Mini-Maidens in some 1970s Fashions


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Simplicity 6931 from 1975
A black and white paper doll coloring page with 1970s fashions based on a vintage pattern cover. From paperthinpersonas.com

Today, the Mini-Maidens are visiting 1975 with an outfit and hair inspired by the looks of that era. I’ve never been a big 1970s fashion fan, but I confess the period has grown on my lately. I think it’s the sideburns.

One thing I do love are vintage pattern covers. Everything about them from the pose to the styles are so much of their era. A 1975 pattern cover from Simplicity inspired today’s paper doll 1970s fashion. The pattern had two options- a dress or a blouse, but I liked the blouse better. Somehow, the dress reminded me a little too much of a nightgown. A lot of 1970s maxi dresses remind me a lot of nightgowns.

If you’re a sewist, Wren Feathers has a super cute pattern for a blouse in this style sized for slim body 18 inch dolls. I haven’t sewn it up yet, but it has been in my “to sew” pile for a long time. Just in case your non-paper dolls need some 1970s fashion.

Greta, one of the Mini-Maiden dolls, is modeling the outfit and has a 1970’s shag haircut. The pattern cover inspired the jeans and platform shoes too.

One thing I find fascinating about 1970s fashion is that a lot of it looks very contemporary. Sometimes it is just the hair or the textile that gives away the age of the garment. You could probably get away with the jeans and shoes today. I’m not so sure about the blouse. Something about those sleeves kinda feels very dowdy to me.

What do you think? Are you a 1970s fashion lover or is it a decade you could see less of? Let me know in a comment.

Tomorrow there will be 18th Century Sprites Clothing. Yes, male historical clothing. Shocking, I know.

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Also, happy MLK Day to everyone who is celebrating.

Need a more outfits for today’s Mini-Maiden Paper Doll? Find More Clothing Here

An 1830s Historical Paper Doll Coloring Page Featuring Greta

1830s-greta-logo The 1830s is an era of Western fashion that I have generally found mystifying. Poke bonnets, giant sleeves, caplets are all features of this era of historical dress and none of them have ever really appealed that deeply.

And yet, I am nothing if not someone who like to learn about stuff and sometimes I try to challenge myself. I want to embrace periods of fashion that I don’t really like all that much and so I found myself deciding that this year, I was going to try out the Romantic period.

I would, I told myself, draw a paper doll with 1830s fashions and I would enjoy it!

(Or at least not totally hate it.)

The 1830s are an interesting time fashion wise though. The introduction of the metal eyelet in 1828 means that the 1830s are the first era when corsets were really capable of being laced terribly tightly (metal eyelets can take a lot more stress than handsewn ones) and to make matters more interesting, vulcanized rubber was used in clothing as well for the first time in the 1830s. Innovations all around.

The cage carioline which was used to support skirts in the 1860s doesn’t exist yet, so skirts are held out with horse hair petticoats and horsehair sewn in the hems. That means the silhouette isn’t as full as it would become in a few decades.

A historical fashion coloring page featuring a paper doll and her 1830s wardrobe. Exclusive to paperthinpersonas.com

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All right, so Greta, the paper doll modeling these 1830s outfits has a full set of underwear from this era which includes a chemise, corset, petticoat and sleeve supports. In order to fill out huge leg-o-mutton sleeves of the era, women used a variety of sleeve supports of various sizes. I made hers small so the underwear could easily layer.

She has two dresses. A day dress based on this garment and a ballgown. I swear the ballgown is based on something, but try as I might, I just couldn’t find the reference image I used. So… Trust me? Greta also had a poke bonnet and some false hair styled in the Apollo Knot style.

Women in the 1830s went a little nuts in the hair department. See this fashion plate and you know what I mean.

I hope everyone enjoys this little foray into the 1830s. This is an era I should stick around with? Drop me a comment and let me know!

Also, I am looking for questions to answer in a video about inking paper dolls. So, if you have a question that you’ve always wanted answered, put it in the comments. 🙂

Greta in Autumn: A Printable Paper Doll in Black and White

Mini Maidens Logo. Greta In Autumn. Today’s printable paper doll in black and white is Greta sporting an autumnal wardrobe. Greta’s wardrobe was inspired by what I see the college kids on the campus where I work wearing in the fall. Most of my paper dolls are pretty high fashion, or at least very trendy. This has to do with my source materials which tends towards InStyle and Bazaar, but most college students I work with seem a lot more attached to their jeans and t-shirts.

(In college, I lived in a hoodie, jeans and flip-flops- even when it was pouring rain.)

This more casual version of Greta has some jeans, shorts, capris and then a few tops. I focused on sweaters on this set and just gave her a casual t-shirt dress which seems to be a style I see around a lot these days. I can not wear t-shirt dresses, but hey- paper dolls don’t complain when you dress them. 🙂

Great in Autumn is a printable paper doll in black and white with a thirteen piece mix and match wardrobe. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com

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This is my fourth paper doll of 2015 with glasses. I am really embarrassed when I realized that in 2014 I only did one paper doll with glasses. So, one of my unstated goals of 2015, was to do more paper dolls with glasses. While four isn’t that many, I suppose, it is still better than one. I really want to do a historical paper doll with glasses ever since I saw this portrait from 1839 with the cutest glasses. I just haven’t gotten around to it. Researching accessories is an often time consuming part of historical paper doll production.

Right now, I am polling my readers on what they might like to see in the future, that is NOT paper doll related (or at least not a printable paper doll.)

On Wednesdays, I'd be interested in seeing..

  • Tutorials on How To Draw (60%, 28 Votes)
  • Short Articles about Historical Costume (38%, 18 Votes)
  • Behind the Scenes Content (34%, 16 Votes)
  • Tutorials on How to do Things in Photoshop (32%, 15 Votes)
  • Interviews with Other Paper Doll Artists (21%, 10 Votes)
  • Thoughts and Advice about Blogging (19%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 47

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As always, if you like the blog, I’d appreciate your support on Patreon. Thank you to everyone who already supports me. You guys rock!

Greta Goes out Hunting: A Fantasy Printable Paper Doll Coloring Page

logo-greta-hunterAs I mentioned a while ago, my computer died while I was traveling to visit family in Alaska. I’m pleased to report it is working fine now and it just cost money. Also, I should really back up my data more often, because hard drive problems suck.

Anyway, let’s talk about nicer things like paper dolls.

One of the reasons I keep a backlog of paper dolls is that should disaster strike, I have some things to post. I confess that my backlog has gotten lower these last few weeks and this has been a rough week for finding time to do blog work. Five hour power outage, jet lag, computer problems… Yeesh.

So, here is Greta and she is going out hunting. I didn’t give her any arrows, but…. err…. No excuse for that one, actually. I just kinda forgot. Maybe she can garrote things with her bow string or something. The image of paper dolls garroting small fuzzy woodland creatures in order to make them into stew is now going to haunt me.


Heading out on the hunt is this fantasy paper doll coloring page with a ten piece wardrobe. From paperthinpersonas.com
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Other news… Assuming I get my act together, there should be a Marcus paper doll on Monday and then some other stuff in the coming weeks. I am trying to get excited, but I am struggling to feel inspired at the moment. I’m sure it’ll come back. It always does eventually.

How do other people deal with lulls in inspiration?

Greta’s Trousseau: Spring Costumes

So, way back in December of 2013, I started a project called Greta’s Trousseau with this post. The idea was that I would draw a complete trousseau for a paper doll inspired by neo-Victorian and steampunk styles. This is the sixth page of Greta’s Trousseau. I don’t think it’s the last one, but we maybe getting close.

greta-trousseau-fashion-plate-spring-costume

Today, Greta has a carriage dress, a visiting toilette, a dinner dress, afternoon costume and morning dress. Her Carriage Dress is based on two gowns from Harper’s Bazar in 1873. One a watering place costume, published in the June 28, 1873 issue and the other a Carriage dress published in the July 5th issue of that same year. Harpers Bazar is a publication which is a little hard to find online. I used Dover’s book of reprinted fashion plates edited by Stella Blum, but you can see some issues of Harpers Bazar from the Home Economics Archive and others from the Hathi Trust. Hathi Trust has better image quality, but does not include the 1873 year.

Anyway, her visiting toilette has an additional hat, as does her carriage dress. Her dinner dress and afternoon costume are the same skirt with two different bodices, a common practice in the Victorian era. Her morning dress is, of course, the most simple gown she has and with it she has slippers, stockings and some correspondence.


greta-trousseau-spring-paper-doll
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My goal was to create the massive wardrobe of an absurdly wealthy fashion obsessed neo-Victorian lady. Currently, Greta has sporting outfits including swimming, fencing, hunting, skating and riding. She has a seaside walking dress, two traveling suits, and clothing for exploring or hiking. For formal occasions, she has a ballgown with two bodices, opera toilette and two dinner dresses. For visiting, she has two outfits. There is a walking suit and a promenade costume. For the afternoons, she has an afternoon costume and a tea dress. For quiet days at home, she has a house dress and a morning dress. For the very rare occasion she might need one, she has a wedding dress and a diving suit.

Here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau in case anyone missed a page or something.

Greta’s Trousseau: Traveling to the Seaside

First paper doll of 2015! Yay!

Okay, so as I mentioned, I’ll be posting some stuff in the next few weeks with the 2014 date on it. That’s because I date things from when I save them, not when I post them on the blog and I’ve got some backlog to go through. Never the less… first post of 2015 and I am going to celebrate that.

In 2015, Greta’s Trousseau is steadily growing. She’s traveling to the seaside with her paper wardrobe to deep sea dive, swim and also, you know, walk around looking fashionable.

greta-seaside
Her costumes are, left to right, a diving suit (because who doesn’t have one of those in their wedding trousseau?), a traveling suit, slightly fancier than the last one I posted, a swimming costume with flippers and a spear for fending off aggressive sea-life and a walking dress, because sometimes a girl just wants to look good while walking along the beach.

greta-seaside-steampunk-printable-paper-doll

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For those counting this takes Greta’s Trousseau to just over sixty pieces and 21 distinct outfits. Wow. Of course, she can share with her friends Isadora, Hazel and Faye. It’s not like she’s the only one who can wear these outfits.

Next up for her paper doll wardrobe is probably going to be more sporting outfits, including golf, croquet and tennis. I also have a set with a morning dress and a nightgown in the wings.

Here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau for those who’d like to see it. Also, there’s a drawing/contest open at the moment, so check that out.

Greta’s Trousseau: Traveling Suit and Evening Attire

It has been a while since we’ve had to visit to Greta’s Trousseau. I have had these drawn for a few mnths and it has been taking me a long time to get my act together and sort out the adding of tabs. I loath having to add tabs, but it’s easier to add them than to remove them later for the fashion plates and I do like putting together the fashion plates.

greta-traveling-ball-plate
So, in this page of Greta’s ever expanding trousseau, there is a ballgown which also has a more conservative long sleeved bodice. Dresses with two bodices were very common in the 19th century. Most “gowns” of the period are actually a top and a separate skirt. This women’s dress from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has an evening bodice and a day bodice. I imagine that Greta’s dress is more of a “ballgown” and then “dinner-dress” sort of arrangement.

Her traveling attire has two major outfits. One is a pair of bloomers with a blouse and hat for exploring or slightly rough and tumble travel. The other is a crisp traveling suit with a jacket, skirt and gaiters (or really long spats). These pieces can be mixed and matched for other outfit combinations, of course.


greta-steampunk-trousseau-traveling-ball

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In total, this takes Greta’s Trousseau to over fifty outfit pieces and seventeen outfits. Technically, based on my paper doll outfit math than there’s about 1300 outfit combinations, more if you include hats, of course. I don’t actually think most of those outfit combinations make a lot of sense, but it was fun to work out how many existed. Greta’s Trousseau isn’t over, by any means. There are more sporting outfits to be finished (including a really cute croquet dress) and a set of clothing for seaside visits which includes a scuba suit, complete with helmet.

For anyone whose interested, here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau.

Happy Halloween! Greta as a Ghost

logo-ghostly-greta-halloweenHappy Halloween, All!

I really did not think I was going to get a Halloween paper doll done this year. I was certain I wouldn’t and then I was going through my logs and I noticed that I have done a Halloween paper doll every Halloween since 2010. Over the years, there have been a vampire, a costume set, another vampire, and a collab between me, Boots, Liana and Toria. So, that’s a lot of Halloween paper dolls.

This Halloween, we have a ghostly Greta of the Mini-Maidens. I do a lot of Mini-Maiden paper dolls for holidays. I think because they are black and white and I can get them done quickly.

I often forget about holidays until they are upon me.


]ghostly-greta-halloween

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I created this paper doll set thinking of ghosts and the idea of ghostly women. They exist in all sorts of cultures. White Lady ghosts are from Europe and usually have been betrayed by a lover. The Leanan sídhe is less a ghost and more a fairy, but according to Celtic lore they inspire their loves, but also induce madness and early death. In Japan, there are the Onry? vengeful ghosts of women wearing white marriage kimonos with long unkempt hair. They appear in a lot of Noh theater.

Anyway, I was channeling all that when I created this paper doll set. I made the set for Greta, because she hasn’t gotten a set in a while and I thought she needed some love.

Also, it was an excuse to draw some flowing gowns. I imagine the stuff on her feet is blood, but you can color it anyway you wish.

Hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday. 🙂

Greta’s Trousseau: Operas and More…

In the continuing epic of Greta’s Trousseau, today we have a bunch of outfits designed to help Greta do more mundane activities than fencing or hunting. Like any fashionable neo-victorian lady, Greta simply must have a costume for all occasions and her trousseau provides.

fashion-plate-trousseau-opera-walking
Today’s outfit set includes an opera toilette which fitted into a rather odd spot in the ladies wardrobe. Opera attire and ballgowns were both considered to be full dress (the most formal sort), but opera outfits usually included some sort of cloak (which I have omitted because eventually I’ll do a whole set of outerwear) and some sort of hat or headdress. I’ve also noticed that they seem to be a little more fanciful than other costumes. Greta’s consists of an off the shoulder top with a boned bodice, a floral decorated top hat and a full skirt without a train. She wears matching shoes.

Her promenade costume and visiting attire would have both been semi-formal wear. The promenade costume features a military influenced jacket where as the visiting attire is softer and more lady-like. Both outfits have matching hats. Her only costume without a hat is her tea dress which she could have worn while receiving guests in her own home and therefore wearing a hat would have been odd. Changing the bodice and adding a hat, turns this outfit into a walking suit, less formal than a promenade costume but with the same military influences.

Hmm… I really should have drawn her a parasol. I shall have to do that in the future.


greta-trousseau-opera-promenade

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All of the shoes, except the ones with the opera costume, are “borrowed” for the other sets in Greta’s Trousseau. I just find that I can only draw so many pairs of button up boots in one sitting, though I will be doing more shoes as we expand Greta’s activities. I know I need do to some winter boots for her and she’ll be needing some for the seaside as well.

Here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau. I am looking forward to adding more to it as time permits.

Steampunk Paper Doll Trousseau: Greta’s Sporting Costumes

Today, we have some sporting outfits for our steampunk paper doll bride. Since the fun of Victorian trousseaux (or should it be neo-victorian trousseaux?) are their costumes for every occasion, I had a lot of fun thinking up outfits for Greta to wear while she did a few different sports. Being a highly talented paper doll, I’m sure no sport is beyond her skill (and I have a few more sporting outfits planned- though perhaps not for a while).

greta-sporting-toilettes
Greta has a steampunk/neo-victorian inspired riding habit, a hunting costume, a skating toilette and a fencing toilette. What else could a steampunk paper doll bride want? (Okay, more outfits, but I am working on that. 🙂 )

Wealthy women have actually been involved in sporting activities for longer than most people think. Archery teams in the Regency were regularly co-ed. I’ve been 18th century illustrations of women doing archery, but I’m not sure women actually did it that often, sepcially since a lot of those illustrations are intended to be erotic- oh, the scandal. Women had been riding horses forever and in the South, prior to the Civil War, hunting or shooting was a common activity for women of wealth. By the 1900s, women could choose between tennis, golf, bicycling, skating, croquet and a variety of other sporting events.


greta-trousseau-sporting-outfits

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My favorite is the fencing toilette. Someone asked for a fencing outfit (a long time ago) and I don’t know much (anything) about fencing, but I had a lot of fun drawing it. I suspect having open laces on the sides of your leggings is not… you know… very practical, but what’s the fun of drawing steampunk fashions if they have to be practical?

Here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau. My question to everyone is, what sorts of outfits should I add to Greta’s expanding steampunk paper doll trousseau?