Marisole Monday & Friends Masquerade: Meaghan as an Owl


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:  Owls, Victorian Ballgowns, and Platform Sandals

An owl masquerade dress for Meaghan of the Marisole Monday & Friend's paper doll series. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween always feels like it is a holiday ripe for paper doll activity. It’s all about costumes, after all. So, while I abandoned themes last week, I will be returning to them this week. Each day this week there will be a different Marisole Monday & Friend’s doll and her bird themed masquerade ballgown.

Meaghan is starting us off with an owl themed paper doll masquerade dress which was the first of the dresses that I designed. The sketchbook page of this gown on Instragram went up a few months ago, but it can take a long time for things to be finished. My goal was to capture the idea of an owl without being specific to species, so the buns on her head are supposed to be like the owl’s ears and the layers in the skirt give a sense of wings.

Due to the width of the skirt, I would strongly recommend adding some floating tabs to the back of it. Her wig is designed to work with my usual method of pasting the back to the front and leaving a pocket for the dolls head. Here are the full instructions. I really should do full instructions on floating tabs, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Now, tomorrow there will be a flamingo and after that, I haven’t decided which ballgown will go up next.

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Need a more outfits for today’s Marisole Monday & Friends Paper Doll? Find More Clothing Here

Marisole Monday & Friends: A Retro Astronaut Paper Doll


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:  Retro Sci-Fi Magazine Cover Art, Krylorians and Lavender Hair

A retro sci-fi magazine inspired pink skinned alien paper doll and her pale blue space suit. Free to print in black and white or in color.

Sometimes, I feel like drawing a different sort of paper doll, so today we have a little pink skinned retro alien astronaut paper doll, because why not?

Over the course of the year, I have continued to move closer to my roots. And today, I am moving there even further. When this site started, before the whole thing went down in flames in 2009, there was just one series and that series updated with whatever the heck I felt like. Later, I added the first Curves series, but continued to post whatever I felt like.

Starting today, I am going to abandon weekly themes, except when I feel like there is a real reason I want to do one.

For example, I have only one astronaut paper doll until today. For several years, I’ve wanted to draw a really retro inspired, pin-up inspired sort of astronaut, but I’ve never wanted to make a whole set like that. But during my short hiatus I had an epiphany, I realized that I didn’t have too. There was no reason I had to do a whole week of retro-astronauts. I could just do one!

And on the next day, I could do something else entirely.

So, today enjoy this “Friend of Marisole Monday” and her retro inspired astronaut suit. I also gave her a pair of somewhat impractical shoes, because I thought she might want to wear something other than her space suit and with her pink skin, burrowing shoes might be straight out, unless they were boots.

Thoughts on the new plan? Do let me know in a comment. And if you love the blog, than think about supporting it through Patreon.

Need a more outfits for today’s Marisole Monday & Friends Paper Doll? Find More Clothing Here

Marisole’s Fresh Summer Fashions: Jumpsuit & White Shorts


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A young fashionable black woman with some summer clothes- a jumpsuit and shorts. She can wear any of the clothing from the Marisole Monday & Friend's paper doll series.

Originally, back when I was making plans, I hadn’t planned on doing two contemporary fashion sets in a row. I thought I would do something else between, but then I ended up needing to move and life has away of laughing at our best laid plans.

So, here I am posting two contemporary fashion printable paper doll sets in a row, but they couldn’t be more different. Last week, I forayed into Hip-Hop paper doll fashion. This week we are sticking with what I am far more comfortable with, summer fashions from the fashion magazines like In-Style and Vogue.

This week, our paper doll model is Marisole. As some of you probably remember, Marisole is the first of the Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper dolls and she leads our charge. Today, she has a strapless jumpsuit and a pair of white shorts. I swear later on there will be top options to go with her shorts.

This week’s theme is fresh summer fashions- expect a lot of whimsical prints including lemons and flamingos, plus sundresses and cropped tops.

And of course, there’s Patreon if you want to help support the blog, plus PTP is on twitter- @paperpersonas. Twitter is a great way to ask me questions, because I tend to answer them faster than comments.

Meaghan’s Fantasy Gowns: Her Second Paper Doll Dress


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A paper doll fantasy dress design in teal and cream. It fits the Marisole Monday & Friend's paper dolls.

As I promised yesterday, today there’s some music to do with yesterday’s flute.

The process of designing fantasy paper doll dresses usually begins with a silhouette. For example, I wanted all these dresses to be high-waisted and very full at the hem making a distinct a-line shape. Each gown also has an “over-robe” and an “under-robe” creating a consistent look. This is part of what I think about each set. I’m really not designing “four dresses”, rather I’m designing a week of themed dresses, so I try to think about a connecting thread either with a time period (like I did for the Poppets of the 1860s) or a stylistic choice- like making all these similar in their silhouette.

I’m not suggesting for a micro-second that this is always easy, but I find I think better in themes, though once in a while, I am tempted to just do a random week of whatever occurs to me; however, I don’t know if that style would be sustainable for me for a long period. I like being organized, what can I say?

I blame it on the librarian in me.

The librarian in me is also why I like drawing books for my paper dolls so much. I tried something kinda new here in that I drew an open book, rather than my usual closed book. I know basically nothing about music, except how it was printed and that’s hardly much to use when one is trying to play it. I faked my “music notes” here just to give it something that clearly wasn’t text. I think this might be my first music book, so maybe the other paper dolls with instruments just play by ear?

If you missed Monday, here’s the paper doll to go with this dress, though it will fit all the Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper dolls, so there’s no reason not to share.

By the way, I am currently collecting people’s thoughts on the new format after six weeks. If you haven’t tossed in your two cents, please do in a comment. If you have already tossed in your two cents, feel free to toss them in again. I won’t mind.

Meaghan’s Fantasy Gowns: A Paper Doll & Her Shoes


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A redheaded paper doll with three pairs of fantasy sandals. She is part of the Marisole Monday & Friends series and can wear any of their clothes or shoes.

This is the second Meaghan printable paper doll of 2016, which seems surprising to me, but I checked the archives and its true. When my real friend Meaghan allowed me to name a paper doll after her, she demanded fantasy dresses, so I do my best to provide them as often as I can for her paper surrogate.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what the best ways to break up a paper doll across five days really are. Shoes are often an issue in paper doll creations, because skin is exposed. While any paper doll in the same pose can share dresses, only paper dolls with the same skintone can share shoes, especially shoes like these where even and exacto-knife couldn’t make some of these sandals work on my Edwardian Mia from the week before last, for example.

So, rather than start out with a paper doll and a dress this time, I am starting out with a paper doll and some fantasy sandals. There won’t be an accessory Thursday this week, instead each day there will be an accessory to go with the dress on display.

Also, I have a question for all my lovely readers, now that we’re five or six weeks into this new format, what do you all think? Please let me know in a comment.

Edwardian Mia: A Printable Paper Doll’s Promenade Dress


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A lavender paper doll promenade dress from the Edwardian era. Also available in black and white for coloring from paperthinpersonas.com.

Today’s printable paper doll dress is a promenade dress from 1908.

The gown is based on this illustration from an 1908 Macy’s Catalog. Macy’s was founded in about 1858 and had a thriving mail order business. Their catalogs are just a great source of information. I chose to not try to illustrate the stripes on the original dress fabric. I confess I am not too pleased with how the pleating on the skirt turned out. It should look much stiffer than it does, as taffeta is a very stiff fabric.

Oh well, no dress drawing is perfect.

In fact, a big reason I picked the Edwardian period was because I don’t have a lot of experience drawing these styles of dresses. One of the great challenges of this era is to capture the “pigeon breasted” look of the era. Bodices had a great deal of fullness in the front and then came into a narrow waist. This is actually a pretty challenging thing for me to illustrate in paper doll form.

Still, you get better at nothing unless you practice. So, this is me practicing.

While I chose lavender for today’s dress, the black and white version could be any color. The catalog describes this dress as a two-piece jumper model available in blue, red, green, brown or lavender. I think it would be stunning in red, too.

As always, I recommend printing from the PDF versions at the top of the post.

If you love the blog, than please consider supporting it on Patreon.

Hope everyone has a lovely Wednesday and remember: Accessory Thursday tomorrow!

One last little thing, I am trying to decide what to work on this weekend. I’m out of backlog and have a ton of stuff in process, so to help me focus I am asking my readers what they think.

What should Rachel Work on this Weekend?

  • Marisole Monday & Friends Fantasy Gowns (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Sprites in Wonderland (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Little Red Ridinghood inspired Mini-Maidens (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Marcus as a Wizard (14%, 13 Votes)
  • Ms. Mannequinn Hip-Hop Fashions (8%, 7 Votes)
  • B&B Medieval Inspired Fantasy Gowns (6%, 6 Votes)
  • Post-Apocalyptic B&B (4%, 4 Votes)
  • B&B Steampunk Outfits (2%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 93

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Edwardian Mia: The Paper Doll and Her Underwear


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An Asian American paper doll with a set of Edwardian underwear. Also available in black and white for coloring from paperthinpersonas.com.

I was trying to decide which of the Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper dolls would model this series of Edwardian dresses and I settled on Mia.

I was inspired to use her as the model when I found this wonderful photograph of an Asian woman, just called Alice, wearing a suit from probably the 1890s or early 1900s.

Today, Mia gets just a set of Edwardian underwear and, I confess, not even a complete set. Women in this era wore, in order, a chemise and drawers, or a combination, under a corset. Over the corset, she would have worn a corset cover and over that a petticoat. I decided to just show her corset cover and petticoat, thereby skipping a few layers. Seriously, ladies in this era wore a lot of underwear!

I based her underwear on this page from a catalog from 1902-1903. Her hair is the best I could do trying to draw a Gibson girl kinda bun like these. Drawing Gibson girl buns is clearly not my strength.

Though out the week I’ll be posting outfits for Mia and accessories on Thursday (as usual). I hope you all enjoy this little foray into the first decade of the 1900s.

By the way, if you love the blog, consider becoming a patron. It’s really appreciated.

So, my question for all of you is, what to you think of this week’s theme?

Monica’s Neo-Victorian Wardrobe: A Ballgown


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A fantasy ballgown with a neo-victorian flare for a printable paper doll from paperthinpersonas.com.

Happy Friday!

It seems only proper to close out the week of steampunky paper doll goodness with a ballgown, don’t you think? I mean, after all, it is the most formal of the formal. Ballgowns were just below Court Dress on the formal scale and Court Dress was pretty much as formal as it got.

Plus Court Dress came with crazy rules like it had to have a train and at one point, it had to have panniers and… I could go on.

Since it amuses me (and that’s all that matters), let’s continue this week’s tradition of 19th century style explanations of Monica’s steampunk or neo-victorian outfits, here’s my ballgown description:

An elegant ball or evening dress suitable for a young matron or unmarried lady in pale leaf green trimmed in lavender. The bodice is two tones of green with a lavender side lacing and the skirt is cut in the mermaid silhouette with curved frills of satin flaring elegantly to the floor in pale blue, lavender and green. 

One of the great things about all the outfits this week is that they are in the same color scheme, so if you wanted too, you can mix and match say the bodice of yesterday’s dinner dress with today’s skirt for a whole different look. Or I think Monday’s walking suit jacket would look dynamite with yesterday’s skirt. And those are just the first two ideas that came to me.

Quick reminder: Black and white versions can be downloaded at the top of the post. 🙂

Monica’s Neo-Victorian Wardrobe

I do want to address one other thing. I was asked my a few people (one comment, one email) if it would be possible on Friday’s to combine all the outfits of the week into one page for ease of printing. The answer is No, for two reasons. Reason 1: I actually started this format to get away from having to do layout work which is super time consuming.

Reason 2: (And this is the cool reason) These pieces wouldn’t fit on one page. Back in the old system, I would have draw two skirts and then four tops, two shoes and then a smattering of hats and other accessories. Over the course of the week we’ve had four skirts, four tops, five hats, two pairs of shoes, two parasols, one walking stick and a bag. That’s 15 pieces!

You are actually getting MORE paper doll content this way AND its less time consuming for me. Everyone wins!

By the way, I want to add that both people who asked these questions were super nice about it and I don’t mind at all getting questions and thoughts from you all. Please keep them coming.

So, on that note, questions? Comments? Thoughts? Let me know.

Monica’s Neo-Victorian Wardrobe: Accessory Thursday With Shoes, Parasols & Hats


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Printable paper doll accessories including shoes and hats! Also available in black and white. From paperthinpersonas.com.

It’s Accessory Thursday! Yay!

But to come down from the high for a moment, it has occurred to me that I’m not really sure how to write a pseudo-19th century fashion plate description of these pieces.

So, instead, I thought I would wax philosophical about accessories. In the real work, I am not a big accessories girl, but in the paper doll world, I just love them. Back when I was a kid, I had a paper doll book called, The Victorian Cat Family. It was an amazing paper doll book with literally thousands of fantastic tiny accessories all of which I painstakingly cut out.

Oh, the memories… Still love that book.

Anyway, I’m not the greatest artist when it comes to non-clothing items, but I try to spice things up with parasols, hats and shoes. Part of the fun of hats is that they change up an outfit. Also, I just love love love drawing paper doll shoes.

(Yes, I realize that is a kinda quirky thing to love. No, I am not ashamed.)

If you missed Monday, you might need a doll to wear theses fun shoes. Here’s Monica all ready for her neo-Victorian wardrobe.

Monica’s Neo-Victorian Wardrobe: A Dinner or Carriage Dress


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Printable paper doll steampunk inspired dress with a matching hat. Also available in black and white for coloring from paperthinpersonas.com.

Happy Wednesday!

All righty, Dinner or Carriage dresses were worn to evening of later afternoon events that were formal, but not formal enough to warrant full-dress. Carriage dresses are often identifiable, because they are are more fussy and formal than promenade dresses.

The basic order of formality is a walking suit is less formal then a promenade toilette which is less formal than a carriage dress. A dinner dress is less formal than a evening dress, but may also be worn to evening events like come concerts or lectures. Opera was its own insane category.

Who ever said Victorian dressing was simple?

Continuing my 19th century fashion magazines descriptions, here is today’s:

A pale blue bolero jacket with pale blue sleeve puffs worn over a lavender corset with brass button accents. The neckline of the corset is filled with a pale blue high-necked blouse. The matching skirt is lavender and trimmed in pale green with three rows of blue ruffles. The hat is a bowler style trimmed with dark purple fabric roses and a wide blue ribbon band. Without the hat, this ensemble would be a lovely dinner attire and with the hat would be appropriate for afternoon visiting or carriage rides.

I have to confess, I have never been one of those people who romanticizes history. I’m pretty much certain that I like air conditioning, indoor plumbing and antibiotics too much to want to live in the past, but sometimes when I’m working on fantasy romanticized history pieces like this series, I start to think, “Hmmm… it might be fun to get to put on fancy dresses and go to a ball!”

So tell me in a comment what era of history you’d like to visit sometime. I’ve never been able to settle on one, but I think it might be fun to visit the Library of Alexandria or the Aldine Press in Venice.

(My library geek is coming out in those choices.)

Thoughts from all of you? What time period would you like to visit?

If you missed Monday, pop over to that post for Monica and if you love the blog, consider becoming a patron.