Hazel Visits the 1940s: Afternoon Dress from 1940


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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!

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

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.

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

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.

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

Hazel Visit’s the 1940s: The Doll and Her First Dress


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Hazel- a paper doll and her 1940s afternoon dress. She's the first in a series for 1940s paper dolls.

May I be honest with y’all? I like y’all, so I feel I can be honest.

I have been super busy in the last few days looking for an apartment. I have finally found a spot I like and am now starting to pack. So, during the chaos, I have fallen back on the Mini-Maidens. Frankly, they are the only series I can scan and prep in just one night.

I mean, I’d like to say I did this for purely artist reasons, but really it was a mental health decision.

Plus, I printed out some images from the 1940s as source material weeks ago and I decided to get the darn paper doll set done.

Anyway, today we have Hazel, one of the Mini-Maidens. She’ll be getting an early 1940s wardrobe. Because nothing says, stress relief like a 1940s fashion paper doll, am I right?

Why the early 1940s? Because the styles changed dramatically after World War 2. I wanted to look at the fashions for the first part of the decade, except for one purse that slipped in accidentally. You can check it out come Thursday where there will be an Accessory Thursday post. I know that will make some of you happy.

So, Hazel here has one dress for today. It’s based on this uncredited image from a magazine from 1940 that I found in the New York Public Library Digital Collections. I did my best on the hat, but I’ll openly confess that I am not totally pleased with how it came out. Still, you can’t please all the people all the time or even one artist most of the time. I struggle with hats, but I won’t get better if I don’t practice.

Thoughts on the 1940s? Is it an era you like? Or hate? I find people seem to be pretty adamant about this decade one way or the other.

Smart Winter Clothes: 1940s Printable Paper Doll Clothes

poppet-1940s-logoThere aren’t a lot of really good books on historical children’s clothing. I know I’ve mentioned before my pet-peeve of people making the assumption that “children dressed like adults” which is a huge over simplification of the history of childhood.

For this 1940’s outfit, I used Children’s Fashions 1900-1950 As Pictured in Sears Catalogs. The book is out of print, which I think is a pity, since it is one of the few fashion history books that specifically focuses on children’s dress. There are a few others, but this is one of my favorites.

The original dress was patterned, but I worried if I added a pattern I would lose the heart shaped pocket details and the pleats, so I went patternless. Sometimes I think busy patterns obscure some of the more interesting design details.

I stuck with simple underwear- just a pair of panties- and shoes with socks. Mary-Janes are my favorites in any era. There would probably be a slip worn under this dress, but it didn’t occur to me to draw one until later, so we’re going slipless.

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The color scheme I think came from a catalog page, but now I can’t find it. I usually save these things on Pinterest, but alas. So, you’ll just have to trust me on this one. Both these garments are from the early part of the decade before World War Two. Once the war starts, things like pleated skirts are largely out of the picture due to fabric rationing. However, before the war, they are very much in style.

For those of you who might be curious, Petunia is modeling our 1940s outfit.

So, I hope everyone in the US had a fantastic Thanksgiving. I made pie! Everything’s better with pie. After nearly a decade, I think I have finally mastered my mother’s pie crust recipe. I still think she makes better pie than me. There is something about the pie made by family. Nothing is ever as good.

As usual, I always love to hear from readers in the comments. And if you like the paper dolls, please consider supporting PTP through Patreon.

1940’s Vixen: A 1940’s Fashion Paper Doll

Bodacious & Buxom logo- 1940's VixenThere are some periods of fashion I’m naturally drawn too. I love the regency era and the 1870s. I have a strange soft spot for the 1920s and the mod looks of the 1960s. However, 1940’s fashions just doesn’t do so much for me. Still, one of my goals for my paper dolls in 2015 is to do more historical paper doll sets and to stretch myself into eras that I’m not naturally interested in.

As a result, today’s paper doll is clad in 1940’s fashion finery.

Truly, the 1940s is a fascinating time in fashion history. World War Two interrupts the middle of the decade and the end of the war welcomes in a whole new style of clothes thanks to Dior’s New Look. Prior to 1947, however, there is cloth rationing in many countries, most notable England, and an emphasis on “Make Due and Make Mend”. Magazines would publish articles on how to transform a man’s suit into a woman’s suit or how to turn dishtowels into aprons.

A printable paper doll with 1940's fashions including three diereses, three hats, purses and shoes. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com. {Download a PDF of this paper doll to Color} {View a 150 dpi PNG of this Paper Doll to Color}
Hats were still required for day wear. Our paper doll is sporting three different hats and two purses. Marie Claie UK published these wonderful photos of 1940s fashion on their blog- photo number 27 inspired one of her hats. Her black purse is from 1945 and is based on this purse from the V&A. Her shoes are from 1943, based on this pair at the Met.

A red-headed printable paper doll with 1940's fashions including three diereses, three hats, purses and shoes. Free to print in color from paperthinpersonas.com. {Download a PDF of this paper doll in Full Color} {View a 150 dpi PNG of this Paper Doll in Full Color} {More Bodacious and Buxom Printable Paper Dolls}
All of her dresses come from vintage pattern covers- Vogue 5667, Simplicity 3296 A (one of my favorite designs, I used it here too) and Vogue 5802 A. My 1940s fashion Pinterest board contains more images that influenced this set.

A Quick Poll…

What historical era should B&B visit next?

  • Vikings! (AKA 800s) (28%, 18 Votes)
  • 1950s (20%, 13 Votes)
  • 1860s (17%, 11 Votes)
  • Regency (15%, 10 Votes)
  • 1300s (8%, 5 Votes)
  • 1700s (8%, 5 Votes)
  • Other, and I'll tell you in a comment (5%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 65

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In the 1940s… Printable Historic Paper Doll

So, as usual the back and white version of this printable paper doll happened last week and this week we have the full color version. Somehow, in color, the paper doll looks less angry to me. Interesting how that works, isn’t it?

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On a totally unrelated note, a reader posted some images of Little Pixie colored in a garden on a French forum. I think she did a fantastic job and she has a blog, so check that out. Sometimes when I see my paper dolls colored by someone else, I sort of forget that they are my work.

I am thinking of putting up a page to show off some of the work other artists have done based on my work, like Toria’s Showcase. Are there people out there with photos or scans who would be willing to contribute?

In the 1940s… Paper Doll Coloring Page

As I mentioned last month, I have been very interested in the 1940s lately. It’s not a period that I’ve been interested in normally, but watching a rather lot of Foyle’s War has infected me, I suppose.

The thing about the 1940s, which makes it a little difficult, is that in the middle of the decade there’s a rather important event known as World War II (though I tend to share the view of scholars who argue there weren’t two wars, but rather one war with a twenty year cease fire in the middle). The full skirted suit is of the style that came out of the war in 1947, thanks to Dior’s New Look. The other suit jacket and skirt are both based on the short lived fabric restrictions known as “Uility clothing” in England. In fact, these restrictions are one of the reasons vest for men fell out of fashion in the United States and England.

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I’m pleased about this set, though her hair isn’t quite right. I have trouble with hair and I think something about the style makes her look somewhat… angry.

Irma asked: How much time in a week do you spend drawing paper dolls?

I tend to work in bursts. Some weeks I do lots and lots of drawing and inking and other weeks I can go and never touch them. My goal is always to have the images, at least, ready far enough ahead that I don’t have to play catch up too much. I know there is no way I could possibly draw, ink, scan, color and post a set all in one evening. It just wouldn’t happen. I don’t have that kinda time, so I work in sections. For example, I already have the rest of this week’s paper dolls ready to post and, though I haven’t written the blogs yet, the images are prepped and uploaded to my server.

I tried to keep track of how long this set took me to get ready from scan to prep, so I could at least tell Irma that much, and I found that it took me four hours from the scanning to the posting, granting that I was watching an episode of the West Wing at the time and took a few breaks.

By the way, if you haven’t been to it, Irma’s blog is fantastic. I love her black and white paper dolls.

Curves: 1940’s

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I do love vintage fashion and though the 1940’s are not my favorite period, I drew this set of paper dolls around the same time I drew last weeks Curves post. In fact, it was exactly the same time, as with that post I used the Vintage Fashion Wiki to find pattern covers from the 1940s and then drew them.

Though I like the way it turned out, I am the first to confess that my interest in 1940’s costume can be linked entirely to my love of Foyle’s War another fantastic BBC drama. I love BBC dramas much more than I should. Plus I can get them from the library for free which when you’re a starving graduate student is a lovely advantage. To be fair, I’ve also been watching a great deal of The X-files, but I doubt I am going to drawing 1990’s suits a la Dana Scully. I’m just not that much of a fan of early 90’s suits.