A Mini-Maiden Fantasy Gown Inspired by Hanfu

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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Fantasy versions of Hanfu Gowns like this one, this one and this one
A fantasy paper doll gown influenced by hanfu and the Tang Dynasty in China. A paper doll dress to print and color.
On Monday, I posted a Lord of the Rings Marisole Monday paper doll gown which was a very European fantasy look. It was, after all, based on English and French fashions form the Medieval era. Today’s Mini-Maiden paper doll gown was inspired by Chinese historical clothing.

The hanfu, specifically. There’s something about these gowns like this one and this one that I just think are so elegant. I realize they aren’t exactly historically accurate, but I think they are still beautiful.

And lord knows, I’ve never been one to let a lack of historical accuracy stop me.

I think this would be a fun dress to color and I might even add some pattern to the long outer robe, if I were to color it, I think.

Most of my inspiration for today’s paper doll gown comes from Pinterest. Gowns like this onethis one and this one from my Fantasy Clothing Pinterest board. More examples would be this dress and this dress.

Personally, I love wandering around, metaphorically speaking, on Pinterest. I always see things and I think, “Huh. I want to draw that.”

Love this dress? Hate it? Let me know in a comment. I always love to hear from you all.

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

Sorceress’ Element Dress for Air

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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Tang Dynasty Hanfu, Sort of…

A paper doll fantasy gown inspired by the element Air. It is a pale pink draped coat with flare sleeves over a cream colored under dress over a pale blue under-dress. Over the coat, there is a wide obi like belt with decorations. The boots are pale yellow and there is a staff with a wing design.

A paper doll fantasy gown inspired by the element Air for coloring and printing.

Today’s paper doll gown is for the curvy B&B paper dolls. It’s part of my Sorceress Gowns Project. My goal with the Sorceress Gowns Project was to create a series of gowns for a sorceress, as one might imagine. I started with the classic four elements- earth, air, fire and water. The element of Air inspired today’s paper doll gown.

For a series of gowns based on the elements, most of the Sorceress gowns were pretty easy to design. I created Water, Fire and Earth. Earth was the hardest, but only because my sister is a geologist and I feared judgement if I didn’t get it right.

Air was hard, because air is transparent. So, unless I wanted to post a blank image and declare it an Air dress, I needed to come up with some way to give Air some form. So, I went with flowing garments and soft drape. Her staff references a bird’s wing and the swirls on her dress are meant to be the breeze.

Traditional Chinese dress from the Tang Dynasty influenced this paper doll gown. I saw things like this and and this being labeled as Tang Dynasty. Now, I realize these have about as much in common with actual Tang Dynasty dress as this does with actual Italian renaissance dress. Intrigued by these outfits, I did a little more research and found this painting and this painting. Again, I have no idea how accurate most of this is. My knowledge of Chinese clothing is distinctly Qing Dynasty. And even that era, I know only the most surface of facts.

Still, I love the shape and the drape of these garments, so they heavily influenced today’s paper doll gown.

The chose to use colors I associate with the sky at dawn. I didn’t know exactly what colors would symbolize Air, but I thought pale pastels made the most sense to me.

As always, I love to hear what people think in a comment.

Need to get a Bodacious & Buxom paper doll to wear these fabulous clothes? Pick one out here.

Marisole Monday’s Qi Lolita Inspired Paper Doll Dress

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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Child’s Vests from China Like This One and 1930s Cheongsam Like This One
A fantasy paper doll dress based on traditional Chinese clothing and inspired by Qi Lolita. Free to print in color or black and white from paperthinpersonas.com.

Paper doll Dress. Printable paper doll series from paperthinpersonas.com.

Most of my Asian fantasy stuff is inspired by kimonos, because I really love kimonos.

However,  this one is actually very much not about the kimono. It was heavily influenced by vests like this one from the Met, this one from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and this other one from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. And some really fun vintage cheongsam like this one and this one. You can see more traditional Chinese clothing on my Pinterest board devoted to it.

The other major influence was Qi Lolita, which is a style of Lolita fashion which adapts traditional Chinese outfits like qipao and combines them with the classic full skirted Lolita fashion silhouette.

Basically, imagine if a cheongsam and a big skirted prom dress had a love child.

Initially, I’d planned to use the floral pattern on the top of the dress. I didn’t actually like the flowers on the top of the dress, so I ended up placing them on the two tiered skirt.

The shoes I have mixed feelings about, I confess.

I created them to try to “fill-out” the post, but I am not really in love with them.

So, what do you think about today’s fantasy paper doll dress? Let me know in a comment.

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

Marisole Monday & Friends in a Kimono and Qipao Inspired Fantasy Gown

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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Kimono, Qipao and This Chinese Fan
A fantasy gown inspired by kimonos and qipao for the Marisole Monday & Friends free printable paper doll series.

A fantasy gown inspired by kimonos and qipao for the Marisole Monday & Friends free printable paper doll series.

In my original plan, today’s dress went with a paper doll, but I just couldn’t seem to draw a hair style that I liked to go with it. So, in the end, I decided to just post the dress all by its lonesome. However, there are a lot of dolls that could go with this set like this one or this one or this one.

The color scheme is based on this Chinese fan from the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. I often like to look for color schemes from cultures that are not my own. Which colors go with which other colors is often a matter of cultural preferences, so I like to sometimes look for a combination that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. Although, for all my dabbling in different parts of the world, my love of teal and red together is well documented. It is entirely possible that’s the make up of my living room color scheme.

Other inspirations include this wa lolita outfit, a Chines informal robe covered in butterflies, this kimono and this kimono.I tend to collect my sources on Pinterest, so feel free to follow me there if you want some glimpses into what I’m interested in for any given afternoon.

The shoes have tabi style socks, because I wanted them to be wearable by any of the paper dolls skin tones.

So, what do you think about today’s paper doll dress? Let me know in a comment.

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

Asian Inspired Fantasy Outfits for the Sprites Printable Paper Dolls

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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Kimono, Qiapo and Stuff
A pair of fantasy outfits for the Sprites printable paper doll series based on qiapo and kimono. Free to print in color or black and white from paperthinpersonas.com.

A pair of fantasy outfits for the Sprites printable paper doll series based on qiapo and kimono. Free printable paper doll coloring page from paperthinpersonas.com.

It has been a while since I dabbled in Asian dress inspired fantasy attire for the paper dolls. Sometimes, I feel a little strange borrowing from Asian traditional attire, because I don’t feel like I have the right. I pointed this out of a friend and they asked if I didn’t have the right to borrow from Japan, why did I have the right to borrow from Europe?

I really didn’t have a good answer to that one. I am certainly not now, nor have ever been, European. I was born in Alaska, after all.

Cultural appropriation is one of those areas that I never quite know how I feel. Still, being aware is important and trying to be culturally aware matters. Respecting other cultures and trying to depict them respectfully is important.

So, today’s fantasy foray crosses qiapo and kimonos in a way that doesn’t make much logical sense, but does look neat. And looking neat is an important critera for my fantasy paper doll creations. (Hence why I once drew this and got to call it armor.)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the colors in today’s pair of Sprite paper doll pieces came from this kimono. I love kimonos and their color combinations are often surprising to me. Probably, because I lack the cultural context to understand the color choices, but I always seem to enjoy the surprise.

According to this chart I saw on the internet, and we all know how trustworthy that is, orange and purple are common colors for May kimonos. In the world of kimonos, colors signify season, status, gender, age, and all sorts of other things. It is actually a fascinating area of study, if you know, you happen to be into dress.

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Looking for some Sprite paper dolls to wear these outfits? Pick out Sprite paper dolls here.

Mini-Maiden’s Are Secretely Ninjas

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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Ninjas and How Bad I am at Drawing a Katana

Yesterday, I did a way more detailed explanation of why I drew this ninja outfit then I am going to do today. Mostly, it was because I didn’t have many ninja paper dolls. I especially wanted a ninja coloring page paper doll outfit. Why you ask?

Well, because I was asked for one.

Not recently, mind you, but years and years ago I was emailed to see if my Ninjas Vs Pirates paper doll set for Marisole Monday and Friends was available in black and white. It wasn’t and it won’t be, because I no longer have the master files for it. So, when I decided to draw ninjas, astronaut and circus themed paper dolls, I knew I needed to do one in black and white. Why those these topics? I explain in yesterday’s post.

So, here it is! Of course, my more recently Marisole Monday & Friend’s ninja is also available in black and white, but now there’s another option if you perfer Mini-Maidens to Marisole Monday & Friends. Everyone should have options.

Seriously, I swear this logic made sense in my head at the time.

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Also, I hope everyone has a great weekend. Mine should be quiet which, frankly, is exactly how I like my weekends to be.

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

An Elven Empress: A Paper Doll in Color

logo-empress-colorI collect costume history and dress books. I’ve been collecting them for years. I used to deny that it was a collection, but as it has grown I have grudgingly come to accept that “collection” is the the only word for it.

The colors in this set are based on a Japanese language book I have on Kimonos. I don’t have much of a clue what the book is about (I don’t know any Japanese), but I picked it up for a dollar from a booksale in college and its been traveling around with me ever since. I keep swearing I’ll give it away to someone who read Japanese, but somehow I can’t seem to part with it.

Funny how that goes, isn’t it?

I don’t have many other kimono history books, though I do plan to expand my “ethnic” clothing collection soon. (I put “ethnic” in quotations, because I find that term problematic for a whole slew of reasons that I don’t want to get into right now. Needless to say, all clothing is about ethnicity, even if you don’t realize it.)

Anyway, these colors are quite bright, so if I understand kimono color culture correctly, they would be most appropriate for an unmarried young woman. Of course, none of these are actual kimono, so I suppose I could just have decided that in the strange elven fantasy culture these are from anything I say goes.

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I’ve had a lot of fun with this set. Next up is a contemporary fashion set and a naming poll. After that, I really haven’t decided what I am going to do. I need to buckle down and get some sketching done for my next few historical sets and give the Poppets some love. They’ve been neglected as of late.

Thoughts on what I should draw for the Poppets? Drop me a comment. Or just drop me a comment, because you care.

You do care, don’t you? (Imagine me giving you puppy dog eyes here.)

An Elven Empress: A Black and White Fantasy Paper Doll

logo-empress-bwYesterday was Mother’s Day and I hope everyone who should of called their mother did actually call their mother. Anyone who is a Mother, Happy Belated Mother’s Day. My own Mother reads this blog and she is, I must say, about the best Mother a girl could have. I love her very much and her support has always meant a lot to me.

One of the thing I inherited from my Mother was a love of Asian clothing, particularly the amazing textiles that go into kimono. Seriously, if you’ve never just gazed in amazement at Japanese textiles, go check out this kimono or this one or this one.

I’ll wait.

Anyway, I tend to think of today’s paper doll as a cousin to my Tones & Shades paper doll that I did back in 2011. Like Jai from last month, this isn’t actual Tang Dynasty dress or actual kimonos, rather it’s a strange fantasy mixing of a lot of different styles into one.

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Some of my inspirations in no real order include Korean women’s hairstyles, Tang Dynasty style Chinese dress, a ball jointed doll outfit, a kimono and an actual Tangy Dynasty sculpture. I probably forgot some sources, but I think that’s everything. I tend to collect my sources on Pinterest, so feel free to follow me there if you want some glimpses at my various obsessions.

Jai: A Fantasy Paper Doll

logo-china-pixieThis isn’t an accurate depiction of Tang Dynasty dress. Though at times it seems to me that this would be obvious, most people (myself included) aren’t very familiar with the dynasties of China, let alone what they were wearing. Oddly, I never feel like when I draw stuff like this or this or this, I have to say it’s not accurate historical European dress, so perhaps my ned for a “disclaimer” is partly an assumption on my part about what my readers are familiar with.

So, anyway, these gowns were inspired by Hanfu and Tang Dynasty dress if anyone is keeping count. Of course, they aren’t accurate and they aren’t meant to be. I just had a lot of fun looking up gowns like this one and this one on Pinterest.

I find balancing research intense projects with non-research intense projects really helps keep me feeling sane. So, fantasy often seems to counter balance historical sets. I just finished, for example, penciling the largest 18th century set that I have ever drawn and then drew a space princess with a ray gun.

It’s all about contrast.

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I went with a muted color scheme that I found on Design Seeds. I wanted it to feel a little less bright and more nature inspired than a lot of my color schemes tend towards. I have a lof of bright colors. I think the gray greens and soft lavenders go a long way to keeping things feeling soft and delicate.

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I swear I had a reference from a contemporary Asian historical drama film when I drew her hair, but now I can’t seem to find the picture on Pinterest. Normally, I’m quite compulsive about saving these things, so I’m a little surprised to be so flummoxed.

Oh well… perhaps I shall find it later.

In the meantime, enjoy Jai and her fantasy gowns.

Faye’s Runic Adventures: A Printable Paper Doll

logo-faye-runicNothing exists in a vacuum. This means that anything which is created inevitably is developed from previously existing content. This doesn’t bother me. I love combining diffrent parts to get a unique whole.

Today’s paper doll was primarily inspired by this drawing I found on Pinterest which is originally from what appears to be a live action role playing game in England called Empire from the fictional country of Wintermark’s costumes.

Who knew?

This image was not my only inspiration. I was also influenced by traditional Japanese hairstyles and vikings. Everything is better with vikings or pirates or pirate vikings….


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Seriously, I should do a set of pirate vikings. I can picture it now… horned helmets and jolly roger flags.

On second thought… maybe I shouldn’t do that.

Moving on… Faye’s world is a harsh one. Her people are known for their skill in leather and silver work. Of a fairly high status, she wears her hair in an elaborate style decorated with a metal ornament. The society travels long distances, mostly by river, and are known for their belief in astrology and careful tracking of the movements of the stars. Their calendars are prized throughout the world for their accuracy. They exist in small townships and a few larger groups. They do not have a centralized government, as we would call it, and form alliances through trade agreements and marriage. They are a largely matriarchal society.

I do have a lot of fun inventing this stuff. 🙂