This is the first post of the new series, Dames and Dandies. I really should be calling it the only paper doll series, but we’ll stick with new paper doll series for now.
There will be three poses for these printable paper dolls. This is the A Pose. There will also be a B Pose. And a guy paper doll pose called the C pose. Right now, we’re starting with the A pose. Wednesday and Friday, I will be posting clothing for the A pose and then next Monday I’ll post the first doll in the B pose series.
C pose guy paper dolls will post the week after that. Nice and alphabetical, you know? Also right now, I have more guy content than either the A or the B pose ladies. Weird… that has never happened before in my paper dolling life.
This is Alice. She is the first of the A pose dolls and this is the first version of Alice. Other Alice versions will, I suspect, follow. In fact, I already have a few in process so… not only do I suspect it, I know it to be true.
While I would love to switch to a daily updating schedule, I just don’t think there’s really very sensible with my graduate school classes starting up again in a few days. So, right now, the blog will update Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.
And so, it begins… 🙂
Feel free to ask me any burning questions you may have or even just non-burning ones. The truth is that I might not have an answer yet, but I do want to hear everyone’s thoughts and concerns.
Whenever I meet young girls and ask them about paper dolls, which I confess I don’t do very often, they seem to often ask for Princesses. I don’t know what it is about paper doll princesses, but it seems to be a popular trend. As a child some of my favorite paper dolls were those of Peck-Grande which featured beautiful fairytale paper dolls with fantastic dresses (Here’s some images from their Beauty and the Beast paper doll or Sleeping Beauty paper doll). As far as I can tell, princess seems to translate to “amazing over the top gowns” and that works for me.
(The feminist in me always wants to give a lecture on the patriarchal nature of historical princess-dom right now, but the lover of pretty dresses in me doesn’t care.)
When I design complex patterns for paper doll clothing, I like to try to keep the outfits themselves fairly simple. I think it is easy to get the pattern “lost” in the lines needed for pleats and folds. So, when I decided I wanted to play around with complex patterns for these gowns, it wasn’t a hard decision to know that I needed a simpler silhouette.
Early Italian renaissance dresses (from about the 1490s) have always had a soft place in my heart. Someday I do want to do an actual “historical” paper doll from this period, but until then, I had fun playing with the silhouette in this paper doll princess set. These styles might look familiar if you remember Her Ladyship from 2014, she was inspired by the same time period.
The model for today’s gowns is Monica. You can find more paper dolls featuring her here. Confusion about which Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper doll model is which? I wrote a guide a few months ago.
Every time I design a princess paper doll download with these sorts of elaborate patterned fantasy gowns, I swear that I won’t do it again and then I do. Insanity is doing the same thing over again, expecting different results, they say, but here I found myself once more painstakingly coloring an insanely complex pattern and grumbling about it.
My original plan was to go very traditional with the colors here. In the actual Renaissance, the expense of dye meant that darker colors were more fashionable and expensive than lighter colors. So, that was my first plan- black, red and gold would have abounded.
But then I realized that if I was going to use a dark brown skin-tone for the doll (which was my plan all along) and then went black and red with the clothing, it was going to be a really dark paper doll set. Plus dark colors on these kinda elaborately patterned outfits obscures the black line-work. I spent to darn long coloring this to obscure the nuances of those patterns. So, gold, red and black when out the window for rose, lime and teal. Nothing says spring to me like rose, teal and lime.
Plus, I think the brighter spring colors are nice for a May set. It’s spring here in Alabama, after all.
If today’s Monica princess color page needs some friends or more dresses, there’s literally dozens of options, but I think A Noble Lady, Pattern & Grace, Queen of Dusk and Book Loving Princess all make nice accompanying black and white paper doll sets as they are in a similar silhouette. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with deciding today’s Monica freelances as a circus performer or pirate, but I thought if people wanted more “princessy” looks than the four paper doll sets I mentioned above would work well. As many of you know, versatility is very important to me in my paper doll related activities, so I try to point out where one set might interrelate to another set.
After all, I don’t expect y’all to keep track of the 500 paper dolls on the site, especially since I can’t always keep track of them myself.
In case you’re wondering why both the color and the black and white version of today’s paper doll are being posted, there will be a post explaining ALL on Wenesday, or at least MOST. 🙂
Last Monday, I mentioned I used a lot of Lolita fashion blogs to do my research for my Lolita fashion paper doll, but I didn’t mention which ones specifically, so let me clear that up.
My favorite Lolita fashion blog was F Yeah Lolita which had a great post on Building a Complete Lolita Wardrobe. Her wardrobe template starts with sixteen pieces which can be mixed and matched into 14 different outfit combinations. I actually think her advice rings true even if you’re not trying to build a Lolita wardrobe. A few mix and match basics and a good pair of shoes, can get you through many a week of work, especially on a tight budget. Other blogs I found useful and interesting were Parfait Doll, Lolita Fashion(Tumblr), Ruffles & Steam (tumblr) and Portal of Fantasy (tumblr).
I also totally love Lolita Fashion Update where Lolita brand releases are posted (though it hasn’t been updated in a while 🙁 ). Store sites were hit and miss. As far as I can tell, a lot of these Japanese brands to pre-release sales and it seems like things sell out and therefore never get posted to their store sites. (Maybe I’m wrong about this, but that’s been my gut instinct), here’s the brands I based my designs off of Mary Magdalene, Victorian Maiden, Innocent World and Angelic Pretty (though they tend more towards Sweet Lolita).
Okay, so I was looking for photos of Classic Lolita style to link, so people would know what I was basing this on and I found this photo of two Lolitas on the street wearing Classic Lolita dresses from Tokyo Fashion and one of them has the Violin purse! Check it out. I was so excited to see the purse “in the wild”, so to speak. The larger version is a bit more complex than Mia’s mini paper version.
I’m a big believer in using color to tell a story. Years ago, a friend used to joke that Steampunk was “Gothic clothing colored brown” and there is some truth to that observation. Color has a lot of power. I could have gone Gothic Lolita or Sweet Lolita with these outfits if I had chosen another color scheme, but I liked the soft hues associated with Classic Lolita, so that was what I settled on. Also, I have a Sweet and Gothic Lolita paper dolls already which illustrate this principle by being the same set colored two different ways.
I’m still regretting that I didn’t draw her any hats or bows. It was totally my intention to, but then I forgot and then I didn’t notice I’d forgotten until it was too late. Sigh. A rose cover bonnet like these one would really fill out her look. Oh well, I’m just going to have to save for a different paper doll set, I guess.
There is an extra outfit over on my Patreon page– shoes, a parasol and dress. You don’t have to be a patron to download it and it will fit in with the rest of Mia‘s Classic Lolita wardrobe. Also give her some pink shoes to go with her more pink dresses.
As I mentioned on Wednesday, I had to get this set of paper dolls done, or I wouldn’t have anything to be posted today. Anyway, as I said today’s classic Lolita fashion paper doll set was partially the result of a request from a patron and partly the result of me never being able to extract decent black and white version of my sweet Lolita and gothic Lolita paper doll sets.
So, I inspired by this violin purse from the Japanese fashion company Innocent World. While I will admit in a heartbeat to not being an expect on Lolita fashion, which is a Japanese street style based on Victorian children’s clothing, I have noticed that a lot of Lolita outfits (called coordinates) seem to be heavily themed. Once I settled on the purse, I knew I wanted the patterns of several of the pieces to have a music or violin theme.
I’ve also noticed that many of the Lolita fashion blogs I read while working on this set, seem to recommend buying JSKs (Jumper-Skirts, I think?) over full dresses, since these can be worn over various blouses. The paper doll pose makes that sort of layering tough, but the short sleeved dress on the far left is meant to be a JSK. I have a Lolita Style pintrest board where you can see way more of my inspiration.
My one big regret about this set is that I didn’t do any hats or bows, which are a big part of Lolita. Oh well… I suppose nothing is perfect. Mia is modeling today’s fashions, if you are keeping track of who is who in the Marisole Monday & Friend’s family.
I did kinda got carried away designing pieces for this set and I ended up with two many to fit on the page. Rather than just let them rot on my hard drive, I posted them over on my Patreon page. You don’t have to be a Patron to view or download them. You can see the extra dress, shoes and parasol here. Next week, I’ll post the color versions there as well.
I think if I end up with “extra” pieces in the future, my Patreon page will be a handy place to put them.
Thoughts on my foray into classic Lolita fashion? Feel free to leave me a comment.
See this is where I would LOVE to say that this was some grand plan of mine to counter balance my post-apocalyptic paper doll set from last Friday against today’s futuristic paper doll coloring sheet, except that I totally didn’t plan it out that well. I am NOT that organized- except when I am and on those occasions, expect bragging.
The truth is that I am out of backlog which is hyper rare for me and not very fun, so I literally was working on this paper doll set at 11:30 last night, trying to get it all saved and then woke up early this morning to write this post before work. I do not like working this way, Sam I am. I do not like it at all.
So, hopefully this weekend (during which I do not have to work), I will finally be able to sit down and work solidly for a few hours and get some paper dolls ready for blog food. For the blog is like a monster, as I once explained, and it hungers.
Today, it gets to snack on a futuristic fashion paper doll with thirteen pieces. I have to confess I was a little jealous of Boots “separate head” method of making paper dolls while I struggled to think about all these high necklines on these paper doll clothes. But I guess you can always print out too, cut one’s head off and glue it to the other paper doll if you like. What’s a little paper doll surgery among friends?
So, if the B&B paper doll last week was ready for the end of the world, I think today’s paper doll is much more about a semi-utopian future with glass dome houses, lots of white and probably space ships. You know, a very Star Trek kinda place.
To make her shirt on the left with the ridged shoulder, you’ll need to attach the floating tab, because the shoulder pieces stick out above the shoulder and otherwise the garment won’t fit properly. Just an FYI for everyone.
I have been seriously considering trying out Periscope to film myself maybe live inking a paper doll set? Is that something people would find interesting? Worth trying out or no?
This sorta accidentally went up on Monday, but the files weren’t actually loaded on my server, so the links were kinda problematic and it wasn’t actually supposed to go live yet. I took it down when I noticed it and fixed the PDF files. So here it is as an actual real proper post. 🙂
I went back and forth about the order in which to post these sets. Technically, I drew the clothing first and then drew the doll to go with it. Since I had things to say about her clothing, so the paper doll’s Lolita inspired clothing got to get posted first. Now, I can post the paper doll who I drew while thinking that she would wear this clothing. Now, that doesn’t mean she has to wear that clothing she does have other options.
Chloe has the same skintone as Stella, my other Asian Ms. Mannequin paper doll. I did that on purpose, so the two paper dolls could share shoes. The colors of the dolls bases will indicate which dolls can share shoes, so Chose’s base is purple- just like Stella’s base. I hope that makes sense. Chloe’s shoes were designed to match the country Lolita inspired paper doll clothes from last week. Stella’s shoes are a little more neutral, so the two dolls can share.
Eventually, I’d like to have two of each of the current Ms. Mannequin skin tones before I branch out into other skin tones, though I do have an alien Ms. Mannequin in the works and her skin is going to be pink skinned or something equally odd.
I choose not to give today’s paper doll an over the top Lolita hairstyle (here a bunch of links to Lolita hair tutorials to show off some of the styles), because I wanted her to be able to dress down or dress up. I think versitility is really important in paper dolls. The variety of stories they can tell is a crucial part of the pleasure children (and adults) get from the toys. At least, I think it is.
So, there will be a sketchbook preview later this week. I hope everyone had a great Easter, if they celebrate, or are having a great Passover. As always, comments are all read and emails are usually responded too eventually. (Mind you… eventually can be quite a few days later.)
I’ve been pretty sick this weekend, and I wasn’t sure I was going to get this up, but I’m on antibiotics now and am writing this between naps.
(When I’m sick, I nap a lot.)
I always say that I don’t do a lot of blond paper dolls, but I think I might do more than I realize. I do have a deep love of red hair. Anyway, I’ve done maybe thirty blond paper dolls over the years and a lot of those were because of multiple colored hair like on my Delaney paper doll or Spikes and Pleats paper doll set. Anyway, the girl who asked for this paper doll is blond, so I decided a blond paper doll made the most sense.
An random interesting fact- The the white and red uniform is actually based on a photo of what the majorettes at the university I work for wore in the 1960s. We no longer have majorettes. I thought about doing the uniforms of some of the other area university majorettes, but a lot of the costumes were bit too skimpy or involved a lot of illusion netting. Because I want the paper doll outfits to be interchangeable among the various paper dolls regardless of skin tone, I tend to steer clear of putting skintone on the outfit pieces…. except shoes, where I can’t seem to avoid it.
As I mentioned earlier, I am sick, so I don’t know if I’ll get much posted this week. I have some stuff ready, but nothing pre-scheduled.
There are a few perks of knowing me in the real world. One of those perks is that when you ask for a paper doll set, it is a lot more likely to actually happen. It might take a little while, but eventually it will happen.
This request only took me a year to get to. I was asked to do a baton twirling or majorette paper doll by a young women I know who was one in high school.
Now, I’ll admit that I had no idea there even were baton twirlers anymore. I think it might be a Southern thing. I certainly don’t recall any on the West Coast and definitely not in Alaska where I grew up. If you have a chance though, do check out youtube for baton twirling. It’s pretty amazing watching someone who really knows what they are doing. Definitely a remarkable skill.
So, while I know nothing about baton twirling other than what I could learn on the internet, this paper doll was fun to draw and I hope I didn’t mess up anything too badly. After all, I’d like my baton twirling fans (if I have any) to be pleased. By the way, one thing I did notice, is a lot of baton twirling outfits are similiar to skating costumes, so I think Margot could share with my ice skating Marisole.
One thing I did notice is that a lot of modern majorette costumes use a lot of illusion netting. I decided against the appearence of illusion netting in my costumes. I also found that my favorite outfits were those from the fifties and sixties, much more than I liked the costumes today. Margot has a few old fashioned outfits, along with boots with tassels, and a few modern outfits.
I gave her a normal baton, a sword baton and one on fire. Everything is better on fire.
So, any majorettes (current or former) out there want to tell me how I did?
Marisole’s gone to the circus this monday, complete with makeup.
I have mixed feelings about circuses truth be told. Sometimes I like them and sometimes I find them deeply creepy. I’m not afraid of clowns or anything, but there is something slightly off dark and strange that runs through the whole idea of circuses and carnivals.
So, I’ve been drawing paper dolls for a long time and I always expect to run out of the ideas, but then I run into new things on a fairly regular basis that I want to do or try out. I don’t know that I’ve ever really done anything like this set. I started collecting circus images that I liked on Dark Circus Pinterest board and then eventually those images evolved into this set of doodles which evolved into this paper doll set.
I was going for fashion as much as reality with these outfits. I can’t imagine a clown wearing such insane high heels, for example. My Dark Circus board where I was collecting images evolved into being as much about fashion as it was about circuses.
I’m nervous about coloring this set. I was going to go strictly black and red, but then I really want her to have pink hair.
Problem, will the pink hair clash with the red and black? I just don’t know. Guess the only way to find out is to start coloring.
First of all, I want to wish a Happy Birthday to my sister without whom I would not have ever started collecting paper dolls. She is the one who bought me my Christopher Columbus Paper Doll Set when I was eight and suggested it was too nice to cut up. This started my uncut paper doll collection.
So, thanks Sis. I love you.
And, speaking of paper dolls… here is last week’s printable paper doll in cheerful full color. I am pretty pleased with everything about her, except my concerns about her mix and match limited wardrobe. I really like how the rainbow shirt came out and the rain-boots and the bright yellow rain slicker, but I’m still feeling that the mix and match options are a trifle limited.
On the other hand, I’ve done enough plain colored tops over the years that surely there’s something that would match in the paper doll archives. I don’t always think of my designs as being “kid-friendly”, but I think this really is a paper doll for kids. She’s got bright colors, a fun theme and I can imagine that on a rainy day, she’d be great to pull out for a quiet inside activity.
The playabilty (is that a word?) of a printable paper doll set is always a major concern of mine. One of the reasons I work in series is because I think it’s more fun to have lots of little ladies and lads who can share clothing, than to have a bunch of paper dolls who can’t. (Of course, I also do it because drawing people is the hardest part of this gig.) There are times I confess that I fantasize about transforming this blog into one where I just posted one outfit a day, everyday.
Someone told me they thought that would be more work than what I do now… honestly, I’m not sure. I think it would depend on how much I had to write about the outfit in question. Post writing is sometimes harder than drawing, to be honest.
Speaking of paper dolls for kids… Another little side project I’ve been working on is a magnetic paper doll for a three year old I recently met. Now, I need some help with this as I do not have children of my own…
How large would pieces need to be for a three year old to easily manipulate them? I want to be sure that she can play with her paper doll friend on her own without needing too much assistance from her mother. Thoughts from those with kids or experience with toddlers? Also, might she eat the pieces? I mean, I think at three most kids are past that stage, but I’m not sure… (Have I mentioned I have little experience with toddlers?)
Lastly, there will be a contest coming up, probably towards the end of the month. So, keep your eyes open for that.