Alice Goes to the 18th Century

A paper doll with 18th century underwear including a shift, stays, pocket, hoops and shoes. She's free to print in black and white or in color from paperthinpersonas.com. Great for homeschooling history lessons about women's fashion through time.

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I love costume history  and the 18th century is a favorite era of mine. I wanted to design an 18th century paper doll and I chose Alice as the model. Because of the paper doll’s historic underwear, she won’t be able to wear all the A Pose clothing. I made the decision that I was more concerned with having period underwear than with having versatility. 

So, what underwear is she wearing? Well, Alice is wearing a shift, a strapless set of stays (like these or these) and has a pocket tied around her waist (like this or this). She also has a separate set of hoops. I based them on this set of hoops from LACMA. Hoops were only worn with the most formal of gowns in the 18th century, so they won’t fit under all the 18th century paper doll gowns I ever draw.

If you look at enough pairs of mid-18th century shoes, they do start to flow together at after a while. I could literally link to dozens that are in the same basic style as Alice’s brown shoes, her red shoes and blue shoes with pattens. Here is one example, here is another and here is another. The differences come from the shape of the toe and the heel.

By the 1780s, other styles were coming into fashion. So, her brocade shoes are based on this pair from 1785 from Historic New England. By the 1790s, shoes that look more like modern kitten heels had taken over like this pair.

Her blue shoes have attached pattens, which were leather and wood oversoles meant to protect the shoes from the muck and mud. This set was my main inspiration, but here is another example of the same idea.

Historic hairstyles are a challenge for me every time. I’m still learning enough to illustrate them properly, but for today’s 18th century paper doll I really wanted to draw something that was as not too over the top. I used my historic hair style books and portraits, including this one, this one and this one. I could have gone gray with her hair, but I just didn’t really like how it looked.

Wednesday, there will be a gown for today’s 18th century paper doll version of Alice.

Need a clothing for today’s paper doll? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

Benedita On the Red Carpet in Her Green Evening Gown

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Happy Friday!

Today’s version of Benedita, my Latina paper doll, has a formal hair style and an evening gown inspired by a design from Marchesa. Marchesa’s designs are usually elaborate and romantic. I simplified the gown a bit, bit kept the intense lime green color. Some of Marchesa’s stuff is a little too embellished for my taste, but I loved the drape of this gown.

I went back and forth on the shoes, but ended up deciding that one pair of black shoes and one pair of white shoes would be the most versatile for future designs. I try to think about what increases the play-ability of a set. Plus all of the Benedita dolls will have the same skintone, so Benedita 2 here can share shoes with Benedita 1.

Eventually, there will be a Benedita 3 (she’s already in progress and going to be a 1930s historical version).

Really what I wanted with version 2 of Benedita was to have a dramatically different doll than I created in version 1 of Benedita.

I have no idea how convoluted this will get when I’m at like Benedita 12 or something, but I’m up for it. 

Meanwhile, I hope everyone has a super great weekend. This has been a crazy busy week, but I am hoping for a quiet weekend of drawing paper dolls. Frankly, I’m kinda out of content, so I really do need to get some things done. However, the things in progress are pretty cool (I think) and feature a lot of historical content. 

Need a clothing for today’s Doll? All the B Pose Dolls & Clothing

Happy March! Here’s Akiko in her Sweet Lolita JSK

A Sweet Lolita paper doll with a ruffled dress, purse and two pairs of shoes in color or black and white for coloring. Free from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Today, I am pleased to share version 2 of Akiko whose rocking a Sweet Lolita dress and ringlet curls. For those of you not aware of the Japanese alternative street style known as Lolita, here’s a brief run down- It’s a alternative fashion style from Japan- think Gothic fashion or Punk fashion in the United States and the UK. According to Lolita the influences are Victorian children’s clothing. As someone whose seen a lot of Victorian children’s clothing, I don’t quite agree, but you can decide for yourself if you want by looking through my Lolita Fashion pinterest board.

One thing I adore about Lolita is that it is not just about the dresses. Rather, the idea is to put together a “coordinate” which is a perfectly coordinating outfit from the tights to the dress to the bonnet. This is not surprising given that this style came from the country that developed a system of colors and motifs for kimonos based on the seasons when they were to be worn. Talk about matchy-matchy.

Anyway, within Lolita, as within almost every alternative fashion scene on the planet, there’s an endless collection of sub-genres and variants. The three major genres are Sweet Lolita, Gothic Lolita and Classic Lolita. I love this post from F Yeah Lolita with example wardrobes in each genre.

For my first Dames and Dandies foray into Lolita (and not my last, never fear) I went with Sweet Lolita, though there is a Gothic Lolita variant on my Patreon page that I hope you will download and play with as well. I tried to capture the bell shaped skirt and I designed what is known as a JSK (Jumperskirt) which is a sleeveless dress designed to go over a blouse. I made 2 matching pairs of shoes and one purse.

So, I did my usually research hunt for reference photos when I started my latest Lolita fashion paper doll. My previous favorite fashion blog devoted to Lolita, F Yeah Lolita has not updated in a long time. So, I dusted off my librarian searching skills and found a few new ones that I really liked. Magical Girl Me, Lolita Fashion on Tumblr and Miss Carol Belle’s Lolita Fashion Sewing and Pattern Advice all appear to be currently active, if you’re looking for more information on Lolita styles. I also had fun reading through Lolita Tips. Reading through that led me to the amazing Loli Library where I think I could easily get lost for hours staring at pretty dresses.

So, let me know if you like this Sweet version or the Gothic version better in a comment. I’d love to know! And if there’s a great Lolita fashion blog I don’t know about, I’d like to know that too!

Need a Doll to wear today’s outfit? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

The Bellflower Princess Paper Doll & Her Ball Gown

A beautiful black princess paper doll with braids and a ballgown inspired by the bellflower. She can wear any of the B Pose paper doll clothing from Paperthinpersonas.com.

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The first dress I designed was the lily ball gown, but this dress is what turned that dress from just as “this would be fun to draw” into a “oh, I could make this a series”. So, I really think of today’s Beatrix princess paper doll as the inspiration behind the whole week.

When I was planning the Dames and Dandies series, I new I was going to have a stable set of “faces”, but I wanted those faces to have many versions. So, this is Version 2 of Beatrix– The Bellflower Princess Paper Doll version.

Also, huge shout out to my Mom, who when I was describing the flower I was remembering from the garden as a child, recalled the name of it and spelled it correctly enough for me to goggle it. The formal name for bellflowers is Campanula, by the way, which is what she told me.

I just thought Campanula Princess didn’t roll off the tongue as well as Bellflower Princess, hence the name change.

The original doodles for today's printable paper doll with the dress on the left and the doll's head on the upper right.
The original doodles for today’s printable paper doll from my notebook. The doll’s head is on the right and the dress is on the left.

In the order of this princess paper doll design, the dress came first. Once I had it drawn, I wanted a crown and I came up with the idea of the flowers coming out from a pair of buns.

Once I had that idea in my head, I had to figure out how to actually create in a way that would work for someone cutting out the paper doll. So, I drew the hair style and the crown pieces separately.

Than, I used Photoshop to create one version of Beatrix with out the crown and second version with the crown. So, the hair with the crown can be cut out and placed over the hair without the crown.

This also assures that this version of Beatrix can wear a hat without floral crown pieces getting in the way.

I don’t often share my process photos here, because I try to save them for my Patrons. So, if you want to see more images of the raw beginnings of paper doll sets, than donate and join Patreon. I try to post a few “behind the scenes” images every month. I also put them up on Instagram erratically

In case you missed any of this week’s floral ball. The first dress was Monday’s lily ball gown, the second was Wednesday’s fiddlehead fern suit and then today, we have the bellflower princess.

Let me know what you think of today’s paper doll in a comment or which paper doll from the floral ball was your favorite? I confess I don’t have one this time and usually I do.

Need a clothing for today’s Doll? All the B Pose Dolls & Clothing

Meet Carlos: A Latino C Pose Gentleman

A male Latino paper doll named Carlos with three pairs of shoes. Free to print in color or black and white.

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When I first started this whole new Dames and Dandies series, I knew I wanted to create at least two paper dolls for each of the poses. The C Pose gents were the hardest to work with, because I struggle with drawing men. Men and I… well, I’m getting better, but they remain not my strong suit.

Today’s guy paper doll is Carlos. Like all the “dandies” Carlos is in the C Pose and can wear any of the clothing drawn for that pose.

The name Carlos is, of course, the Spanish version of the name Charles. It’s pretty common, just as the name Charles is pretty common in English. I’ve known several different people named Carlos over the years and I’ve always liked the name.

Did I mention that I have more C Pose content than any of the other poses at the moment? I think having more guy stuff done than girl stuff might be a first for me. I literally can’t ever remember it happening except now. It’s a very strange feeling.

So, as a result there will be another C Pose post this Friday. It’s a super cool Regency/Steampunk suit that I am totally in love with and if it was real, I would wear it.

If, you know, I was male.

Until then, enjoy Carlos and his friend Changrui. 

Need a Clothing for today’s doll to wear? All the C Pose Dolls & Clothing

Meet Akiko: A New “A Pose” Paper doll

A super cute Asian paper doll with three pairs of shoes in color or black and white. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Today’s new A pose paper doll is Akiko.

Like all Japanese names, the meaning of Akiko changes depending on the kanji characters selected to combine to make the name. The “Aki” part of the name can come from kanji meaning “clear, crystal”, “bright” or “autumn” while the “ko” comes from the kanji meaning “child” according to Behind the Name. Someone with more knowledge of Japanese will have to update me if I misunderstand how this works. It’s also the name of one of the princesses of the Imperial House of Japan.

Akiko has three pairs of shoes and can wear, of course, any of the clothing for the A Pose paper dolls. I think my favorite of her shoes are her pink sandals.

I hope everyone is having a good week. I’m still in recovering from illness mode, so I’ll keep today’s post short. Enjoy the paper doll!

Need a clothing for today’s paper doll? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

Meet Benedita: A Latina Paper Doll

A super cute Latina paper doll named Benedita with short hair, warm brown skin and three pairs of sandals. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Meet Benedita! The second of the B Pose paper dolls.

I knew from the start that Beatrix was going to be named Beatrix. She just looked like a Beatrix to me. And then I had to decide what to name the second B Pose paper doll which wasn’t easy. I knew I was going to give her another B name, but I had trouble picking one.

Finally I settled Benedita, because I’d already decided that she was a Latina paper doll. Why had I decided this? Because I thought it was important to start the new series with a variety of different skin-tones and ethnicities. Plus it allowed me to name her Benedita and make a Much Ado About Nothing connection.

Benedita is a Portuguese feminine form of Benedict, meaning blessed. It’s also, apparently, a popular name in Brazil.

Benedict (or Benedick) is also the name of the male lead in Much Ado About Nothing. My first B pose paper doll was named Beatrix (as you may recall) and that is the name of the female lead in Much Ado About Nothing. So, clearly, I had to name the second paper doll after the male lead in the play.

Slightly convoluted, yes, but my mind words in strange ways sometimes.

I was super sick last week with… well, the Doctor wasn’t sure. The flu test was negative, but whatever it was knocked me flat on my back for the whole week. I’m slowly recovering. I hate being sick.

Assuming I get everything done, there will be a new A pose doll named Akiko on Wednesday and then on Friday, the 2018 Paper Doll Collaboration gets to debut. Let me know what you think of Benedita in a comment or anything else you’d like to share.

Need a clothing for today’s Doll? All the B Pose Dolls & Clothing

Meet Changrui: A New Paper Doll Man

One of the Pose C paper doll men, Changrui is an Asian paper doll with three pairs of shoes. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Years ago, I was told that you should never apologize for your art. However, I confess that I sort of feel like I should apologize, because I’m not great a drawing paper doll men. I’ve never felt as comfortable drawing men as I do drawing women.

And my mother’s remark that my Post C paper doll men had “awfully narrow shoulders” did not help any.

Still, the only way to get better at something is to practice. I have come around, mostly, to the the idea that men’s clothing can be interesting. I would like to learn more about historical men’s clothing, for example, and that’ll require a lot of research on my part. It’s something I am not as comfortable as I am with women’s clothing.

The first of the Pose C paper doll men is Changrui. Changrui is a name with Chinese origins. Like a lot of Asian names, the meaning of Changrui depends on which characters are used to create it.

I suppose you might say the Pose C dolls are designed to be the “Dandies” to go with my Pose A and Pose B “Dames.” Anyway, right now poor Changrui can’t be feeling very dandy as he doesn’t have anything clothing yet, but don’t worry- later this week he’ll get his share of outfits to wear.

Meanwhile, let me know what you think of Changrui in a comment and, if you like the blog, consider becoming a Patron.

Quick shout out- Toria of A Paper Closet has started posting again after a bit of a hiatus. She’ll be updating weekly and if you haven’t than I would encourage you to hop over and check out her beautiful black and white paper dolls.

Need a Clothing for today’s doll to wear? All the C Pose Dolls & Clothing

Meet Beatrix: The First Pose B Paper Doll

A black paper doll with curly natural hair to print in color or black and white for coloring from paperthinpersonas.com. She comes with three pairs of shoes.

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This is Beatrix, a name I knew I wanted to name her the moment I drew her. I have no idea why, but she looked like a Beatrix to me.

She is also the first of the Pose B paper dolls for the Dames and Dandies series. This is version one of Beatrix, which I intentionally made pretty neutral. A doll and some shoes. There will, no doubt be a version 2 and a version 3 eventually.

But we are starting with version one.

My original plan for Beatrix version one was micro-braids, but I seriously screwed them up while I was inking them and I decided to do something different instead. I draw a lot of micro-braids, after all. Instead, I thought I would stretch my wings a little and try a side parted natural hair style. 

I think it came out pretty well.

Let me know what you think on a comment about today’s paper doll? I’d love to hear from you.

Need a clothing for today’s Doll? All the B Pose Dolls & Clothing

Meet Alice: The First of the New Printable Paper Doll Series

A blond paper doll with three pairs of shoes. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Happy New Year!

This is the first post of the new series, Dames and Dandies. I really should be calling it the only paper doll series, but we’ll stick with new paper doll series for now. 

There will be three poses for these printable paper dolls. This is the A Pose. There will also be a B Pose. And a guy paper doll pose called the C pose. Right now, we’re starting with the A pose. Wednesday and Friday, I will be posting clothing for the A pose and then next Monday I’ll post the first doll in the B pose series.

C pose guy paper dolls will post the week after that. Nice and alphabetical, you know? Also right now, I have more guy content than either the A or the B pose ladies. Weird… that has never happened before in my paper dolling life. 

This is Alice. She is the first of the A pose dolls and this is the first version of Alice. Other Alice versions will, I suspect, follow. In fact, I already have a few in process so… not only do I suspect it, I know it to be true. 

While I would love to switch to a daily updating schedule, I just don’t think there’s really very sensible with my graduate school classes starting up again in a few days. So, right now, the blog will update Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. 

And so, it begins… 🙂

Feel free to ask me any burning questions you may have or even just non-burning ones. The truth is that I might not have an answer yet, but I do want to hear everyone’s thoughts and concerns. 

Need a clothing for today’s paper doll? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing