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.

amelia-bloomer-steampunk-collage

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.

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?

Isadora Goes to the Ball: A Fantasy Princess Printable Paper Doll Coloring Page

logo-isadora-ballgownThis is not an Independence Day paper dolls, but I have some links to a few down at the bottom of the post. This is a princess paper doll.

Let’s be honest for a moment: A lot of the appeal of princesses lies in their glorious dresses.

We all know intellectually that being a princess would kinda suck. (There’s a great video about this by Amy Schumer.) You’d have to marry someone who you likely didn’t choose. Your value would be entirely defined in your ability to produce an heir. Also, that person you would marry might end up being your cousin.

Never the less, your wardrobe would rock.

So, I’m not sure if Isadora would be a princess, because she doesn’t have a crown. Do princesses need crowns? I suppose they should if they are coronated. But once they get coronated than are they actually queens?

Royal stuff is complicated.
isadora-ballgowns-fantasy-paper-doll

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These three gowns are all ball-gowns in my head, but the glory of paper dolls is that we can choose what they are. Maybe these are what Isadora wears to the grocery store. Actually, if I had these dresses, I might wear them to the grocery store, though I have been told that driving in a hoop-skirt is really difficult.

So, this is the fourth of July or Independence Day in the USA. I did not, however, get a thematic paper doll done. If you wish for one, then I recommend Hazel’s 4th of July set, my Marisole Monday & Friends 18th century 4th of July set or Marisole Monday’s Nautical set which, while not technically 4th of July related, does have a red white and blue color scheme.

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.

Faye’s Fashionable Geometrics: Black and White Modern Paper Doll

logo-faye-geometricSo, I’m posting a third paper doll this week, because I totally only posted one paper doll last week. I guess this is my “apology” paper doll. 🙂

Faye here is rocking some modern outfits with geometric patterns. As I think I mentioned before, Faye is named for a Chinese student I knew in graduate school. Someone asked me how I name my paper dolls and really it is mostly out of the clear blue sky, though I tend to avoid naming them after people I’ve known who I didn’t like. There’s certain names that shall never grace a paper doll.

I used one of my favorite tools to create the patterns in this paper doll set. It’s called a drafting template and they come in all different styles. I wrote about my favorite tools a while ago. Anyway, I love them and they make from a great starting point for interesting patterns on paper doll clothes.

I usually draw a single repeat or two of my pattern and then construct the pattern in Photoshop. It’s not a hard process, but is it something people would like to learn about? I could do a tutorial I think.


fayes-fashionable-geometrics-paper-doll
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Hazel also has a heavily geometrically inspired set of clothes from last year entitled Hazel’s Geometric Style. When I first named today’s paper doll set, I nearly used the same name which would have been awkward. The similar styles I think lend themselves to lots of fun mix and match opportunities though. If you combine today’s paper doll set with Hazel’s Geometric Style there’s 274 outfit possibilities, not even including the accessory items. Pretty remarkable.

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.


hazel-fresh-fashion-paper-doll
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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.


hazels-fantasy-gown
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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!

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.

Faye’s Runic Adventures: A Printable Paper Doll

logo-faye-runicNothing exists in a vacuum. This means that anything which is created inevitably is developed from previously existing content. This doesn’t bother me. I love combining diffrent parts to get a unique whole.

Today’s paper doll was primarily inspired by this drawing I found on Pinterest which is originally from what appears to be a live action role playing game in England called Empire from the fictional country of Wintermark’s costumes.

Who knew?

This image was not my only inspiration. I was also influenced by traditional Japanese hairstyles and vikings. Everything is better with vikings or pirates or pirate vikings….


faye-runic-paper-doll

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Seriously, I should do a set of pirate vikings. I can picture it now… horned helmets and jolly roger flags.

On second thought… maybe I shouldn’t do that.

Moving on… Faye’s world is a harsh one. Her people are known for their skill in leather and silver work. Of a fairly high status, she wears her hair in an elaborate style decorated with a metal ornament. The society travels long distances, mostly by river, and are known for their belief in astrology and careful tracking of the movements of the stars. Their calendars are prized throughout the world for their accuracy. They exist in small townships and a few larger groups. They do not have a centralized government, as we would call it, and form alliances through trade agreements and marriage. They are a largely matriarchal society.

I do have a lot of fun inventing this stuff. 🙂

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.