Sapphire Goes to a Party

A printable paper doll of a curvy black woman with a off the shoulder party dress and two pairs of shoes.

A curvy black paper doll with long hair and a part dress with matching shoes. Printable in color or black and white

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I usually describe these dresses as cocktail dresses, but I don’t think many people do cocktails anymore? I don’t, but then I don’t really drink. So, I’m not 100% sure that description still makes sense to anyone but me. As a result, I decided to just go with the description “party dress” and figured that would work for now. It’s not really a formal gown, but it’s fun and maybe a date-night option? For people with more formal lives than mine, I suppose.

My paper dolls all live much fancier lives than I do.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
I wanted to do a series of paper dolls with party dresses for the blog. I also realized it had been a long time since Sapphire got any love, so it was easy to combine the two instincts to this paper doll set of Sapphire and her cocktail dress.

Specific Source Images: My Inspiration Dress from Pinterest

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls
Around the Internet: My formal gowns and cocktail dresses Pinterest Board

Last Thoughts
A big thank you to my Patreon supporters who are amazing and awesome.

Also, cocktail dresses. Is that a term anyone uses anymore? Am I just insanely old fashioned? I can live with it if the answer is, Yes, but I am curious.

Futuristic Fashion 2

A sci-fi inspired set of paper doll clothing with a cowl necked top, skirt and boots. Black and white or color to print and play with.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I’m a big sci-fi and fantasy fan. I always have been. Usually, I blame my mother for introducing me to Star Trek at a young age.

Part of what makes sci-fi films/tv-shows interesting is what they tell us about today and the aesthetics that form the future. Smarter people than me have written on that topic, I’m sure. I find I always notice the choices films set in the future make about what the future will look like. One of the thing Star Trek did well, especially the Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, was give each alien species a distinct aesthetic- Though they did occasionally go overboard with the shoulder pads.

This is actually the second part of a two part set. Part one was exclusive to my 2 dollar and up patrons, Futuristic Fashion 1 from early Octover.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
A bigger influence than Star Trek on my futuristic clothing designs was The Fifth Element. With costumes by Jean Paul Gaultier, that movie has some of the most unique futuristic designs. Unlike the rainy grim world of Blade Runner or the smooth, pastel universe of Star Trek, there’s something so manically high energy about the whole thing. It remains one of the biggest influences on my futuristic clothing designs.

Specific Source Images: This top and this skirt from my Pinterest Cyberpunk/Sci-Fi Fashion board

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & More 13 Punk Paper Dolls Over the Years
Around the Internet: A Fascinating article about Jean Paul Gaultier’s involvement with the film & my Pinterest Cyberpunk/Sci-Fi Fashion board

Last Thoughts
Over on Patreon, my 2 dollar and up supporters get an extra paper doll outfit each Friday. A big thank you to them!

Is anyone else a sci-fi fan out there? I’m always looking for more recommendations, so if there’s something you’re enjoying on TV or in the movies, leave me a comment. My boyfriend is trying to get me to watch the Expanse, but I haven’t gotten into it yet. I know I’ll probably enjoy it once I get around to watching it.

Meanwhile, I’ve been watching the Watchman series on HBO. It is not kid friendly, but sort of fascinating. Mostly, I think it is a lesson in the fact that I haven’t read Watchman, the comic, in 20 years and apparently I didn’t remember it very well.

Pearl Celebrating Punk Fashion

A curvy brown skinned punk paper doll with purple hair in pig tails and a black dress with platform heels. Free to print in color or black and white.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
My one of my best friends in high school wore punk and gothic clothing. I really admired her style and I still do. She was a very wonderful person.

Anyway, I knew I wanted to draw some punk fashions for the Jewels and Gemstones and I decided that Pearl would be a fun model for this punk mini-dress. I wanted to focus on accessories for this set- so the boots and belts.

For my 2 dollar and up patrons, you can mix and match this paper doll with my Punk Style post from September.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
I wanted to do punk, but maybe punk that could pass as a cocktail dress. Punk on a date night, I suppose. Also I really wanted to include fishnet tights and that’s best with a doll, because no one wants to cut around the thin lines of fishnet tights. Actually I’m not 100% anyone could cut around the thin lines on those fishnet tights.

Specific Source Images: These pants, though I know this paper doll doesn’t have on pants

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & More 13 Punk Paper Dolls Over the Years
Around the Internet: My punk fashion Pinterest board is where I collection punk fashion inspiration images

Last Thoughts
I’ve drawn a lot of paper dolls over the years. Some of them are complicated and some of them are simple. I’m sure there are things I’ve never drawn, though the longer I am at this the fewwer of those there seem to be. Still, I like drawing punk clothing, just like I enjoy drawing Lolita and Gothic clothing.

I don’t return to it quite as often as I do some of my other genres, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it.

My Patreon supporters are getting an extra paper doll on Friday, as usual. Consider joining it’s a great way to support the blog and you get more paper doll goodness each week.

Diamond as Frankenstein’s Monster: A Halloween Paper Doll

A fantastic printable Halloween paper doll featuring Frankestein's Monster and a stylin' lab coat.

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

Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
When I was making my list of Halloween monsters to draw as paper dolls, I really wanted to do some I’d never done before and I’ve never done a Frankenstein’s Monster paper doll before. And what says Halloween paper doll more than that?

I chose Diamond as the model for today’s paper doll. I am pretty happy with how she came out, though part of me thinks her hair looks a little too much like a skunk, but maybe that’s just me.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
The original novel Frankenstein was published in 1818, though it is set in the 18th century. I sort of abandoned that source material pretty quickly and went more to the Herman Munster direction pretty quickly. I considered for about 15 minutes the idea of drawing historical clothing for today’s paper doll, but decided I really wasn’t that excited to draw 1818 or 1700s dresses.

Her “dress” was meant to look a little like a lab coat. One thing you might notice with all of my Halloween paper doll creations is a lack of source images. The truth is that part of the fun of this time of the year, is that I don’t do research. I just sort of draw and see what happens.

Specific Source Images: Nothing specific this time I can point to.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & More Halloween Paper Dolls
Around the Internet: More than you ever wanted to know about the Munsters!

Last Thoughts
When I was a kid, the Munsters played in Nick at Nite and it was one of my favorite shows. I don’t really recall much of the plots, but even then I had a fondness for supernatural plots. Something which later lead to my love of Buffy and continued affection for those sorts of TV shows and books.

Big thank you to all my Patreon supporters. With out you, the blog wouldn’t be around, so you’re all the best!

Also, I love this comic about Frankenstein.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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