Opal and her Party Dress

A printable Asian paper doll named Opal with a pale blue cocktail dress and two pairs of formal shoes. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I really wanted to do a series of paper dolls with party dresses. Mostly, because I realized I’d managed to create basically no party dresses for the Jewels and Gemstones. Also, it’s really easy to fit in two pairs of shoes and one dress in the layouts. Opal was the first of the Jewels and Gemstones to debut, but as been kinda neglected since then. I have one other Asian paper doll, Diamond, but Opal was the first.

Plus, I really do love the name Opal.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
My two goals with today’s outfit were- casual and summer. I really wanted to make something cute and also spring like. I mostly did that through color, but I have been seeing a lot of striped patterns with floral motifs on top of them. So, the striped shirt with the flower is my ode to that style.

Specific Source Images: This Dress, This Dress and This Dress

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & More Asian paper dolls
Around the Internet: My Formal Gowns/Cocktail Dresses Pinterest Board

Last Thoughts

Want an extra paper doll content every week? Check out the Patreon

Additionally, I think it is kinda important to make an Asian paper doll wearing non-Asian traditional dress, because when I was a kid all the Asian paper dolls I had were in things like Traditional Japanese Fashions Paper Dolls and Traditional Chinese Fashion Paper Dolls. I think the diversity in paper dolls (and dolls in general) has improved a lot in the last ten years, but there’s still a long way to go.

Meet Topaz In the Cyberpunk Future

A cyberpunk inspired paper doll with multi-colored hair and an outfit to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I love all things cyberpunk. Not only do I love William Gibson’s books, but I play a game called Shadowrun which is a magic meets cyberpunk sort of setting. Anyway, I do love me my 1990s and 1980s cyberpunk futures. They fill me with a strange sort of joy. No lie.

One of the things I like about cyberpunk is that it is often a near future setting, rather than a far future one. It really engages in questions of what the current path we are on involving technology might lead us too. It’s a dark genre, unlike a lot of steampunk, but I still enjoy it. I think it’s partly because I also have a soft place in my soul for noir and they share a lot of stylistic elements.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Topaz was born out of a desire to have a paper doll with lighter skin than Pearl or Amethyst, but darker skin than Ruby or Lapis. Her clothing is, obviously, cyberpunk inspired, but there’s a bit of the Fifth Element futurism in there too, I think.

Specific Source Images: These Shoes and This Dress

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & more Cyberpunk paper dolls
Around the Internet: A Nice list of Cyberpunk Books, most of which I have read and some of which I haven’t.

Last Thoughts
While this clothing isn’t specifically cybergoth, you could share some of the cybergoth pieces from that collection with Lapis with theses. This set and this set would mix and match particularly well. Honestly, cybergoth, cyberpunk, futuristic… it all sort of flows together after a while, I think.

If you didn’t know, over on there’s an extra paper doll outfit every Friday for members. Join if you’d like.

Topaz is probably my last new Jewels and Gemstones family member for a while, I think. I have a second version of her already drawn, but I don’t know yet when that’ll go live.

Rose Dinner Dress: Princess Trousseau

A princess fantasy dress inspired by the 18th century and trimmed with roses. The shoes have matching garters and there is also a rose choker.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
This dress is one of four I designed together. I wanted to create some rather traditional “big skirted princess dresses” for the Jewels and Gemstones paper dolls. Two of the dresses are Patron exclusives (join here) and the other two are being shared on the blog. This is the second one.

I have more in the works, but I started with four.

They all have the same muted color scheme. I really love muted colors, but I find I don’t use them that often. I think on computer they can get muddy really fast. I really liked the idea of having the same colors for all the dresses in the collection.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
This dress is the dinner dress of the set. It’s more formal than the music dress, but less formal than say the ballgown I shared with my Patrons. There’s something 18th century going on here, I think, but I didn’t really look at any reference images.

Specific Source Images: I doodle this before I drew it, but I can’t find that piece of paper- so you’re just going to have to believe me.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & More of the Princess Trousseau
Around the Internet: The “Rococo/Big Skirted Absurdity” section on my Fantasy Pinterest Board & some actual 18th century dresses

Last Thoughts
I love drawing big skirted fantasy gowns. The width of the skirt gives space to explore decorative elements that are harder at a smaller scale. Plus I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, so I am somewhat a child of the big skirted Disney Princesses.

If you’re a Patron, remember that there’s a ballgown in this series here for you all. If you’re not a Patron, here’s how to join.

The Firebird: A Ballet Costume

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
The Firebird is a ballet based on Russian folklore that opened in 1910. There was a real fad for all things Russian in the early part of the 20th century. Sergei Diaghilev created the Ballet Russes in Paris in 1909 to take advantage of this obsession. While he was at it, he decided to commission a new ballet that would be very much Russian in themes. He hired Igor Stravinsky (at the time largely unknown) to compose the work.

The Firebird is a pretty short ballet (it’s only about 45 minutes) and it tells the story of a young man, Prince Ivan Tsarevich (the Russian version of Prince Charming) who captures the Firebird while she is eating a golden apple at night. She offers him a magic feather and warns him about Koshi (also spelled Koschei or Kochi) the Deathless, an evil sorcerer. In the morning, Prince Ivan spies thirteen dancing princesses and he falls in love with one of them. Like you do. So, he decides to rescue them.

Prince Ivan confronts Koshi and uses his magic feather to protect himself from Koshi’s magic. Then the Firebird is summoned, she casts a spell on Koshi and his followers causing them to dance until they collapse (this is a ballet, after all). Prince Ivan than destroys a magical egg which holds the key to the sorcerer’s immortality. Once the spells is broken, the princesses are freed and everything is happily ever after.

Listen, it’s a ballet with a magical dancing bird- no one said there needed to be a logical plot.

Koshi the Deathless, the Firebird and Ivan Tsarevich are all figures from Russian fairy-tales and folklore, but the combination of all of them is pretty much just from the ballet.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
In ballet costumes, there is tradition stacked on tradition. The Firebird, the principle dancer role in the Ballet, is strangely one where there isn’t so much tradition stacked on tradition. Perhaps because the character is a mythological beast, or perhaps because the Ballet Russes was always a bit cutting edge and innovative, the Firebird costume isn’t very standardized. You see all sorts of versions around from traditional tutus to unitards to other.

Specific Source Images: This one was a big influence on my Firebird design.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & More from the Ballet and Dancing collection
Around the Internet: The Firdbird on Wikipedia and the Danish Royal Ballet preforming the Firebird on Youtube (their costuming is fantastically non-traditional)

Last Thoughts
I love and have always loved Russian fairytales. I grew up hearing them. My favorite was Tsarevitch Ivan, the Firebird and the Gray Wolf which I made my mother read to me over and over again. She probably got so sick of that fairy tale.

I’d like to give a shout out to my Patreon supporters, because without you all, the blog wouldn’t happen.

Empress Fantasy Gown

A fantasy gown for the printable paper doll series Jewels and Gemstones inspired by the Tang Dynasty of China, but not historically accurate at all. Printable in color or black and white for coloring.

Black and White PDF | Color PDF | More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls

Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
One of my favorite things to look at on Pinterest are these fantasy versions of Tang Dynasty dress, an imperial dynasty of China spanning the 7th to 10th centuries. I don’t know enough about the history of Chinese clothing to even begin to consider drawing actual historical Chinese dress, but I really like looking. I think these gowns are all so flowing and elegant.

While I know enough about most eras of Western Fashion to at least approach them, Asian clothing (particularly China) is kinda a black box for me. I should do more reading on it, but sources are pretty difficult to find for anything before the Qing Dynasty. I own one book, but my collection is pretty limited in that area.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Occasionally, I like to dip into my own archives and draw a new gown based on an older paper doll set, especially if it’s a set that I really like. So, today’s paper doll gown was inspired by a set I did back in 2015 called the Elven Empress. While I didn’t actually look at any Tang dynasty reference images, this is definitely got some Tang Dynasty influences.

Specific Source Images: Elven Empress paper doll set from 2015

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & the Elven Empress set from 2015
Around the Internet: Tang Dynasty Dress example and a Tang Dynasty sculpture, Tang Dynasty style screen & another example of Tang Dynasty dress

Last Thoughts
As life has been nuts lately since I am moving at the moment, my goal has been one post per week for the foreseeable future and, of course, a Friday post for my Patrons over on Patreon. Thanks to everyone who supports the blog through Patreon!

Ballet Practice Clothing

A set of dancing clothing with two leotards, two skirts and two wrap sweaters with tights and toe shoes for the curvy Jewels and Gemstones paper dolls.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I love drawing pretty things like tutus, but I also wanted to draw practice clothing, because in reality many folks who dance, dance for the love of dance. They are not automatically dancing with the goal of performance before a crowd.

I have mixed feelings about ballet’s relationship with body shape, as I have said before. The stats on dancers and eating disorders are troubling. One 2003 study from the journal Psychopathology found that non-professional ballet dancers reported the highest prevalence of eating disorders (anorexia nervosa 1.8%; bulimia nervosa 2.7%; eating disorders not otherwise specified 22.1%) compared to gymnasts and bodybuilders, two other performative sports with high prevalence of eating disorders. I should add that the study looked at non-professional dancers, so I’m not saying these are the stats for people actually dancing in the National Ballet company or something.

Anyhow, I couldn’t in good conscious draw ballerina paper dolls for kids without feeling like I needed to mention the issues of body image and ballet. I try so hard not to preach on this site, but I know too many people in recovery from eating disorders, so I take that stuff really seriously.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
I don’t do a lot of mix ad match sets anymore, but given that I couldn’t fit clothing and en pointe shoes on the same pages as the dolls I drew to go with this series, I thought I would make sure to give a variety of practice clothing to be mixed and matched. If you’re paying close attention, you’ll notice the en pointe shoes duplicate. I didn’t feel like drawing the same thing over and over again.

Specific Source Images: Dancewear Solutions and International Dance Supplies were two of the sites I used to find images of dance clothing.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & other Ballerina paper dolls
Around the Internet:Eating Disorders and Body Image Disturbances among Ballet Dancers, Gymnasium Users and Body Builders, Why Ballet Hasn’t Yet Caught Up to the Body Positivity Movement from Medium & Big Moves Dance Company: Beyond Body Positive Towards Fat Liberation

Last Thoughts

So, right now life is super crazy busy for me and I don’t see it slowing down for a while. I keep thinking- next month won’t be so bad and then next month rolls around and it is just as insane. So, thank you for your paitence as I work through everything happening in my life.

Meanwhile, don’t forget that becoming a patron means getting an extra paper doll/outfit every Friday.

I’m thinking I should also draw some non-ballet stuff. I specifically called this collection Ballet & Dancing. What other sorts of dance should I include? Leave me a suggestion in the comments.

Archives Round-Up: Lolita Fashion & Lolita Fashion Inspired

Happy Friday! One of my favorite kinds of Japanese street fashion is Lolita, which is a style inspired (vaguely) by Victorian Children’s clothing. I do wish it didn’t have such a sexualized name, but then I didn’t name it. So, there’s nothing for that, I suppose.

It’s really a pity that Nabokov’s novel means that I can no longer hear the name Lolita and not feel sort of creeped out by the experience. On the other hand, maybe he deserve props for his skillful writing. (By the way, I think the novel Lolita is among the most amazing works of the 20th century, but it’s not exactly kid friendly.)

Lolita Fashion Paper Dolls

One of the fun things about Lolita fashion is, like any sub-genre of anything, there’s layers upon layers of nuance and sub-categories. So, my Lolita forays have included Sailor Lolita, Gothic Lolita, Country Lolita, Sweet Lolita, Princess Lolita, and Classic Lolita, plus I included in this archives round up a few pieces that while not strictly Lolita were very much influenced by the style. Whatever you Lolita Fashion preference, I should have something that will do. I am missing Pirate Lolita or the sort of Punk Lolita looks which involve plaid. Plaid and I do not get along. There are words when I draw plaid.

As a friendly reminder, there’s a Friday paper doll on Patreon every week. Pledge 2 dollars a month, and you get access to all the past and future Friday paper dolls. One of those was a Qi Lolita set which was really fun to create.