1960s Dresses from the Pages of Sears

A pair of 1960s paper doll dress straight from the pages of vintage Sears catalogs. Both dresses are available in color or black and white.
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First off, I know this is Christmas Eve and while I don’t celebrate, I wanted wish a Merry Christmas to everyone who does. I hope your holiday is full of laughter, joy and a minimum of family drama.

And now… paper dolls!

If you’re interested in the history of clothing (as I am), Sears catalogs are a goldmine. Unlike the fashion magazines which often show the latest styles of the top designers, Sears (and others) show what most women actually wore day to day. The pricing and color information also provide a valuable window into how much items cost and what sorts of colors were popular.

Due to copyright, full reproductions of Sears catalogs aren’t always possible, but Dover has a series of books that reprint selected pages. Everyday Fashions of the Sixties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs was the source for today’s dresses.  The dress on the left is from 1967 Sears catalog and the dress on the right is from 1960.

The purse is from 1960 and you can see it on The Met’s website.

On a slightly sad note, today’s post is the last Dames & Dandies post for a while. There have been over 120 Dames & Dandies paper doll posts, so there’s plenty to explore there.

For the first quarter of 2019, I plan to be working on a new series called Jewels & Gemstones (yes, the ampersand is my favorite piece of punctuation). I am super excited about this new series and it will debut on December 31st. Wednesday, there will be a longer preview post and Friday the last of the Paper Doll Collaborative 2018 will post.

Questions? Ask me in a comment and I will reply.

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

A 1960s Twiggy Inspired Aisha

A 1960s paper doll with three pairs of shoes and a Twiigg
A 1960's Twiggy inspired paper doll with three pairs of historical shoes to print in color or black and white. Her Rudi Gernreich inspired underwear is also historically accurate.
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If Monday’s Abigail was an ode to the beehives of the early 1960s, than today’s Aisha is a nod to Twiggy and the styles of the later sixties. Twiggy, real name Lesley Hornby, was a famous model of the later 1960s. Her androgynous look was long eyelashes, short hair and big eyes. Well, all my paper dolls have big eyes, but I did add additional eyelashes to Aisha. Here is the official Twiggy website with photos of her modeling work in the 1960s.

Interestingly, Twiggy was the beginning of the fashionable obsession with youth. She was only 17 when she reached her stardom. Today, trends are driven by younger and younger consumers. There has always been an interest in “looking young” in fashion, but the late 1960s really instilled it into our culture, I think.

As with all my historical paper dolls, there are sources. The hair was obviously Twiggy inspired. Her underwear is based on this Rudi Gernreich bra from the Met Museum. Rudi Gernreich is most famous for his topless monokini. The bra she wears is based on his “no bra” concept, which was a bra, but without any support or padding. It is notable that this design was only available in small cup sizes. This highlights the obsession with the “youthful” boyish figure of the era.

Let’s talk about shoes (one of my favorite things to draw). The black and white pair of shoes are from 1966-1968. The white strappy pair are from the 1960s. The ones with the bow were originally pink from 1962. All are from the V&A museum which has a great costume history collection.

One last announcement, I should make the Dames and Dandies series will be going on hiatus in 2019, so I can debut my new series called Jewels & Gemstones (Thank you Patrons for voting on that). It will be a single doll pose for the first quarter of 2019. After that quarter, it will be time to reassess where things are. I’ll share more Wednesday of next week. Monday will be the last Dames & Dandies post for the foreseeable future. It’s more 1960s stuff.

Feel free to ask any questions you might have and I’ll answer if I can. You can see a preview of the new doll on my Patreon page.

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

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

Celebrating the 1960s with the August Collaborative Paper Doll Post

A vintage styled paper doll dress coloring page based on a design from 1968 with matching shoes and wig for the 2018 Collaborative paper doll from paperthinpersonas.com.

Black and White Paper Doll PDF Paper Doll Collaboration 2018
So, the theme for August was Favorite Decade and I almost did the 1920s, because as you know, I love the 1920s so much. I just adore that era.

But then I thought, “But the 1920s is so expected.”

And you know, I have been drawing a fair bit of 1920s stuff for my 1920s Akiko. 

Then I thought about other decades I really love- the 1880s and 1960s. Trying to draw a bustle dress was, frankly, more than I thought I could handle this month. Between my allergies (thanks Ragweed) and the start of school again (Hi, students), I just didn’t have the complex layers of the 1880s in me. 

I did, however, have a simplicity of a 1960s shift dress in me. Today’s 1960s dress is based on Simplicity 7587 from 1968. The dress came in two lengths. Her shoes are based on this pair from 1962. And, of course, she has a big flipped hair style which you may need to add some floating tabs too. 

If you want to see more “favorite decades” head over to Paper Doll School and Miss Missy Paper Dolls to see their August posts. I have no idea what decades they chose and I am looking forward to seeing myself.

Meanwhile, back in April, I started a project to draw 100 dresses and post my drawings on Instagram. It was more about completing my #100dressesproject than any kind of timeline. Of course, I did take a few weeks off in the middle. However, I am super happy that I posted dress 100 today! So, go check out all 100 dresses and let me know what you think of them in a comment there or here. 

And, as always, I’d love to know what you think of today’s 1960s paper doll dress. 

There’s a second, patron exclusive, 1960s dress over on my Patreon page. So, if you are a patron (thank you) and enjoy! If you aren’t a patron, consider joining. Any amount really does help keep the blog’s costs down.   

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

Paper Doll Collaboration April 2018 Favorite Flower- The Tulip

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The April theme for the Paper Doll Collaboration was to draw a dress or outfit based on our favorite flowers. My favorite flower is hard to pick out, because I love so many. I love peonies, gerber daisies and tulips. I chose the tulip for this dress.

Stylistically, this dress is based on the 1960s little swing dress. To really complete the look, I drew the paper doll some 1960s hair.

For more of the paper doll collaboration, check out Paper Doll School and Miss Missy Paper Dolls for more paper doll content. I can’t wait to see what other folks have done with this wonderful fun theme.

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

A Pair of 1960s Vintage Paper Doll Dresses for the Ms. Mannequin Paper Dolls


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Simplicity 7203 and Simplicity 7852

A pair of 1960s vintage paper doll dresses based on sewing pattern covers from 1968 and 1967.

A pair of 1960s vintage paper doll dresses based on sewing pattern covers from 1968 and 1967. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

The pattern covers for Simplicity 7203 and Simplicity 7852 inspired today’s 1960s vintage paper doll dresses. The dress on the left comes from Simplicity 7852. Described as an a-line dress, the pattern offered two different colors and sleeve lengths. I chose the bib and contrasting collar for my paper doll version.

I created Simplicity 7203’s tent dress on the right. The tent dress fell in a triangle away from the body and often featured a front pleat.

Because I wanted to showcase the transition between the 1960s and 1970s, I chose the stand collar and pockets to go with my tent dress which isn’t really as wide as maybe it should be. Drawing 1960s vintage paper doll dresses isn’t as easy as sometimes I think it should be.

Also, can we pause and consider the name “tent dress”? Has anyone ever thought to themselves, “I want to look great! I’ll go put on a tent”? I mean… really?

I digress.

As some of you know, I love the Vintage Pattern Wiki whenever I go looking for vintage pattern covers to draw. Pattern Covers provide a window into what the more everyday fashions of the decade might look like. Sure, I adore Yves St. Lauren and Rudi Gernreich, but most people couldn’t afford those looks. Plus, Rudi Gernreich could be a bit out there.

So, my question for all of you is this- Would you wear something called a “tent dress”? Let me know in a comment!

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