B&B Curvy Paper Dolls Visit the Groovy 1970s


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: 1970s and Platform Shoes and Afros and People Whose Blogs I Admire
A black paper doll with an afro and 1970s fashion with shoes and a dress. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

A paper doll Princess Lolita outfit with thigh high socks from paperthinpersonas.com. Available in color or black and white for coloring.

Years ago, Debbie of Black Doll Collecting asked for a 1970s fashion inspired black paper doll with a huge afro. It’s one of those ideas that has been percolating for a long long time.

But I super respect Debbie as the authority on black dolls that she is. She has opened my eyes to examples of early black dolls that are super rare like Cynthia from the 1950s and these early Effanbee dolls.

So, I decided that my ignorance was no excuse to not give it a go. I did some research on 1970s black culture and set to work on creating today’s paper doll.

The 1970s were an interesting era for black culture. The Black is Beautiful movement was in full force bringing with it respect for traditional hairstyles like the afro and dutch wax print fabrics. There were even Black is Beautiful paper dolls produced in 1969, another thing I learned from Debbie’s blog. Black owned toy companies, like Shindana, were bringing out black dolls for children. Meanwhile, blaxploitation films began flourishing in Hollywood when Shaft came out in 1971.

Now, that we’ve all learned about the 1970s, let’s talk today’s paper doll.

Her hair is the first afro I have drawn that I am actually pretty proud of. It’s a little big perhaps for the 1970s, but maybe not? There is that famous scene in Foxy Brown where Pam Grier pulls a gun from her afro.

Her dress is from McCall’s 2316 sewing pattern from 1970 and her shoes are both from the early 1970s as well. Both shoe designs were taken from 20th Century Fashion by John Peacock.

Normally, I steer clear of brown shoes on brown skin, but I actually really liked how the shoes colors (from Peacock’s book) coordinated with the paper doll’s ebony skin-tone.

In my research, I watched Chris Rock’s documentary, Good Hair, which wasn’t very helpful about historical black fashion, but it was a fascinating window into a world I know nearly nothing about. It also made me feel super cheap for complaining at how much my hair cuts cost. If you haven’t seen it and you’re interested in fashion or culture, I strongly recommend it.

Meanwhile, I’d love to hear what you think of today’s paper doll in a comment. I love to hear from y’all.

Need to get some more clothing for this Bodacious & Buxom paper doll to wear? Pick out some clothing here.

Ms. Mannequin Printable Paper Dolls Get 1970s Dresses


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: The dresses of 1974 like Simplicity 6605 and McCall’s 3936
A pair of 1970s dresses for the printable paper doll series Ms. Mannequin from 1974. Both are based on sewing patterns from the era.

A pair of 1970s dresses for the printable paper doll series Ms. Mannequin from 1974 to print and color. Both are based on sewing patterns from the era.

Let me be frank, I don’t really love the fashions of the 1970s, but they are starting to grow on me a little. There’s something about the bold colors and the big collars that I kinda have a fondness for.

So, I might never been a die hard “1970s YAY” kinda girl, I am at least learning to enjoy some of the looks of the era.

Last year I drew my first 1970s stuff and this year I wanted to continue dabbling in the era. While I think the Ms. Mannequin dolls look kinda odd as Vikings (their pose just doesn’t work), they make much better swinging cats of the 1970s.

Both of these dresses are based on pattern cover designs. I love using vintage pattern covers to design paper doll dresses. They are usually pretty easy to draw from too, which I am grateful for.

The dress on the left is from Simplicity 6605 and McCall’s 3936 and McCall’s 3936 which was apparently a “carefree pattern” which I think meant it was supposed to be easy to make. The dress on the right is from Simplicity 6605 which was a “how to sew” pattern. It would teach you, apparently, how to make set in gathered sleeves.

These days, I use online videos when I don’t know how to sew something, but I suppose that wasn’t exactly an option in 1974.

Also, I don’t sew people clothing. I am strictly a doll clothing sewing kinda girl.

Well, what do you all think of today’s 1970s dresses? Is this a decade of fashion you really love? Do the Ms. Mannequin dolls need maybe a jumpsuit or something to do with their dresses?

Let me know in a comment.

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Marisole Monday & Friends Paper Dolls Get Some 1970s Clothing


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Simplicity 9370 from 1971
A super cute bright yellow jumpsuit from 1971 based on the art on a vintage sewing pattern cover. Available in color or black and white.

A super cute jumpsuit from 1971 based on the art on a vintage sewing pattern cover. Available in color or black and white.

So, I work in batches. This doesn’t just mean I tend to draw a batch of the same paper doll series together, it also means I sometimes draw the same themes together. For example, I drew today’s jumpsuit around the same time I drew the my 1970s Mini-Maiden. Sometimes, I get into a theme, like 1970s clothing, and want to spend some time there.

Then I promptly get over and am distracted by some other thing. That’s the nature of my brain.

Today’s jumpsuit was based on a 1971 Simplicity sewing pattern cover. Apparently the pattern was designed to be sewn quickly and only took two different pattern pieces. I loved the cheery bright yellow color in the cover art, so I kept it.

The wide brown belt was from the pattern cover, but it also was nice because it split up the jumpsuit. I think jumpsuits really need belts, don’t you?

This is probably the last piece of 1970s clothing for the paper dolls for a while. As I said above, I tend to be a bit flighty in my paper doll interests. I have been feeling very “over the top princess gowns” lately, so stay tuned for some of that, also I have been dabbling in the 1870s.

Out of the curiosity, which do you like better for the fashion- the 1970s, the 1870s or the 1770s?

I have so confess to being a pretty big 1870s fan. Let me know your favorite in a comment.

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Need a Marisole Monday & Friends Lady Paper Doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick One Out Here

Mini-Maidens in some 1970s Fashions


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Simplicity 6931 from 1975
A black and white paper doll coloring page with 1970s fashions based on a vintage pattern cover. From paperthinpersonas.com

Today, the Mini-Maidens are visiting 1975 with an outfit and hair inspired by the looks of that era. I’ve never been a big 1970s fashion fan, but I confess the period has grown on my lately. I think it’s the sideburns.

One thing I do love are vintage pattern covers. Everything about them from the pose to the styles are so much of their era. A 1975 pattern cover from Simplicity inspired today’s paper doll 1970s fashion. The pattern had two options- a dress or a blouse, but I liked the blouse better. Somehow, the dress reminded me a little too much of a nightgown. A lot of 1970s maxi dresses remind me a lot of nightgowns.

If you’re a sewist, Wren Feathers has a super cute pattern for a blouse in this style sized for slim body 18 inch dolls. I haven’t sewn it up yet, but it has been in my “to sew” pile for a long time. Just in case your non-paper dolls need some 1970s fashion.

Greta, one of the Mini-Maiden dolls, is modeling the outfit and has a 1970’s shag haircut. The pattern cover inspired the jeans and platform shoes too.

One thing I find fascinating about 1970s fashion is that a lot of it looks very contemporary. Sometimes it is just the hair or the textile that gives away the age of the garment. You could probably get away with the jeans and shoes today. I’m not so sure about the blouse. Something about those sleeves kinda feels very dowdy to me.

What do you think? Are you a 1970s fashion lover or is it a decade you could see less of? Let me know in a comment.

Tomorrow there will be 18th Century Sprites Clothing. Yes, male historical clothing. Shocking, I know.

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Need a more outfits for today’s Mini-Maiden Paper Doll? Find More Clothing Here

Sewing the Seventies… A Paper Doll For Jo

seventies-logo-marisoleThis is the paper doll set I abandoned last week and instead posted the doodles. I am so happy I gave it another week to be refined. Jo was one of the two winners of my drawing in January. She asked for a “groovy” late 60s early 1970s Marisole paper doll based on pattern covers from patterns she actually had sewn at the time. How cool is that?

You can see a PDF of the pattern covers Jo sent me here. I loved all of the pattern covers and I wish I had been able to draw them all, but, of course, that would be way more than a one page paper doll.

Normally, I do two pairs of shoes for each Marisole and friends set, but I wanted to focus on things the patterns had, so a simple pair of clogs did the trick. Tiny calico patterns were the “in” thing in the 70’s, so I created some to decorate these groovy outfits using a new method that I’m experimenting with involving Photoshops pattern making tools. I think they came out pretty well considering that I only sort of know what I am doing.

marisole-sewing-seventies-paper-doll-color

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I drew a new Marisole paper doll face for this set, because I wanted to try to capture some of the whimsy of the pattern cover’s faces. I don’t think I did a good job of that, but I did have fun. Jo asked for bangs and brown hair, or I would have given into the temptation and tried to do Farrah hair.

(Okay, I did try. I confess. It came out… weird looking.)

marisole-sewing-seventies-paper-doll-bw

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I had so much fun dabbling in the 1970s, especially since I’m not very familiar with the clothes of this era. So, fans who remember the 1970s… how did I do?