Suit From the Mid-1950s

A fitted suit from 1956 with bucket hat and matching necklace. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
When I think of the 1950s, I think of suits and dresses. Sure, pants and shorts existed, but I always think of crisp suits and soft dresses. So, I knew I wanted to do a suit or two.

There’s really two fashionable shapes for suits in the 1950s. One is tight and sleek. The other is a fitted bodice and a full skirt as in Dior’s New Look.

Personally, I love both.

Today’s suit though is of the tight skirted variety.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
I was really intrigued by this pattern from Advance, because I am always am fascinated by the idea of separates in the past. It’s an idea that has been around for as long as I think women have been getting dressed. You can see the concept as far back as the 18th century when different jackets would be paired with different skirts. I suspect you could trace it back further, but I never have attempted too.

Specific Source Images: Advance 8114

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls &  more paper dolls from the 1950s
Around the Internet: Since I mentioned Dior’s New Look, you can read more here .

Last Thoughts
My lovely supporters on Patreon will be getting another suit on Friday. So, be sure to check that out if you’re a patron.

Additionally, I am considering doing another 100 day project this year. Last year, I drew 100 dresses and took pictures of them on Instagram. You can see them all here.

Summer Dress from 1951 with Hat & Purse

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
Vintage clothing, like the 1950s, are fascinating to me, because really women’s clothing hasn’t dramatically changed in the last 80 years or so. So, I think what makes the 1950s really the 1950s are the accessories- the hats, purses and gloves that women don’t wear anymore.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
I wanted to draw a summer day dress when I stumbled across these digitized images from Montgomery Ward Spring Summer 1950 catalogs posted by the Closet Historian. Basically, I wanted an excuse to draw one of those fantastic straw hats.

Specific Source Images: Simplicity 3572, Montgomery Ward Spring Summer 1950 catalog and this purse from the Met.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls &  more paper dolls from the 1950s
Around the Internet: Check out the Vintage Pattern Wiki for more 1950s and other vintage pattern goodness.

Last Thoughts
Because I might be a tiny bit OCD, the green in today’s dress matches the green in the sandals from this set.

Patreon on Friday will also be a 1950s dress. Also, I think this is a collab Friday, but I haven’t even drawn mine yet. I should get on that.

Sapphire & The 1950s

A curvy black paper doll with historical underwear from the 1950s and three pairs of shoes. Her underwear and shoes come from various museum collections. Her short black hair is styled based on black actresses and singers of the 1950s.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
Some themes I know I want to explore from the very beginning of a paper doll project and this was one of those themes. I knew I wanted to do a 1950s paper doll.

I love 1950s clothing. Also, historical paper dolls are what I mostly collect and were my favorites as a child. So, it is a win-win all around for me.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
I really wanted to start with a basic set of underwear (strapless to accommodate evening gowns) and four pairs of shoes. I wanted the shoes to be mix and match-able with the dresses I designed around the same time (I’ll be sharing those later.)

One of my favorite tricks for hair from this era (or any time in the last 90 years) is to chose from actresses in Hollywood. Not only did actresses set the hairstyles of their time, but they are often more racially diverse than models in magazines or catalogs (until 1970 when that improves a bit).

For Sapphire’s hair, I based her style off the hair styles worn by Dorothy Dandridge and Leana Horne in the 1950s. Dorothy Dandridge was an actress who died young, sadly. Lena Horne was a wildly successful singer who did some acting, but mostly was known for her singing.

Specific Source Images: These shoes, these shoes, these shoes and these sandals all from The Met. This corset from the V&A. Photos of Lena Horne and Dorothy Dandridge (Here’s the same hair again on Dorothy Dandridge in 1954). I like it when I see the same hairstyle on several actresses, because then I know it wasn’t just a quirk of one woman, but something several women chose to wear.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls &  more paper dolls from the 1950s
Around the Internet: Check out The Met and The V&A, both of which have great costume collections. Also, check out my 1950s fashion Pinterest Board.

Last Thoughts
I had a lot of fun creating a “set” of clothing for Sapphire, so tune in for the next few days. I’ll be sharing 1950s fashions. It’s going to be super fun.

Want an extra paper doll or dress each week? Than join us on Patreon.

Architectural Evening Gown for the Paper Dolls

A beautiful architectural eveninf gown in green with a origami style bodice for the paper dolls to print.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I have themes I return to over and over again. Evening gowns are one of them. They are sort of the “comfort food” of my drawing life. I enjoy creating them and, best of all, they are pretty easy to draw.

The challenge of evening gowns is not always drawing basically the same thing over and over again.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
I really have been in love with architectural evening gowns lately. I love the complex folded patterns. They’re also fun to try to draw. However, they often need extra tabs, like the floating tab I created fr this one. You’ll want to attach it to the shoulder.

Specific Source Images: This dress which I think is from Hannibal Laguna, though I haven’t been able to match it to specific season.

Learn/See More
On the Blog:More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls
Around the Internet: My Pinterest Board devoted toFormal Gowns and Cocktail dresses

Last Thoughts
It occurs to me I haven’t done a cocktail dress yet for the Jewels and Gemstones paper dolls. I probably should get on that. A project for another day, I think.

In case you missed it, I am changing things up in regards to scheduling. I’m just updating when I feel like it and time allows. If you want a weekly update, join Patreon. There will be a Friday paper doll outfit there every week. Also, you can sign up for email notifications and the will let you know when the site has updated.

Archives Delve Superhero Paper Dolls!

In honor of Monday’s super hero paper doll, I thought it would be fun to show a few of the other Super Hero paper dolls I’ve drawn over the years. Also, I saw Captain Marvel this week and really enjoyed it. I guess I’m just in a super hero mood!

Super Hero Paper Dolls!

An interesting fact about comic books: Before digital printing, comics were printed using four color printing. The colors were yellow, cyan (blue), magenta (red) and black. Every other color was made up of dots of these colors printed in various percentages. This meant there were only about 64 colors that could be used in comic books and, in reality, about half of them in darker shades looked the same in print.  So, choices were often made based on which colors were more easy to print and would stand out. That’s why bold color contrasting combinations (red and blue, green and purple, blue and yellow, ect… ) tend to show up. It was easier to print and  you got better results.

So, I tend to stick to this same principle when I’m designing Super Hero paper dolls. Meanwhile, as some of you probably already figured out, I’m stepping away from a regular schedule. I’ll be updating erratically- ideally three times a week or so, but no promises on that either.

If you want more regular updates, then join us on Patreon where there will be a Friday paper doll or outfit.

Pirate Costume for the Paper Dolls! Sailing the High Seas

We're having fun with pirates today with a printable pirate costume for the paper dolls including a top, hat, sword, pants and boots.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
My favorite book as a child was Treasure Island. I’ve read it many many times now and I love it more each time. I even listened to it on audio while driving between states during my move. The characters are incredible and every-time I read it, I notice something new I didn’t see before.

Through Treasure Island, I fell in love with super old-school adventure novels. By high school, I had read Robinson Crusoe, Three Musketeers, Count of Monte Cristo and Kidnapped. My first love though remains Treasure Island.

Three Musketeers is a close second.

So, I like to draw pirate outfits. I blame is enjoyment on my love of Treasure Island. I suppose I could blame it on something else, I don’t know what I would point to.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Pirates, of course. Not real pirates (who I expect were rather smelly and dirty), but fantasy pirates who are much more fun and less likely to have scurvy.

Specific Source Images:This image from Pinterest

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Pirate Paper Dolls, Another Jewels & Gemstones Foray into the Genre & More Jewels and Gemstones Generally
Around the Internet: My Pinterest board section devoted to Pirates.

Last Thoughts
By the way, I’m doing March Meet the Maker on Instagram (mostly, though I am also posting to Facebook when it makes sense) and if you want to follow along, you can follow me on Instagram.

My patrons got a Pirate set on Monday and that set does mix and match with this set. What more paper dolls? Then come join up on Patreon.

What were your favorite books as a kid? Did you love pirate stories or something else? I was a pirates and fairy tale fan. Not shocking, I know.

Superhero: Lightning Cloud

A colorful superhero costume for the paper dolls! Chose color or a coloring page. Mix and match with other clothing for the Jewels & Gemstone paper dolls.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I am not great at coming up with superhero names. Let me state that straight up, but superheroes are really popular at the moment.

When I was designing this paper doll outfit, I was not thinking of contemporary superheroes, but rather the cartoon superheroes of my youth. Lots of bright colors, spandex and implausible outfits. It was the early 1990s, after all.

As for power, I don’t know. Probably something lightening related? I mean… or a Storm from the X-men rip off. I’m flexible.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Three of my favorite childhood cartoons were the X-men, She-Ra Princess of Power and Batman: The Animated Series. Batman was my favorite, but I have to say… man, that show was a lot darker than I remember thinking it was when I was 8.

Specific Source Images: Nothing today!.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Super Hero paper dolls & More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls
Around the Internet: There’s a surprisingly detailed article on Batman: The Animated Series on Wikipedia and a much less detailed one on She-Ra: Princess of Power.

Last Thoughts
Has anyone noticed that “Super Hero” and “Superhero” both seem to be correct in the English language? That’s just annoying. English should really get it’s orthography sorted, darn it! (Clearly, I am such an English major.)

I owe a big thank you to the folks on Patreon. Your support means the world to me & your patience has been amazing! You’re all great.

So, I am changing things up in regards to scheduling. I am not going to promise a daily or three days a week or anything schedule. I’m doing update when I feel like it. If you want a more consistent schedule, than join Patreon. There will be a Friday paper doll outfit there every week.