Edwardian Mia: A Paper Doll Evening Gown


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A pale blue and yellow Edwardian paper doll dress. Also available in black and white for coloring. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

Somehow, it just seems fitting to wrap the week with a ballgown. I mean, everyone needs at least one ballgown. I struggled with finding an Edwardian era ballgown that I liked. Most of the ones I saw were just too lacy for my taste. Eventually, I came across one from the book Victorian and Edwardian Fashions from “La Mode Illustrée” published by Dover. As much as I love the internet, I do really like having a few good costume plate books around for reference, because they often give contextual information which is helpful. This particular ballgown was recommended for young matrons, which I assume means ladies who were just married.

I’ll confess right now that I don’t always get Victorian categorizations of age and/or class.

What I do know is that ballgowns were, short of court dress, the most formal gowns a woman would ever own. In fact, many women would wear their wedding gown after their wedding as a ballgown for the coming year. Can I just say that it makes WAY more sense to me to buy a gown you’re then going to wear to balls than to pay like 5,000 dollars for a dress you wear once?

That just seems insane.

And yes, these comments might come out of my odd fascination with “Say Yes to the Dress.”

Anyhow, back to paper dolls… Here’s the whole of this week’s set if you missed any of the pieces.

An Edwardian Paper Doll Wardrobe For Mia

So, in this new format, we have so far had five weeks of paper dolls ranging from Monica’s Neo-Victorian week to last week’s mermaids. I’ve been wondering what people might most like to see next. I have several sets “in progress” and I’m out of backlog (eep!), so this weekend I’ll be working on one of these sets. No promises I’ll get it done in time for Monday, but I am super curious what people might like to see next. 🙂

What should Rachel Work on this Weekend?

  • Marisole Monday & Friends Fantasy Gowns (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Sprites in Wonderland (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Little Red Ridinghood inspired Mini-Maidens (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Marcus as a Wizard (14%, 13 Votes)
  • Ms. Mannequinn Hip-Hop Fashions (8%, 7 Votes)
  • B&B Medieval Inspired Fantasy Gowns (6%, 6 Votes)
  • Post-Apocalyptic B&B (4%, 4 Votes)
  • B&B Steampunk Outfits (2%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 93

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Note: I was a little surprised that “Mini-Maiden Little Red Riding Hood option” won by such a landslide, so I checked the voting logs. Seventeen votes came from the same IP address within the same time frame for that choice. Clearly, someone too the “vote early, vote often” mandate to heart, but since I noticed it, I have removed those votes from the system.

Edwardian Mia: Accessory Thursday


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Edwardian paper doll accessories including shoes, hats, purses, furs, gloves and a parasol. Who doesn't need a parasol? Free to print for the Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll series from paperthinpersonas.com.

Accessories are tough. I always struggle to decide how many pieces is “enough” pieces. Part of learning to work in this new daily format has been about deciding, “How much makes up a post?”

Anyway, that’s all by way of saying, I might have gotten a little carried away on this one.

I have a lot of sources to site for this eclectic collection of pieces. The shoes in this accessory set come from two different sources. The white pair of shoes comes from Philadelphia Art Museum. The boots are from this advertisement from The NYPL Digital Library. Both pairs are from 1908, sticking them right at the end of the era I’m interested in. The purses come from this particular page from the 1902-1903 catalog of the Chas. A. Stevens & Bros out of Chicago. Her parasol was based on this one, sort of. I think the resemblance is a little spotty.

The hats come from a range of sources. The lavender and blue roses trimmed hat comes from this image from the NYPL Digital Gallery. Her furs and another hat come from this page from National Cloak & Suit Co‘s 1907 catalog. The truth is that hats of this era were very flamboyant. That makes them fun and challenging to draw.

If you like the blog, than consider supporting it on Patreon. None of this happens for free and every little bit helps keep things rolling along here.

Lastly, just because I’m super curious, what are your favorite paper doll accessories? Hats? Shoes? Books? Swords? What makes your experience more fun?

Also, I swear I did nothing but scan last night, so I am trying to decide what to work on this weekend. There’s a poll!

What should Rachel Work on this Weekend?

  • Marisole Monday & Friends Fantasy Gowns (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Sprites in Wonderland (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Little Red Ridinghood inspired Mini-Maidens (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Marcus as a Wizard (14%, 13 Votes)
  • Ms. Mannequinn Hip-Hop Fashions (8%, 7 Votes)
  • B&B Medieval Inspired Fantasy Gowns (6%, 6 Votes)
  • Post-Apocalyptic B&B (4%, 4 Votes)
  • B&B Steampunk Outfits (2%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 93

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Edwardian Mia: A Printable Paper Doll’s Promenade Dress


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A lavender paper doll promenade dress from the Edwardian era. Also available in black and white for coloring from paperthinpersonas.com.

Today’s printable paper doll dress is a promenade dress from 1908.

The gown is based on this illustration from an 1908 Macy’s Catalog. Macy’s was founded in about 1858 and had a thriving mail order business. Their catalogs are just a great source of information. I chose to not try to illustrate the stripes on the original dress fabric. I confess I am not too pleased with how the pleating on the skirt turned out. It should look much stiffer than it does, as taffeta is a very stiff fabric.

Oh well, no dress drawing is perfect.

In fact, a big reason I picked the Edwardian period was because I don’t have a lot of experience drawing these styles of dresses. One of the great challenges of this era is to capture the “pigeon breasted” look of the era. Bodices had a great deal of fullness in the front and then came into a narrow waist. This is actually a pretty challenging thing for me to illustrate in paper doll form.

Still, you get better at nothing unless you practice. So, this is me practicing.

While I chose lavender for today’s dress, the black and white version could be any color. The catalog describes this dress as a two-piece jumper model available in blue, red, green, brown or lavender. I think it would be stunning in red, too.

As always, I recommend printing from the PDF versions at the top of the post.

If you love the blog, than please consider supporting it on Patreon.

Hope everyone has a lovely Wednesday and remember: Accessory Thursday tomorrow!

One last little thing, I am trying to decide what to work on this weekend. I’m out of backlog and have a ton of stuff in process, so to help me focus I am asking my readers what they think.

What should Rachel Work on this Weekend?

  • Marisole Monday & Friends Fantasy Gowns (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Sprites in Wonderland (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Little Red Ridinghood inspired Mini-Maidens (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Marcus as a Wizard (14%, 13 Votes)
  • Ms. Mannequinn Hip-Hop Fashions (8%, 7 Votes)
  • B&B Medieval Inspired Fantasy Gowns (6%, 6 Votes)
  • Post-Apocalyptic B&B (4%, 4 Votes)
  • B&B Steampunk Outfits (2%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 93

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Edwardian Mia: A Paper Doll’s 1908 Walking Suit


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An Edwardian paper doll's walking suit in navy blue. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

Today’s installment for Mia’s Edwardian Wardrobe is a walking suit. I figure every paper doll needs a good suit, just like every person needs one good suit.

Suits were very much in fashion for ladies at the turn of the 20th century. This one is a navy blue wool and trimmed in gold braid and grey velveteen.

Here’s the 1908 suit that today’s paper doll outfit is based on a page from this 1908 Macy’s catalog. Suits could be ordered in a variety of styles and in a variety of fabrics. The fabric selection dictated the cost of the suit- a more expensive tweed made for a more expensive suit than simple wool.

I’ll confess this is not a literal re-drawing of the source material. I ended up simplifying the suit a fair bit and I sorta designed my own hat based on some others from the era. Hats in this period got to be a bit much sometimes.  In case, you’ve never made a hat like this, here are some instructions I wrote up a while ago.

If you missed the doll to go along with this paper wardrobe, here she is from Monday.

Also, as a friendly reminder, I have printing instructions here and you can find the black and white versions of the paper doll for coloring at the top of the post.

There, I think that’s all the housekeeping for the day.

Enjoy the paper doll! As always, I love to hear what you think. 🙂

Edwardian Mia: The Paper Doll and Her Underwear


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An Asian American paper doll with a set of Edwardian underwear. Also available in black and white for coloring from paperthinpersonas.com.

I was trying to decide which of the Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper dolls would model this series of Edwardian dresses and I settled on Mia.

I was inspired to use her as the model when I found this wonderful photograph of an Asian woman, just called Alice, wearing a suit from probably the 1890s or early 1900s.

Today, Mia gets just a set of Edwardian underwear and, I confess, not even a complete set. Women in this era wore, in order, a chemise and drawers, or a combination, under a corset. Over the corset, she would have worn a corset cover and over that a petticoat. I decided to just show her corset cover and petticoat, thereby skipping a few layers. Seriously, ladies in this era wore a lot of underwear!

I based her underwear on this page from a catalog from 1902-1903. Her hair is the best I could do trying to draw a Gibson girl kinda bun like these. Drawing Gibson girl buns is clearly not my strength.

Though out the week I’ll be posting outfits for Mia and accessories on Thursday (as usual). I hope you all enjoy this little foray into the first decade of the 1900s.

By the way, if you love the blog, consider becoming a patron. It’s really appreciated.

So, my question for all of you is, what to you think of this week’s theme?

Ursula & Zarchary Under the Sea: A Last Pair of Tails


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Paper doll mermaids get some wonderful paper tails! Free to print for the Sprites paper doll series from paperthinpersonas.com.

While I liked all the mermaid paper doll tails this week, I’ll confess openly that this is my favorite set of the bunch. It seems fitting to end the week on my favorite, doesn’t it?

Zachary’s tail was based on the eel and then Ursula’s tail as made to match. Of course, any of the Sprites can wear these tails.

I ran out of shirts for Zachary, so he doesn’t get one this round, but Ursula gets two to make up for it. And he does get a stylish knife and trident, though I suppose either of them could be wielding those weapons. I thought of him when I made them.

As I said with several of the other mermaid tails, I would recommend strongly adding floating tabs to the back of the tails as needed to secure them to the paper doll’s body. Also, if you missed Zachary and Ursula, I posted them on Monday. Any of the Sprites Dolls can wear these tails or any of the other tails! You can see the whole week’s work below.

Mix and Match Black Mermaid Paper Dolls!

I posted a blog on my Patreon page about finding inspiration a couple of days ago. You can read it over there for the next few days, but I’m closing it to non-Patrons on Monday. So hop over there and consider joining if you’s like to support the blog.

Want updates on the blog? Follow PTP on Twitter.

Ursula & Zarchary Under the Sea: Clothes for Dry Land


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A set of paper doll clothing for the beach! Designed for the Sprites paper doll series and also available in black and white for coloring.
Happy Thursday everyone! It’s just one more day until the weekend.

I know this is “mermaid week”, but it seemed to me that even mermaid’s might need to step off onto dry-land once in a while.

So, instead of Accessory Thursday, this week we have “shoes and dry land clothes” Thursday. That title just doesn’t roll off the tongue very well, does it?

But y’all know what I mean.

So, I have been traveling so much this last few weeks, I feel like I can’t keep track of where I am or what I am doing anymore. I colored this week’s paper dolls while visiting my Sister in Alaska and I am writing this post in Georgia where I am for a professional conference. I can’t wait to get a week where I don’t travel and can just have my quite at home routine of groceries, work, friends and art.

A few days ago, I posted a blog on my Patreon page about finding inspiration. You can read it here for the next few days, but I’m closing it to non-Patrons on Monday.

Ursula & Zarchary Under the Sea: More Mermaid Tails


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A pair of paper doll mermaid tails with tops for the Sprite paper doll series. Also available in black and white. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

May I make a confession? I always liked my mermaids more dark and creepy than sweet an innocent. A lot more drowning sailors and a lot less singing songs with hermit crabs.

However, I’m not really good at drawing creepy paper dolls, so these are a bit more “singing songs with hermit crabs” than they are “drowning sailors.”

If you missed the paper dolls to wear theses colorful mermaid tails then slip over to Monday’s post for them, but any of the Spite paper dolls can fit the tails. I should also mention that the tails may need floating tabs to be really secure. I confess I didn’t play-test them.

If you want paper doll updates on Twitter, I’ve split my person and “blog” twitter accounts, so follow here:@paperpersonas. And if you like the blog, than consider becoming a Patron.

All right my readers, how do you like your mermaids? Sweet and musical or dark and creepy?

Ursula & Zachary Under the Sea: Mermaids Tails!


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Mermaid tails and tops for the Sprites paper doll series. Also available in black and white. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com

As promised, today we have mermaid tails and the shirt that inspired this entire set. There are shirts like this all over the interwebs, but I liked the idea of a modern mermaid with a tongue in cheek style who wears a printed shirt with seashells, rather than the “real” thing. So, all my mermaid tops this week will be based on bikinis rather then the assumption that mermaids simply wear seashells.

Because, honestly, am I the only one who imagines wearing hard seashells as a bra would be really really uncomfortable? I bet any smart mermaid would take a well made swimsuit top in an instant.

Designing male paper doll mermaid tops is a little harder. I think they would mostly get in the way, but in the interest of being fair to Zachary and Ursula, I have included one.

If you missed the paper dolls to wear theses smashing tails then hop over to Monday’s post for them.

Today is also National Coloring Book Day, apparently. I don’t really get the appeal of coloring books (try as I might), but if you’re looking for a paper doll coloring page than here are all of mine. Even the posts that only show a colored version, there is a black and white version linked in the post, just like the black and white version for this set which is at the top of the post. (I hope that makes sense.)

If you want paper doll updates on Twitter, I’ve split my person and “blog” twitter accounts, so follow here:@paperpersonas.

Ursula & Zachary Under the Sea: Mermaid Paper Dolls (Tails to Come!)


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A pair of black paper dolls with blue hair and multi-colored dreadlocks.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Mermaid paper dolls? Where are the tails?”

So, yeah, there are no tails. This wasn’t my original plan.

My original plan was to have Zachary with a tail on Monday and Ursula with a tail on Tuesday. Then to post joint outfits for them on the following days. I thought this was a great plan, until I realized I could not fit the tail and the Zachary paper doll on the same page together. It simply did not fit.

And to think my layout problems were a thing of the past? Sigh.

So, instead we get two paper dolls and a promise of tails tomorrow. I swear these are mermaids. They’re just tailless mermaids.

Reminder that the black and white versions are linked up at the top of the post, if anyone is looking for it.

Anyway, Zachary and Ursula are both from the Sprites series which I introduced WAY back in January. As some of you may recall, I have been naming the Sprite faces in reverse alphabetical and I had gotten to the letter U, so Ursula it was.

I realized later that making the first Ursula paper doll a mermaid does bring up connotations of Disney’s A Little Mermaid, but that wasn’t my intention. I named the paper doll LONG before I picked out a theme and I could have started with a modern set, but mermaids were more fun. Her hair was inspired by this pin of a woman with teal hair on Pinterest.

Lastly, you love the blog, consider supporting it on Patreon. If you want paper doll updates on Twitter, I’ve moved them over to @paperpersonas.