The Victorian Inspired Ballgown for Marisole Monday & Friend’s Printable Paper Dolls


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: A fashion plate I totally can’t find now
A printable paper doll ball gown inspired by the Victorian era. Free to print in color or black and white.

A printable paper doll ball gown coloring page inspired by the Victorian era. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com

So, this is like research rule 1: Write Down Your Sources.

And normally, I am super diligent about recording everything I use in Pinterest, so I can find it again when it comes time to write one of these fascinating blog posts.

This time though? So much of the not so much. I have a distinct recollection of look at a fashion plate which I think was late 1860s (because that’s when waists when up and skirts got all conical), but now for the life of me I can’t find the plate that was my inspiration.

Clearly, I am a bad librarian.

Needless to say, I hope I can distract y’all from my poor research habits by pointing out: Hey, there’s a pretty ballgown over there.

The truth is that I never meant for this to be a historical piece. It was part of a series of dresses in this silhouette that I designed back when I was doing the same theme for a whole week. I ended up just coloring two of them and you’ll see this one today and next Friday there will be a matching winter walking costume.

While the dress was inspired by a fashion plate from the late 1860s (I think), it looks much more 1820s to me, since I narrowed the skirt quite a bit.

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Mini-Maidens Paper Dolls With a New Year’s Evening Gown


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Zac Posen Gown
A New Years evening dress based on a design by Zac Posen. It could also be a wedding dress. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com

As I said yesterday, this week will be all about New Years gala sorts of gowns. Today, the Mini-Maiden paper dolls are getting their evening gown. This is based on a this gown designed by Zac Posen for David’s Bridal. The dress is several years old and I couldn’t find it on the current website, so I linked to my Pinterest page.

If you want to see more evening gowns and cocktail dresses that might someday turn into paper dolls, check out my Evening Gowns board. It is the home of gowns I like and may someday draw.

Heavily boned corsets like the one on this gown are very much a trademark of Zac Posen‘s designs and I love a good looking corset.

Plus, I think a New Years evening gown should be something sexy. By the way, I would never have the guts (nor the occasion) to wear something this fitted, but then what are paper dolls for?

I think I’ve mentioned before my guilty pleasure, Say Yes to the Dress. Thanks to that show, I can say mermaid dresses are very in style for weddings and this could easily be a wedding dress if you wanted that instead of a New Years dress.

I think Faye, Greta, Hazel or Isadora would love to get this gown, but since there are four of them, you might need more gowns. Therefore, I might I recommend this series of Prom dresses or this 1930s inspired evening gown.

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

B&B Paper Dolls Celebrate New Years in a Regal Gown


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Evening Gowns
The B&B curvy paper dolls get to a New Years gown in color and black and white. Free printable paper doll gown from paperthinpersonas.com.

For the rest of the week, I will be posting elegant evening wear every day in honor of New Years.

For Today’s B&B paper doll series New Years gown, I wanted elegant, but not glitzy. Something sophisticated and almost Queen like. This is an evening gown for a woman who knows she is amazing and doesn’t need to show off with bright colors or spangles.

In keeping with the Royal concept, I chose purple and black for today’s New Years gown. The skirt is in soft pleats and the bodice wraps. Personally, I imagine it in something like taffeta or a thick rich mat satin, but since it is actually made of paper, who knows?

After I drew this, I realized I haven’t really given a lot of evening gown love to the B&B printable paper doll series. I might need to rectify that in the coming year.

What say you all? Do I need more B&B evening wear?

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

B&B Get a Victorian Fantasy Ball Gown


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Rosettes, Victorian Ball Gowns and Corsets

A Victorian corset ball gown for the Bodacious and Buxom curvy paper doll series from paperthinpersonas. Free to print in color or black and white.

Victorian inspired madness today. Madness!

Okay, maybe not madness… but this is a pretty over the top Victorian corset ball gown creation. Still, if you spent any time with Victorian fashions, they do get pretty over the top.

And I like rosettes. They’re fun to draw. I don’t know when things get too over the top. I mean, does the ruching do it? Or the pleated details? Or the corset? I mean, at what point do you say, “Girl, that is a bit much.”

But here’s my thing, I figure the B&B series stands for Bodacious and Buxom. What is more bodacious than a ball gown covered in three types of trimming?

I did try to make things feel cohesive (something you have to do with three trims) by using a monochromatic color scheme. This is a fantasy Victorian corset ball gown, it does not need a super contrasting color scheme to go on top of all that. Unless you really want one, in which case I direct you to the black and white version and say, “You go for it!”

Meanwhile, I am going to stick with my slightly sedate (as much as this dress could be called sedate) version here. Somehow, despite the rosettes, with these colors, this dress reminds me of winter skies.

The actual “winter” themed paper doll set for the day will be up Friday. There are carolers and my first ever Christmas paper doll.

Also, am I the only person who thinks “ball gown” should be one word and not two? Seriously.

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Marisole Monday & Friends Masquerade: Mia as a Loon


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:  Loons and… well, Loons. That’s actually all I got. 

mia-loon-masquerade-paper-doll-dress

Of all the dresses I designed for this week, the only one I was really worried people wouldn’t get was this one. Loons are beautiful birds for which I have always had a fondness, but they are hardly as well known as the Raven or the Flamingo. Interestingly enough, the Loon is the state bird of Minnesota, where my mother grew up. As a child, I had a puzzle my grandfather made featuring a loon, so I have fond associations with the birds.

Wig instructions are available if you’re not sure how to attach the back piece here.

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Well, now that the week of bird masquerade gowns is wrapped, I am curious which one people liked the most. So, let me know in a comment. Was your favorite the Owl, the Flamingo, the Raven, the Hummingbird or today’s Loon?

Need a more outfits for today’s Marisole Monday & Friends Paper Doll? Find More Clothing Here

Marisole Monday & Friends Masquerade: Monica as a Hummingbird


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:  Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds, Chokers, and Yellow Hibiscus Flowers

A beautiful hummingbird inspired masquerade dress and black paper doll to wear it from paperthinpersonas.com. Also available as a coloring page.

This was the only dress I based on a specific bird subspecies. I knew I wanted to so the Red Throated Hummingbird from the start. Hummingbirds come in so many color combinations, I really felt like I had to pick just one to focus on with this paper doll masquerade gown modeled by the wonderful Monica.

Of course, the choker is red to match the red throat of the hummingbird. The flowers decorating the wig and the gown are yellow hibiscus which are a hummingbird friendly flower. If my Raven masquerade gown was a gothic fantasy, than this gown is much more romantic and soft.

I have some wig instructions if you’re not sure how to make the pocket by pasting on the backing piece. Read them here.

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Tomorrow will be the last bird masquerade gown- a gown based on the Loon.

Need a more outfits for today’s Marisole Monday & Friends Paper Doll? Find More Clothing Here

Marisole Monday & Friends Masquerade: Margot as a Raven


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:  Ravens, this Gold Corset, and 18th Century Hair Styles

An elegant Raven inspired masquerade costume for a paper doll with matching shoes and a mask and wig.

I love Ravens. I grew up in Southeast Alaska where there are a lot of Ravens. We also had a fair number of Crows, but I hate Crows for being loud and annoying, so I refuse to draw a paper doll gown based on them.

So, this is a Raven Masquerade dress that Margot, of the Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll series, is modeling.

Ravens are some of the smartest birds in the world and they can do fairly complex problem solving. No unsurprisingly, they show up a lot on myth and legend. In Tlingit stories, Raven is trickster who frees the sun, moon and stars. In Norse mythology, the god Odin is depicted as having two ravens serving as his eyes and ears. They are named Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory). In Ancient Greek myths, ravens are associated with Apollo, the god of prophecy.

And of course, there are always the ravens of the Tower of London who, should they ever be removed, would foretell the fall of the Kingdom of England.

So, if you want folklore heavy animals, it doesn’t get much better than the Raven.

This is the most fitted of the gowns. There’s something mysterious about Ravens and I wanted the masquerade gown to capture some of that mystery.

Here are some instructions for the wig, if you’re not sure how it works.

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So, I am curious, what is the favorite Masquerade gown so far? Let me know in a comment!

Need a more outfits for today’s Marisole Monday & Friends Paper Doll? Find More Clothing Here

Marisole Monday & Friends Masquerade: Marisole as a Flamingo


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:  Flamingos, 1980’s Prom Dresses, and Spiky Hair Cuts

A paper doll masquerade ballgown based on a flamingo available in black and white or in color from paperthinpersonas.com

There is something really silly looking about flamingos. Still, I love their color and I wanted to do something a little playful for one of the masquerade gowns, and who doesn’t want to dress their paper doll up like a flamingo?

I was trying to research flamingo folklore and I didn’t find much. I did however find a great history of the pink plastic lawn flamingo, should anyone be curious. I also learned, though I haven’t been able to confirm this through a really reputable source, that in Ancient Egypt Flamingos were considered sacred to the sun god, Ra.

The over-skirt of the gown is meant to mirror the fuller body of the flamingo. Originally, I had a very narrow skirt attached to the bottom, but later I altered it to fit in better with the rest of the gowns. Due to the very low neckline and decorate edging, I think the dress will work best with floating tabs, so I positioned two on the page. You may need to add some longer floating tabs for the skirt.

Our printable model for the flamingo costume is Marisole. I thought her light brown skin-tone would be set off really beautifully by the pink gown.

If you’re not sure how the wig works, here are instructions. Also, I would recommend adding some additional tabs to the skirt as needed. It is a very wide skirt.

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Need a more outfits for today’s Marisole Monday & Friends Paper Doll? Find More Clothing Here

Marisole Monday & Friends Masquerade: Meaghan as an Owl


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:  Owls, Victorian Ballgowns, and Platform Sandals

An owl masquerade dress for Meaghan of the Marisole Monday & Friend's paper doll series. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween always feels like it is a holiday ripe for paper doll activity. It’s all about costumes, after all. So, while I abandoned themes last week, I will be returning to them this week. Each day this week there will be a different Marisole Monday & Friend’s doll and her bird themed masquerade ballgown.

Meaghan is starting us off with an owl themed paper doll masquerade dress which was the first of the dresses that I designed. The sketchbook page of this gown on Instragram went up a few months ago, but it can take a long time for things to be finished. My goal was to capture the idea of an owl without being specific to species, so the buns on her head are supposed to be like the owl’s ears and the layers in the skirt give a sense of wings.

Due to the width of the skirt, I would strongly recommend adding some floating tabs to the back of it. Her wig is designed to work with my usual method of pasting the back to the front and leaving a pocket for the dolls head. Here are the full instructions. I really should do full instructions on floating tabs, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Now, tomorrow there will be a flamingo and after that, I haven’t decided which ballgown will go up next.

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Need a more outfits for today’s Marisole Monday & Friends Paper Doll? Find More Clothing Here

Monica’s Neo-Victorian Wardrobe: A Ballgown


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A fantasy ballgown with a neo-victorian flare for a printable paper doll from paperthinpersonas.com.

Happy Friday!

It seems only proper to close out the week of steampunky paper doll goodness with a ballgown, don’t you think? I mean, after all, it is the most formal of the formal. Ballgowns were just below Court Dress on the formal scale and Court Dress was pretty much as formal as it got.

Plus Court Dress came with crazy rules like it had to have a train and at one point, it had to have panniers and… I could go on.

Since it amuses me (and that’s all that matters), let’s continue this week’s tradition of 19th century style explanations of Monica’s steampunk or neo-victorian outfits, here’s my ballgown description:

An elegant ball or evening dress suitable for a young matron or unmarried lady in pale leaf green trimmed in lavender. The bodice is two tones of green with a lavender side lacing and the skirt is cut in the mermaid silhouette with curved frills of satin flaring elegantly to the floor in pale blue, lavender and green. 

One of the great things about all the outfits this week is that they are in the same color scheme, so if you wanted too, you can mix and match say the bodice of yesterday’s dinner dress with today’s skirt for a whole different look. Or I think Monday’s walking suit jacket would look dynamite with yesterday’s skirt. And those are just the first two ideas that came to me.

Quick reminder: Black and white versions can be downloaded at the top of the post. 🙂

Monica’s Neo-Victorian Wardrobe

I do want to address one other thing. I was asked my a few people (one comment, one email) if it would be possible on Friday’s to combine all the outfits of the week into one page for ease of printing. The answer is No, for two reasons. Reason 1: I actually started this format to get away from having to do layout work which is super time consuming.

Reason 2: (And this is the cool reason) These pieces wouldn’t fit on one page. Back in the old system, I would have draw two skirts and then four tops, two shoes and then a smattering of hats and other accessories. Over the course of the week we’ve had four skirts, four tops, five hats, two pairs of shoes, two parasols, one walking stick and a bag. That’s 15 pieces!

You are actually getting MORE paper doll content this way AND its less time consuming for me. Everyone wins!

By the way, I want to add that both people who asked these questions were super nice about it and I don’t mind at all getting questions and thoughts from you all. Please keep them coming.

So, on that note, questions? Comments? Thoughts? Let me know.