Two Summery Paper Doll Dresses from the 1930s

A pair of 1930s paper dolls dresses with matching hats based on the designs from home sewing patterns. The dress on the left is from the early 1930s and the dress on the left is from the mid-1930s. Both dresses have matching hats.

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So, I tend to work in spurts. I suddenly decide that I want to draw 1930s clothing (as I did recently) and then I draw several and then I don’t draw any for months. This is just how I am. I try to build enough of a backlog that I can space out these posts in such a way that people who want to see 1930s clothing don’t feel disappointed when it takes months for it to show up again.

Today’s dresses are both appropriate for any 1930s paper dolls out there. I used my favorite source for these things- The Vintage Pattern Wiki. It’s amazing and so fun to dig through (if you’re a clothing lover like me.) So, the dress on the left is based on Simplicity 1091. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a way to see if there was a more precise copyright date on the pattern other then the cover art which is distinctly 1930s. The second dress is based on Vogue 7316 C from 1936. The  hats and gloves are based on a variety of sources, including the pattern covers.

In my head these are summery dresses, but I suppose there’s no reason they have to be, through the one on the right would be awfully cold come winter time.

Just for fun, in case you missed any of the 1930s pieces so far, here’s a round up of all the 1930s posts so far…

The 1930s Paper Doll Collection So Far..

I’m excited to say that I just drew a new set of 1930s underwear and so soon there will be a second 1930s paper doll to join Benedita. Of course, given my turn around times, “soon” might equal sometime in the next six months. I am a bit slow at these things. Meanwhile, the 1930s dresses will fit any of the B Pose dolls, they just might back the right shoes and hair for a period look.

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Need a Doll to wear today’s outfit? All the B Pose Dolls & Clothing

An Evening Gown from 1933 for the B Pose Dames

A paper doll 1930s evening wear illustration with a black dress from 1933, gloves and a purse.

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So, I knew when I was working on a 1930s paper doll collection, I was going to illustrate some a 1930s evening wear. Day wear is important too, but I have some of that and evening wear seemed like the next step. I rarely do black evening gowns, because I think the line-work gets lost, but I really liked the idea of black and pink for today’s paper doll dress. 

So, this attempt at 1930s evening wear is a complete outfit for a lady, except shoes. I didn’t want to deal with strappy 1930s shoes and the skintone. The evening gown is based on Butterick 5095 a dress pattern circa 1933. I designed her gloves like on the pattern illustration, but lest you think pink gloves are a little odd- here’s a pair of purple ones. Her purse is based on this beaded evening bag from 1930-1935.

If you’re thinking that you need a paper doll to model today’s slinky black evening dress, than might I recommend Benedita’s 1930s Version? She even has period underwear.

If you’d like to support the blog, think about donating through Patreon. It really does help keep it up on the internet and ad free. I think of the blog has having the NPR marketing strategy. Maybe, if people like it, they’ll help me off set the costs.

Speaking of NPR, if you haven’t seen it, the Mr. Rodgers documentary Will You Be Me Neighbor? made me cry. It’s not a perfect movie. It had some flaws, but I really really enjoyed it. So, I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet. 

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Benedita: The 1930s Paper Doll Version

A beautiful 1930s printable paper doll with black hair and period underwear. She has stockings and four different pairs of shoes. Free to print in color or in black and white for coloring.

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On Monday, I posted some 1930s dresses, but paper doll dresses aren’t much use without a 1930s paper doll to wear them. So, here is Benedita, being a 1930s paper doll today! Never has the “dames” title for this printable paper doll collection been more fitting.

Benedita’s 1930s corset was based on this one from The Met. The original corset has a ruffle at the bottom. I had drawn it that way, at first, but to make the slim skirts of the 1930s work over the ruffle was basically impossible, so through the Power of Photoshop, the ruffle went away. Sometimes, paper doll creation requires editing changes, because fabric can fold and paper… doesn’t.

The shoes all came from 1930s shoes in different museums. I love 1930s shoes, but I wanted to try to focus on classic designs that would be versatile for different outfits. Her brown shoes, for example, were based on this pair of purple shoes from Saks Fifth Avenue crica 1934. Her green shoes are a simplified version of this patterned pair from 1935. Her beige and black pair were based on this pair of French sandals. The black pair of the doll is wearing come from this pair of shoes, which is also black.

And yes, today’s 1930s paper doll is wearing shoes. Why? Because I thought it would be easier to put her in shoes than deal with the fact that she can’t be barefoot (she’s wearing stockings) and I didn’t want to deal with the whole “toes under stockings” thing. So, the solution? A nice neutral pair of black shoes.

(And you can always put something over them, if you think she would secretly like to be a fantasy warrior or something.)

Now, just like my 18th Century Alice, 1930s Benedita can’t wear all the clothing I’ve ever drawn for the B Pose paper dolls without her underthings showing. So, if she does decide she wants to go slay a dragon in this ridiculous get up, than she may need need to be okay with her corset showing. Or you can always cut her head off and paste it onto another Benedita’s body. It’s a little gruesome, but no one will judge a bit of paper doll decapitation.

Love her? Hate her? Have an opinion on what decade I should do next? Let me know in a comment!

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

A Pair of 1930s Paper Doll Dresses From Sewing Pattern Covers

A pair of 1930s paper doll dresses based on 1930s sewing pattern covers in color or in black and white for coloring. Along with the two dresses, there are two hats.

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Some era’s of fashion history I love more than others. I’ve always been a little conflicted about the 1930s. I adore the asymmetry art deco influences of the era, but often find the actual clothing a little dull. Still, once in a while I see a 1930s design and think, “I want to draw that.”

For today’s 1930s paper doll dresses the “thing” I wanted to draw were those sleeves on the dress on the left. That dress is from a McCall 7209, copyrighted in 1932. You can see similar sleeves in McCall 8371 and McCall 8599 from 1935 or Simplicity 1325 from 1933. The sleeve details of the 1930s foreshadow the broad-shouldered silhouette that will become popular at the end of the decade and then take over in the 1940s.

The other of the 1930s paper doll dresses is the one on the right with the scarf. That’s from McCall 8206 and is copyrighted 1935. It’s a more subdued dress and closer to what I think of when I think of the 1930s. The skirt drops quickly from the late 1920s when it’s just below the knee to mid-calve by the early 1930s.

The two hats are based on a soft folded felt hats that were common in this era. I didn’t have a specific example I was copying, but heres a few from a pattern cover and one at the LACMA museum. More examples of 1930s clothing can be seen on my 1930s Fashion Pinterest board

I tried to pick colors schemes that coordinated for these, so that the hats could be worn with either dress. 

If you’re thinking, but there’s no paper doll with historic underwear to go with these dresses, fear not. I have a 1930s Benedita in the works to accompany today’s gowns, but until she’s done any of the B Pose dolls can share these dresses.

Meanwhile, there’s an alternative color scheme on the Patreon page from my Patrons- donate and join if you’d like to support the blog. Now, would be a smart time to join, because I am currently doing my annual “Make requests” poll for my Patrons. If you’ve ever wanted to see a ballerina pirate paper doll dress, now would be the time to ask.

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

Mini-Maiden’s 1930’s Evening Gown & Shoes


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Sears Fashions from 1934 and these shoes from the Met

Today’s paper doll is post is the last one for a the next little while. I am not only out of paper doll content that is finished, but I am also in the midst of finals for my graduate program. So, as of Friday, the blog will be on hiatus until December 11th and the end of the semester.

Meanwhile, today’s paper doll dress is a 1934 evening gown. The major reference book for today’s dress was Everyday Fashions of the Thirties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs from Dover Publications. The decoration at the neckline would have been a removable clip on piece, according to the catalog description. These slinky evening dresses are really pretty fun (though would not be very flattering on me). The sleeves are two tiered flutter sleeves which, now that I mention it, remind me of the sleeves that my friend had on her wedding dress.

The shoes are a pair of high evening pumps from The Met museum based on this pair. I was super happy that I could locate shoes from the same year as the dress. It always makes me excited when that happens, though of course, people keep clothing for longer than I year. In fact, right now, I am wearing three year old shoes, two year old pants and a year old sweater.

Meanwhile, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving if you celebrated and, as mentioned, I’ll be laying low until my school work if finished. So, no paper dolls will go up until the 11th of December. There will be a “formal” hiatus announcement on Friday.

(I try not to just disappear on you all. I know that’s kinda annoying and sometimes people send me emails worried about me, so I’d hate for anyone to worry.)

As always, I love to hear comments or, if you’d like to support the blog further than become a patron.

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

Mini-Maiden’s 1935 Dress & Shoes From Sears Magazine


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Sears Fashions from 1935
A black and white 1935 paper doll dress coloring page with shoes. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.
The Mini-Maiden paper doll series are getting some attention today with a 1935 dress and a pair of 1933 Shoes. Both the shoes that go with today’s day dress and the dress based on designs from the book, Everyday Fashions of the Thirties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs.

One of my favorite series of fashion history books are the Sears Fashions set from Dover Publications. Each book is a reprint of pages from Sears Magazines from a decade long period. There’s not a huge amount of contextual information, but they provide a vivid window into the fashions of the decade for children and adults. Plus, they are super reasonably priced, so not bad place to start a collection.

(Says the girl with over 50 fashion history books on her shelves.)

The 1930s is a fascinating period. Skirts get longer than the 1920s and there’s a lot of fun details like the scalloped collar on this dress. There’s also a lot of asymmetry in the styles as well which you can see from the side wrap style of today’s dress.

Right behind the 1920s (which are my first love) is the 1930s. Again, it’s not a period where it would look terribly good on me, but I love the details in the styles.

There’s also a theory in fashion history that really modern clothing begins in the 1930s and the changes that follow this era are fairly minor. I think there’s a lot of truth to that.

Really fashion hasn’t dramatically changed in the last 80 or so years.

So, what do people think of today’s paper doll dress? I always love to hear from people in the comments.

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

A 1930s Dress to Color & Dress a Paper Doll In


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Simplicity 1781 from 1935
A 1930s dress for the Mini-Maiden printable paper doll series in black and white to print and color for free.
So, this is my first 1930s dress for the Mini-Maidens paper dolls. That surprised me, but it is true. I even went through the archives to confirm- I’ve done 1920s and 1940s, but never a 1930s dress.

The dress is based on this pattern cover from Simplicity 1781 designed in 1935. The two part dress had an optional coat which I did not end up drawing. Mostly, what I liked about the dress’s design was the super cool square belt buckle.

Yes, sometimes I’m that easy to please.

I should add that I also really liked the pockets on the button of the top and the very art deco feeling of the whole piece, but mostly… mostly I liked the belt buckle.

One problem of doing my first mini-maidens’ 1930s dress is that I don’t have a really good Mini-Maiden doll with the right hair for the era. This Hazel has 1940s hair which doesn’t quite work. The closest two choices are probably my 1920s Faye paper doll whose wavy bob is not too far off or my steampunk Greta paper doll.

Clearly, this is evidence that I need to draw more than one 1930s dress for the Mini-maidens printable paper dolls.

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The Reader2017 coupon for 25% off in the Etsy store is good for just two more days. So, if there’s something you want, I’d grab it.

Now, I am curious. Should I do more 1930s stuff for the Mini-Maidens? Is there another decade you’d like to see? Let me know in a comment.

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