Mini-Maiden’s Romantic Princess Gown


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Dress from Pinterest
A romantic fantasy gown for the Mini-Maiden paper doll series.
Today’s paper doll dress was very heavily influenced by this dress on Pinterest. It’s not an exact replica, but it is really very close.I really loved the romantic style of the dress. It just felt so fairy tale to me.

The ribbon detailing on the sleeves and the bodice was one of the things that drew me to the dress. I didn’t like how  the bodice and the waist seam cut off the lines of the dress, so I changed that for my version.

I sometimes feel a little guilting drawing such close replicas to other’s designs, but I also know that clothing designs can’t be copyrighted, so I refuse to feel too guilty about it.

In my head, this is the sort of paper doll gown that a paper doll wears while lounging on a stone bench in the garden near a fountain playing her stringed instrument and looking super amazing. It is the opposite of these fantasy outfits.

There is no practicality here at all, except perhaps her shoes which I wanted to be simple given the complexity of the dress.

I do regret not doing some pattern on the trimming on the shoes, but I shall survive.

Meanwhile, I am three weeks into my graduate program. So far things are going pretty well. I have more work ahead of me, but I am feeling pretty confident about it.

I will admit that I’ve been struggling to find time to draw. I want to draw, but somehow I can’t seem to quite get into the right mental place to let things go and just relax into the process.

Friday there’s an amazing paper doll dress planned. A 15th century Burgundian gown for the Ms. Mannequin series. It’s glorious.

Also, Rosh Hashanah starts tonight at sunset, so Shana Tova everyone! May your new year be sweet.

Mini-Maiden’s 1935 Dress & Shoes From Sears Magazine


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Sears Fashions from 1935
A black and white 1935 paper doll dress coloring page with shoes. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.
The Mini-Maiden paper doll series are getting some attention today with a 1935 dress and a pair of 1933 Shoes. Both the shoes that go with today’s day dress and the dress based on designs from the book, Everyday Fashions of the Thirties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs.

One of my favorite series of fashion history books are the Sears Fashions set from Dover Publications. Each book is a reprint of pages from Sears Magazines from a decade long period. There’s not a huge amount of contextual information, but they provide a vivid window into the fashions of the decade for children and adults. Plus, they are super reasonably priced, so not bad place to start a collection.

(Says the girl with over 50 fashion history books on her shelves.)

The 1930s is a fascinating period. Skirts get longer than the 1920s and there’s a lot of fun details like the scalloped collar on this dress. There’s also a lot of asymmetry in the styles as well which you can see from the side wrap style of today’s dress.

Right behind the 1920s (which are my first love) is the 1930s. Again, it’s not a period where it would look terribly good on me, but I love the details in the styles.

There’s also a theory in fashion history that really modern clothing begins in the 1930s and the changes that follow this era are fairly minor. I think there’s a lot of truth to that.

Really fashion hasn’t dramatically changed in the last 80 or so years.

So, what do people think of today’s paper doll dress? I always love to hear from people in the comments.

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

Summery Printable Paper Doll Clothing for the Mini-Maidens


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: What I see in the Summer Fashion Magazines
A pair of sleeveless tops and a pencil skirt with booties for a printable paper doll in black and white for coloring. Free from paperthinpersonas.com.
So, for today’s paper doll clothing I created a skirt and two sleeveless blouses for the Mini-Maiden’s printable paper doll series. The designs are straight from the fashion magazines that seem to pile up on my coffee table while I’m not paying enough attention.

Truth be told, I’m not a big fan of summer. I dislike the heat and I really dislike the humidty. I never felt this way until I moved to Alabama and now I’ve learned why people don’t like summertime.

I do, however, enjoy looking at the seasonal fashion magazines though and seeing different clothing ideas. Flipping through fashion magazines always seems to make me want to draw. I see all sorts of things I’d like to try to recreate for my paper dolls.

Today’s pair of sleeveless tops and skirt all come from different fashion magazines. I tend to use Instyle and People StyleWatch most often. They have very easy to see photos of clothing.

In the magazine, the paper dolls booties were heavily decorated with cut outs. When I tried to draw the cut outs, they ended up looking really odd. So, I have omitted them from today’s paper doll.

You’ll just have to imagine cut outs.

Love today’s paper doll clothing? Hate it? Let me know in a comment.

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

Mini-Maidens’ In a Medieval Fantasy Paper Doll Dress Coloring Sheet


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: 12th Century Clothing, Sort of, but Not ReallyA beautiful fantasy paper doll dress coloring sheet with a Lord of the Rings style fantasy gown and shoes. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

When I just feel like “generic fantasy”, I tend to fall back a lot on medieval looks. Sort of Lord of the Rings inspired, really. I think knights, castles, princess, dwarves, and dragons are all things I associate with classic fantasy.

It’s also a style I was asked for more of by several of my Patrons. I like to draw it as well, so I am happy to oblige.

I gave her a book as an accessory, because every paper doll should have a book. Besides, as a rare book librarian, I love drawing historical looking books.

Mini-Maiden paper doll dress coloring sheets I think are more fun if there is some pattern involved. While this might not be the most complex pattern, I really thought it added some beautiful depth.

The shoes are vaguely based on some from the book Stepping Through Time which is a wonderful book on historical footwear. It’s arranged by type of shoe construction which makes it a little confusing, but it is an amazing work.

Anyway, the shoes aren’t from any specific period. I just wanted to mention that book, because books about historical footwear are oddly hard to find.

Tomorrow, there will be some Ms. Mannequin designs and then on Friday, there’s this month’s paper doll collab 2017 outfit. Be prepared for spikes.

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

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.

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

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.