Hazel Visits the 1940s: Afternoon Dress from 1940


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I think it’s a little fitting that at the end of this 1940s paper doll to print week, we are returning to the early part of the decade with this 1940s afternoon dress, especially since we started with a 1940s afternoon dress on Monday. Today’s dress is based on this afternoon dress from 1940 which I found from the New York Public Library Digital Collections.

This dress has many of the details I associated with the 1940s including puffed sleeves, a natural waistline and a gored skirt that falls to the knees, but the ruching details on the bodice are very much of the 1930s. Fashion doesn’t change on a dime, so it’s a nice example of the transition of styles.

The truth is that the 1940s is a fascinating era for fashion. World War II influences everything, of course, but there’s also more women entering the work force, the end of the Depression and Rayon, invented in the 1930s, becaming mainstream. Paris, which was occupied by German forces, was no longer the center of fashion and New York came into its own.

Now you might be wondering, if all that’s true, where can I see more cool 1940’s fashions? Well, I have a whole Pinterest board devoted to the decade. I will confess it’s a little bit of a harder decade to research, because much of the material is still in copyright. However, you can still find stuff around if you dig.

Hazel & Her Wardrobe: A 1940s Paper Doll to Print & Color

In other news, I signed a lease, so I am now in the midst of hard core packing. I think I have enough backlog saved up that the blog will continue as usual, but I will be slow to reply to comments or emails and such until the end of September, I think.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I’ll be spending mine packing up boxes.

As always, I love to hear what people think in the comments.

Hazel Visit’s the 1940s: The Doll and Her First Dress


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Hazel- a paper doll and her 1940s afternoon dress. She's the first in a series for 1940s paper dolls.

May I be honest with y’all? I like y’all, so I feel I can be honest.

I have been super busy in the last few days looking for an apartment. I have finally found a spot I like and am now starting to pack. So, during the chaos, I have fallen back on the Mini-Maidens. Frankly, they are the only series I can scan and prep in just one night.

I mean, I’d like to say I did this for purely artist reasons, but really it was a mental health decision.

Plus, I printed out some images from the 1940s as source material weeks ago and I decided to get the darn paper doll set done.

Anyway, today we have Hazel, one of the Mini-Maidens. She’ll be getting an early 1940s wardrobe. Because nothing says, stress relief like a 1940s fashion paper doll, am I right?

Why the early 1940s? Because the styles changed dramatically after World War 2. I wanted to look at the fashions for the first part of the decade, except for one purse that slipped in accidentally. You can check it out come Thursday where there will be an Accessory Thursday post. I know that will make some of you happy.

So, Hazel here has one dress for today. It’s based on this uncredited image from a magazine from 1940 that I found in the New York Public Library Digital Collections. I did my best on the hat, but I’ll openly confess that I am not totally pleased with how it came out. Still, you can’t please all the people all the time or even one artist most of the time. I struggle with hats, but I won’t get better if I don’t practice.

Thoughts on the 1940s? Is it an era you like? Or hate? I find people seem to be pretty adamant about this decade one way or the other.

Hazel’s Futuristic Fashions: A Paper Doll Coloring Sheet

Mini Maidens Logo- Hazel's Futuristic Fashions See this is where I would LOVE to say that this was some grand plan of mine to counter balance my post-apocalyptic paper doll set from last Friday against today’s futuristic paper doll coloring sheet, except that I totally didn’t plan it out that well. I am NOT that organized- except when I am and on those occasions, expect bragging.

The truth is that I am out of backlog which is hyper rare for me and not very fun, so I literally was working on this paper doll set at 11:30 last night, trying to get it all saved and then woke up early this morning to write this post before work. I do not like working this way, Sam I am. I do not like it at all.

So, hopefully this weekend (during which I do not have to work), I will finally be able to sit down and work solidly for a few hours and get some paper dolls ready for blog food. For the blog is like a monster, as I once explained, and it hungers.

Today, it gets to snack on a futuristic fashion paper doll with thirteen pieces. I have to confess I was a little jealous of Boots “separate head” method of making paper dolls while I struggled to think about all these high necklines on these paper doll clothes. But I guess you can always print out too, cut one’s head off and glue it to the other paper doll if you like. What’s a little paper doll surgery among friends?

Hazel's Futuristic Fashions is a paper doll coloring sheet featuring a futuristic/sci-fi clothing. There's eleven pieces of clothing, including two pairs of boots. She's free to print from paperthinpersonas.com

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So, if the B&B paper doll last week was ready for the end of the world, I think today’s paper doll is much more about a semi-utopian future with glass dome houses, lots of white and probably space ships. You know, a very Star Trek kinda place.

To make her shirt on the left with the ridged shoulder, you’ll need to attach the floating tab, because the shoulder pieces stick out above the shoulder and otherwise the garment won’t fit properly. Just an FYI for everyone.

I have been seriously considering trying out Periscope to film myself maybe live inking a paper doll set? Is that something people would find interesting? Worth trying out or no?

Beauty in Bloomers: A Steampunk Paper Doll inspired by Amelia Bloomer

logo-bloomer-steampunkOnce in a while, I host little drawings for custom paper dolls. I do them rarely, because frankly they are time consuming.

Anyway, last June I held one. People submitted custom paper doll suggestions. You can see all of them on the original contest post. The winner of the drawing was Lina, but I added all the ideas to my paper doll ideas list. Today’s paper doll comes from an idea submitted back then. (See, I do sometimes draw things people request.)

Erin Winslow proposed a steampunk set based on Amelia Bloomer’s women’s dress reform movement costume. My first thought was, “No Way!”

Because, honestly, I really didn’t like the Bloomer Dress. I’ve always thought it was both unflattering and kinda ugly. Why would I want to draw something I thought was ugly?

And then… rather unexpectedly, I found myself thinking… I should draw it because I find it ugly. I should tackle a style I dislike for a paper doll set. I should stretch. Plus I recently read a this book on Victorian dress reform movements.

First, I had to gather sources and ideas. You can see a collage of these below.

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I remembered somewhere I had seen a photo of a female doctor wearing a Bloomer costume. That was where I started thinking about doctors cases and I found that Pat Stall, one of my favorite paper doll artists ever, had done an Amelia Bloomer paper doll set. I found some wonderful modern pieces and then a few great cartoons from various Victorian periodicals. I felt like I was on my way towards a set I might actually like.

An Amelia Bloomer inspired steampunk paper doll, because why not? Exclusive to paperthinpersonas.com.

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I decided to cast Hazel as my bloomer wearing steampunk Doctor. I gave her glasses and some doctor bag inspired accessories. She has three dresses to go over the two pairs of bloomers. Her vest, shirt and skirt can be worn over any of the bloomers as well. I did not make my bloomers quite as full as those worn by Amelia Bloomer. Despite creating this paper doll set, I still find the look to be astonishingly unflattering. Never the less, here is my foray into the world of steampunk bloomer costumes.

Plus, I got to draw Victorian glasses and that was fun. 🙂

As most of my readers have figured out by now, I’m currently conducting a survey about developing products to open a Paper Thin Personas store in the next year and some other stuff. It’ll only take about 15 minutes and I’ll send you a thank you paper doll if you leave me your email at the end. (The emails are deleted out of the survey results immediately to keep things as anonymous as possible. So, no worries about that.)

Check out the Survey Here!

Thanks again to everyone whose already done the survey! I’m closing it on Saturday, so I can begin to analyze the results. I’ll share some of my discoveries sometime in the next few weeks.

Hazel’s Fresh Fashions: A Paper Doll Coloring Page

logo-hazel-freshSometimes, I create paper dolls and I have a lot to say about them. I can wax philosophical about what I was thinking and feeling and….

Other times, I just have a paper doll that I’ve drawn and I really haven’t got much to say about her. Today’s paper doll falls into the category of I don’t have a lot to say about her.

Partly, I think this is because I drew her last year and she’s been sitting quietly in my unfinished folder waiting to be finished. By the time I was ready to post her, I hadn’t really anything to say. I do think it is important to post a variety of different paper dolls and I am not giving up non-historical sets while I’m on my historical paper doll drawing binge.

Hazel’s summery paper doll wardrobe is fairly basic. She has two bottoms, five tops and three dresses. Her two pairs of sandals are a little chunky, but that seems to be the style as of late. There’s a total of 26 outfit options here which I think really makes the paper doll versatile. She can share clothing, of course, with the rest of the Mini-Maidens paper dolls.


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On Monday, I posted a poll about which historical period I should research next. The options were intentionally selected to be fashion eras that I either knew very little about or have generally thought that I didn’t like. If you haven’t voted, please do.

What historical period should I research next? (And therefore make a paper doll of...)

  • Ancient Greece and Rome (33%, 32 Votes)
  • Rennissance Italy (22%, 21 Votes)
  • The Mod Look of the 1960s (21%, 20 Votes)
  • The 17th Century (16%, 15 Votes)
  • The 1830s (8%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 96

Loading ... Loading ...

The poll closes on the 29th. So far it seems that Greek/Roman has surged ahead. I am surprised. I confess that I thought Renaissance Italy would win by a landslide. Never the less, vote if you wanna and we’ll see where it ends up. 🙂

Hazel’s Fantasy Gowns: Black and White Paper Doll

logo-hazel-fantasyToday’s printable paper doll is Hazel getting to rock some fantasy gowns. Sometimes I feel odd posting a lot of the same styles of things in a row, as I know I have readers who are into all sorts of different things, but I have certainly been on a fantasy gown drawing kick. Never fear, the March fashion magazines are out and Monday there will be something “completely different.”

That is to say, my other contest winner will get her paper doll set and it is not a fantasy set in the traditional sense.

I suppose in some senses every set is a little bit fantasy. I mean, most of these pieces of clothing, even my contemporary ones, don’t exist in real life. However, I think it is more useful to think in terms of fantasy as a genre. Since I think it helps people find what they might like around here.


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Later this week, I’ll show off some of the stuff from my sketchbook (likely tomorrow or Friday) and then Monday there will be a Marisole Monday Post and then I’m not sure what’ll go up next. I have a few different things done.

As always, enjoy the paper doll!

Hazel’s Geometric Style: A Printable Paper Doll To Color

A printable paper doll to color named Hazel and her twelve piece wardrobe. Logo image. When it comes to pattern building, I find geometric patterns are easy if you have a drafting stencil handy (which I always do). For today’s printable paper doll to color, I wanted to create something that played with pattern, but in a distinct style. I tend to prefer florals in the real world over geometric patterns, so I often draw them instead for my paper dolls. I think geometric patterns are a little more urban and hip than my vintage inspired funky floral patterns tend to be.

I also wanted to contrast Hazel’s vintage paper doll set with something much more urban chic, so I did this set which I think came out pretty well. I particularly like her braided hair that comes back to a tight set of curls. I saw that on a student on my campus recently and I thought it was a really neat way to style box braids. (Forgive me if I get my braid terminology wrong- I’m still learning.) I will confess that I am beginning to feel, as I often do when I work with one paper doll style (contemporary) for too long that I need a break.

So, things might be getting a bit more fantasy and strange around here soon enough.

Of course, considering how far ahead I tend to work, soon enough might be several months…

(Actually less, as I have worked through my backlog leaving me dangerously low on content.)


A printable paper doll to color named Hazel and her twelve piece contemporary fashion wardrobe. Free printable coloring sheet from paperthinpersonas.com

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Not having any backlog is always a rather dangerous place for me to be, as I tend to dislike working against a wire.

Plus, I have busy academic things happening in this month, so I might have to put the blog on Haitus. I had hoped to not do that at all this year, but my academic (and work related) life comes before my paper dolling.

Mini-Maidens: Meet Hazel

So, I finally named my 4th of July paper doll with Mary’s suggestion, Hazel. I thought Hazel was a vintage sounding name to go with a vintage inspired set of costumes. I rather like how she turned out and I think her dresses are all very pretty. In my mind, Hazel is of African descent and is perhaps from London (though that would make her celebrating the 4th of July a little wierd).

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Random Rachel Story Time: When I was traveling around the UK in college, I spent several days in Newcastle hanging out with two wonderful girls from London who were both British-Nigerian. They rescued me from a rather awkward encounter with an older Irish man (fairly common problem in hostel traveling) and we spent the next two days traveling to art museums in the area together. I meant to look them up later when I was back in London, but I never got around to it.

Despite the inspiration, I openly confess it was really tough to get the features to look at all ethnically accurate while also being so stylized.

I wanted to thank everyone, though I will comment as well, who was so kind as to post Marisole ideas. I definitely think more than a few of them have potential. Every time I get frustrated with this blog, I am reminded of the quality of readers that I am so lucky to have.

Happy 4th of July…

Happy Independence Day!

So, in celebration of the 4th of July, here in the United States, I offer a paper doll, as usual. I mean, I don’t know how else I was going to celebrate. I’ve done some 4th of July paper dolls in the past… like these Marisole Monday rocking some 18th century attire which I had a lot of fun drawing.

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At home, in Alaska, they have fireworks at midnight on the 3rd of July, because it doesn’t get dark until about 10 pm. In Alabama, where I live currently, I have no idea what they do, but I can hear the fireworks from my apartment. I had a quiet 4th which, after two weeks of constant travel and stress, was just what I wanted.

This is a new member of the Mini-Maiden Family. I am thinking of naming her something that begins with H, but I am having trouble coming up with an idea. There aren’t a lot of good H names out there… So, at the moment I am divided between Helen or Hannah… neither of which I’m too smitten with. Suggestions from the audience?