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.

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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.

Meet Topaz In the Cyberpunk Future

A cyberpunk inspired paper doll with multi-colored hair and an outfit to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I love all things cyberpunk. Not only do I love William Gibson’s books, but I play a game called Shadowrun which is a magic meets cyberpunk sort of setting. Anyway, I do love me my 1990s and 1980s cyberpunk futures. They fill me with a strange sort of joy. No lie.

One of the things I like about cyberpunk is that it is often a near future setting, rather than a far future one. It really engages in questions of what the current path we are on involving technology might lead us too. It’s a dark genre, unlike a lot of steampunk, but I still enjoy it. I think it’s partly because I also have a soft place in my soul for noir and they share a lot of stylistic elements.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Topaz was born out of a desire to have a paper doll with lighter skin than Pearl or Amethyst, but darker skin than Ruby or Lapis. Her clothing is, obviously, cyberpunk inspired, but there’s a bit of the Fifth Element futurism in there too, I think.

Specific Source Images: These Shoes and This Dress

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & more Cyberpunk paper dolls
Around the Internet: A Nice list of Cyberpunk Books, most of which I have read and some of which I haven’t.

Last Thoughts
While this clothing isn’t specifically cybergoth, you could share some of the cybergoth pieces from that collection with Lapis with theses. This set and this set would mix and match particularly well. Honestly, cybergoth, cyberpunk, futuristic… it all sort of flows together after a while, I think.

If you didn’t know, over on there’s an extra paper doll outfit every Friday for members. Join if you’d like.

Topaz is probably my last new Jewels and Gemstones family member for a while, I think. I have a second version of her already drawn, but I don’t know yet when that’ll go live.

Pearl & The Ballet and Dancing Collection

A ballerina paper doll with en pointe shoes and practice slippers. She can share any of the paper doll clothing from the Jewels and Gemstones series.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I was never a dancer. I just didn’t take to it as a kid. My lack of coordination generally leaves something to be desired. However, I do love to dance, even if I do so badly. Who cares? I’m also never going to be a professional weight-lifter, but I like lifting weights.

One of the things that is important to me is that all bodies have value and all bodies are beautiful. Ballet, to a high degree, profits from the deprivation of female bodies and the idealization of a form of beauty to which few can attain naturally. So, clearly I have mixed feelings about the whole thing, but what the heck? I have mixed feelings about all sorts of topics from drawing pulpy sexy armor to princess dresses.

Mixed feeling just means being aware of the complexities of the universe and that’s something I think is important to cultivate.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
All right, so I wanted to make sure to include pointe shoes with each of my ballerina paper dolls, because I wanted them to match the dolls individual skintone. There’s this concept in ballet called “breaking the line” and you don’t want the color of the toe shoes to break the smooth expanse of leg. However, toe shoes take up a lot of room, so there’s not a lot of space for other stuff on the page. Opps.

Specific Source Images: Well, I googled en pointe shoes and went from there? I mean, I don’t have a specific image to share here.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & other Ballerina paper dolls
Around the Internet: There’s a super interesting article from New York Times about the introduction of brown pointe shoes in 2018.

Last Thoughts
True story, I will never forget my sister (who did ballet) being given a lecture by her dance teacher on the proper location for the bun on her head. It was one of those moments, when I recall thinking that the level of weird obsessive detail in ballet is… well, weird.

I do not know if Pearl’s bun would be considered acceptable, but I’m also pretty sure I don’t care.

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Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of today’s paper doll! I love hearing from you all.

Lapis and her Summer Shoes

A dark haired paper doll with summer shoes. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
You know, I really don’t do a lot of paper dolls with fair skin and dark hair. I’m not sure why I don’t… but I don’t. So, here is one today.

It’s kinda strange that I don’t, because my favorite two Barbie’s as a kid were a Jasmine Barbie from the movie Aladdin (which my sister melted in the microwave, true story) and a really pale doll with super dark hair. I don’t think either of those dolls were actual Barbie branded, but that’s neither here nor there.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
I was working on my summery clothing for the paper dolls and I realized I have never done a Lapis paper doll with shoes. I’ve done a medieval fantasy one and a cybergoth one. Both of those were super fun to design, but I did find myself thinking- maybe I should have one that’s got like just some shoes.

Plus, I do love drawing shoes.

Specific Source Images: I used Instyle March 2019 issue– their big Spring Fashion report. I like getting away from screens when I draw. That’s why I haven’t gone digital yet for my art.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls
Around the Internet: All the colors (except her hair and eyes) come from Pantone’s Spring 2019 Color Report

Last Thoughts
Just so folks know, there is a bunch of stuff related to my personal life and work happening. None of it bad, but all of it time consuming. So, the blog posts are going to continue to be super erratic until… well, things settle which might be like 2020. Ain’t gonna lie.

However, my Patreon content is my main priority. So, if you do want more regular content, come over and join up.

As always, I love hearing from you and I try to respond to questions, so feel free to leave a comment if you like.