Marisole’s Fresh Summer Fashions: Jumpsuit & White Shorts


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A young fashionable black woman with some summer clothes- a jumpsuit and shorts. She can wear any of the clothing from the Marisole Monday & Friend's paper doll series.

Originally, back when I was making plans, I hadn’t planned on doing two contemporary fashion sets in a row. I thought I would do something else between, but then I ended up needing to move and life has away of laughing at our best laid plans.

So, here I am posting two contemporary fashion printable paper doll sets in a row, but they couldn’t be more different. Last week, I forayed into Hip-Hop paper doll fashion. This week we are sticking with what I am far more comfortable with, summer fashions from the fashion magazines like In-Style and Vogue.

This week, our paper doll model is Marisole. As some of you probably remember, Marisole is the first of the Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper dolls and she leads our charge. Today, she has a strapless jumpsuit and a pair of white shorts. I swear later on there will be top options to go with her shorts.

This week’s theme is fresh summer fashions- expect a lot of whimsical prints including lemons and flamingos, plus sundresses and cropped tops.

And of course, there’s Patreon if you want to help support the blog, plus PTP is on twitter- @paperpersonas. Twitter is a great way to ask me questions, because I tend to answer them faster than comments.

Hip-Hop Ms. Mannequins: The Last Outfit


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A hip -hop fashion inspired paper doll outfit for the Ms. Mannequin series. Part of a week of hip-hop paper doll fashions. Free from paperthinpersonas.com in black and white or color.

Ending the week with my favorite of all outfits for Zola, my hip-hop fashion paper doll. I know that I shouldn’t have favorite outfits, but I totally do and this is it. I love the top and I love the skirt. Both are based off River Island pieces from Rihanna’s capsule collection for that brand, but, here’s the embarrassing bit, I drew them so long ago that it doesn’t look like the website it still caring them. You’re just going to have to believe me when I tell you this is the case.

Anyway, I do think this outfit is the most formal of the all the outfits I designed for Zola, the paper doll from Monday. Of course, any of the Ms Mannequins can wear it. I think Kira and Shayna would look particularly good in the neon green skirt thanks to their darker skin tones. Thoughts on that one?

I did want to take a moment and talk about something that is dear to my librarian heart: Research.

More formally, how do you research something like Hip-Hop fashion?

Let me be clear, I am an outsider to all this. Hip-hop was born out of the African-American experience in urban environments. I am from the rural state of Alaska and I am not African-American. So, yeah… not exactly my area of experience at all. So, whenever I am trying to learn about something where I am an outsider, I go in with the goal of learning, not judging. And I go in knowing that I don’t know very much and I might be wrong.

Actually, those two goals are pretty good ways to approach life generally, I think.

In this case, I started with encyclopedia’s of African-American culture to learn more about the history of hip-hop. Then, since I am such a visual person, I went to the fashion websites of many of the fashion lines like Rocawear by Jay Z, Yeezy by Kayne, Billionaire Boy’s Club by Pharell and Ivy Park by Beyonce. Lastly, I watched a wonderful documentary called Fresh Dressed. Of course, there are some books I could have read and more research I could have done, but at some point you have to pause and say, “Okay, I think I know enough to try.”

And this last week has been the result of my efforts.

So, I actually have a few more hip-hop paper doll pieces from when I started this project (that was back in December, I am ashamed to admit). Some of them may yet find their way onto the blog. I haven’t decided, but I did want to share this unique style to the best of my ability.

A Hip-Hop Fashion Paper Doll Named Zola and Her Wardrobe

If you didn’t know, the blog has a pretty rocking Twitter feed. It’s also one of the best ways to ask me questions, because I answer way more often on Twitter. Also, if you love the blog, then consider becoming a patron, every dollar really helps and once I am done with my move, than I am planning some cool Patron only content.

So, as this was a rather experimental week, what did people think? Did you all enjoy this little foray into a hip-hop fashion paper doll? I’d love to know in a comment. Next week is going to be a Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll week with Marisole and some fun summer fashions.

After that… well, I haven’t really gotten that sorted yet.

Hip-Hop Ms. Mannequins: Shorts & A Beanie


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A hip-hop fashion inspired paper doll outfit. Free to print in color or black and white.

This last August has been hot. Really hot. And super humid. August’s like this make me hate Alabama with a deep fiery passion. While it is now September and technically fall, the heat doesn’t seem to have caught onto that idea. So, today I’m posting paper doll shorts and a t-shirt to try to make up for some of the blistering heat out there.

Times like this, I really miss the damp cold of Juneau, Alaska where I grew up. (Right now, all my friends in Juneau are like, You are crazy.)

Anyway, today’s hat was a bit of a trial. The curls of the paper doll, Zola, give her a fairly wide hair style and the hat had to be wide enough to fit over that. I think it rather altered the look of the hat, so I am less then overjoyed about how to turned out. Sometimes, paper doll logistics bite you in the butt, you know?

So, my move happens tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday. I mention this, because I will be slow to answer comments and email. Also, I’ll be really grouchy, so you probably don’t want me to be answering anyway.

Until then, if you missed the paper doll to wear this stylish outfit, she was posted on Monday. If you are thinking, but I want a different paper doll to wear this stylish outfit, than hop over to the Ms. Mannequin dolls category.

Last but not least, there is a black and white version linked at the top of the page.

Hip-Hop Ms Mannequins: Blue Windbreaker and Grey Sweatpants


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A paper doll outfit inspired by hip-hop fashions featuring a blue windbreaker and baseball cap. Free to print in black and white or color from paperthinpersonas.com

A big part of hip-hop fashion seems to be athletic wear inspired. So, today’s outfit is too. It’s a pale blue windbreaker with grey sweatpants and a matching baseball cap.

If you’re thinking- “She needs some cute white tennis shoes to go with that outfit” than hop over to Monday’s post where I have Zola who has a pair that I think would look really good with these pieces.

I am getting better at drawing baseball caps every time I draw one. Who knew? Practice really does help.

The black and white versions are at the top of the post, as usual. Also, as usual, I recommend printing from the PDF for best results.

So, I’ve also been trying out Instagram, but I am struggling a little. Still, follow me if you want to see some sketchbooks photos and also pictures of my baked goods. And of course, there’s Patreon if you want to help support PTP, plus the blog is on twitter @paperpersonas. It amuses me that my blog has a more active social media life than I do.

All right, any hip hop fans out there, I am trying to learn more, so I am looking for music recommendations. Please feel free to leave one in the comments or anything else in the comments. I like comments.

Hip-Hop Ms. Mannequins: Cargo Pants and a T-Shirt

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A paper doll outfit inspired by hip-hop fashions for the Ms. Mannequin paper doll series. It's also available in black and white for coloring.

So, let’s start the week with a little Hip-Hop history.

(Wow, alliteration anyone?)

Hip-hop as a musical form is considered to have begun in New York City, in the impoverished, largely black, South Bronx during the mid-1970s. DJs, such as DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, and Afrika Bambaataa, would play records at block parties where they discovered that people were far more interested in dancing to the “breaks” in the music than to the actual “music” and they developed techniques, such as playing the same record on both sides of a turn-table, to extend these musical “breaks.”

The first official hip-hop record to be released was in 1979, when Sugarhill Records released “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang.

The art of rapping, or speaking over music, is part of Hip-Hop music, but does not alone define the genre. See? I learned a new thing in my research.

All right, so my first hip-hop fashion foray is based on a this outfit worn by Rihana. Rihana has her own clothing line called River Island. These items are very very loosely based on some of those designs.

The blog has it’s own Twitter feed where you can hear all about what paper dolls I’m working on. I’ve also been trying out Instagram, but I’m struggling a little with it. And of course, there’s always Patreon where there are behind the scenes blog post regularly if you join up.

So, what do you think? How did I do on my foray into Hip-Hop fashions?

Hip-Hop Ms. Mannequins: Meet Zola, Our Model


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Zola, a black paper doll, is a model for the Ms Mannequin series. She has curly hair and two pairs of tennis shoes.

Some series easily adapted to this new format and the Ms. Mannequin’s were one such paper doll series. Today, I’d like to introduce Zola, the first Ms. Mannequin to be done in the new series format.

There won’t be an accessory Thursday this week. Instead, I decided to put Zola’s shoes with the dolls, because her skin is visible on those pieces. Zola has the same skin-tone as my paper doll Tanya who was the first of the Ms. Mannequin paper dolls. They can, therefore, easily share shoes. I also wanted to keep the sets close to the format of the original Ms. Mannequin series as I could.

This week I’m going to be exploring Hip-Hop fashion. Many famous hip-hop artists (Jay Z, Pharell, Diddy, Rihanna, Beyonce, Kanye) have created fashion lines. So, I didn’t want to keep ignoring this trend in fashion, but unlike a lot of fashion styles, this one seems focused more on men’s clothing than women’s clothing.

This brings us to today’s paper doll- Zola. Zola has two pairs of tennis shoes. As far as I can tell, expensive tennis shoes are a very important part of the Hip-Hop fashion genre. While many of these shoes come in all sorts of colors, I chose white and black for the mix and match options those two colors offer. Everything goes with white or black, after all.

New content announcements, plus other interesting stuff, goes up pretty regularly on the blogs Twitter feed. It’s also one of the best ways to ask me questions. Also, if you love the blog, then consider becoming a patron.

Thoughts on this week’s theme? It’s a departure for me, since I don’t know much about this style and I hope I can do it justice.

Oh, and Happy Labor Day! I hope people have fun whatever they are doing. I am packing to move, but I assume other people might have better plans. 🙂

Hazel Visits the 1940s: Afternoon Dress from 1940


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mini-maiden-paper-doll-dress-1940

I think it’s a little fitting that at the end of this 1940s paper doll to print week, we are returning to the early part of the decade with this 1940s afternoon dress, especially since we started with a 1940s afternoon dress on Monday. Today’s dress is based on this afternoon dress from 1940 which I found from the New York Public Library Digital Collections.

This dress has many of the details I associated with the 1940s including puffed sleeves, a natural waistline and a gored skirt that falls to the knees, but the ruching details on the bodice are very much of the 1930s. Fashion doesn’t change on a dime, so it’s a nice example of the transition of styles.

The truth is that the 1940s is a fascinating era for fashion. World War II influences everything, of course, but there’s also more women entering the work force, the end of the Depression and Rayon, invented in the 1930s, becaming mainstream. Paris, which was occupied by German forces, was no longer the center of fashion and New York came into its own.

Now you might be wondering, if all that’s true, where can I see more cool 1940’s fashions? Well, I have a whole Pinterest board devoted to the decade. I will confess it’s a little bit of a harder decade to research, because much of the material is still in copyright. However, you can still find stuff around if you dig.

Hazel & Her Wardrobe: A 1940s Paper Doll to Print & Color

In other news, I signed a lease, so I am now in the midst of hard core packing. I think I have enough backlog saved up that the blog will continue as usual, but I will be slow to reply to comments or emails and such until the end of September, I think.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I’ll be spending mine packing up boxes.

As always, I love to hear what people think in the comments.

Hazel Visits the 1940s: Girdles, Purses and Gloves, Oh My!


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Black and white printable paper doll coloring sheet with 1940s underwear, shoes, purses and other accessories for the Min-Maiden paper doll series. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com

It’s Accessory Thursday! See, I didn’t have one last week, but it wasn’t abandoned for long. Today, we have some 1940’s girdles, a long-line bra, two purses, beads and a pair of ever important gloves. If you ever thought to yourself, “I need some 1940s underwear for a paper doll” than here you go!

(I find it hard to imagine anyone ever thought that, but maybe I’m wrong.)

The shoes on the left are based on a blue suede pair from 1941. The other pair is from the 1942 Spiegel Holiday Catalog. The “lower” purse is based on a Gucci model from 1949 while the other is from 1944. See, I said back on Monday one 1949 item slipped into this week’s early 1940s paper doll series.

Her 1940s underwear is based on two different 1940s gridles. The first is from 1942 and the second is from between 1942 and 1949. After I drew these, a freind remarked that he thought they were a bit racy for a paper doll, but I think paper dolls can be sexy if they want to be. Besides, it’s not that racy.

Now, if you need a paper doll to wear these lovely girdles, than Hazel from Monday has the hair for the era, but any of the Mini-Maiden‘s can pull off the looks, I’m sure.

By the way, if you are a twitter person (I am) than follow the blog’s feed and hear all about the movies I watch while I draw and other thrilling details on @paperpersonas. I’ve also been trying out Instagram, but I’ll confess I’m not very good at it yet. And of course, there’s always Patreon if you want to help pay the blogs operating costs.

And who doesn’t want to help with that?

So, what do you think of this weeks set? Are you enjoying this foray into the 1940s? Let me know in a comment!

Hazel Visit’s the 1940s: A Smart Dress from 1943


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A smart 1943 dress for my 1940s printable paper doll, Hazel. It's free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

Today’s dress for our 1940s printable paper doll is from another pattern cover. It is based on a Hollywood pattern from 1943. One of the things I liked about this dress was the two ways it was styled. In one option, it almost feels like a suit and in the other it is clearly a house dress. Just like today, people liked versatility in their sewing patterns.

Despite appearances, this dress is really made in one piece. Similiar styles are this 1944 Dubarry design, this 1942 Hollywood desig and this 1945 Simplicity version.

The pattern on the dress’s skirt is based on the fabric of this dress from 1942. It’s another example of the “two piece, but not really” dress style and I loved the fabric print which I simplified extensively to make into a paper doll version. Be sure to read the whole blog post, it’s totally fascinating.

Her hat is based on the hat worn by the fashion figure on the pattern cover, but small hats like this, sometimes called “doll hats”, were very popular. Here’s an example from 1940 and another example from 1940. I did my best to capture the look in a way that I still thought would stay on the paper doll’s head.

If you’re in need of a 1940s printable paper doll to wear this lovely 1943 dress, you can pick up Hazel in all her 1940’s printable paper doll glory from Monday’s post.

If you want an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes of PTP, you can follow the blog on Twitter or become a blog patron. Blog Patron’s get their own special behind the scenes blog and sometimes extra paper doll outfits. (Just sometimes, because I do have a life. Mostly.)

So, is anyone planning on coloring today’s paper doll dress? What colors would you use? I’ve been thinking rust and navy, but that’s just me. Other people’s thoughts? Leave a comment and let me know.

Hazel Visits the 1940s: A Dress from 1942


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A 1940's paper doll dress with matching beret in black and white for coloring. The dress is based on a 1942 DuBarry pattern design and fits the Mini-Maiden paper doll series.

So on Monday, I posted Hazel and her afternoon dress from 1940. That was kind a formal 1940’s look, so I wanted to show of something maybe a little less fancy for today. This Dubarry pattern from 1942 is a great example of the masculine influenced dresses of the early 1940s and I recreated as a 1940’s paper doll dress to print and color.

To go with it, I drew a beret which was a very popular hat style, but I’ll admit- beret drawing is maybe not my great strength.

So, a few things about this dress. It’s based on a pattern by the DuBarry company. DuBarry was a branch of Simplicity Patterns that were made from 1931–1946 exclusively for Woolworths. The wonderful Vintage Pattern Wiki has a bunch more Dubarry styles available for browsing, if you want to pop over there to see them. Two of my other 1940s favorites from Dubarry are this wedding dress from 1941 and this dress from 1944.

Most of the dresses I have drawn for this week come from sewing pattern covers. Though not always an obvious source for fashion history, sewing patterns, like catalogs, are useful to see what normal folks had access too. Most people weren’t buying designer clothing after all and I like to keep my paper dolls a little down to earth… except when they’re aliens.

The downside of these sorts of primary sources is that it is impossible to know what people thought about the pattern design. Did they like it? Was it popular? Did people think it as ugly?

For example, here’s a Simplicty pattern for a strange lace up poncho. Will some historian in the future think we all wore lace up ponchos in 2016? Probably not… but it highlights some of the danger of not using multiple sources when making decisions about what to create for historical paper dolls.

By the way, what do you think of today’s 1940’s paper doll dress? Do you like it? Hate it?

New content announcements, plus other interesting stuff, goes up pretty regularly on the blogs Twitter feed. Also, if you love the blog, then support it on Patreon.