1960s Dresses from Sewing Patterns

1960s sewing pattern cover inspired paper doll dresses. One from 1961 and one from 1967. Both dresses are historically accurate and free to print.

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One of the fascinating things about fashion is that it is never one thing. Simultaneously to the mod fashion movement that the 1960s are so associated with, there was a second thread of fashion that was more sophisticated and modest. Think Jackie Kennedy vs Twiggy, you know? (If you don’t know, check out the books at the bottom of this page.) So, today’s dresses are both of the more conservative, clean styles that were popular as well.

(And yes, yesterday’s Abigail paper doll can wear that hat, despite her insane beehive, I made sure.)

The dress on the left is based on this sewing pattern cover, the dress on the right is based on this sewing pattern cover, the hat I sort of cobbled together based on a bunch of different hats and the purse is Gucci and you can see it here.

But wait, you’re thinking, what if I want more 1960s costume history? What if I want an actual bibliography of the books you used for this week and Monday?

Well, I’m so glad you asked.

1960s History Fashion Sources

Hill, Colleen. Paris Refashioned, 1957-1968. Yale University Press, 2017.
Magidson, Phyllis, and Donald Albrecht. Mod New York: Fashion Takes a Trip. Monacelli Press, 2017.
Olian, JoAnne. Everyday Fashions of the Sixties As Pictured In Sears Catalogs. Dover, 1998.
Walford, Jonathan. Sixties Fashion: from ‘Less Is More’ to Youthquake. Thames & Hudson, 2013.

These are all great books that I highly recommend. You can probably get them all from the library. 

Need a doll to wear today’s paper doll clothing? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

And 1960s Week Begins with Abigail!

This week's paper doll theme is 1960s styles and here's Abigail with shoes and beehive hair. She wears a body suit and has three pairs of period shoes.

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I knew I wanted to draw a 1960s paper doll and I knew I wanted to do a beehive hair. And lest you think that this hair is “unrealistic” than I would refer to the Ronnetts (this photo) and the Supremes (this photo), both inspirations for today’s Abigail paper doll’s hair. As I’ve said before, finding historical references for black vintage hair styles is not an easy task and the copyright law nuances make it much harder.

Now, if Ebony would just digitize their entire archive and put it online for free for me, that would be fantastic… But since I don’t see that happening soon. I went with my usual “find famous people and copy them, technique.”

If there is one thing I will never fully understand, it’s 1960s hair. I mean, I get wanting a little lift in your hair, but seriously, the 1960s took the big hair thing to a whole different level. Unlike the 1980s, 1960s big hair was stiff. One might even use the term shellacked. At least, that’s what I’ve been told by people who lived in that era. I asked a woman once, after looking at her yearbook photo with her, how she’d gotten her hair like that and she replied to me, deadpan, “One hour and hairspray.”

Ask a dumb question…

Anyway, Abigail’s underwear is based on this Mary Quant designed body suit. Her shoes can all be found in the V&A. I did make them different colors, but the styles are here, here and here.

If you want to see all my 1960s inspiration, as we are heading into a week of 1960s content, head over to my 1960s Pinterest Board.

Need some clothing for today’s paper doll? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

A Second Foray Into Minimalism

A minimalist dress paper doll outfit with boots and a bag.

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As I said that last time I posted a minimalism fashion set, I love how with minimalist fashion the simplicity makes every line matter. The shapes of these garments demand discipline, because one line out of place and you can see it.

In this dresses case I almost prefer the black and white version, because you can really see the line work.

And if you have a moment, think about becoming a Patron or following the blog/me on Instagram or telling a friend about it.

Need  a doll for today’s clothing? All the B Pose Dolls & Clothing

A Set of Fantasy Warrior Armor

Pulpy fantasy armor for the printable paper doll with boots and a bow. Printable in color or black and white.

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Every time I draw one of these totally absurd, completely impractical over the top fantasy armor sets, I try to blame it on my love of Xena: Warrior Princess as a child. But maybe I just like drawing over the top fantasy armor sets.

Anyway, this set was actually inspired by an old paper doll set I drew back in September 2012 for Marisole Monday.

In the process of drawing this set, I did realize I have no idea how long an arrow in ratio to a bow is actually supposed to be. 

So, what do people think of today’s paper doll? I’d love to hear in the comments and if you enjoy the paper dolls, consider supporting the blog on Patreon

Need a doll to wear today’s paper doll clothing? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

Akiko: Space Princess!!

A space princess paper doll featuring a sci-fi inspired gown and shoes. One of hundreds of paper doll designs from paperthinpersoas.com

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I had several space princess paper dolls when I was a kid. I don’t know the exact source of the space princess obsession of the late 1980s and early 1990s, but I remember this paper doll card really well.

My grandmother often sent me paper doll cards as a child. I can recall nearly every one, which is astonishing when I think of all the things I can’t recall from my youth.

Anyway, I wanted to make a space princess paper doll and I was inspired by this gown designed by Guo Pei. Guo Pei is a Chinese fashion designer. Her work is amazingly inventive and creative. Much like Alexander McQueen (another designer I adore), Guo’s designs are often hard to imagine a person actually wearing, but that makes them all the more enchanting to me. Her designs are harder to find on the web (though perhaps not if you speak Chinese) and Vogue only has her 2016-2018 collections on their website.

I think this dress is from 2010, but I am not positive.

Anyway, that was the inspiration for the gown and everything else flowed from that. I love creating over the top hair styles, so I did one of those for Akiko and her shoes were inspired by her gown.

I did want to wish people a Happy Hanukkah to everyone who, like me, are lighting candles for the next week. I don’t have holiday plans for the blog this year. I totally forgot the holidays, so this will be a holiday free blog this year. But I have done Hanukkah paper dolls in the past. 

Let me know what you think of today’s paper doll in a comment. I’m super curious if anyone else was into Space Princesses as a child? And what do you think makes a Space Princess?

Need some more clothing for today’s paper doll? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

Paper Doll Collaboration November 2018 Ambulance Driver Uniform of World War 1

A paper doll coloring page featuring a World War 1 ambulance driver uniform from the Women's Motor Corps of America. A great kid's history activity or homeschooling printable for World War 1 history.

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If you’re allowed to have a favorite war (and I’m not sure you are) than my favorite war in the First World War aka The Great War aka The War to End All Wars aka The War with Way to Many Names. (Okay, confession, I invented the last one.)

First off, I love the poetry that came out of the war. To this day, I can quote Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. In my teenage life, when I was full of angst, I adored Wilfred Owen. I still do, but I am no longer filled with quite so much angst.

So, this is all to say that today’s paper doll outfit is based on an ambulance drivers uniform of the First World War. This design was drawn from a uniform from the Women’s Motor Corps of America which you can see here and another example here. There’s also this great photo from the Library of Congress.

I was a little hesitant to use this for our military themed month, because while I though the uniform was military related when I first drew it, I have realized its not. Most of the ambulance drivers during the war were affiliated with civilian relief and welfare organizations such as the Red Cross. While nurses did serve in the Army and Navy Nursing Corps, I haven’t found much information on ambulance drivers doing the same. The Red Cross provided a great deal of the medical treatment during the war. They had female ambulance drivers, but technically they aren’t military.

But by the time I figured that out, I’d already finished the paper doll set. So, I am going to go with it anyway.

As always, Paper Doll School and Miss Missy Paper Dolls are my partners in crime when it comes to the Collaborative Paper Doll Project and I can’t wait to see what they came up with for this week so head over to their sites for that.

Need a paper doll to wear these clothes? Grab her and more clothing here.

Some Super Non-Seasonal Summery Minimalism

Minimalist fashion paper doll clothing for the B Pose printable paper dolls from PaperThinPersonas.com. A blouse, pants and bag.

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Years ago, I was asked if I had ever explored minimalism fashion for my paper dolls. Minimalism? I thought. I love layers and ruffles and over the top gowns, why on Earth would I want to explore minimalism.

But even as I thought this, I realized that was the reason to explore it. Because it is not what I am naturally drawn too. And because it is a style where one badly drawn line out of place can make a huge difference in how the finished paper doll dress looks.

There is no hiding in details in minimalist styles. They are so simple that they reveal all my messy linework and misshapen pieces.

So, when I come back to fashion minimalism, as I do on occasion (and I am today), I am reminding how critical every line is in pen and ink based art.

Every line matters when there are very few of them.

While there’s a simplicity to today’s paper doll clothing, there is also a challenge to drawing it. Sometimes the simplest things are the most difficult to illustrate. Today’s top, pants and bag were harder than they look and that, I suppose, is the whole point.

Besides, as hard as they were to draw, they were so simple to color. There’s something to be said for that as well. I went with white and blue, because I didn’t want to obscure the line work by going with black (the favored color of many minimalist designs).

If you’re not sure what minimalist fashion is, here’s Vogue’s article on it. (I really hate all the ads on the Vogue website, but the gallery there does give a good overview I think.)

And if you have a moment, think about becoming a Patron or following the blog/me on Instagram or telling a friend about it.

Need  a doll for today’s clothing? All the B Pose Dolls & Clothing

Purple Ice Skating Costume for the B Pose Ladies

Ice skating paper doll clothing with a performance dress and practice outfit and, of course, ice skates. Available to print in color or black and white for coloring.

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Ice skating, like most things that involve coordination, is not something I’m very good at. I occasionally watch other people and think, “That looks like fun.”

However, upon attempting the activity, I end up falling down a lot.

Never the less, I do like the clothing people wear to go ice skating and since I draw paper dolls, it seems to me that the clothing is the important part. Plus I thought these ice skating clothes would be a fun winter coloring page. It’s cold and dark outside, so coloring in front of a fire sounds like a pretty good time. 

So, here we have a set of practice clothing for ice skating and a performance dress. I chose purple and black, because I like purple and black.

Not being an ice skater, I can’t speak to the accuracy of today’s ice skating ensembles, but I hope I didn’t screw up too badly. Maybe someone who does ice skate can let me know in a comment.

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Need  a doll for today’s clothing? All the B Pose Dolls & Clothing

A 14th Century Surcoat With Tibbets and Headdresses

Dress up a paper doll in historically accurate 1300s clothing including a surcoat over a kirtle and two head-dresses.

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First off 14th Century week continues with today’s surcoat over a kirtle and some headdresses. Second off Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrated yesterday.

Surcoats were worn over kirtles (I did one of those on Wednesday). Like a lot of surcoats, today’s has slits in the front that provided access to the purse worn off the girdle underneath. Think of it as the 14th century solution to pockets.

Today’s paper doll surcoat with kirtle was inspired by the Romance of Alexander from the Bodleian Library MS. Bodl. 264. There’s a bunch of different examples of this short sleeved surcoat in there, but I based this dress off the red dress in this miniature and the blue dress (and pink dress) in this miniature.

One of the interesting things about those miniatures and many others from this era (check out my 14th Century Dress Pinterest board for more) is how many of them show women with their hair uncovered. Unlike later eras (and some earlier ones) the 14th century seems to be a time when women could go around without covering their hair.

(Women shown with uncovered hair in miniatures from other eras are often depicting vice and/or wickedness and this is indicated by the uncovered hair. The scandal of showing one’s hair in the 15th century was intense. )

However, some women did still cover their hair. Here’s one miniature with some hair covered and here’s another and here’s a third one. You also see head coverings in statuary. One thing I do when I am trying to decide what to include in these historical sets is to try to find multiple examples of something. That’s why you see some duplication of types of images on my 14th Century Dress Pinterest board.

That’s also why when I am dealing with an era I don’t know much about it can take me a long long time before I am comfortable drawing a paper doll of it. I learned a lot of history from Tom Tierney’s historical paper dolls and I want mine to be as helpful and accurate as I can make them. 

If you want some say in the time periods I create paper dolls for, think about supporting the blog on Patreon. I tend to listen to my Patrons when they make requests. Here’s a post about what patrons have made possible from earlier this week. 

Have you enjoyed 14th Century week? Let me know. I love to hear from you. 

Need a doll to wear today’s paper doll clothing? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing