If there’s one thing rounding up all the B Pose paper dolls a few weeks ago made me realize, it was that I hadn’t done any short party dresses for them. That seemed like a omission worth rectifying. So, today I have some cocktail dresses for the B pose Dames. After all, the holidays are coming and maybe there’s a party they need to attend.
I tend to make two dresses when I do these sets, because I feel like one dress “isn’t enough”, but I’ve also been thinking about trying to go back to a daily update schedule in which case, think one dress would have to be enough. I haven’t decided yet what makes the most sense. I miss updating daily, but I’m also nervous if I could keep up to it.
The black and blue color scheme was inspired by what I’ve been seeing in the department stores this season. But if you want a more autumnal or summery color combination, hop over to the Patreon page where there’s a second color scheme you can download and print. It’s open to everyone, not just Patrons, but while you’re there I would ask that you consider helping out and giving a little each month to support the blog.
And, as always, I love to hear whatever you’d like to tell me in the comment.
Last year, there was a real influx of pastel colors into fall and winter looks. It’s been going on for a while. I’m not sure this is still on trend (my September fashion magazines were pretty slim this year, sadly), but I drew these paper doll cocktail dresses a while ago. I wanted to contrast the black with the pale colors.
I also wanted to play around with shape.
Plus the A Pose Dames don’t have any cocktail dresses and that seemed just criminal. Poor paper dolls. They need something to wear to evening parties, after all.
Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: A Lack of Sprite Suits and Cocktail Dresses
I wanted to create some semi-formal clothing for the Sprites. I’ve done business formal suits (here and here) and I’ve done super formal tuxedos and red carpet gowns(here), but I haven’t done semi-formal. Cocktail attire, they used to call it. Maybe people who go to cocktail parties still call it that, but I’m not much of a cocktail party goer.
Ice cream and hot chocolate parties, I am all in for. I do actually own one cocktail dress. I had to buy it for an event. It is not a dress I like to wear, but at least I own one. Last minute shopping for something like that rarely ends well.
The black dress is based on this dress from Pinterest. I’m sure the blue dress was based on something, but I don’t recall what. The suit is, well.. a suit. I mean, suits are pretty straight forward.
(Sorry gents, your formal clothing isn’t as fun as the ladies.)
I wanted to do a navy suit, because I’d already done a grey suit and black suits are kinda boring.
So, in my prom dress research, I learned that short prom dresses are in right now. I’ll confess, I don’t like short dresses. I am a maxi lenght girl, but I’m also pretty tall. I have been told by my height challenged friends that short dresses are nice when you’re not tall.
(I have no clue what it feels like to not be tall, but I trust my non-tall friends to know things about being short that I will never know.)
Anyhow, the prom trend for short dresses seems like a nice option for people who don’t like long dresses. The paper doll dress on the right is a more sophisticated cocktail sort of option. Very modern with that obi-sash detail. The paper doll dress on the left is actually a take on a dress I drew years ago for this Marisole Monday Prom Paper Doll set back in 2010.
So, my question is, who was into short dresses for their prom? I wasn’t, but I suspect I have readers who went the short dress route.
Today’s printable paper doll has a retro flare- 1950s fashions abound. My goal was to make ten Buxom and Bodacious paper dolls before the end of 2015. I’m going to be honest, I don’t know right now if I’ll make it. My other goal was to have ten historical paper dolls by the end of 2015 and I have certainly made that goal, even if I count the massive 18th century Pixie paper doll set from August as one one set and not several.
Next week I’ll have a 1940s Poppet set up. It’s very cute and I’m very excited about it.
Actually, I’m very content with where I am in blogging and life at the moment. If I can just stop thinking of January as “a long way off.”
I choose to use mostly secondary colors in this set. Orange, green and purple with some dark navy and light blue thrown in for fun. I went with black for the accessories, since any well dressed lady of this era had shoes that matched her purse. I wish there was a way to fit more than one pair of shoes into these B&B sets, but alas… there really isn’t.
I was listening to West Side Story while I colored this paper doll set, so I based her skintone, hair color and eyes on a Puerto Rican friend I had in high-school.
I have a quick poll for my readers:
How would you feel about B&B sets with just clothes?
Wonderful idea. Clothes are better than dolls any day. (54%, 26 Votes)
May be. If it wasn't too often. The dolls are important too. (38%, 18 Votes)
Not my thing. Without dolls, who wears the clothes? (8%, 4 Votes)
Total Voters: 48
As always I love to hear what you think in the comments and would appreciate your support through Patreon. 🙂
I’ve been in this whole printable paper doll drawing thing for a while. There’s a few things I have learned and one of them is that what I like is not always what my readers like.
Now, a lot of the time I don’t care. Sorry, folks, but I draw for me first and for most. Don’t get me wrong, I love that I have active readers and every comment I get makes me smile, but if I couldn’t draw what I liked than I would go mad. Mad I tell you!
(Okay, maybe that was a little overly dramatic. 🙂 )
I mention this in direct relation to black and white paper doll sets. They are easier for me, since coloring takes time, but when I was a kid I really didn’t like to color. I know that sounds odd, but I never really “got” coloring books. They were boring. I far more wanted to draw my own stuff than color someone else’s drawing.
So, sometimes I forget that I have readers who LOVE my black and white paper dolls.
That’s part of why I created the Mini-Maiden’s series. I wanted to share with my readers something just for the black and white coloring readers that I have. I might not “get it”, but I am do enjoy drawing them and not having to color them in does make them easier to finish.
To bring this around to this actual post, let’s talk about Isadora. Isadora has only had three other outfit sets and none of them are contemporary. The poor girl can go to balls or fight off radioactive hordes, but she hasn’t got a decent pencil skirt. (Everyone needs a decent pencil skirt.) Well, all that ends today!
When I do contemporary sets, I like to do them in themes. So, for this set I was thinking about sweet, lady-like fashions. I wanted some delicate details like the rose pattern on the shorts and the scalloped hem on the pencil skirt. I often see these styles on the college students I work with, being that this is the South and all, so I wanted to do something of a Southern Belle. All she needs are white lace gloves and a mint-julep to sip while sitting in a white rocking chair.
Her short hair was intended to contrast with the wardrobe.
Today is Friday the 13th, if you’re the superstitious sort. I think paper dolls are good protection from such things. 🙂
By the way, speaking to my coloring readers, I know some people use simple coloring programs, but I have no ideas what they are. So, my questions are: What programs to y’all use? What file formats do those programs like? And would coloring sheets with no grey be useful?
(I’m thinking about digital paper dolls for sale right now and trying to decide what file formats to offer.)
And if you like my paper dolls, please consider supporting me through Patreon.
In doing my research for this set of evening gowns I went to a few bridal websites and pinned to my Pinterest boards wedding dresses I liked and bridesmaid’s dresses that I liked.
Now Pinterest thinks I am getting married and keeps suggesting pins to be about wedding planning, budgeting and seating arrangements. There needs to be a “Nope, not interested” button on Pinterest. Since I am not getting married, I just like to look a pretty dresses.
Speaking of pretty dresses, today we have two evening gowns and two cocktail dresses. I’ve never done evening gowns for the Ms. Mannequin dolls before. I actually hadn’t realized that until I prepped and posted these.
I wanted to do a range of styles in one sheet. There are gloves, because I think gloves are always elegant- even if I never wear them. There are two cocktail length dresses and then two full length dresses. I suppose these could be for prom or something, but I always think of the Ms. Mannequin dolls as being older. Maybe a red carpet event? Or a formal wedding in the evening?
As I write all this stuff about weddings, it occurs to me I haven’t really done a wedding paper doll set. That’s odd considering there is a long history of weddings as a paper doll theme. Maybe my inability to draw men has stifled my wedding plans. Of course, it could also be that I am scared of drawing lace. Lace is a wedding dress sorta thing. I mean Greta has a wedding dress in her Steampunk Trousseau, but none of the other paper dolls have wedding gowns.
Plus, I was never one of those kids who “dreamed” of my wedding day. I do remember playing with a golden book Bride and Groom paper doll. Mostly, what I recall is thinking the Maid of Honor was prettier than the bride. I think she usually ended up running off with the Groom. 🙂
So, weddings. Worth doing? Best ignoring? What do y’all think?
And if Patreon isn’t your thing, no worries. I’ll also be doing a Princess Club next year, starting January 2016, where you can subscribe and receive a princess paper doll. So, that’s another way to support PTP.
Or just tell a friend about PTP. That’s also a great way to support the blog (and it’s free).
I make a lot of tea. I don’t always finish my tea, but there is something about heating up water in a kettle, filling my cup with water, adding a little honey and then slowly stirring it. So, I settled down last night with my cup of hot tea next to my usual spot on the couch and I tried to think about what to write tonight about this set of paper doll outfits.
And I got nothing.
I designed these a while ago, but I can’t recall when. I colored them with a sea-side ocean inspired color scheme, because well… it is full of colors I like. Teals and blues and celadon greens.
And that’s really all I got.
I realized, as I sit here trying to think of what to write, that maybe that is okay. Maybe it is okay that these paper doll outfits are just outfits.
Not everything has to have an epic story. These are just some nice paper doll clothes. They expand the collection for the Ms. Mannequins. That’s all.
I hope everyone enjoys them. Prints them. Plays with them or not… up to you all.
And now I’m going to finish my tea and go to bed. And if you’re thinking, but why is this going up on Thursday? It is because I will be traveling on Friday and will be without access to any sort of computer until late late in the evening, so I decided to post a day early. Breaking my own rules already!
So, I’m posting a third paper doll this week, because I totally only posted one paper doll last week. I guess this is my “apology” paper doll. 🙂
Faye here is rocking some modern outfits with geometric patterns. As I think I mentioned before, Faye is named for a Chinese student I knew in graduate school. Someone asked me how I name my paper dolls and really it is mostly out of the clear blue sky, though I tend to avoid naming them after people I’ve known who I didn’t like. There’s certain names that shall never grace a paper doll.
I used one of my favorite tools to create the patterns in this paper doll set. It’s called a drafting template and they come in all different styles. I wrote about my favorite tools a while ago. Anyway, I love them and they make from a great starting point for interesting patterns on paper doll clothes.
I usually draw a single repeat or two of my pattern and then construct the pattern in Photoshop. It’s not a hard process, but is it something people would like to learn about? I could do a tutorial I think.
Hazel also has a heavily geometrically inspired set of clothes from last year entitled Hazel’s Geometric Style. When I first named today’s paper doll set, I nearly used the same name which would have been awkward. The similar styles I think lend themselves to lots of fun mix and match opportunities though. If you combine today’s paper doll set with Hazel’s Geometric Style there’s 274 outfit possibilities, not even including the accessory items. Pretty remarkable.
So, this is going up a little late today. Sorry about that, but life got crazy this weekend. I want to talk a little bit today about coloring last week’s paper doll and a little about diversity in the paper doll world.
So, when I color a paper doll set, I start with a pallette. I knew I was going to be giving Monica a fairly rich brown skin tone, so that opened up and closed down certain color options. For example, I tend to avoid putting brown colored clothing on brown colored paper dolls, unless the tones are really different, since it can blend too easily. Since she was going to have a rich skin-tone, I decided that bright and color dresses made a lot of sense.
The strapless gown with the belt was based on this gown by Andrew GN and since it had a red top and a pink bottom, that informed the blues and the greens as contrasting colors in the other gowns.
I’m a big believer in paper doll diversity. I think it is really important to have a variety of concepts and skin-tones and, ideally, a variety of concepts in a variety of skin-tones. Truthfully, I tend not to think of my paper dolls in terms of ethnicity, but in terms of color. It it less about, “this paper doll is African-American” and more about “this paper doll is a dark brown with red undertones.”
I used to think I was the only one who thought this way about paper doll skin-tones until I read this post from Julie over at Paper Doll School. I was comforted to find out that we both tend to think in terms of “color” not in terms of ethnicity.
The result of coloring things, perhaps?
What I do know is that no matter how I think about skin-tone, it is crucial to me that I offer readers of all backgrounds and colors paper dolls that reflect them. People should be able to see themselves in the toys they play with.
Yes, I know a lot of my readers are adults, but adults play with toys, too. At least, they should. 🙂 I do.