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

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

Trendy Winter Styles For The A Pose Dames

Trendy winter clothing for paper dolls with a sweater, and two different bottoms.

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I love fashion magazines, particularly People Style Watch, because it has really clear clothing photos that make it super easy to draw paper doll clothing based on the styles.

Yes, I judge fashion magazines on how easy it is to draw paper dolls based on their photos.

Anyway, one of the things I enjoy in the fashion magazines is seeing what is considered trendy in any given season. This winter two big trends have been sleeve details, folkloric florals and embroidered jeans. I love embroidery, so I am not at all upset about this trend.

Today’s A Pose paper doll clothing covers all these trends. There’s a bell sleeved sweater, a folkloric printed skirt and a pair of embroidered jeans. To accessorize each outfit, I also added a pair of ankle boots. The pattern on the jeans is based on traditional crewel embroidery designs. I’ve always loved crewel embroidery.

It’s one of those things that I feel like if I had time, I would want to learn how to do. I never seem to eke out the time to do it, though.

(Also, because I was curious, the phrase “eke out” dates back to the 1590s and means to “extend or make last longer.” Who knew it was that old?)

Anyway, this is the first contemporary fashion set for the A Pose girls dames.

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

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a Paper Doll Dress to Print

A beautiful Valentine's Day paper doll dress inspired by the 18th century with a full skirt and puffed sleeves. Available in color or black and white for coloring from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Since the Dames & Dandies are a new series, one of my goals is to try to get a paper doll outfit done for the holidays. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but when I was a child, my grandmother would send us holiday cards with paper dolls in them all the time. Here is a scan of one, I remember getting. I’m sure it says something about me that I can remember that card after 20 something years.

Anyhow, I love drawing over the top heart covered gowns for Valentine’s Day paper dolls. So, it wasn’t hard to decide to draw this one. I’ve been working on an 18th century paper doll with period underwear, so I thought I would design a dress that could go over the set of hoops. That’s how we ended up with this over the top rococo influenced Valentine’s Day paper doll dress.

By the way, I have no idea when that 18th century doll will be done. So, don’t hold your breath.

Meanwhile, I hope everyone has an amazing Valentine’s Day!

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

The Lily Ball Gown For Paper Doll Princesses

A paper doll princess dress inspired by lillies. The dress has a wide skirt and two layers over it. The skirt and crown are decorated with lillies.

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It feels at this time of the year as though Spring will never come. The weather in Alabama has been unusually cold and while I try to look at the bright side (fewer bugs), it has been a long grey winter. So, let’s look at paper doll clothing inspired by flowers.

This whole week will be devoted to the floral fantasy ball. Today, we have a Lily ballgown for the A pose paper dolls. Wednesday will be a Fiddlehead Fern inspired suit for the C pose gents. Friday Beatrix will debut as the bellflower princess with her own paper doll princess dress. 

I love lilies. There were a bunch of yellow and orange lilies that grew by the door of our house when I was child. My mother is a wonderful gardener, but nothing else would grow in that corner. Those lilies grew there when we bought the house. As far as I know they are still there. 

I wanted this paper doll princess dress to be elegant. It was also a chance to practice drawing lillies. I didn’t want the paper doll dress to feel to bridal, so I chose a rich color. It started out as purple, but I changed it to teal once I realized I was going to end up with two purple dresses if I kept it purple. 

Anyway, to talk about the paper doll gown, I wanted to design this gown for weeks. I originally doodled it out in my notebook and I knew I wanted to make it a huge skirted sort of ballgown. The crown was partly inspired by something sort of Art Nouveau.  Hop over to the Patreon page to see the original thumbnail doodle I did of this gown and the subsquent sketchbook pages. 

Also, just for Patrons, there is a super fun purple version.

I’m curious. What are some of your favorite flowers? I love lilies, pansies and poppies. How about you? Share in a comment! And maybe you’ll inspire another paper doll princess dress.

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

The First Steampunk Paper Doll Look for the Dames & Dandies

Steampunk paper doll clothing! A top hat, jacket over corset and a pair of leggings with boots. Free to print in color or black and white from paperthinpersonas.com.

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There are themes I tend to return to over and over again. One of those themes is steampunk clothing. I have for as long as I can remember loved Victorian fashion. I was drawing modern styles influenced by the Victorians long before I ever heard the term “steampunk.” For years, oppositional as I am, I refused to use the term “steampunk” as a matter of principal.

Today, I don’t mind so much. I’ve adopted the philosophy that it is better to use a more universally recognized term “steampunk fashion” than my own personal preference for “neo-Victorian fashion”. This is probably the metadata writing librarian in me.

Anyway, today’s steampunk paper doll outfit was influenced by this lovely photo, particularly the women’s jacket. I also really wanted to experiment with drape while designing this coat and I had a lot of fun drawing the hem line.

The leggings and the boots are fairly “standard” styles for me. I’ve drawn a lot of lace up boots with straps over the years. I was thinking long term a bit though with these pieces. As the first steampunk designs for the A Pose Dames, I wanted to make sure they would be mix and matchable easily with future steampunk designs.

And fear not my steampunk loving readers (I know there are a few of you out there), there will be more steampunk designs. In fact, tune in on Friday for a Regency steampunk suit for the C pose gents.

Meanwhile, if you are a Patron, hop over there and there’s this whole outfit in a totally different color scheme for download. If you’re not a Patron, consider joining! There’s behind the scenes posts, a whole different paper doll series, and alternative color schemes.

Also, let me know what you think of today’s paper doll outfit in a comment. Do you love steampunk? Not so sure about it? Let me know. 

Need a Doll to wear today’s outfit? All the A 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

Let’s Visit the 1970s & Get Some Clothing

A set of printable paper doll clothing from the 1970s. A pair of tops and pants from home sewing patterns of the era.

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It’s taken a while for me to start liking the 1970s as a fashion era. For a long time, I just wasn’t that into it. So much of the clothing from the 1970s felt clown like to me. Over the top.

Which is odd when you consider my other favorite eras are all about over the top. I mean, have you seen the 18th century? Over the top is kinda the defining concept of the Rococo era.

What I’ve slowly been realizing is that while a lot of 1970s fashion is not to my taste, there are pockets that I simply adore. The folkloric stuff is right up my alley and I have a strange fondness for a lot of the more absurd platform shoes and the black power African influenced stuff.

Today’s paper doll designs are from home sewing patterns of the era. Sewing patterns tend to be closer to everyday wear than designer things you might have seen on the runway.

Pants became totally acceptable for women to wear in the 1970s. This was a slow process that started way back in the 1920s with lounging pajamas. So, these pants are from Simplicity 9374. They have a laced up fly (which is false) and a back zipper.

Front flys on pants were still seen as a little too risque.

The shirts are from McCall’s 5021. One of my favorite things about clothing from the 1970s is the embroidery. I love embroidery on clothing. It’s also back in style which makes me giddy as a schoolgirl. 

It just occurred to me as I wrote that that “giddy as a schoolgirl” is a trifle sexist. Hmm… I’ll have to think about that. 

Meanwhile, let me know what you think of 1970’s clothing in a comment. Do you like it? Hate it? Is there a historical era you’d like to see me draw for the new series? 

And, if you want to help out the blog, consider joining Patreon. Every little bit helps. 

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

And Then There Was a Fantasy Gown

A fantasy gown design for the Dames and Dandies printable paper doll series from Paperthinpersonas.com. Free to print in color or black and white.

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It’s hard to know with what paper doll dress to start a new paper doll series. It’s full of both excitement and worry. I decided to make the first outfit in the series a classic fantasy gown design. It’s actually the first gown I drew for the new series after I had the dolls finished, so I suppose it is a fitting place to begin. 

I picked a rich dark blue as the primary color scheme for the gown with red and ocher. It should come as no surprise that her accessory is a book. I do love drawing books for my paper dolls. It’s the librarian in me. The garters are very decorative and I don’t know how practical they would be, but they do look nice. 

Inspiration wise, the fantasy gown design owes a little to the 12th century dresses like the bliaut, but there wasn’t a specific gown I based today’s dress off of. If you’re not sure what a bliaut is, than picture the stereotypical medieval dress and you’re pretty much there. Historical bliaut’s were more loose and less fitted. 

 Today’s design probably owes more to Victorian interpretations of the bliaut like the one in The Lady of Shallot by Waterhouse or The Accolade by Edmund Leighton than actual 12th century bliauts. It’s astonishing to me, sometimes, how much the visions of the medieval era are shaped by the romantic paintings of the Victorians (and, to be technical, the Edwardians as Waterhouse was later.)

Meanwhile, I’ve got an alternative color scheme for today’s gown over on the Patreon page for my patrons to check out. Join if you’d like to support the blog! 

As always, I would love to hear what you think in a comment. 

Need a Doll to wear today’s outfit? All the A 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