Marisole Monday & Friends in a Kimono and Qipao Inspired Fantasy Gown


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Kimono, Qipao and This Chinese Fan
A fantasy gown inspired by kimonos and qipao for the Marisole Monday & Friends free printable paper doll series.

A fantasy gown inspired by kimonos and qipao for the Marisole Monday & Friends free printable paper doll series.

In my original plan, today’s dress went with a paper doll, but I just couldn’t seem to draw a hair style that I liked to go with it. So, in the end, I decided to just post the dress all by its lonesome. However, there are a lot of dolls that could go with this set like this one or this one or this one.

The color scheme is based on this Chinese fan from the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. I often like to look for color schemes from cultures that are not my own. Which colors go with which other colors is often a matter of cultural preferences, so I like to sometimes look for a combination that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. Although, for all my dabbling in different parts of the world, my love of teal and red together is well documented. It is entirely possible that’s the make up of my living room color scheme.

Other inspirations include this wa lolita outfit, a Chines informal robe covered in butterflies, this kimono and this kimono.I tend to collect my sources on Pinterest, so feel free to follow me there if you want some glimpses into what I’m interested in for any given afternoon.

The shoes have tabi style socks, because I wanted them to be wearable by any of the paper dolls skin tones.

So, what do you think about today’s paper doll dress? Let me know in a comment.

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Marisole Monday & Friends: A Tudor Inspired Printable Paper Doll Dress


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Fashion Plate from 1880 and Things the Scare Me
A printable paper doll fantasy gown inspired by the dress of the European Renaissance for the Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll series. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

A printable paper doll fantasy gown inspired by the dress of the European Renaissance for the Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll series. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

Yesterday I posted fantasy garments based on some traditional Asian attire. Today I am hopping back to Europe to post a riff on 15th and 16th century dress.

Today’s Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper doll dress crosses Italian clothing in the late 1400s with English costume in the mid-1500s. There’s a definite Spanish Farthingale thing going on in that skirt shape. Spanish Farthngales were hoop skirts of their era and gave dresses a distinct cone shape. It was all the rage in England towards the end of the 1500s. Here’s an example of what I talking about.

The sleeves of today’s paper doll gown are pretty Italian. The style in Italy at the very end of the 1400s and the beginning of the 1500s. It was considered fashionable to have the shift sticking out through the spaces the sleeves- my paper dolls are nothing if not fashionable. Here is an example of the sleeves I mean and here is another one.

When it came time to color today’s paper doll, I fell back on the colors I tend to like when it comes to Tudor feeling things. I settled on copper and black for the color scheme. While I experimented with brighter options, I loved the sophistication these colors created.

As with many of my fantasy paper dolls, I added shoes and stockings to round out the outfit. After all, I do love to draw shoes. These shoes are neither English nor Italian, but more a pair of modern ones. So, that continues the cross-cultural experience here.

So, what do people think of my English-Italian Renaissance love child of a paper doll dress? Leave me a comment and let me know.

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Marisole Monday & Friends Get A Walking Dress from 1880


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Fashion Plate from 1880 and Things the Scare Me
An 1880s bustle dress for a printable paper doll from paperthinpersonas.com.

A beautiful Victorian printable paper doll bustle dress based on a dress from 1880. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

I am not from the south and while I use y’all, because I have picked it up after five years in below the Mason-Dixon line, I am not a local by any means. Still, there is a saying down here I’ve adopted which goes, “Can’t Never Could.”

In sort, if you say you can’t do something then you won’t try and you are dooming yourself to failure.

One of my long standing “can’t” do things has been drawing 1880s bustle skirts.

I’ve told myself I can’t draw a bustle skirt so many times, that I’ve convinced myself this is true. But I decided I was going to face my fear of 1880s bustle skirts by actually drawing one.

Step 1 was finding a fashion plate at the same angle as the paper doll to practice with. After a bit of hunting, I found this plate from 1880.

Next step was doing a draft on cheap lined paper and then doing a final on my nice sketchbook paper.

I’m actually very pleased how it came out. I might even try another one or two, but I have to find another fashion plate at just the right angle.

Not having to rotate something in my head really makes drawing it easier.

I have been thinking about trying the dress on the left of this plate, but rotating the plate before I print it so it is facing the right direction for Marisole Monday lady paper dolls. I prefer to draw from printed images rather than digital ones.

So, how did I do? Should I work on more 1880s stuff? Or is this a period that you’re not to keen on? Let me know in a comment.

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A Printable Paper Doll Dress from 1870 for Marisole Monday & Friends


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Fashion Plate from January 1870
A beautiful Victorian printable paper doll bustle dress based on a dress from 1870. Free to print in color or black and white from paperthinpersonas.com.

A beautiful Victorian printable paper doll bustle dress based on a dress from 1870. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

If I had to pick a favorite period of fashion history, I’m not sure I could. I love the 18th century, the 1920s, 1960s, the Regency, the 1300s… I could go on and on, clearly. However, if I had to pick a favorite era of the Victorian period, then the bustles absolutely win.

I love them all. I love the soft draped bustle of the early 1870s, the narrow skirted bustle of the early 1880s and the tea-tray supporting bustle of the late 1880s. I don’t care how absurd they look.

I just think they are so much darn fun.

Despite that, I have drawn very few paper dolls with dresses from 1870. I think the reason is that I’ve also been intimidated by the bustle. So many loops of fabric. So much drapery. The angle has to be just right to show off the fit. But I decided to try it this time, so here she is- a dress from 1870 for Marisole Monday & Her Friends.

Just the ladies. This won’t fit the gents.

It is based off this dress from 1870 published in The Queen, the Ladies’ Newspaper in January. Queen was an English fashion magazine that published French fashion plates and started in 1861. In 1968, it was purchased by Harpers Bazaar. Until 2006, in England anyway, Harper’s Bazaar was published as Harpers & Queen. I’ve yet to find a good online archive of The Queen, the Ladies’ Newspaper full-text, but if anyone locates one let me know. Their fashion plates are lovely.

Without the accompanying information, it is hard to know what exactly this dress was intended for. Based on the style, I am thinking a seaside nautical thing. January magazines often published the first Spring plates, so I suspect this is a Springtime outfit.

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Need a Marisole Monday & Friends Lady Paper Doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick One Out Here

Marisole Monday & Friends Now Have an 1820s Inspired Winter Walking Dress


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Pelisses from the 1820s, such as this one from 1822
A fantasy winter walking costume for a paper doll based on pelisse of the 1820s from paperthinpersonas.com.

A fantasy winter walking costume for a paper doll based on pelisse of the 1820s from paperthinpersonas.com in black and white for coloring.

First of all, Happy St. Patrick’s Day and this paper doll has nothing to do with it. 🙂

Last Friday, I shared a ballgown inspired by the late 1860s, but today I have a winter walking costume inspired by the 1820s pelisse like this one from 1822, this one from 1818 and this one from 1825. It is the companion piece to last week’s printable paper doll dress.

The pelisse from 1822 was the one that was today’s paper doll gown’s strongest influence.

I went back and forth about the color scheme for a while, but I really wanted to do something in the red family. As it happens, I super like red.

Monochrome color schemes aren’t something I do much, but maybe I should play with them more. I find I often go back to the same colors for paper doll clothing over and over again.

I was trying to get all my wintery paper doll stuff backlog taken care off before it gets too warm, but frankly the weather has been freakish.

It keeps switching between Spring, in the 70s, and Winter, in the 30s and 40s. I don’t really care which one it chooses, but I dislike having to check my phone every morning to see if I need to grab my coat.

That’s enough complaining about Alabama’s wacky spring weather.

Meanwhile, if you want to support the blog, then think about donating through Patreon. I’ve opened up two example behind the scenes blog posts one with sketchbook photos and one where I talk about how I decide what to work on, so if you like those then seeing more just costs a dollar a month.

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The Victorian Inspired Ballgown for Marisole Monday & Friend’s Printable Paper Dolls


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: A fashion plate I totally can’t find now
A printable paper doll ball gown inspired by the Victorian era. Free to print in color or black and white.

A printable paper doll ball gown coloring page inspired by the Victorian era. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com

So, this is like research rule 1: Write Down Your Sources.

And normally, I am super diligent about recording everything I use in Pinterest, so I can find it again when it comes time to write one of these fascinating blog posts.

This time though? So much of the not so much. I have a distinct recollection of look at a fashion plate which I think was late 1860s (because that’s when waists when up and skirts got all conical), but now for the life of me I can’t find the plate that was my inspiration.

Clearly, I am a bad librarian.

Needless to say, I hope I can distract y’all from my poor research habits by pointing out: Hey, there’s a pretty ballgown over there.

The truth is that I never meant for this to be a historical piece. It was part of a series of dresses in this silhouette that I designed back when I was doing the same theme for a whole week. I ended up just coloring two of them and you’ll see this one today and next Friday there will be a matching winter walking costume.

While the dress was inspired by a fashion plate from the late 1860s (I think), it looks much more 1820s to me, since I narrowed the skirt quite a bit.

Meanwhile, if you love the blog, then consider following it on Facebook or donating through Patreon.

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Need a Marisole Monday & Friends Lady Paper Doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick One Out Here

Marisole Monday & Friends Sunset Inspired Fantasy Ballgown


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Huge Skirted Ballgowns and The Colors of the Sunset

A fantasy princess paper doll ballgown in the colors of the sunset.

A fantasy princess paper doll ballgown in the colors of the sunset.

I love big skirted ballgowns. I love crazy over the top big skirted princess paper doll ball gowns.

Obviously, I am expressing this love today.

Another love of mine, from when I was a kid, are off the shoulder dresses. Generally, I blame this on being a child of the 1980s.

This ballgown was actually part of a set of two big skirted fantasy gowns I designed back in 2015. Yes, that’s right, 2015. A long long time ago, I confess.

Anyway, I found them again and I hated one of them. This one I thought, “You know, that’s not bad.”

Now, the color scheme it had back then involved lime green and orange, so that had to go. Once I had it re-colored, I actually thought it was pretty beautiful, so it wasn’t a hard decision to repost it.

So, how do people feel about big skirted ball gowns?

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Marisole Monday & Friends Printable Paper Dolls Get Cocktail Dresses


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Fashion Magazines and Cocktail Dresses
A pair of pastel paper doll cocktail dresses with some Victorian inspired lace up booties. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

A pair of paper doll cocktail dresses with some Victorian inspired lace up booties. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

I gotta confess this has been a wide ranging week for printable paper doll themes. We’ve gone from Monday aliens to Tuesday Little Bo Peep and now we’ve got some cocktail dresses. Well, it can never be said that I don’t have a lot of variety and diversity in my little paper doll populated corner of the interwebs.

I love fashion magazines. My favorites to draw from are People Style Watch and Instyle. Both of these magazines are pretty easy read and you can see the images of the clothing well. After all, I might not ever buy a 600 dollar blouse, but I like to see it clearly for drawing purposes. I have noticed I draw a lot less modern stuff now that I have the new format. Not really sure why that is, but there you go.

Anyway, this fall there was a whole pastel cocktail dresses for wintertime thing going in the fashion magazines I read. So, I wanted to create a pair of pastel winter paper doll cocktail dresses for holiday parties. Now, I realize it is February and most holiday parties are past, so maybe a Valentine’s Day date night option?

Yeah, I kinda missed the boat on when to post this pair of dresses, but that happens to me on occasion. No shame.

I am curious though. Do people miss modern paper doll clothing? Would you like to see more of that? Let me know in a comment.

I’m also super pleased to announce that there is now a Paper Thin Personas Etsy Store! You might have noticed the addition of the Shop tab at the top of the page a few days ago. I had fantasized about doing some big perfect announcement, but you know what? Done is better than perfect, so I am releasing the store into the wild today.

Just for my blog readers, there is a coupon code good for 25% off an order of 4.00 or more until the end of March. Visit the shop and use the code: READER2017

Plus, remember that becoming a patron has some great benefits and helps cover the blogs costs each month.

Need a Marisole Monday & Friends Lady Paper Doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick One Out Here

Marisole Monday & Friends Paper Dolls Get Some 1970s Clothing


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Simplicity 9370 from 1971
A super cute bright yellow jumpsuit from 1971 based on the art on a vintage sewing pattern cover. Available in color or black and white.

A super cute jumpsuit from 1971 based on the art on a vintage sewing pattern cover. Available in color or black and white.

So, I work in batches. This doesn’t just mean I tend to draw a batch of the same paper doll series together, it also means I sometimes draw the same themes together. For example, I drew today’s jumpsuit around the same time I drew the my 1970s Mini-Maiden. Sometimes, I get into a theme, like 1970s clothing, and want to spend some time there.

Then I promptly get over and am distracted by some other thing. That’s the nature of my brain.

Today’s jumpsuit was based on a 1971 Simplicity sewing pattern cover. Apparently the pattern was designed to be sewn quickly and only took two different pattern pieces. I loved the cheery bright yellow color in the cover art, so I kept it.

The wide brown belt was from the pattern cover, but it also was nice because it split up the jumpsuit. I think jumpsuits really need belts, don’t you?

This is probably the last piece of 1970s clothing for the paper dolls for a while. As I said above, I tend to be a bit flighty in my paper doll interests. I have been feeling very “over the top princess gowns” lately, so stay tuned for some of that, also I have been dabbling in the 1870s.

Out of the curiosity, which do you like better for the fashion- the 1970s, the 1870s or the 1770s?

I have so confess to being a pretty big 1870s fan. Let me know your favorite in a comment.

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Marisole Monday & Friends in 1830s Fashion


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This 1830 fashion plate, Bonnets
A green 1830s paper doll dress based on a fashion plate from 1830 with a matching bonnet and shoes from paperthinpersonas.com.

I’ve written before that the 1830s are a period of fashion I find a little absurd looking. Yet, the more I draw clothing from those years, the more it grows on me.

I am starting to almost like the era. Just almost.

So, a quick overview of the fashions of this era shows an abundance of sleeves and bonnets. If the three decades from 1800 to 1830 were the era of the column silhouette, than the 1830s were the era of the oval. The sloping shoulders, wide-sleeves, round bonnets, and full skirts all give a oval shape to the silhouette.

Plus, the wide skirts and sleeves also emphasized the desirable small waist, often accented with a belt.  The invention of metal eyelets in 1828 allowed for a much tighter fit on a corset. There was no longer the danger of the lacing cutting through the hand-sewn eyelet due to tight lacing. So, waists got smaller.

Like the earlier part of the century, people were still super into the Ancient Civilizations.  So, references to the Roman and Greek civilizations abound. Hairstyles have names like Apollo’s Knot, one of the dumbest looking hairstyles ever. The hair in this fashion plate is an Apollo’s Knot style and so is this. It was very popular. And, clearly, not one of my favorites.

Anyway, this 1830 fashion plate from the Casey Fashion Plate Index inspired today’s outfit.  As hard as it is to believe, I actually simplified the bonnet from the original drawing. Bonnets are not my forte, so I have mixed feelings about how this one turned out.

All in all, however, I think I didn’t do a bad job on today’s foray into 1830s fashion.

What do you think? More of this era in order? Not a favorite?

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Need a Marisole Monday & Friends Lady Paper Doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick One Out Here