pieces to mix and match. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com
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I knew I wanted a “dark” background for my florals (keeping with current tends), but I didn’t want to incorporate too much pink. I tend towards pinks and reds naturally, so sometimes I have to fight that urge. Instead, I chose green, purple and blue as my color scheme. I really wanted to use the lime green with a warm purple, as I love lime and purple, plus Jayla has a good skin-tone for lime green. I have a horrible skin-tone for lime green, which might explain why I foist it upon my darker skinned paper dolls with such regularity.

A printable paper doll featuring a young black woman and her fashionable floral wardrobe  in greens and purples. Ten pieces to mix and match. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com
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Jayla’s wardrobe is not the most mix and match friendly. I think she really has about 11 or 12 outfit combinations that make sense and then 13, if you don’t care if things match. Personally, I think she could borrow some shoes from Adannaya who has the same skintone or some pants and skirts from Clarisa or a dress from Fiona. There’s plenty of paper dolls around I’m sure who would be happy to share.

Victoria: A Valentine’s Day Paper Doll

Pixie Logo- Valentine's Day Paper DollOver the years, I have done a lot of Valentine’s Day paper dolls. I think it might be the only holiday that I reliably get a paper doll posted for. My first Valentine’s Day paper doll was back in 2011. Then in 2013, I did this black and white Valentine’s Day paper doll. In 2014, the Poppets got a Valentine’s Day themed outfit. This year, I wanted to do something a little different.

Inspired by Victorian and Art Deco valentines, I designed two 18th century inspired gowns with a Valentines Day theme. Hearts, of course, but also stripes and polka-dots. Plus ruffles. Ruffles are very important. Our paper doll got a wild up-do and a heart encrusted bodysuit to wear under her gowns. After all, it is the season for both wide up-dos and heart bodysuits.

A black and white Valentine's Day paper doll named Victoria and inspired by Victorian valentines. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.{Download a PDF to Print and Color} {Download a PNG to Print and Color}{More Pixie & Puck Printable Paper Dolls}

Originally, I planned on using a traditional red, pink and white color scheme. However, I just didn’t like how bright that made the dresses. So, I went to ColourLovers and searched for a scheme that was a little more subdued. I ended up using Happy Valentines color scheme. I often use ColourLovers both to find inspiration for color palettes and to build my own color palettes using their tools.

A Valentine's Day paper doll named Victoria and inspired by Victorian valentines. Print her from paperthinpersonas.com.{Download a PDF to Print in Color} {Download a PNG to Print in Color}{More Pixie & Puck Printable Paper Dolls}

I hope everyone has a lovely Valentine’s Day. I am making stew for me and my boyfriend and we’ll be eating it while watching Box Trolls. I am very excited about both the stew and the movie.

Meanwhile, there’s supposed to be snow on Monday and I have become a true Southerner, buying milk and eggs, just in case. I certainly wouldn’t mind an unexpected day off work, since I don’t get President’s Day off.

Audra in Other Colors

logo-audra-pink-blondFirst things first, I’m sure many people are curious about who won the contest (I mean, at lease the people who entered it.) As I did last year, I decided to have two winners of my end of the year drawing/contest. Congrats to Mag15 and Kitrona who were selected by the highly scientific process of counting the unique comments and using Random.Org to select a winner.

Meanwhile, onto the paper dolls…

Sometimes, I get a little carried away playing with color schemes. I think the color scheme can really change the whole look of a paper doll set. It can go from sweet to saucy to historical. It’s a fun aspect of drawing and designing paper dolls.

The first color scheme is winter white with pale blue/grey in neutrals. The various colors to set off the neutrals are a deep grey purple and two shades of pink. The doll’s skin color is a warm redbrown and her hair is black. The darker skin tone will be set off by the winter white.

audra-pink-color-scheme {Download a PDF to Print in Color} {Download a PNG to Print in Color}{More Pixie & Puck Printable Paper Dolls}
I rarely do blond paper dolls, but I really loved the bright pink coat and it reminded me of Barbie. Barbie is blond, so Audra became blond for this set. The neutrals are several shades of light warm grey. The accent color is a denim blue.

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Clearly, I was enjoying my pink and blues. Both these sets came out much more similar in color scheme than intended. I had a great deal of fun coloring these sets.