The Princess and the Frog: A Paper Doll Costume

poppet-princess-frog-logoI love fairy tales. I have always loved fairy tales. I have fond memories of, far past the point of being able to read complicated books, sitting in the library reading picture books of fairy tales. I love the lavish illustrations, but I also like reading many different versions of the same story. These days I still like doing that, but now I like learning why and where the different varients of Cinderella or the Twelve Dancing Princesses come from.

Today’s paper doll set is an ode to one of my favorite fairy tales. The Frog Prince or The Princess and the Frog, depending on which version you read. A princess loses her beautiful golden ball down a well and a frog retrieves it for her only if she will marry him. She agrees and then backs out of her promise. The story goes from there.

In the end, I think the moral is supposed to be “keep your promises” or “don’t judge on appearances”, but it could also be, “don’t drop your precious golden ball down a well.”

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Disney did an interesting adaption of the tale recently, but I will always picture the Princess how she was drawn by Walter Crane in the Frog Prince. Walter Crane is one of my favorite children’s illustrators. I was inspired by the pseudo-renaissance look for my own paper doll’s costume.

So, there is a frog, a golden ball, and a beautiful gown for the Princess. I am not much an animal artist, but I did my best to make my frog cute and palm sized. I always thought the Princess in the Frog Prince was a little spoiled, but then I suppose that’s just how fairy tales go sometimes.

Hazel’s Fantasy Gowns: Black and White Paper Doll

logo-hazel-fantasyToday’s printable paper doll is Hazel getting to rock some fantasy gowns. Sometimes I feel odd posting a lot of the same styles of things in a row, as I know I have readers who are into all sorts of different things, but I have certainly been on a fantasy gown drawing kick. Never fear, the March fashion magazines are out and Monday there will be something “completely different.”

That is to say, my other contest winner will get her paper doll set and it is not a fantasy set in the traditional sense.

I suppose in some senses every set is a little bit fantasy. I mean, most of these pieces of clothing, even my contemporary ones, don’t exist in real life. However, I think it is more useful to think in terms of fantasy as a genre. Since I think it helps people find what they might like around here.


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Later this week, I’ll show off some of the stuff from my sketchbook (likely tomorrow or Friday) and then Monday there will be a Marisole Monday Post and then I’m not sure what’ll go up next. I have a few different things done.

As always, enjoy the paper doll!

Victoria: A Valentine’s Day Paper Doll

Pixie Logo- Valentine's Day Paper DollOver the years, I have done a lot of Valentine’s Day paper dolls. I think it might be the only holiday that I reliably get a paper doll posted for. My first Valentine’s Day paper doll was back in 2011. Then in 2013, I did this black and white Valentine’s Day paper doll. In 2014, the Poppets got a Valentine’s Day themed outfit. This year, I wanted to do something a little different.

Inspired by Victorian and Art Deco valentines, I designed two 18th century inspired gowns with a Valentines Day theme. Hearts, of course, but also stripes and polka-dots. Plus ruffles. Ruffles are very important. Our paper doll got a wild up-do and a heart encrusted bodysuit to wear under her gowns. After all, it is the season for both wide up-dos and heart bodysuits.

A black and white Valentine's Day paper doll named Victoria and inspired by Victorian valentines. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.{Download a PDF to Print and Color} {Download a PNG to Print and Color}{More Pixie & Puck Printable Paper Dolls}

Originally, I planned on using a traditional red, pink and white color scheme. However, I just didn’t like how bright that made the dresses. So, I went to ColourLovers and searched for a scheme that was a little more subdued. I ended up using Happy Valentines color scheme. I often use ColourLovers both to find inspiration for color palettes and to build my own color palettes using their tools.

A Valentine's Day paper doll named Victoria and inspired by Victorian valentines. Print her from paperthinpersonas.com.{Download a PDF to Print in Color} {Download a PNG to Print in Color}{More Pixie & Puck Printable Paper Dolls}

I hope everyone has a lovely Valentine’s Day. I am making stew for me and my boyfriend and we’ll be eating it while watching Box Trolls. I am very excited about both the stew and the movie.

Meanwhile, there’s supposed to be snow on Monday and I have become a true Southerner, buying milk and eggs, just in case. I certainly wouldn’t mind an unexpected day off work, since I don’t get President’s Day off.

One More House Dress and A Ballgown for Her Ladyship

ladyship-wig-9Wigs are certainly a theme of today’s page for my Her Ladyship printable paper doll set. Also- paper doll ballgowns and house dresses.

One more page after this set and then I’ll post the whole 10 page PDF of the paper doll for anyone to print who might want it. I have had a lot of fun sharing this set over the last few months.

So, last week I talked a bit about coherent sets and how to develop a consistent look for a paper doll set. Today, I wanted to take a moment and talk about the world I imagine Her Ladyship lives in.

First of all, Her Ladyship has money. Likely, serious money. She’d got ballgowns, after all. That means a decent amount of cash. I imagine her world is Renaissance (her clothing was highly influenced by Italian Renaissance fashion) or higher technology. Why you ask?

Because she has casual gowns that are patterned. Patterned textiles require skilled workforce and a considerable investment in equipment and raw materials- silks and wools have to be imported or homegrown (but generally were imported) from England to Italy. So, without a fair bit of weaving technology, that would be out of the question. So, I’m thinking a 15th century to 17th century level of technology. Clothing can tell you a lot about a time and place.

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So, what do I know about this paper dolls world? She’s a wealthy woman living in a time and place when mechanized weaving existed, at least in part. She’s got “house dresses” but they’re far to nice to actually be worn for anything involving mud or dirt.

Sometimes, I stumble across something and feel rather foolish for not having found it earlier. Paper Doll A Day is a blog that seems to be no longer updating. Never the less, I encourage you to go check out the archives. There are some beautiful outfits (I really like this paper doll dress) and some wonderful different paper dolls, including men. Joleene Naylor has been around the internets for a while sharing her paper dolls and I couldn’t be happier to have found her latest website, though I do wish I had found it when it was still updating.

Any other great paper doll sites I’ve been missing? Or thoughts on the world of Her Ladyship?

A Winter Frock and a Summer Frock

ladyship-wig-8My favorite part of this set might be the wacky looking musical instrument. Just maybe, because I also love both of these dresses. Rarely do things come out as close to how I imagined them in my mind.

I am fascinated by historical dress, because dress is one physical manifestation of social and cultural phenomena. By it’s nature, dress is tied to technology and trade of the time when it was created. So, when I am creating a fantasy dress set, part of the process is thinking about consistency in design elements to create an coherent vision for a whole set. This vision comes out in both the sillouhette of the costumes and in specific repeated design elements.

The silhouette for all of Her Ladyship’s paper wardrobe is a high waist with long sleeves and square necklines (the riding and skating outfits don’t have square necklines, but we’ll get there in a minute). Nearly all the dresses are layered with an under-dress and than an over-dress on top. The two dresses that violate these rules are both for activities that, due to their athletic nature, have masculine overtones. The riding habit and the skating costume are both inspired by men’s wear.

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Her Ladyship’s winter frock shares design elements with her archery outfit. Similarly, her riding habit and her skating costume are very similar- both are athletic outfits.

Her Ladyship’s wardrobe feels like a “set”, because the outfits repeat design elements and style. This is also something I try to do with my one page fantasy sets and my contemporary sets. Dionisia’s wardrobe is held together by doublets. Akemi’s armors are all angular and layered. Denise’s contemporary clothing embraces various types of pleats. If a set feels disjointed, chances are that it is because there are not repeating elements to connect the items.

Fabulous Fairy Printable Paper Doll in Color! (Mostly green)

fairy-black-colorI was inspired by the colors of red and pink snapdragons when I decided on the color scheme for this paper doll set. I ended up relying more on the greens than on the pinks, but I do love the colors of a garden in bloom. I used this stuttershock photo as my color inspiration.

I have sick for the last few days and will be sick for a few more. I’m not in danger, just groggy and easily tired. I fortunately had this paper doll done already or there wouldn’t have been a monday update. What I hate about being sick is that things which aren’t normally exhausting become entirely exhausting.

Going to the grocery store yesterday was an act of heroic difficulty, but I managed and I’m glad I did it. I was getting very stir crazy. (No worries about infecting my fellow shoppers. I’m not contagious.)

A fairy paper doll with wings and four gowns. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com
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Anyway, enough about my health. 🙂

I hope everyone enjoys today’s paper doll. I hope to have another Marcus set done for next Monday and then I’ll see where we are with things. I promised someone a majorette paper doll and I want to do my 8 days of paper dolls for Hanukkah, so I need to start building up the backlog for that.

Gowns for Home and Dinner

ladyship-wig-5So, after a short break last week to share something more Halloween themed, I am pleased to present Her Ladyship’s Summer Dinner Dress and an At Home Gown. I really like both these dresses and had a lot of fun with their patterned sections. Normally, I freehand scrolling floral patterns, like the one on her Summer Dinner Dress, but this time I drew segments and then constructed the pattern in Photoshop. I’m not entirely sure it was a more effective method than free handing it.

Honestly, this week hasn’t been a great one for me health-wise, so I am going to keep this post short and then probably crawl back into bed to sleep more. Sleep is nice and my bed is warm.

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{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Gowns}{Click Here for Base Doll}

I hope everyone has a great weekend. I will sleeping most of mine. 🙂