Mini-Maidens Visit the 1770s


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Dress From the 1770s, This Dress from 1775-1780 and This dress from the 1770s
A paper doll dress based on the designs of the 1770s. The dress has matching shoes and stockings. It is black and white for coloring and fits the Mini-Maiden paper dolls.
Today’s Mini-Maiden paper doll dress should have maybe been posted on the 4th of July since that is Independence Day, but I decided to hold off on it. I’m not sure why exactly, but I did. So now, I am posting it on the 19th of July for really no reason, except that I really love 18th century clothing.

Often when I created historical pieces, there is a specific piece I am recreating. I choose a dress that I love and then I draw it. That was the case with my 1820s morning dress for example, but today’s 1770s gown is much more an expression of several gowns from the era. This dress, this one and one more all from the 1770s are some of the source images that I combined. Check out my 18th century pinterest board for way way more examples of clothing from this era.

Because I did not use just one dress, there is a a lot of room for error. It is highly possible that someone from the 18th century would look at this dress and think it was way off for reasons I can never know.

Clothing is full of tiny nuanced rules. Most of these are never written down and are now lost to us on the whims of time. Mostly, I’ve come to accept this as part of the creative process. I’m never going to be perfect.

Perfect, I am fond of saying, is the enemy of good.

I can however been well researched. In the interest of that, I wanted to mention that Dover has just reprinted the book, Eighteenth-Century French Fashion Plates in Full Color edited by Stella Blum. This is a great book that I have been wanting for a while. So, I just ordered my copy and while I get no benefit from the link above, I wanted to mention it in case anyone else has been wanting this book.

Should I do more 18th century stuff? I have been thinking about maybe a riding habit. Thoughts?

Need a Mini-Maiden paper doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick a Mini-Maiden Paper Doll Here.

Mini-Maidens as a Paper Doll Warrior Woman


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Xena: Warrior Princess

A paper doll fantasy armor coloring page with wrist guards and a sword, boots and a knife. The outfit is designed to fit the Mini-Maiden's printable paper doll series.

As you know if you read this blog, I love Xena: Warrior Princess and I am not about to stop loving Xena: Warrior Princess anytime soon.

So, here’s yet another Xena inspired warrior outfit with more exposed skin than common sense dictates.

I realize that there are some Xena-esque outfits in the new Wonder Woman movie (which is a super fun film), but I drew this long before  saw it. I can’t claim any relation between this and that, but I am glad to see a return to absurd armor as a concept.

It’s really very pulpy. I suspect if you really wanted, you could trace a lot of this back to the pulps of the 1930s and 1940s. I am reminded of the Flash Gordon paper dolls I have seen.

And obviously, everyone should want Flash Gordon paper dolls.

I suppose my point is that there is nothing new under the sun and everything is constantly being revamped and recycled.

This recycling is part of why I love collecting reference images on Pinterest as much as I do and why I added the “Inspired By” to the tops of every post. I want people to know that rarely do these thing just “happen”.

I took a poetry class in college. The professor remarked that if you wait around for inspiration to strike, you’ll spend a lot of time waiting and you won’t really spend much of it creating.

In fact, I find I am at my most creative when I already am creating. Sure, everyone needs breaks, but often I find that once I start drawing for one series, other ideas flow much better for me.

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Mini-Maiden’s Paper Doll Sci-Fi Dress & Serious Boots to Print


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Dark Matter and My Sci-fi Fashion Pinterest Board

So, when I drew today’s printable paper doll outfit, I thought to myself, “Man, those are some serious boots.”

And I think I like the serious boots.

I love sci-fi shows. Currently, I’m watching Dark Matter. I started Dark Matter a few weeks ago and I just about done with season 1. It is a good paper doll drawing show- engaging, but not so complex that I can’t look away from the screen for inking purposes.

The costuming, however, is uninspired thus far. It’s a lot of very basic pieces and I find myself wishing for a little more interest. I suppose it is more realistic, but then I’m honestly not sure.

Is the assumption that people would be wearing basically what we wear today in the far future really that realistic? I mean, this is what people were wearing a 100 years ago. Certainly not what I am wearing as I type this blog post.

(In fact, any self respecting Edwardian would be scandalized by my sweats and over-sized t-shirt.)

The truth is that science fiction is more about the present than it is about the future, but that’s true about just about every art form on the planet, I suppose. Still would like some more interesting costuming though. Any shows out there with really stellar costumes I should check out?

Anyway, I had fun designing this strange dress. It was partly inspired by my Sci-fi Pinterest board, but mostly just kinda a random fun piece.

Need a Mini-Maiden paper doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick a Mini-Maiden Paper Doll Here.

The Mini-Maidens Go Adventuring in Steampunk Fashion (Plus, There’s a sword)


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Fantasy Steampunk Styles
A swashbuckling steampunk paper doll outfit to print and color for the Mini-Maidens paper doll series. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

So, I’m not really sure how to categorize this outfit. It could be steampunk, but it could also just be a fantasy adventuring outfit. I think the puffed sleeves lean me more towards steampunk, but the sword is sort of a fantasy swashbuckler accessory.

Anyway, whichever way you chose to categorize today’s paper doll creation, I think it is pretty cute. I had a lot of fun with impractical straps on the leggings.

Along with impractical legging straps, she has pouches on her belt to store all the sorts of things one needs to store- chapstick, money, pocket knife, hedgehog, whatever.

Her sword is a saber style. I have been trying to branch out in my sword styles, but I’ll confess that I’m not much of a sword expert. I mostly just search Pinterest for interesting looking stuff and go from there.

I decided to make her boots button up, rather than lace up, because at the time I was feeling steampunk. After I finished the outfit, I was less sure about the genre.

So, I haven’t mentioned it in the a while, but the blog has a Facebook page and if you would like to see regular updates from both the blog and the massive blog archives, go like it and such.

Open confession: I am still learning how to use Facebook which at my age is kinda embarrassing, but I am doing my best.

Meanwhile, let me know in a comment what you think of today’s paper doll outfit, I always love to hear from y’all.

Need a Mini-Maiden paper doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick a Mini-Maiden Paper Doll Here.

A Rockabilly Inspired Paper Doll Coloring Page


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Delaney, a Paper Doll From 2014
A rockabilly inspired paper doll dress covered in skulls, flowers, hearts and stars, plus matching boots. One of hundreds of paper doll designs from paperthinpersonas.com.
After you’ve created as many paper dolls as I have, I find I sometimes “forget” that certain paper dolls exist until I am going through my own archives for some reason. Part of the fun of the Facebook page is picking out older paper dolls to post each month, because I get to go back and see things that I barely remember or that I remember and think happened a lot sooner than I recall.

So, one I stumbled across was my Pixie printable paper doll named Delaney. She was a sort of sweet and punky paper doll with a little but of a vintage edge.

Using those same themes, I created today’s outfit for the mini-maiden printable paper doll series.

I am not totally pleased with how the pattern came out on the dress, I think the spacing is pretty poorly done, but I liked the concept at least.

And I think her boots are super cute.

The whole thing feels very rockabilly to me, but perhaps not to everyone. I confess that’s a style that I sometimes don’t feel like I totally understand.

If you want to color this to match Delaney, then I would go with pale blues and pinks, but I also think a black and red scheme could be really pretty. It is totally up to you, which is, I suppose, the point of having black and white paper dolls.

And, as I announced yesterday, there’s a new paper doll coloring sheet for purchase in my Etsy storeCheck it out, if you haven’t (and there’s a color version, too.)

Need a Mini-Maiden paper doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick a Mini-Maiden Paper Doll Here.

Mini-Maiden’s As a Superhero


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Superheros! And Stars!
A paper doll superhero costume coloring page for the Mini-Maiden paper doll series from paperthinpersonas.com.

The Mini-Maidens are getting their first paper doll superhero costume. I chose a star as the symbol and create the staff/wand to be her signature item. You can decide if it is a weapon or just a stylin’ accessory.

I have a love hate relationship with the superhero genre. On one hand, I really enjoy exciting movies that require only limited brain power. On the other hand, I struggle with the common lack of repercussions in the genre. The total destruction of New York is pretty common (sometimes it is Chicago) and rarely does anyone pause to ask if the ends justify the means.

Not to mention the fact that there’s a high level of sexism in the genre with female superheros regularly depicted in way that are designed to entice men rather than empower women. And I can’t recall the last superhero film that actually passed the Bechdel test (anyone know?) and so I find that the feminist in me struggles with the genre as a whole.

Nevertheless, last year superhero costumes outsold princess costumes at Halloween, so clearly there’s a cultural shift in this direction. While some of my friends are excited, because superheros they see superheros as less problematic than princesses, I am not sure I agree. Both are problematic in their own ways, but I want to create paper dolls the reflect the world around me and the world around me is full of superheros.

Plus, my patrons the Steger Family asked for them, so there’s another reason to create some more.

Still, I’ll probably always have mixed feelings about superheros.

Need a Mini-Maiden paper doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick a Mini-Maiden Paper Doll Here.

A Printable Paper Doll Fantasy Outfit Inspired by Turkish Dress (And Accidentally by a Movie)


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Turkish and Persian Clothing and This Picture on Pinterest
A black and white printable paper doll fantasy outfit based on 19th century Turkish clothing with a caftan coat, plus boots from paperthinpersonas.com.

So, I rarely draw things that are as close to the reference image as today’s paper doll fantasy outfit. I saw this picture on Pinterest and I really liked it. I later realized that this it is basically Kiera Knightly’s costume from Pirates of the Caribbean: At the World’s End. I was almost ashamed that I drew it after that, because I really dislike that film.

Still, once it was done and saved and ready to go, I didn’t want to just abandon it, because it was based off an awful movie costume. The costume is okay I guess, but the film is just so bad. Anyway, I decided I should just get over it and treat it like any other paper doll creation.

So, a little background- the coat in the picture and in this paper doll is based on a traditional Turkish clothing from the 19th century. Here’s an example from The Met, another one from The Met and a Victorian era rendition of the same garment.

There are, of course, a lot of differences between my version of the caftan, the biggest being that it closes all the way up to the neck. This was not how women really wore them back in the 19th century, but that’s what fantasy clothing is for, isn’t it?

I couldn’t see the bottom of the picture, so I decided mine was a gown and the wide leather belt and layers of armor were likely decorative. The paper doll’s boots were my attempt to draw upturned toes on shoes such as these ones and were another nod to Turkey.

What do you all think? Good paper doll outfit? Bad Movie? Thoughts? Let me know in a comment. I love to hear from you all.

Meanwhile, if you want to support the blog, then think about becoming a Patron or picking something up from the Etsy store.

Need a Mini-Maiden paper doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick a Mini-Maiden Paper Doll Here.

A Paper Doll Coloring Page of A Walking Dress From 1824


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Fashion plate From 1824, published in Ladies Pocket Magazine in January and boots like this and this.
A beautiful paper doll coloring page with an 1824 winter walking dress and boots. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

Today’s printable paper doll outfit is and 1820s dress, specifically a winter walking costume from about 1824. I don’t know why, exactly. It’s a fascinating decade and the fashions change very quickly. I think I sometimes find it a little too “frou-frou” which is odd given my love of the 1870s. If there ever was a “frou-frou” era, that would be it.

This 1820s dress is based on this fashion plate. The original featured a muff the size of a small pony, but I decided to omit the muff because I couldn’t figure out how it would stay on the paper doll.

I have been trying to practice my bonnet drawing skills. I am slowly getting better at them. They are surprisingly challenging to draw, but are such a critical part of 1820s dress.

Along with the walking costume and matching bonnet, I drew a quick pair of simple boots from the period, examples similar to these are here from the Met and here from the V&A.

You can see more examples of early 1800s dress on my Regency Pinterest Board.

Oddly enough, I haven’t done any other Regency/Empire historical clothing for the Mini-Maiden paper dolls. So, that might be something worth working on in the future.

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Need a Mini-Maiden paper doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick a Mini-Maiden Paper Doll Here.

A Mini-Maiden Fantasy Outfit & Some Words on the Design Process


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: A pair of cosplayers, a red tunic and this fantasy gown
A paper doll coloring page featuring a three piece fantasy outfit with leggings and tunics. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.
For someone who is as opposed to leggings as I am in the real world, I sure do enjoy drawing them as part of a good looking paper doll fantasy outfit.

When I am working on fantasy things, I often start by going through my Pinterest boards. I collect inspiring images there and it’s a great way to track what I have seen. So, as hard as it maybe to believe, this fantasy outfit as inspired by this pair of cosplayers, this red tunic and this fantasy gown.

Then I think a little about silhouette. Silhouette is the shape of a design and it’s critical when identifying different fashion eras. It is also a great way to design a consistent set of pieces.

The silhouette I settled on for this set was a high waisted tunics defined by a belt and leggings. This means all three pieces feel like they “go together” even if they are original fantasy designs.

I’d recommend thinking about silhouette when trying to design fantasy pieces. It makes things feel more consistent and therefore more realistic.

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Need a Mini-Maiden paper doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick a Mini-Maiden Paper Doll Here.

 

A 1930s Dress to Color & Dress a Paper Doll In


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Simplicity 1781 from 1935
A 1930s dress for the Mini-Maiden printable paper doll series in black and white to print and color for free.
So, this is my first 1930s dress for the Mini-Maidens paper dolls. That surprised me, but it is true. I even went through the archives to confirm- I’ve done 1920s and 1940s, but never a 1930s dress.

The dress is based on this pattern cover from Simplicity 1781 designed in 1935. The two part dress had an optional coat which I did not end up drawing. Mostly, what I liked about the dress’s design was the super cool square belt buckle.

Yes, sometimes I’m that easy to please.

I should add that I also really liked the pockets on the button of the top and the very art deco feeling of the whole piece, but mostly… mostly I liked the belt buckle.

One problem of doing my first mini-maidens’ 1930s dress is that I don’t have a really good Mini-Maiden doll with the right hair for the era. This Hazel has 1940s hair which doesn’t quite work. The closest two choices are probably my 1920s Faye paper doll whose wavy bob is not too far off or my steampunk Greta paper doll.

Clearly, this is evidence that I need to draw more than one 1930s dress for the Mini-maidens printable paper dolls.

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The Reader2017 coupon for 25% off in the Etsy store is good for just two more days. So, if there’s something you want, I’d grab it.

Now, I am curious. Should I do more 1930s stuff for the Mini-Maidens? Is there another decade you’d like to see? Let me know in a comment.

Need a Mini-Maiden paper doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick a Mini-Maiden Paper Doll Here.