Amaryllis, a Paper Doll in Evening Gowns

I don’t really do balance that well. I tend to work in the grip of obsession and then realize I’ve just spent five hours looking through images of medieval manuscripts in the hope that one of them might show a 10th century women’s neckline which, of course, none of them did. (By the way, you can read all about my adventures in the 10th century here and see the paper doll result.)

So, when I want to draw and I don’t want to get wrapped up in fretting about whether or not my choice of red is the right shade for Turkey red of the 1800s, I often turn to contemporary fashion magazines, as I know I have mentioned before. I find these paper dolls are fun, because in many ways they are easier than fantasy or historical dolls. I can just draw what I see, which is simpler for me than trying to draw from my minds-eye or from actual historical garments.

Black and White fantasy paper doll

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Amaryllis’ evening gowns are based on actual evening gowns of the “real world”. I wanted to use a spring color scheme that wouldn’t be to heavy and dark. I feel like Clarissa, my last Pixie, had an awfully dark color scheme for a summer paper doll post. I wanted to make Amaryllis’ shoes neutral enough that she could wear them with other outfits in case she wanted to borrow some evening gowns from another paper doll or felt like rocking some jeans. :)

One last thing, the latest drawing is still open. Consider entering if you like. :)

Meet The New Poppet Paper Doll – Posey

Poppet Posey in her School Clothes Logo So, here I am kicking off June with a new Poppet paper doll named Posey.

I’d originally intended to give all my Poppets flower names beginning with P; however, I find I am rather running out of them. The only other two I can think of are Pansy (which I would use, except for that fact that it’s a rather derogatory name for an effeminate man and I just don’t like the connotation) or Peony which I will use one day, but calling the Asian paper doll Peony seemed horribly stereotypical. So, this leaves me with Posey for our new paper doll.

Anyone know of any other P flower names? I suppose I could branch out (pardon the pun) into other P girl’s names or simply other flower names.

Full color Poppet Paper Doll clothes

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Now, Posey’s outfit is based, very vaguely, on a some of the school uniforms I saw when I was studying in England, though it lacks the jacket. I drew the blouse first and I didn’t want to lose the sleeve detail by sticking it under a jacket.

Poor excuse, perhaps, but true none the less.

I confess that I’m not totally pleased with how the skin tone turned out… I recolored it at the last minute, because the other skin tone was horrible. Still, I don’t know how much I like it.

All in all, it’s really good to be back. :)

Mia Goes Minimalist and Monochrome…

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll I am both very excited and a little nervous about today’s colored version of last week’s Minimalist fashion paper doll.

Why nervous?

Because color is something I love. I adore color and pattern and surprise and color… well color is something today’s paper doll set lacks.

Minimalism in fashion usually relies on a black and white color palette and is considered to be austere and simple. It has been popular for several years on the runways. I didn’t go as wild as I could have with shape, because I wanted everything to be wearable. This is not, after all, a fantasy paper doll set where I don’t care about realism and/or whether or not a person might actually be able to function in these crazy clothes. I am very pleased with the outcome (and this was the fastest coloring job I think I’ve ever done.)


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll
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Were I to make a list of things I’d never done before on the blog, I think doing a paper doll set entirely in black, white, and grey would end up on the list. I’m not certain, and I don’t really want to go pouring through over 500 posts to find out, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never done it before.

While I do agree that many of these shapes mirror Seagulls and Seaside, as was pointed out by a reader last week, I think the color really changes the tone of the entire set. I’m most pleased with Mia’s shoes (I love drawing shoes, though I really think one pair came out a little clunky) and the collared blouse.

Mia Goes Minimalist…

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll I love March. I love March for the fashion magazines that come out in March. March, like September, is a big month in the Fashion magazine world. It’s right after Spring Fashion Week and the fashion magazines are stuffed with the new seasonal looks.

I always like to buy several when I go to the grocery store. I love Vogue for it’s amazing photo shoots, but for paper dolling purposes I want simple clear photos of clothing. (Models jumping around or standing in wierd poses are beautiful and all, but a pain to draw off of.) Generally, I pick from People StyleWatch, Elle, Instyle, Vogue or Bazaar. This time I wasn’t impressed with any of them except Instyle, and there wasn’t a new People Stylewatch to be had, so I just got my Instyle and spent Saturday drawing this paper doll set. (Also watching Escape from New York and Wall-e, but I digress.)

All of Mia’s clothing is based off items I saw in InStyle with a focus on things that were part of the minimalist collections that have been on the runway as of late, especially from Micheal Kors, Carolina Herrar and Ralph Lauren. I didn’t want to do pattern and I didn’t want to do anything elaborate, I wanted to focus on shape.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll
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I’m really pleased with all the clothes, but a little less pleased with the doll. I decided to make her a Mia after I finished drawing the whole set, because I haven’t done a Mia yet this year, but once I finished her I realized that I have done a very similar hairstyle before for Mia before.

Anyway, I’m still pleased with this paper doll set and very excited to color it. It’s going to be a lot different I think than any other set I’ve done which is, to me, exciting.

Chic Chick from Buxom and Bodacious

So, historically, I’ve been posting a black and white B&B paper doll and then a full color version the next day.

I’ve decided that this technique is not time saving in any real way, unlike my spacing of my Marisole Monday & Friends paper dolls a week apart which saves me so many headaches, so I am going to start posting both and black and white version of the Buxom and Bodacious printable paper doll and the full color version on the same day. I hope no one minds this change, but I don’t think anyone will.

Anyway, to say something intelligent about the paper doll… I actually haven’t got much intelligent to say about the paper doll. This is one of those paper dolls the languished on my computer hard drive for weeks. I thought about working on it, got distracted and then moved on and eventually realized (like on Sunday) that all I really needed to do was layout and file formatting. So, feeling a little foolish I finished her up and here she is.


Full color Poppet Paper Doll clothes

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I confess to not being completely pleased with her color scheme. It feels a little sedate for my usual taste, but not every color scheme is a winner and that’s why the paper doll has a black and white option for coloring yourself.

Lastly, I want to give a shout out to Lina’s Paper Dolls. I’ve had her on my Links Page for a while, but keep forgetting to give her a little spotlight here. As I always say, new paper doll blogs make me happy. Check her out and drop her a comment when you have a chance. Paper doll bloggers need all the encouragement we can get. :)

Faye Visits the 1920s

Thumbnail of the printable paper doll clothes Faye has decided to do a little time traveling and visit the 1920′s. Inspired in part by Anna May Wong (the first Asian-American famous film actress), I knew I wanted to use Faye, my Asian Mini-Maiden in this set.

(I did not give Faye Anna May’s wonderful bangs because every time I tried to draw them they looked… off somehow.)

Faye has shoes, stockings, a girdle, a house dress, two day dresses and then a swimsuit. She should probably also have a swimming cap, but I didn’t really think about that until after I finished the set and then it was too late. ‘

Oh well…

I really had fun with this set since I just bought a few more books of 1920′s fashion and wanted an excuse to play with them.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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I’m trying to give more information on where I do my costume research when I say something is historically accurate, so I’m including a sources list, in case anyone else wants to dabble in the 1920s. It’s not exhaustive. There’s some other great books out there, just what I happened to use for this set and have on my own shelves at home.

A Few Sources for 1920′s Fashion History

1920s Fashions from B. Altman & Company. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1999.
Atelier Bachwitz. Classic French Fashions of the Twenties. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2012.
Blum, Stella. Everyday Fashions of the Twenties as Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs. New York: Dover Publications, 1981.
Lussier, Suzanne. Art Deco Fashion. Boston: Bulfinch/AOL Time Warner Book Group, 2003.
Peacock, John. 20th-century Fashion: The Complete Sourcebook. London: Thames and Hudson, 1993.

Do people find this idea of sources lists useful? I don’t want to do them all the time, but for my historical stuff I thought it might be helpful for folks. Thoughts from my fabulous readers?

Hello! Stella… A New Asian Ms. Mannequin Printable Paper Doll

Thumbnail of the Asian printable paper doll- StellaFirst of all, Happy Last Night of Hanukkah.

And then… what to say about Stella?

Well… hmmm… I confess I try to avoid talking to much politics on this blog. The truth is that I like paper dolls. My readers like paper dolls. And really… that’s why we’re all here right? To enjoy paper dolls, play with paper dolls and feel guilt free about being in my late twenties and still in love with these tiny ephemeral objects.

Still, I think Stella deserves some commentary. I drew her several years ago, like most of the Mannequin’s while I was reading a book on the history of Asian-American theater, creatively titled, A History of Asian American Theater. I picked it up for a class I couldn’t take and ended up reading it anyway, because I was curious. So, when I sat down to draw my Mannequin heads, as I do when I’m starting a new paper doll series, I was full of thoughts about repression of Asian-Americans and stereotypes of the “oriental”.

I knew I wanted to create diversity in the paper doll series, but I also felt weird drawing an Asian paper doll and not acknowledging that Asia is a very large, very diverse place. Is it fair to simply stick Stella up, note in my tags that she’s Asian and then move on with my life? I just wasn’t and still am not sure.

Which brings us to Stella and what I can say about her. She’s based on no one in particular. I have struggled to draw Asian features, particularly eyes which have epicanthic folds and a single eyelid, for a long time, so I don’t trust myself to do them very well. I think she looks good though. She’s based, very vaguely, off a very kind Korean student I knew and also some Chinese girls who rode the same bus I did in the afternoons and with whom I struck up conversations sometimes. They were both law students.

Black and White fantasy paper doll

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Personally, I think Stella is Asian-American, perhaps Chinese or Korean in descent (in honor of my various models), I think she is going to university and studying to become a historian. That’s all I’ve decided about her. Perhaps other people have other ideas?

Marisole Mondy & Friends: A Set of Black and White Printable Paper Dolls

First of all… More Black and White Marisole Monday & Friends printable paper dolls (but you’ll need to scroll down…)

Secondly, Check out the new layout. It is still in progress and I’m still messing with it a fair bit, but I have high hopes for eventual success with it.

What happened was that I updated my version of WordPress and updated my old theme. Well.. that messed up the formatting and I decided that the right thing to do was finally bite the bullet and redo the entire thing. So, the blog looked schizophrenic for a few days while I tried out new and different themes. Right now, the theme is Mantra and I can only say good things about it. I judge a theme on how much of the CSS I have to rewrite myself and with Mantra the answer has been… shockingly little. Just a few small tweaks to the code. All in all, a very nice and clean theme.

Anyway, I’m not sure how I feel about the new layout, so feel free to comment and tell me what you think.

As for today’s printable paper dolls… I’m posting some more previously colored Marisole’s in black and white. I think they look charming. They’re all very modern though some of them are two years old.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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Well, I did a series of seasonal paper dolls- or at least I thought seriously about it- and this one was for Autumn. You can see the Autumn Chic in color and I forgot to give her a background pattern, though I’ve fixed that in my black and white version. Paper dolls without backgrounds just look so sad and empty to me.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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Being someone who loves alliteration, I called this paper doll set Candy Coated Couture, which made more sense when she was full color. I think she’s a great example of the importance of mixing neutrals into a colorful scheme to increase mix and match clothing options. Plus did I mention that I love most of her clothing? Now that she’s available in black and white and I think she’s just as cute.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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So, now Mia is getting into the act. Here she is off to prom or maybe some sort of red carpet event. I never wear an evening gown in the real world, but paper dolls aren’t meant for the real world, are they? Enchanting Evening in full color is another paper doll where I forgot to put in a background image. It bothers me, though not enough to fix it. I should really fix the apstorphe in Streets of China first… that’s the one that really gets to me.

Anyway, let me know what you think of the new theme and check back later this week. There will be another update. I’m not sure when yet… but it is going to happen.

Pixie & Puck: Meet Fiona

Black and White fantasy paper doll

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Brights are on display today.

I haven’t really anything remarkable to say about Fiona except that I am rather in love with her floral dress. I’ll be traveling a bit in the middle of this month, I don’t think anything should fall apart here, but things might slow a little.

Should be a lot of fun, I think.

So, as I said, not much to say. Enjoy the paper doll.

Marisole Monday & Friends: Mia with Seagulls and Seaside In Color

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

The colors on this Mia paper doll set were inspired by the Pantone 2013 Spring color report and by signal flags for nautical ships. When I was a kid, I remember my father was practicing for his captains license from the US coast guard and I would quiz him on signal flags. It was also the first time I ever heard Morse code in person.

Remarkable stuff, Morse code.

Anyway, I’m rather pleased with how the color scheme came out. Mia will be quite stylish at the yacht club in this set of costumes. I have complete faith in her sense of decorum and style.

So, normally I have no problem coming up with ideas, but lately, I’ve been feeling a little stumped on the Marisole paper doll front. So, I am open to suggestions. Anyone got something they desperately want to see?

I’ve recently had requests for cowgirls, ballerinas (probably not going to happen since tutus sort of freak me out), saris, swimsuits and opera (though I confess I don’t know a THING about opera).

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