A Lady in Armor: A Female Knight Paper Doll

Logo- Lady in Armor Allow me to be blunt, I am not one of those people who gets upset about skimpy lady armor. I am far too big of a fan of Xena and Hercules for that, but I think there is a place in my fantasy world for skimpy armor and there is a place in my fantasy world for practical armor and mostly there is a place for stuff that falls in-between. Today’s paper doll is a female knight whose armor falls more into the practical camp than the skimpy armor camp.

But don’t worry skimpy armor fans, I’ve got a B&B set planned that falls into that camp, too.

I knew I was going to give my female knight short hair from the beginning, but that was because I originally had conceptions of drawing a helmet. Well, helmets are HARD, so instead we have her without a helmet, but with short hair. Actually, I think the paper doll, if not her clothing, could easily hop into the modern era and be a young stylish Black woman in 2016, but right she’s being a young stylish knight.

Because girl's sometimes have to rescue their princes, here's a lady knight paper doll with four pieces of mix and match armor, plus plenty of accessories. Free to print and color. From paperthinpersonas.com.

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One of the reasons I like armor sets is that coloring them is really fast. I mean, armor is silver. That’s it. Done.

Uncreative, well, perhaps, but still I like my projects simple and straight forward.

Because girl's slay dragons too, here's a female knight paper doll with four pieces of mix and match armor, plus plenty of accessories. From paperthinpersonas.com.

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Over the years, I have always struggled with chainmail. I think this chainmail is slightly better than some, but I worry its too obvious where I patched together my swatches of tiny circles. Also, is it chainmail, chainmaile, chain mail or chain maile? Does anyone know?

That has been bothering me as I write up this post.

Anyway, happy Friday, y’all. Have a safe wonderful weekend.

Roses & Violins: A Lolita fashion Paper Doll in Color!

logo-classic-lolita-colorLast Monday, I mentioned I used a lot of Lolita fashion blogs to do my research for my Lolita fashion paper doll, but I didn’t mention which ones specifically, so let me clear that up.

My favorite Lolita fashion blog was F Yeah Lolita which had a great post on Building a Complete Lolita Wardrobe. Her wardrobe template starts with sixteen pieces which can be mixed and matched into 14 different outfit combinations. I actually think her advice rings true even if you’re not trying to build a Lolita wardrobe. A few mix and match basics and a good pair of shoes, can get you through many a week of work, especially on a tight budget. Other blogs I found useful and interesting were Parfait Doll, Lolita Fashion(Tumblr), Ruffles & Steam (tumblr) and Portal of Fantasy (tumblr).

I also totally love Lolita Fashion Update where Lolita brand releases are posted (though it hasn’t been updated in a while 🙁 ). Store sites were hit and miss. As far as I can tell, a lot of these Japanese brands to pre-release sales and it seems like things sell out and therefore never get posted to their store sites. (Maybe I’m wrong about this, but that’s been my gut instinct), here’s the brands I based my designs off of Mary Magdalene, Victorian Maiden, Innocent World and Angelic Pretty (though they tend more towards Sweet Lolita).

Okay, so I was looking for photos of Classic Lolita style to link, so people would know what I was basing this on and I found this photo of two Lolitas on the street wearing Classic Lolita dresses from Tokyo Fashion and one of them has the Violin purse! Check it out.  I was so excited to see the purse “in the wild”, so to speak. The larger version is a bit more complex than Mia’s mini paper version.

classic-lolita-fashion-paper-doll-color

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I’m a big believer in using color to tell a story. Years ago, a friend used to joke that Steampunk was “Gothic clothing colored brown” and there is some truth to that observation. Color has a lot of power. I could have gone Gothic Lolita or Sweet Lolita with these outfits if I had chosen another color scheme, but I liked the soft hues associated with Classic Lolita, so that was what I settled on. Also, I have a Sweet and Gothic Lolita paper dolls already which illustrate this principle by being the same set colored two different ways.

I’m still regretting that I didn’t draw her any hats or bows. It was totally my intention to, but then I forgot and then I didn’t notice I’d forgotten until it was too late. Sigh. A rose cover bonnet like these one would really fill out her look. Oh well, I’m just going to have to save for a different paper doll set, I guess.

There is an extra outfit over on my Patreon page– shoes, a parasol and dress. You don’t have to be a patron to download it and it will fit in with the rest of Mia‘s Classic Lolita wardrobe. Also give her some pink shoes to go with her more pink dresses.

If you like the Lolita fashion style, check out my Lolita tag for more paper dolls inspired by this style.

Please leave a comment if you like, because you know I love feedback. 🙂

Ms Mannequin In the Summer: Paper Doll Clothing

Ms. Mannequin Series Logo- Summer So, whenever I think of summer I think of bright colors and boho vibes and white pants. (I don’t own white pants, but I actually really want a pair.) So, inspired I confess by a Patron who said “Summer” when I asked what themes I should explore in 2016, I wanted to think about what made paper doll clothing feel like summer clothing and not spring, autumn or winter.

Summer to me is bright and colorful. Summer is flowing and you can imagine breezes moving clothing around. From my Alaskan childhood, I will also forever associate summer with long days, commercial fishing and bonfires on the beach. I wanted though to think of summer from a different point of view. Less of a jeans tucked into Xtratufs (we were wearing boots over our jeans long before it was cool) and more white sand beaches, board walks and iced lattes.

In short, boho fantasy summer that I never experienced as a child. (Nor perhaps really even exists outside the realm of paper doll life.)

Still, what are paper dolls for if not for exploring a bit of fantasy?

Nine mix and match piece of paper doll clothing for the Ms. Mannequin series. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com. Nine mix and match piece of colorable paper doll clothing for the Ms. Mannequin series. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

{Click Here for a PDF in Color} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG in Color}{Click Here for a PDF of Black and White} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG in Black and White}
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So, as for the specifics of today’s Ms. Mannequin set, I try to make each page of clothing for the Ms. Mannequin series make sense as a stand alone page. So, for this page, I wanted to focus on tops and bottoms that could be mixed and matched. I’m a little unsure about the tunic with the ruffles on the hem, since I don’t know how well it will layer over the other pieces, but I keep seeing that style about, so I wanted to include it. Colorwise, I went with a theme I tend to like a lot which is greens and yellows paired with pinks and teals. There isn’t really a “neutral” in this set, except the white trousers, but I think everything mixes and matches pretty well anyway. I was going to draw skinny jeans, but I’ve already drawn them over on this set of Ms. Mannequin clothing.

In fact, if you’re looking for more mix and match options, I would recommend these white capri pants (or the gray shorts), these khaki capri pants and this pair of jeans.

Any of the Ms. Mannequin dolls can wear these pieces, but I think Tanya’s skintone would be set of very nicely by the teal and yellow tunic.

Thoughts about summer? Let me know in a comment. 🙂

More Work In Progress Images

Last Week, I shared some sketchbook images, but the truth is that getting inked in the sketchbook is actually just “step one” in the paper doll process. Steps two through many more end up happening on my laptop computer.

So, it seemed only fitting to show some screen captures of paper doll sets in different stages of the process.

Um… my fish was supposed to be a halibut, but I just noticed that he’s short an eyeball.

My nautical Poppet set is hopefully going to be done soon. It’s actually really close, though I did just notice a problem with the fish toy, which might slow me down a bit. 🙂

Nearly done with my Knight. Just need to finish up the tabs.

One of the last steps in the process is adding tabs, so I do them on a separate layer and then add them in. This is the B&B Knight set I showed off last week.

So much pattern... so much pattern...

So much pattern… so much pattern…

So, here is the Ms. Mannequin summer set I showed last week. I finished coloring it last night. It’s got a lot of pattern, so coloring it took time, but it was fun!

screen-capture-2

Curvy and Gothic! Love her eye makeup, which was totally fun.

Lastly, here’s a gothic B&B set that I have been working on forever. I keep swearing I’ll get it done one of these days. It’s totally colored, so I have no excuse as to why I keep putting off adding tabs. I must apply the seat of my pants to the seat of a chair and get it done, as my Father is fond of saying.

So, that’s some of the stuff I’m working on at the moment. Progress, progress, progress. 🙂

Roses & Violins: Classic Lolita Fashion Paper Doll

Marisole Monday & Friends: Classic Lolita Fashion As I mentioned on Wednesday, I had to get this set of paper dolls done, or I wouldn’t have anything to be posted today. Anyway, as I said today’s classic Lolita fashion paper doll set was partially the result of a request from a patron and partly the result of me never being able to extract decent black and white version of my sweet Lolita and gothic Lolita paper doll sets.

So, I inspired by this violin purse from the Japanese fashion company Innocent World. While I will admit in a heartbeat to not being an expect on Lolita fashion, which is a Japanese street style based on Victorian children’s clothing, I have noticed that a lot of Lolita outfits (called coordinates) seem to be heavily themed. Once I settled on the purse, I knew I wanted the patterns of several of the pieces to have a music or violin theme.

I’ve also noticed that many of the Lolita fashion blogs I read while working on this set, seem to recommend buying JSKs (Jumper-Skirts, I think?) over full dresses, since these can be worn over various blouses. The paper doll pose makes that sort of layering tough, but the short sleeved dress on the far left is meant to be a JSK. I have a Lolita Style pintrest board where you can see way more of my inspiration.

A Classic Lolita fashion paper doll coloring page from paperthinpersonas.com.

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My one big regret about this set is that I didn’t do any hats or bows, which are a big part of  Lolita. Oh well… I suppose nothing is perfect. Mia is modeling today’s fashions, if you are keeping track of who is who in the Marisole Monday & Friend’s family.

I did kinda got carried away designing pieces for this set and I ended up with two many to fit on the page. Rather than just let them rot on my hard drive, I posted them over on my Patreon page. You don’t have to be a Patron to view or download them. You can see the extra dress, shoes and parasol here. Next week, I’ll post the color versions there as well.

I think if I end up with “extra” pieces in the future, my Patreon page will be a handy place to put them.

Thoughts on my foray into classic Lolita fashion? Feel free to leave me a comment.

A 1960s Paper Doll to Color Featuring Isadora

Mini Maidens Logo IsadoraI have, over the years, created a lot of paper doll sets and I just couldn’t believe I’ve only done one 1960s paper doll and I haven’t felt comfortable calling her historical, because I can’t verify my sources on her. So, here’s another one, giving me two 1960s paper dolls.

Let’s talk sources, since that’s what divides “historical” paper dolls from “inspired by” paper dolls. (At least that’s my standard today, I haven’t always been SO militant about it.)

The dresses for this paper doll set were drawn based on this image and this image both of which are Creators Studios fashion illustrations from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.  Two of the other dresses were based on pattern covers from McCalls in 1965 and Simplicity in 1965. Ankle boots from the V&A dated 1967.

Another of the dresses is an André Courrèges mini-dresses from 1965 thanks to the FIDM Museum Blog which is totally my favorite museum blog. Is that bad? Am I allowed to have a favorite? Cause I totally do.

I swear I had a reference for her other boots and her pants and matching top, but I’ll be darned if I can find them… So, I’ll add them if I track them down.

One of my 1960s paper dolls, Isadora is rocking a mod wardrobe of 11 pieces. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com

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So, can I confess that I tend to get Isadora and Hazel confused? I totally do. And so as I was working on this post, I actually had it labeled as Hazel for a few hours before I realized that I wasn’t looking at Hazel.

How embarrassing!

Today’s 1960s paper doll was a request from one of my Patrons. (Want to join?) At the end of 2015, I sent a private survey to all my Patrons asking for ideas for 2016. It was anonymous, so I don’t know who put down 1960s, but I do confess it made me realize I’d done very few 1960s paper dolls.

And that was easy to fix!

Thoughts on Isadora and her sixties fashions?

And the Sketchbook Appeared with Five Different Designs!

I had all these grand plans for this Wenesday and in the end, I just snapped some photos with my new iphone (a lovely holiday gift from my parents) and just decided to call it a night.

So, here are five paper doll sketchbook pages.

sketch-feb-2016

Fantasy gowns for B&B, plus there’s an owl

We are starting with a fantasy set for the Buxom and Bodacious series. After some debate, I settled on drawing a set inspired by this Pixie set. I’ve always wanted to do something else with it.

B&B armor set! And there’s an Axe. (Axes make the best accessories.)

And here is B&B armor! Actually this set was really fast to color and I hope to have it up maybe next week on Friday? I haven’t totally decided yet.

Every paper doll knight needs armor and there’s a variety of it here, plus weapons! (Remember children, paper weapons may cause paper cuts. Practice caution.)

Classic lolita inspired by that little violin purse in the upper left.

So, if I don’t get this Classic Lolita set done, I will literally have nothing to go up on Monday. Epp!

So yeah, that’s gotta happen. She was a request from one of my Patrons and I was happy to oblige. I love the patterns and the parasol and everything.

sketch-feb-2016c

Summer clothing!

Another Patron request for 2016 was summer clothing. Seasonal clothing isn’t always my forte, because I tend to sorta wear whatever I feel like and ignore seasons, but I wanted to try to draw some “summer” stuff for the Ms. Mannequins, so here is the first set I drew.

I imagine some sort of wealthy woman on vacation at some fine resort wearing these high end fashions.

sketch-feb-2016b

Playing with pattern with this set, but I kinda hate the purse. Might not survive to be added to the post.

And here are some more Ms. Mannequin summer clothes! These are more boho in my head. Maybe an artist or something sports these choices.

And that wraps the sketchbook for posts for today…

Any thoughts? Which of these should I work on next? (Granting that Lolita and the armor are already in progress.)

Suits for the Paper Doll Guys in Color

Marisole Monday & Friends Logo- Marcus Suits in color

It’s Monday! (I don’t feel nearly as excited about this as an exclamation point would suggest.)

Today, last week’s set of suits for my man paper dolls (specifically Marcus 2.0) get to rock some fun colors, okay, maybe not fun, exactly.

When it comes to color, modern men really don’t get a lot of options. Beyond a short stint in the 1960s and 1970s when a guy could show up in a red or purple suit, in the 20th century, men’s clothing is pretty much neutrals all around. So, today’s man paper doll got some rather simple navy and grey men’s suits.

It might not be the most “exciting” color choices, but they are wonderfully versatile if you find yourself unsure about what sort of suiting would be best.

Senational Suits is a man paper doll set including a young black man and two suits- one in gray and one in navy. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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There’s something very dashing to me about a man in a well cut suit. I don’t know what it is, but I love suits on men. I sometimes think I was born in the wrong era for men’s clothing. Hoodies and jeans are just so boring.

If you missed these paper doll suits in black and white for coloring, they’re over here. Also, if you’re unsure who Marcus 2.0 is, I’ve got a lovely guide to all that which I wrote last week after a reader request, proving that I do read comments and, sometimes, actually do what people ask.

I do sorta wish I drew some other hair for Marcus 2.0 here, but I just feel like men’s hair isn’t that exciting. It’s not unlike a lot of men’s clothing. How many ways can you style three inch hair? I mean, really. I’m sure there are nuances I don’t get. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Thoughts? Comments? Other men’s clothing you’d like to see? Drop me a note in the comments.

Hazel’s Futuristic Fashions: A Paper Doll Coloring Sheet

Mini Maidens Logo- Hazel's Futuristic Fashions See this is where I would LOVE to say that this was some grand plan of mine to counter balance my post-apocalyptic paper doll set from last Friday against today’s futuristic paper doll coloring sheet, except that I totally didn’t plan it out that well. I am NOT that organized- except when I am and on those occasions, expect bragging.

The truth is that I am out of backlog which is hyper rare for me and not very fun, so I literally was working on this paper doll set at 11:30 last night, trying to get it all saved and then woke up early this morning to write this post before work. I do not like working this way, Sam I am. I do not like it at all.

So, hopefully this weekend (during which I do not have to work), I will finally be able to sit down and work solidly for a few hours and get some paper dolls ready for blog food. For the blog is like a monster, as I once explained, and it hungers.

Today, it gets to snack on a futuristic fashion paper doll with thirteen pieces. I have to confess I was a little jealous of Boots “separate head” method of making paper dolls while I struggled to think about all these high necklines on these paper doll clothes. But I guess you can always print out too, cut one’s head off and glue it to the other paper doll if you like. What’s a little paper doll surgery among friends?

Hazel's Futuristic Fashions is a paper doll coloring sheet featuring a futuristic/sci-fi clothing. There's eleven pieces of clothing, including two pairs of boots. She's free to print from paperthinpersonas.com

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So, if the B&B paper doll last week was ready for the end of the world, I think today’s paper doll is much more about a semi-utopian future with glass dome houses, lots of white and probably space ships. You know, a very Star Trek kinda place.

To make her shirt on the left with the ridged shoulder, you’ll need to attach the floating tab, because the shoulder pieces stick out above the shoulder and otherwise the garment won’t fit properly. Just an FYI for everyone.

I have been seriously considering trying out Periscope to film myself maybe live inking a paper doll set? Is that something people would find interesting? Worth trying out or no?

A Guide to Marisole Monday & Her Friends!

Recently, I was asked by a reader named Amy asked me to explain the various Marisole Monday & Friends paper dolls who I refer to by name. So, I have decided to post this little guide today to explain each of the different paper dolls.

The truth is that the names are just a way for me to refer to faces which I use over and over again. It is not as though I have written little backstories for each of them or anything. It is just a better method than refering to them as numbers or Greek Letters like some sort of paper doll SWAT team.

“Alpha paper doll, this is Delta, do you hear me?” “Stat.” Okay… I digress. (But now really want a paper doll SWAT team.)

When I first introduced Marisole Monday, I had no intention that there was ever going to be more “faces” or base dolls added, but well… things evolve over six years, don’t they?

So, here we have the guide to the Marisole Monday & Friends paper dolls.

 

The Ladies

 

Marisole Monday

Debuted January 11, 2010
3
I feel fairly strongly that the whole Marisole Monday & Friend’s series wouldn’t exist without Marisole Monday, the first of the paper dolls. After I drew her, I thought she looked like Halle Berry. While Marisole’s had every skin color from blue to brown, I will always think of her like I think of Halle Berry- as a smart, sassy, beautiful woman of color. I can’t help it. These days I only give her fair skin at the request of readers on custom paper dolls, otherwise I prefer her to have brown skin like her inspiration.

Her name is spelled Marisole, not Marisol, because I actually didn’t realize that it wasn’t spelled Marisole, normally, for over a year and than it was far to late to change it. 🙂 Her last name is Monday, because I always planned to post her on Mondays.

Picking just a few favorite Marisole Monday sets is almost impossible for me, but I do love In the 1910s (color), Sweet Cream (black and white), Vintage Evening Gowns (color)Pattern & Grace (black and white) and Under the Big Top (color).


Mia

Debuted April 25, 2011

Mia of Marisole Monday & Friends. Mia was Marisole’s first friend. I created Mia at the request of a reader who wanted a Chinese Street Fashion paper doll. I have gotten far more comfortable drawing Asain features since I created Mia (specifically eyes with epicanthic folds), but then I first drew Mia was totally nervous. I remember carefully observing Asian students on the bus at my grad school and doodling their faces in a little notebook I carried. More than a few noticed, but no one asked me to stop.

Of all the paper dolls, Mia has gone through the most minor alterations over the years as her eyes have been adjusted, she’s had a tiny nose job and a few other things. At this point, I finally feel pretty good about how she looks.

A few of my favorite Mia sets include Guardian at the Gate (color), Visiting A Bathing Place (black and white), Southwest Boho (color)Ragamuffin Girl (black and white), and An Elven Empress (color).


Margot

Debuted January 14, 2013

Margot of Marisole Monday & FriendsI drew Margot so I could stop giving Marisole fair skin when I wanted to create a white paper doll. I never liked how Marisole looked with fair skin and since I’ve always thought of Marisole as black, it bothered me to give her light skin. Margot solved this problem.

Not unsurprisingly, she debuted with red hair and freckles as part of an 1860s historical set.

A few of my favorite Margot sets include Lilies & Birds (color), Lady at Court (black and white), Twirling Majorette (black and white), A Coastal Princess (color) and In Wonderland (color).


Monica

Debuted February 10, 2014

5Monica was originally going to be named Magnolia, until an observant reader reminded me that I had already used that name. Opps.

Monica’s face was a complete re-draw, rather than just a alteration of features or a new pair of eyes. She was inspired by African supermodels like Alek Wek, Ajak Deng and Ataui Deng. When I drew her, I had been working on this idea of each of the paper dolls having a “usual” skin tone. So, for a while I would default to different shades for each doll. This isn’t something I am still doing, but at the time Monica defaulted to her own custom Hex skin color of #502e22 .

A few of my favorite Monica sets are On Future Streets (color)Paisley Summer (black and white), Bouquet of Florals (color)Prima Ballerina (color) and Jazz Age Baby (black and white).


Maeghan

Debuted March 2, 2015

Maeghan of Marisole Monday & FriendsMeaghan is named for one of my best friends. I designed her, because when I create Tibbets and Kirtles, my paper doll from the 1300s, I has just used Margot in a set called Weekend Denim. Anyway, I had no desire to create another Margot doll in such a short time frame, so I create Meaghan. I had planned on her being a one-off, but I actually really liked her and ended up using her again shortly after.

Eventually she needed a name, so I asked my good friend Maeghan if she would be willing to loan her name to a paper doll set, and she agreed. So Meaghan was born.

A few of my favorite Maeghan sets include Tibbbets and Kirtles (black and white), Maiden of the North (color) and Rose Princess Ballgowns (black and white).


Other Friends

Debuted At Various Times

other-freindsSo, sometimes I decide a paper doll set needs a different face. Maybe I’m basing it off a character I created or maybe I’m just bored. Either way, when this happens, I stick that paper doll into the “Other Friends” category.

In Other Friends there have been aliens, fairies and one Shadowrun character. It’s as catch all category and one which will keep growing, I suspect.

It’s really tough to pick favorites in this category, because they are all different. A few I really love are Sewing the SeventiesFabulous Fairy (color) and Space Princess (color).

The Gents

 

Marcus 1.0

Debuted July 22, 2013- Currently Retired. 

marcus1 After many many requests, I attempted to draw the first “male” in the Marisole Monday & Friends series in July of 2013. Drawing men is not my strenght, but I wanted to try. Unfortunately, he was totally out of proportion to Marisole and I was never pleased with how his face looked. So, after two sets, he ended up getting shelved.

It was a long time before I attempted Marcus 2.0.

There are only two Marcus 1.0 sets that were ever drawn. You can see all four versions (two black and white and two color) over here.


Marcus 2.0

Debuted October 27, 2014

marcusAbout a year after Marcus 1.0, I tackled Marcus 2.0. Is he perfect? Nope, but I am a lot more pleased with him than I ever was with Marcus 1.0. Part of this was finally settling on a way to draw male mouths that looked not too girly and not too frowny. Marcus, like Marisole, was intended to be of African descent and he defaults to a medium-brown skintone.

I have tried very hard to avoid assigning Marcus a role. I realize it is traditional in paper dolls for the male paper doll to be the boyfriend of the lady paper dolls, but I tend to think that he could jut be a friend, not interested in ladies or he could be a brother (or all of the above). Who am I to decide what role in Marisole and the other ladies lives Marcus plays?

Up to this point, there have only been five Marcus 2.0 sets, so I don’t know if I cam pick a “favorite”. I would say though that I have a soft spot for my most recent set- Sensational Suits (black and white) and Airship Mechanic (color).


Mikhail

Debuted September 28, 2015

mikhailMikhail is the latest member of the Marisole Monday & Friends family. In fact, he only has one set, so far. I created him, because I wanted guy paper doll of European descent. So, he came into existence for many of the same reasons Margot did.

Mikhail’s only got one set at the moment which is him as a knight.

Yes, I do plan to add more sets for him in the future. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.


And that’s it. So, now you know who Marisole is and who her friends are (or enemies).

I’ll be the first to admit that if someone had told me that when I first posted Marisole Monday  that I was going to still be drawing sets for this series six years later, I would have laughed and laughed. Here I am though and she remains the MOST popular paper doll on the blog by a long shot.

I think part of that staying power is that the paper dolls can share clothing. So, if you love a ballgown, but don’t love the doll it goes with- pick a new one.

Thoughts? Comments? Does this clear up any confusion?