Sprites as Superheroes


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:  The Golden Age of Superheros
sprites-superhero-paper-doll-outfits

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Every year, I ask my Patrons to for ideas in December. I try to get to all their suggestions over the course of the year. And some of their suggestions were already in the works! That works out well for me and for them, because no one wants to wait eight months for a paper doll request to happen.

(Of course, sometimes people do, because that’s just how the cookie crumbles, but I do my best to be responsive to my Patrons.)

The Steger Family, some of my Patrons, asked for Superheroes. Well, today there are some. I don’t really know why Superheroes are required to wear absurd jumpsuits, but that seems to be the thing they do.

I try to draw what my Patron’s request. They, after all, giving me money. Join if you want to here.

When I was designing this set, I wanted to do a call back to classic comics. Back in the old days, comics could only be printed in a limited collection of colors- red, blue, yellow and black. Back in those days, the colors were printed as tiny dots and the dots overlapped each other creating the other colors.

The limitations of this printing style often meant that the color schemes for heroes and villains were very boldly defined by their colors. The Joker, for example, wears green and purple. Superman wears red and blue for the same reason. As a nod to that practice, I wanted to do this set of Sprites paper dolls in a limited color collection.

I was inspired to draw this set when I read that Superheroes out sold Princesses for Halloween in 2016. I have no idea where I read it, but there you go.

Looking for some Sprite paper dolls to wear these outfits? Pick out Sprite paper dolls here.

Collaborative Paper Doll Project 2017


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: A Collaborative Project with Boots & Julie

In December, I reached out to Boots and Julie, two other active paper doll bloggers. We discussed doing another collaboration, like the October Halloween Paper Doll from a few years ago, but we thought it might be neat to do something for the whole year.

So, assuming we don’t abandon the whole project in a few months, here’s the plan. Every last week in January, we will all post outfits that will fit today’s paper doll. The pose was beautifully drawn by Julie, of Paper Doll School, and each of us created our own heads for the doll. I also added some decoration to her swimsuit, because I can’t just leave things well enough alone.

In theory, every outfit each of us draws SHOULD fit each of the three dolls. I mean, assuming we haven’t messed this whole thing up already. 🙂

We also came up with a list of themes for the rest of the year. Our first theme was to draw a dress from the Year we were born. So, my 1985 dress will post on Friday. Until then, you’ll just have to deal with a cold paper doll, since the poor girl doesn’t have any clothing yet.

Here is Boots‘, of Pop Culture and Paper Dolls, version of the doll and here is Julie’s, of Paper Doll School, version of the doll.

My Curvy Paper Dolls And A Dress from 1820


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Dress from 1820 in the Philadelphia Museum of Art and these shoes from 1815-1825 in the Bata Shoe Museum 

A dress from 1820 for the B&B curvy paper doll series based on a gown from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

A dress from 1820 for the B&B curvy paper doll series based on a gown from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to color and print.

The 1820s fascinate me as a fashion era, because there is a clear evolution from the beginning of the decade to the end of the decade. In the beginning of the 1820s, the era this dress comes from, the waist was still quite high as you can see from this 1820 fashion plate. By the end of the decade, it has dropped to the natural waist, as you can see from this 1829 fashion plate.

The green gown for the B&B series is based off this dress from 1820, though I added the clasp detail on the belt. I love the three-dimensional padded appliques that were a common form of decoration in this era. I wanted to make it clear in my paper doll dress from 1820 that the designs were raised. I think that part of it came out well. I did not keep the striped pattern on the original dress. I thought it would be way to hard to not lose the applique leaf pattern if I did that. So, my version is a bit simpler in style. The shoes are based on this pair from the Bata Shoe Museum in Canada.

A few other notes about today’s dress. I’m not sure what the formality of a dress like this would have been in 1820. I am included to think it is a formal dress, but not really a ballgown. I think maybe a dinner dress? Something for half-dress, anyway. It’s not as informal as undress and not as formal as full-dress. Any thoughts from y’all?

Short sleeves would indicate evening wear after the 1820s, but during the era it is such a transitional period that I am hard pressed to guess exactly what the “rules” were for ladies. As I often say in these situations, I should do more research!

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Poppets: Ice Skating in 1927


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Everyday Fashions of the Twenties: As Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs, Bobble Hats

A 1920s ice skating outfit for a child paper doll from paperthinpersonas.com

This is the first of a bunch of 1920s clothing I have drawn for the Poppets, so I hope everyone loves this era as much as I do. I originally drew the outfits last year when I was still doing sets and then I kinda forgot about them for a few months and rediscovered them while I was cleaning up my files at the end of the year.

I always do an annual file clean up and I often discover things I kinda forgot about or abandoned because they weren’t something I really liked. Boots wrote a really brave post on her blog, Pop Culture Looking Land,  about failed projects. I wrote a follow-up over on my Patreon page for my Patrons.

Moral of the story: Sometimes, I abandon stuff and then find it again and go, “Actually, that’s not so bad.”

And this one of those things. I don’t even remember what I didn’t like about it. I think it was the ice skates.

Still now I look at them and I am like, “They’re okay. What was my problem?”

The human mind is a funny thing.

Can I make a confession? I have no idea how to ice skate. I think I have been on ice skates exactly three times and every time I ended up on my butt. It was not much fun. Still, I like watching other people ice skate, so that should be worth something.

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Need a paper doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick a Poppet Paper Doll Here.

Marisole Monday & Friends in 1830s Fashion


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This 1830 fashion plate, Bonnets
A green 1830s paper doll dress based on a fashion plate from 1830 with a matching bonnet and shoes from paperthinpersonas.com.

I’ve written before that the 1830s are a period of fashion I find a little absurd looking. Yet, the more I draw clothing from those years, the more it grows on me.

I am starting to almost like the era. Just almost.

So, a quick overview of the fashions of this era shows an abundance of sleeves and bonnets. If the three decades from 1800 to 1830 were the era of the column silhouette, than the 1830s were the era of the oval. The sloping shoulders, wide-sleeves, round bonnets, and full skirts all give a oval shape to the silhouette.

Plus, the wide skirts and sleeves also emphasized the desirable small waist, often accented with a belt.  The invention of metal eyelets in 1828 allowed for a much tighter fit on a corset. There was no longer the danger of the lacing cutting through the hand-sewn eyelet due to tight lacing. So, waists got smaller.

Like the earlier part of the century, people were still super into the Ancient Civilizations.  So, references to the Roman and Greek civilizations abound. Hairstyles have names like Apollo’s Knot, one of the dumbest looking hairstyles ever. The hair in this fashion plate is an Apollo’s Knot style and so is this. It was very popular. And, clearly, not one of my favorites.

Anyway, this 1830 fashion plate from the Casey Fashion Plate Index inspired today’s outfit.  As hard as it is to believe, I actually simplified the bonnet from the original drawing. Bonnets are not my forte, so I have mixed feelings about how this one turned out.

All in all, however, I think I didn’t do a bad job on today’s foray into 1830s fashion.

What do you think? More of this era in order? Not a favorite?

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Need a Marisole Monday & Friends Lady Paper Doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick One Out Here

Sprites In Some 18th Century Clothing Options


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: 18th Century Merchant Class Clothing
18th century clothing for paper dolls including a round-gown and a tricorn hat. Free to print in color or black and white from paperthinpersonas.com.

18th Century paper doll clothing in black and white

This 18th century clothing for the Sprites paper dolls are meant to represent the Merchant Class. On the left, for the men, we have a jacket and vest worn over a shirt. His breeches, stockings and shoes are all mid-18th century. On the right, for the lady, we have a round-gown, defined by the lack of a stomacher. A handkerchief fills her low neckline and she has a matching cap, stockings and shoes.

In the United States in the 18th century, there were four social classes. You could be wealthy, merchant class, lower class or in some for of bondage, such as enslaved or indentured. In England, these classes were defined by birth. So, it was entirely possible to be a Merchant and make more money than a Lord, but you were still in the middle class. Unless you could marry off your son or daughter into a higher social status and then… Well, we have the plot of one of a million 18th century romances.

I should add that the merchant class didn’t just include merchants. Anyone involved in a trade like lawyers, doctors and clergy were considered middle-class. It wasn’t until the late 18th century that Barbers were separate from Doctors.

If you’re interested in learning more about 18th century clothing, you can check out my 18th Century Pixies series. I talk a lot in there about the ladies clothing of the era.

Alternatively, one of my favorite 18th century costume history books is What Clothes Reveal. I used it a lot for these, because it shows what “middle-class” people wore, rather than just what those with lots of cash wore. Colonial Williamsburg also has a decent overview of 18th century clothing. If you’re not sure where to start, start there.

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Looking for some Sprite paper dolls to wear these outfits? Pick out Sprite paper dolls here.

Mini-Maidens in some 1970s Fashions


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Simplicity 6931 from 1975
A black and white paper doll coloring page with 1970s fashions based on a vintage pattern cover. From paperthinpersonas.com

Today, the Mini-Maidens are visiting 1975 with an outfit and hair inspired by the looks of that era. I’ve never been a big 1970s fashion fan, but I confess the period has grown on my lately. I think it’s the sideburns.

One thing I do love are vintage pattern covers. Everything about them from the pose to the styles are so much of their era. A 1975 pattern cover from Simplicity inspired today’s paper doll 1970s fashion. The pattern had two options- a dress or a blouse, but I liked the blouse better. Somehow, the dress reminded me a little too much of a nightgown. A lot of 1970s maxi dresses remind me a lot of nightgowns.

If you’re a sewist, Wren Feathers has a super cute pattern for a blouse in this style sized for slim body 18 inch dolls. I haven’t sewn it up yet, but it has been in my “to sew” pile for a long time. Just in case your non-paper dolls need some 1970s fashion.

Greta, one of the Mini-Maiden dolls, is modeling the outfit and has a 1970’s shag haircut. The pattern cover inspired the jeans and platform shoes too.

One thing I find fascinating about 1970s fashion is that a lot of it looks very contemporary. Sometimes it is just the hair or the textile that gives away the age of the garment. You could probably get away with the jeans and shoes today. I’m not so sure about the blouse. Something about those sleeves kinda feels very dowdy to me.

What do you think? Are you a 1970s fashion lover or is it a decade you could see less of? Let me know in a comment.

Tomorrow there will be 18th Century Sprites Clothing. Yes, male historical clothing. Shocking, I know.

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Also, happy MLK Day to everyone who is celebrating.

Need a more outfits for today’s Mini-Maiden Paper Doll? Find More Clothing Here

Mini-Maiden’s Are Secretely Ninjas


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Ninjas and How Bad I am at Drawing a Katana
mini-maiden-ninja-paper-doll-outfit-coloring-page

Yesterday, I did a way more detailed explanation of why I drew this ninja outfit then I am going to do today. Mostly, it was because I didn’t have many ninja paper dolls. I especially wanted a ninja coloring page paper doll outfit. Why you ask?

Well, because I was asked for one.

Not recently, mind you, but years and years ago I was emailed to see if my Ninjas Vs Pirates paper doll set for Marisole Monday and Friends was available in black and white. It wasn’t and it won’t be, because I no longer have the master files for it. So, when I decided to draw ninjas, astronaut and circus themed paper dolls, I knew I needed to do one in black and white. Why those these topics? I explain in yesterday’s post.

So, here it is! Of course, my more recently Marisole Monday & Friend’s ninja is also available in black and white, but now there’s another option if you perfer Mini-Maidens to Marisole Monday & Friends. Everyone should have options.

Seriously, I swear this logic made sense in my head at the time.

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Also, I hope everyone has a great weekend. Mine should be quiet which, frankly, is exactly how I like my weekends to be.

Need a Mini-Maiden paper doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick a Mini-Maiden Paper Doll Here.

Marisole Monday Goes to the Circus


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: The Wonderful Paintings of Amy Lind and Circuses
A paper doll circus costume in teal and pink. Free to print in color or black and white for coloring.

A paper doll circus costume with a really rocking top hat. Free to print in color or black and white for coloring.

Today, there is a circus costume for the Marisole Monday & Friend’s printable paper doll series.

So, I use two things to sort the paper dolls. One is categories, like Poppets or Marisole Monday & Friends. The other is tags, like cyberpunk, Vikings or blond hair. Every few months, I go through the tags to make sure I haven’t misspelled something and/or made a tag I shouldn’t have. While I as doing that a few months ago, I noticed that some of my tags had only one item in them. This seemed sad, so I decided to draw sets for a few of those areas. The ones I focused on were Astronauts, Circuses and Ninjas.

Okay, kinda an odd list, but whatever. On Friday, there will be a new Ninja outfit for the Mini-Maiden series. Today, we have a circus inspired clothing for Marisole Monday & Friends. This will join the Ms. Mannequin circus outfit and the original Marisole Monday & Friends Circus paper doll set in color or black and white under the Circus tag.

Is all that clear as mud?

Excellent! So, today’s paper doll is really about embracing circus themed things, but not doing red and gold. I have done a lot of red and gold and I wanted to do something different. When I saw this panting by Amy Lind on my Circus Pinterest board, I knew I had my new color scheme for today’s circus costume. And then I gave her totally impractical shoes, because nothing says “performer of great skill” like shoes you probably can’t actually walk in.

Maybe that’s her circus act- walking in highly improbable shoes.

What do you think? What would be a good circus act to wear today’s circus costume in? Because when it comes to paper dolls, the costume is way more important then the actual act. Let’s be honest here.

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The Sprites Go Contemporary in Navy, Olive, Stripes and Florals


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:  Flower Fairies, Cicely Mary Barker and the Book, Fairie-ality
The Sprites printable paper dolls get a pair of contemporary paper doll outfits. One is a skirt and a t-shirt with flutter sleeves, plus a scarf. For the gents, there is a long sleeved t-shirt and a pair of cargo pants. Print in color or black and white.

The Sprites printable paper dolls get a pair of contemporary paper doll outfits. One is a skirt and a t-shirt with flutter sleeves, plus a scarf. For the gents, there is a long sleeved t-shirt and a pair of cargo pants. Print and color.

Today, the Sprites printable paper dolls get a pair of contemporary paper doll outfits. One is a skirt and a t-shirt with flutter sleeves, plus a scarf. For the gents, there is a long sleeved t-shirt and a pair of cargo pants. Do guys even still wear cargo pants? I have no idea.

Drawing contemporary paper doll outfits comes with challenges that are unique. First of all, after a while, things start to look the same. Secondly, how many t-shirts can any rational person draw before going just a little mad? Probably not that many. I swear guy paper doll outfits exist just to vex me.

Still, I try to come up with ideas to spice things up whenever possible. With the Sprites part of the fun is coming up with a “guy” and a “girl” outfit that would go together. In this case, I settled on two casual outfits with Autumnal color schemes. The colors are really what ties these two paper doll looks together.

Color schemes are their own challenge, because most guys aren’t really keen on magenta. Though I must confess, I do think sometimes my idea of masculine colors is pretty old fashioned. I’ve seen a lot of male college students where I work in colors that I wouldn’t have thought they would wear. So, perhaps I need to open my mind to guy paper dolls and pink.

Meanwhile, I love that skirt and I would totally wear it, if it existed in my size and made of fabric. I think it is super cute.

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Looking for some Sprite paper dolls to wear these outfits? Pick out Sprite paper dolls here.