A Fitted Dress from 1956 for the Ms. Mannequin Paper Dolls


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Vogue 8972, A Sewing Pattern from 1956A paper doll dress based on a pattern cover from 1956 for the Ms. Mannequin paper doll series in grape purple.

A paper doll dress based on a pattern cover from 1956 for the Ms. Mannequin paper doll series to print and color.

I’ve written before that part of what I like about drawing from fashion magazines is the simplicity of it. You see a shirt. You draw the shirt.

Thanks to the Vintage Pattern Wiki, I can apply a similar feeling to drawing vintage historical paper doll clothing. There are hundreds of vintage pattern covers in the Vintage Pattern Wiki, so if I feel like drawing 20th century clothing than I find it doesn’t take a lot of energy to track down something I like and draw it. I just pick a decade and start looking.

I’ll openly grant that this isn’t exactly the best research practice, but it’s fun and I like picking out things to try to recreate.

Today’s dress from 1956 comes from Vogue 8972. The Vogue pattern company began as a feature in Vogue magazine. In 1909, Conte Nast bought Vogue magazine and the pattern company was formed in 1914. This was around the same time most of the other big name pattern companies were getting started as well.

It might be confirmation bias, but Vogue patterns, even today, seem to be more couture styled than others.

When I chose to draw Vogue 8972, I thought it was an afternoon or dinner dress, but the pattern isn’t specific. I chose to make my a grape purple, because I like purple.

I am a little concerned that I might have made the skirt a bit shorter than it should be, but fashion figures have such freakishly long legs it can be hard to tell where the skirt actually stops.

There’s a few other patterns from the mid-1950s with similar narrow skirted silhouette are McCall’s 3461Vogue S-4627, Simplicity 1678, McCalls 4615 and Advance 8368. There are dozens of others, but those were a few I thought shared traits with today’s paper doll dress.

Well, what do you think of the 1950s? It is a favorite fashion period of yours? Let me know in a comment.

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

The Mini-Maidens Visit the 1950s and Drink a Cocktail


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Cocktail Dresses of the 1950s, Specifically this one and this one

A pair of black and white paper doll 1950s cocktail dresses. The top dress is based on a Vogue sewing pattern and the bottom dress is based on an example from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Both are available to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

Today, the Mini-Maiden paper dolls are getting a pair of 1950s cocktail dresses. The top dress is based on a Vogue sewing pattern and the bottom dress is based on an example from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The style of skirt on both dresses is called a “barrel skirt”.

Central to my life philosophy is this: You can choose to look at the bright side, or you can not, but I try to look at the bright side. Which means, mostly, I try to see the things I am proud about in a paper doll set rather than the things that bug the heck out of me.

I succeed in this about 83% of the time, which isn’t bad, really.

So, when I see the floral print, I am trying to focus on the things I like about it and not the things that sort of annoy me. I am succeeding, mostly.

Meanwhile, both these cocktail dresses are based on the same basic silhouette. I’m always on the look out for styles that seem to show up repeatedly in the same time period. That indicates that they were common, rather than unusual. I loved the pattern on the illustration on the Vogue pattern envelope, so I tried to recreate something like it on the top dress.

I think my success was strictly mixed.

Moving on from my angst over the floral pattern, I actually am pretty pleased with these two cocktail dresses.

What do you all think? Floral or not floral? Let me know in a comment.

Meanwhile, I’m still running a sale on the blog’s Etsy Store. There a coupon code good for 25% off an order of 4.00 or more until the end of March. Use the code: READER2017

Or if you’d rather become a Patron and see behind the scenes, then donate through Patreon.

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

Mini-Maidens: Retro Suit from 1954


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: 1950s Suits, Obviously

A retro suit design from 1954 for the Mini-Maidens paper doll series along with slingback shoes and a beret.

When you think of the 1950s, there are really two common silhouettes. The first is the nipped in waist and the full skirt. That look is pretty flattering on myself and one I enjoy drawing, but there is another look that was equally popular.

That is the narrow skirted silhouette, like today’s suit from 1954 for the Mini-Maiden paper doll series. This design is featured in the Complete Fashion Sourcebook by John Peacock and is identified as being from 1954. My major problem with Peacock’s works is that he rarely states where he found the images he is illustrating, so it is very hard to know what the context of the suit is.

However, very similar designs can be found in many other places including the Everyday Fashions of the Fifties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs book from Dover publishing. Dover has a series of these books, one for each decade, and I could not recommend them enough.

A few more examples of this style from the 1950s can be seen in this vintage pattern cover, this vintage pattern cover and this vintage pattern cover. More 1950s fashion fun can be found on my 1950s fashion Pinterest board.

Sometimes, I think I wouldn’t mind wearing suits very day, because I love how they look. I don’t want to go back to the 1950s though, because as much as I like the clothing, I also like living in a era where the Civil Rights Act exists.

We’re on day three of our variety week and I want to know what you all think, so please let me know in a comment.

And, as always, if you like the blog, consider supporting it through Patreon.

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

A 1950s Paper Doll with Some Curves

A printable paper doll with a 1950's vintage wardrobe in black and white. She has a suit, a cocktail dress and a day dress.Today’s printable paper doll has a retro flare- 1950s fashions abound. My goal was to make ten Buxom and Bodacious paper dolls before the end of 2015. I’m going to be honest, I don’t know right now if I’ll make it. My other goal was to have ten historical paper dolls by the end of 2015 and I have certainly made that goal, even if I count the massive 18th century Pixie paper doll set from August as one one set and not several.

Next week I’ll have a 1940s Poppet set up. It’s very cute and I’m very excited about it.

Actually, I’m very content with where I am in blogging and life at the moment. If I can just stop thinking of January as “a long way off.”

A printable paper doll with a 1950's vintage wardrobe in black and white. She has a suit, a cocktail dress and a day dress.

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So, my sources for these 1950s paper doll dresses were this day dress from the V&A, this Dior suit from the Chicago history Museum. The cocktail dress comes from a site called Vintageous which sells vintage formal-wear. I couldn’t find the original cocktail dress, but you can see it on my 1950’s Fashion Pinterest board. My only major regret with these dresses is that I ended up with such a busy pattern on the day dress. It is reflect the original well, but I think it also obscures some of the details.

It’s okay though. Not every plan works out well.

A printable paper doll with a 1950's vintage wardrobe in black and white. She has a suit, a cocktail dress and a day dress.

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I choose to use mostly secondary colors in this set. Orange, green and purple with some dark navy and light blue thrown in for fun. I went with black for the accessories, since any well dressed lady of this era had shoes that matched her purse. I wish there was a way to fit more than one pair of shoes into these B&B sets, but alas… there really isn’t.

I was listening to West Side Story while I colored this paper doll set, so I based her skintone, hair color and eyes on a Puerto Rican friend I had in high-school.

I have a quick poll for my readers:

How would you feel about B&B sets with just clothes?

  • Wonderful idea. Clothes are better than dolls any day. (54%, 26 Votes)
  • May be. If it wasn't too often. The dolls are important too. (38%, 18 Votes)
  • Not my thing. Without dolls, who wears the clothes? (8%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 48

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As always I love to hear what you think in the comments and would appreciate your support through Patreon. 🙂

Marisole Vintage Evening Gowns In Colors…

marisole-vintage-logo-colorLast week, I posted this paper doll set in black and white for coloring. I promised I would talk a little about each of the gowns and where they came from.

I need to learn to streamline my method for dealing with elaborate florals, or I need to never do one ever again. Normally coloring a paper doll set takes about 2 to 4 hours, at most. Sometimes longer, but only if I take a lot of breaks and am doing a lot of other stuff. If I have my colors picked out and I’m on a roll, I can do the set in about an hour when I’m really on the ball, though formatting, saving and other detail work takes longer. That single floral dress took me nearly an hour, by itself, to color. NEVER AGAIN.

(I say that and I’m already thinking of other cool florals I might draw… I have a problem, people.)

Okay, so here’s the paper doll in full color:


marisole-vintage-gowns-color

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Let’s talk about where each gown came from. The floral gown, the blue gown and the red gown are all from the V&A in London.

The blue gown is based on this red dress from 1957. The red evening dress was drawn from this evening gown by Hardy Amies was made right after fabric rationing was lifted in England (1949), so lacks the layers of lace and silk that were common in evening gowns on this period. I love the simplicity and shape of the dress. The last dress from the V&A is my favorite, the floral evening gown made in Paris and worn by the wife of the British Ambassador. I tried, but I don’t think I captured the beauty of the rose patterned skirt and layered bodice.

The last pink dress comes from The Met, known as “Tree” this gown was designed by Charles James. Of all of the gowns I drew, I feel like this one didn’t work. My style of flat color just can’t capture the layering of the gowns beautiful fabric. Liana did a beautiful version of Charles james Butterfly dress on her blog several years ago which I think captures his work better than I did here.

Okay, that’s everything. Happy MLK Day to those in the US who are celebrating like me.

Marisole Monday in Vintage Gowns

marisole-vintage-logo-bwNearly a year ago, I was asked to draw a paper doll of 1950s evening gowns.

Initially, I didn’t do it, because I couldn’t find any 1950’s evening gowns that I liked. Eventually I felt guilty enough to check out the V&A and the Met, both have strong collections from the 1950s.

I told the requester that I was working on the paper doll and asked what the hair should look like. The immediate answer was, “Like Mine.”

“Well,” I said, “Micro-braids with streaks weren’t really a thing in 1950 something, but okay. If that’s what you want…”

So, we have Marisole here, rocking her micro-braids with some couture 1950’s evening gowns to show off. As inspired by Liana’s comment a few days ago about stories, I offer the following scenario to justify this strange juxtaposition:

Marisole, working as the fashion editor of a major publication, has been invited to the Met’s annual gala whose theme, this year, is the designers of the 1950s. Eager to make an impression on the red carpet, she’s choosen to wear a vintage gown from the period. I am sure she will be the hit of the party when she arrives. 🙂

By the way, in a totally unrelated note, that floral pattern on the full skirted gown was the most complicated floral pattern I have ever done. I’ll rant more about coloring next week when I post the colored version. All I have to say is that normally, a paper doll takes me four to six hours to color, layout and get set up for blog. This paper doll… took longer. Much Longer.


marisole-vintage-gowns-black-white

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I will talk about the sources for each gown next week when I post it in color.

Also, my little drawing/contest is open until midnight on the 15th. Feel free to enter.

Some Fablous Fifties Suits… A black and white paper doll to print…

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This is an old paper doll. Really… I seem to recall inking it while sitting at my parents dining room table which I think dates it to my college years… It says 2006 on the page which means I was in my third year of college. All of the paper dolls suit’s are based on the covers of sewing patterns. I recall that I was pretty pleased with how she came out.