A Ghostly Paper Doll!

A ghost paper doll with long blue hair, pale blue skin and bloody feet. Free to print and cut out an play with.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
When I was brainstorming what I wanted to draw for Halloween, I worked out a list of themes for the Jewels and Gemstones dolls. I wanted to do a series of sort of cute monsters that were still a bit wicked. I settled on a ghost paper doll, a devil paper doll (for my patrons) and a Frankenstein’s monster paper doll for my set of three.

I’m super happy to be sharing the first- my blood footed ghost here.

I thought about designing all new faces for these dolls, since Pearl can’t really share shoes with the rest of the Pearl paper dolls, but I decided against it. Mostly, because I have such a nice range of Gemstone dolls, I didn’t really want to draw more faces just for the sake of it. I confess I was being a little lazy. No shame.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Her dress is a nod to the Chemise A La Reine of the 18th century. Here’s another one I’ve drawn and here’s one in the real world.

Her feet are a nod to murder.

Specific Source Images: Nothing this time.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & my other Ghost paper doll
Around the Internet: White Ladies and Some fun Victorian Ghost Stories

Last Thoughts
I love a good (and by good I mean creepy) ghost story. I just love them. I don’t know why they appeal so strongly, but they do. I hate horror movies, but I love ghost stories and therefore will watch a few IF they are previewed by my horror loving best friend and IF I can watch them at noon with the lights on and IF I can read a summary ahead of time, so I’m not too scared. The Others is a great ghost horror film I super enjoyed.

Tomorrow for most of my Patreon supporters there will be an additional paper doll outfit for the Jewels and Gemstones.

By the way, I really went back and forth about the toenails on this paper doll. I wasn’t sure if I should erase them. I couldn’t decide. Am I weird in that I really think toenails belong on ghosts?

Topaz in the 1100s Undergarments and Shoes

A 12th century fashion paper doll with shoes, wigs and historical underwear.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I am super excited about this collection of paper dolls. I love costume history. Sometimes, I feel like despite my love of the topic (or perhaps because of it), I get a little paralyzed feeling like I have to do so much research before I can create something and worrying about the quality of my sources. This worries me less in eras I am confident in, such as the 19th and 20th century, and worries me more in eras I am not confident about.

But then I won’t learn or get better if I don’t practice drawing these periods, so I think it is okay to not be perfect. Even more importantly, I think you have to start with in perfection or you never move forward.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Like last week’s Lapis, this week’s Topaz is wearing a shift based one illustrated in Roman de Giron le Courtois on Folio 87v. The manuscript dates from between 1370-1380. Illustrations of women in just shifts are exceedingly rare, so even though this is 200 years after the 1100s, I am still using it. I made my version shorter and tighter than the originals probably were to facilitate the paper doll layering clothing over the shift. Paper dolls have to layer.

Additionally, Topaz’s shoes all come from Stepping Through Time by Olaf Goubitz, a book on archeological footwear finds. It’s fascinating, but very densely written work. Women’s Hats, Headdresses and Hairstyles: With 453 Illustrations, Medieval to Modern by Georgine de Courtais was the book I used for her hair and headdress, along with this statue, Enthroned Virgin and Child, from The Met.

Specific Source Images: Roman de Giron le Courtois Bibliothèque nationale de France. Département des manuscrits. NAF 5243 (f.87v) &  Enthroned Virgin and Child ca. 1130–1140, The Met, Accession Number:47.101.15.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & More from the Ballet and Dancing collection
Around the Internet: Claricia Psalter from the Late 12th Century

Last Thoughts
I’d like to give a shout out to my Patreon supporters, because without you all, the blog wouldn’t happen.

Additionally, later this week there will be a gown from the 12th century (aka the 1100s) and I am excited to share that though I am also nervous about how little I know about this era. However, this is how I learn, so there you go!

13th Century Sleeveless Surcoat over Dress

Free to print, a historical paper doll outfit from the 13th century surcoat design with a headdress and shoes with stockings.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
Today’s paper doll dress is a surcoat (over-dress) over another dress. As far as I can tell, this style came into fashion in the second half of the 13th century and sticks around in various forms for over 100 years. As I said when I was showing off Lapis and her 13th century undergarments, I am not an expert on this time period. At best, I am a dabbling amateur. However, one thing I did notice as I looked at many many pictures was that the 13th century is similar to the 14th century, if they hadn’t yet mastered curved seams and tailoring techniques.

So, while in the 14th century they have sideless surcoats over fitted kirtles, that is not what you see in the 13th century. You see their predecessors- a sleeveless surcoat over a dress where just the sleeves are visible and there’s no waist as far as the eye can see. This style does continue into the first part 14th century- here is an example. Later the armholes lengthen, these surcoats are in the later 14th century style.

Clothing rarely confines itself to neat time ranges, but rather tends to ease over years and decade markers.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
As usual, the shoe designs come from Stepping Through Time by Olaf Goubitz, an excellent, in exceedingly dry, book on historical footwear. The surcoat is based on this illustration and this illustration while the headdress comes from here, but also from all the looking at headdresses I did when drawing Lapis.

Specific Source Images: Biblia Porta, Lausanne, Bibliothèque Cantonale et Universitaire, U 964 (fol.178r),  Collection of poems in Old French, Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal- Arsenal 3142 (f.292r), Romance of Alexander, England, Cambridge University Library- Cambridge MS O.9.34 (f.25v), this recreation of 13th century dress & this recreation of 13th century dress

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls, Lapis with her 13th century underwear & Everything I’ve Drawn from the 13th Century
Around the Internet: Illumanu (a tumblr devoted to manuscript illustrations of clothing & dress is one of my goto places for illustrations), Manuscript Miniatures (a website that collects manuscript miniatures) & the amazing Gallica, the digital library of France

Last Thoughts
I previewed a lot of this collection over on Patreon. So, thank you to all my Patrons to encouraged me to continue even though I was a little nervous. Reminder: There’s an extra paper doll outfit every Friday, plus previews of what I’m working on and polls and things. Check it out!

Rarely have I wished I knew more medieval Latin, but when I am looking for primary source illustrations of clothing I do. It’s very hit and miss, but I do my best with my limited knowledge. I respect people who do recreations of these garments, but I wish more of them properly cited their source images. It’s very frustrating to find a great illustration from an illuminated manuscript, but have no way of knowing where it came from. I won’t use anything that doesn’t properly cite a source. I’m a librarian, after all. I have some standards.

Lapis in the 1200s

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
There are time periods where I feel like I know a fair amount and then there are time periods of fashion history where I feel (and I am) quite ignorant. The 1200s are one of those time periods. It’s not an era I have a great deal of natural interest in (sorry 1200s) and I don’t really feel like devoting the long hours of research to it. Also, I think the headdresses look funny.

So, all of that is to say that I noticed the basically the only different from the 1100s through the 1300s was headdresses and the undergarments all stayed pretty much the same. There are some documented differences in the 1400s, but I’ll get into that when I get around to drawing it. The result of this discovery was excitement when I realized I could draw the same shift and basically have a period underwear wearing paper doll for a 300 year time period.

This was very exciting. (Listen, I know this wouldn’t be exciting to normal people, but I make my own fun.)

So, this is the first of a series of paper dolls from the 1100s, 1200s and 1300s.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Lapis is wearing a shift based one illustrated in Roman de Giron le Courtois on Folio 87v. The manuscript dates from between 1370-1380. Yes, I realize that’s like 100 years later than this paper doll, but here’s the thing- illustrations of women in just shifts are exceedingly rare, so I am going to take what I can get. A few differences in my rendition are that the length is a little shorter and the style is quite fitted. Both of these changes were done to facilitate the paper doll layering clothing over the shift.

Her headdresses are in the style of the barbette and fillet. The barbette is the piece that goes under the chin and the fillet is the pillbox hat looking piece that wraps around the head. One point I couldn’t quite sort out was whether the fillet was open or closed at the top. This manuscript illustration looks closed while this manuscript illustration it could go either way. These ones look closed while this one is definitely open.

In the end, I went with Women’s Hats, Headdresses and Hairstyles: With 453 Illustrations, Medieval to Modern by Georgine de Courtais where fig 13 on shows it closed and that was my decision. I maybe totally wrong. The book was originally published in 1986, which while not super current, is current enough for me to feel fairly confident in it. Unlike, for example, books on historical costume first published in the 19th century when I have serious doubts about the quality of the scholarship.

The designs for her shoes come from Stepping Through Time by Olaf Goubitz, an excellent, in exceedingly dry, book on historical footwear.

Specific Source Images: Roman de Giron le Courtois Bibliothèque nationale de France. Département des manuscrits. NAF 5243 (f.87v), Lausanne Bibliothèque Cantonale et Universitaire, U 964 (f.93v),  The Old Testament The Pierpoint Morgan Library, MS M.638 (f.33v) & Decretals by Gregory IX, with the apparatus of Bernard of Parma, University of Oxford, Bodleian Library,  MS. Lat. th. b. 4 (f.168r)

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls
Around the Internet: Illumanu (a tumblr devoted to manuscript illustrations of clothing & dress) & a beautiful reproduction outfit here

Last Thoughts
I’m tossing this out to the audience today, because there’s a high chance someone out there knows way more about 1200s clothing than I do. That would not be hard. Was the fillet open on the top or closed? Because I can’t seem to get a clear answer on that one. Thoughts? (And if you tell me your sources on why you think one or the other, I would be eternally grateful.)

Over on Patreon, there’s an extra paper doll outfit every Friday, plus previews of what I’m working on and polls and things. Check it out!

Topaz: Casual Shoes

A printable paper doll with tan skin, short curly hair and three pairs of sandals. She can wear any of the Jewels and Gemstones paper doll clothing.

Black and White PDF | Color PDF | More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls

Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
Every-time I introduce a new Jewels and Gemstones paper doll. I try to makes sure I do a “shoe set” for her, so she has lot of shoes to wear with the different outfits I create for the paper dolls. Shoes aren’t as mix and match able, because skin-tone is often visible.

This doesn’t matter with black and white paper dolls, of course, because you can color their skin any way you like. But while I do offer coloring page versions of the Jewels and Gemstones, the paper dolls are, in my head at least, very much a color collection.

I was never a big colorer as a kid and so I think I tend to prefer paper dolls in color, though there are some artists whose black and white work is really beautiful and doesn’t need to be colored.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Her hair was inspired by a hairstyle magazine I picked up. I love hair style magazines for ideas. Anyway, it reminded me of a sort of modern take on a 1930s wave.

Specific Source Images: One of my many hairstyle magazines.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & the other Topaz paper doll
Around the Internet: I do keep a Hair! Pinterest Board 

Last Thoughts
Quick shout out to myPatrons– thank you all for your amazing support.

I’ve been watching absurd amounts of the Great British Baking show and I find that I now really want to learn to make a jelly-roll cake, which probably isn’t something I really want to do, but watching other people make them is intriguing. Actually, the one thing I would love to learn to make are French macaroons.

I do sometimes think the thing that keeps me from eating French macaroons all the time is that I don’t know how to make them. Maybe I should keep it that way.

Amethyst and the Ballet and Dancing Collection

A curvy paper doll with brown skin, black hair, a pair of modern dance shoes and a pair of toe shoes. Free to print and she can wear any of the clothing from the Jewels and Gemstones collection.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
There are several different styles of shoes worn for dance. The most iconic is probably the en pointe shoes and I made sure to include those with Amethyst today.

However, her other shoes are known as “lyrical shoes” they are usually worn for modern dance. The shoes leave the toes exposed and really only cover the ball of the foot for protection. Years ago, when I did tech theater work, we used to drape carpets over the edges of lighting rigs so dancers would feel the different fabric when leaving stage and know there was heavy piece of metal underneath the carpet.

Stubbed toes are not a minor issue when you’re a professional dancer.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
I was thinking of ballet of course and dance when I dis this paper doll. I wanted to do a companion to Pearl.

Specific Source Images: These dance shoes

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & More of the Ballet and Dancing Collection
Around the Internet: Discount Dance Supply is my go-to for images of dancing shoes & What is Lyrical Dance?

Last Thoughts
Can I just say that I love theatre. I have a Master Degree in the stupid topic. I know more about theater then most rational people do. However, I’ll be darned if I can figure out the difference between lyrical and modern dance. I am sorry dance people, but your nuances befuddle me.

Now, if anyone would like a talk on how Masque evolved into Opera and Ballet, I can hook you up. (No one wants this, I assure you.)

Did you know I have a Patreon? You probably do, but I’m always happy to remind you. Head over here if you want more paper dolls each week.

Okay, so I want to draw more dancing stuff that is not ballet, even though ballet was how we started. I’m thinking maybe hip-hop dance or modern or something. Any suggestions? Let me know in a comment.

Opal and her Party Dress

A printable Asian paper doll named Opal with a pale blue cocktail dress and two pairs of formal shoes. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I really wanted to do a series of paper dolls with party dresses. Mostly, because I realized I’d managed to create basically no party dresses for the Jewels and Gemstones. Also, it’s really easy to fit in two pairs of shoes and one dress in the layouts. Opal was the first of the Jewels and Gemstones to debut, but as been kinda neglected since then. I have one other Asian paper doll, Diamond, but Opal was the first.

Plus, I really do love the name Opal.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
My two goals with today’s outfit were- casual and summer. I really wanted to make something cute and also spring like. I mostly did that through color, but I have been seeing a lot of striped patterns with floral motifs on top of them. So, the striped shirt with the flower is my ode to that style.

Specific Source Images: This Dress, This Dress and This Dress

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & More Asian paper dolls
Around the Internet: My Formal Gowns/Cocktail Dresses Pinterest Board

Last Thoughts

Want an extra paper doll content every week? Check out the Patreon

Additionally, I think it is kinda important to make an Asian paper doll wearing non-Asian traditional dress, because when I was a kid all the Asian paper dolls I had were in things like Traditional Japanese Fashions Paper Dolls and Traditional Chinese Fashion Paper Dolls. I think the diversity in paper dolls (and dolls in general) has improved a lot in the last ten years, but there’s still a long way to go.