1940s Week: The Winter Dresses for the B Pose Paper Dolls

A pair of 1940s dresses for the printable paper dolls from paperthinpersonas.com. On the left, there is a suit from Adrian dated to 1943-1945 and on the right a dress from McCall's sewing patterns from 1946. Available to print in color or black and white.

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This whole week of 1940s fashion would not have happened if it weren’t for the suit on the left from LACMA. Seriously, I feel in love with that suit and then I was like, Welp, I guess I’m going to draw a paper doll with 1940s underwear and things… they spiraled from there.

You can see the suit in photos here and it was designed by Gilbert Adrian. Who was Gilbert Adrian? Well, it was one of the names used by Adrian Adolph Greenberg, a costume designing legend of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Even if you’ve never heard the name Adrian, you have seen his work. He designed costumes for The Wizard of Oz,the 1938 Marie Antoinette and over 250 other films. During the 1940s, he began a commercial fashion line from which I assume this suit is related, based on the date.

Now, the dress on the right shouldn’t be neglected, just because it’s not from a famous designer. It’s from the McCall sewing pattern company, McCall 6533 to be specific. I liked how contemporary it felt, despite being from the 1940s. I am regretting that I didn’t draw a matching hat to go with it. Clearly, I need to do more 1940s clothing to fix that act of neglect.

The purse is a bit of a mystery to me. I noted the date 1940s next to it and usually I also write down the source, but I guess I didn’t. I’ve been through my 1940s Fashion Pinterest Board, where I try to keep these things, several times with no luck. I’m sure there was a source and I am going to leave things at that.

I tried to capture the strong shoulder of the 1940s with both these pieces, though I’m not entirely sure I was successful. The 1940s is much like the 1980s in that the shoulders are broad. If you missed it, on Monday, there was a 1940s version of Beatrix. Friday there will be summery 1940s dresses to round out the set.

Meanwhile, let me know what you think about today’s 1940s dresses in a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Need a doll for today’s paper doll clothing? All the B Pose Dolls & Clothing, but I would recommend the 1940s Beatrix if you want period underwear to match the era of these dresses.

A Pair of 1930s Paper Doll Dresses From Sewing Pattern Covers

A pair of 1930s paper doll dresses based on 1930s sewing pattern covers in color or in black and white for coloring. Along with the two dresses, there are two hats.

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Some era’s of fashion history I love more than others. I’ve always been a little conflicted about the 1930s. I adore the asymmetry art deco influences of the era, but often find the actual clothing a little dull. Still, once in a while I see a 1930s design and think, “I want to draw that.”

For today’s 1930s paper doll dresses the “thing” I wanted to draw were those sleeves on the dress on the left. That dress is from a McCall 7209, copyrighted in 1932. You can see similar sleeves in McCall 8371 and McCall 8599 from 1935 or Simplicity 1325 from 1933. The sleeve details of the 1930s foreshadow the broad-shouldered silhouette that will become popular at the end of the decade and then take over in the 1940s.

The other of the 1930s paper doll dresses is the one on the right with the scarf. That’s from McCall 8206 and is copyrighted 1935. It’s a more subdued dress and closer to what I think of when I think of the 1930s. The skirt drops quickly from the late 1920s when it’s just below the knee to mid-calve by the early 1930s.

The two hats are based on a soft folded felt hats that were common in this era. I didn’t have a specific example I was copying, but heres a few from a pattern cover and one at the LACMA museum. More examples of 1930s clothing can be seen on my 1930s Fashion Pinterest board

I tried to pick colors schemes that coordinated for these, so that the hats could be worn with either dress. 

If you’re thinking, but there’s no paper doll with historic underwear to go with these dresses, fear not. I have a 1930s Benedita in the works to accompany today’s gowns, but until she’s done any of the B Pose dolls can share these dresses.

Meanwhile, there’s an alternative color scheme on the Patreon page from my Patrons- donate and join if you’d like to support the blog. Now, would be a smart time to join, because I am currently doing my annual “Make requests” poll for my Patrons. If you’ve ever wanted to see a ballerina pirate paper doll dress, now would be the time to ask.

Need a paper doll for today’s clothing? All the B Pose Dolls & Clothing

The Poppets Paper Dolls Get 1927 Dresses for School and Parties


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Montgomery Ward Fashions of the Twenties
A printable 1927 paper doll dress with matching hat from paperthinpersonas.com. The dress is a "school dress" with a blouse and matching pleated skirt. The hat is a cloche with contrast trim.

printable 1927 paper doll dress with matching hat from paperthinpersonas.com. The dress is a "school dress" with a blouse and matching pleated skirt. The hat is a cloche with contrast trim to color.

Today I am doing something special and posting two Poppet’s dresses- a school dress and a party dress from 1927. First up, the school dress.

When I was a kid, I loved the idea of a school dress. Despite my mother’s horror stories of wearing patent leather shoes to school, I imagined the idea of having a school dress as something very romantic and old fashioned.

Despite realizing that there’s nothing magical about having special dresses for different activities, I still love the concept.

As anyone who has been following this blog for any length of time has probably figured out, I love the idea of changing clothes several times a day for different events.

I do realize in reality, this would be a total pain in the butt, but hey, it’s a neat idea.

So, I knew I wanted to find a school dress for the Poppets for their 1920’s children’s wardrobe collection. This choice is from the Montgomery Ward catalog of 1927.

The pleated skirt makes me think school dress even though there’s no other reason to associate it with such.

I picked out the hat, because I thought the detailing was similar to the dresses piping details. The dress and the hat both come from Montgomery Ward Fashions of the Twenties. I don’t highly reommend this book, unless you already have a lot of 1920s books. It’s just from 1927, so it doesn’t really give you the range of years that some other books do.


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Montgomery Ward Fashions of the Twenties

A printable paper doll party dress from 1927. The dress is trimmed in ribbons and roses.

A printable paper doll party dress from 1927. The dress is trimmed in ribbons and roses.

When I was going through the Poppet’s 1920s Children’s Wardrobe Collection, I noticed that they didn’t have a party dress. I poured through the different books I have until I found this one in the book Montgomery Ward Fashions of the Twenties.

Something about this dress made me think of spring time, even though outside the weather is chilly and there was even snow a few weeks ago. Snow in Alabama is a big deal. Everyone buys milk and eggs. Even I buy milk and eggs and I don’t even like milk or eggs very much.

I digress.

The point is that I decided to color this dress pale green, because I thought it seemed like a summery dress. The ruched waistline was tough to draw and I am not sure I was entirely successful. I really had fun drawing the ruffles.

I like drawing ruffles.

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing some clothing probably? I mean, I haven’t really decided yet what to share about the new series. So, I should get on that. 🙂 Friday will be B&B Sorceress gowns.

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

Poppet’s 1920s Apron Dress: A Paper Doll Dress to Print in Color or Black and White


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Montgomery Ward Fashions of the Twenties
A paper doll dress based on a 1927 design for an 'apron dress' with a matching hat in blue and coral pink. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

A paper doll dress based on a 1927 design for an 'apron dress' with a matching hat to color. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

First off, Happy Hanukkah to anyone, like me, who is celebrating. It’s the second night tonight and my menorah is burning in the window. No Hanukkah paper dolls this year, which I am a little sad about, but I didn’t manage to get one done in time.

As I mentioned Monday, all the latest 1920s Poppets stuff comes from Montgomery Ward Fashions of the Twenties by JoAnne Olian. This dress was described as an ‘apron dress’ which is a term I’ve seen as far back as the Edwardian era to describe dresses with that flap tabard like thing in the front. This one was one of the less expensive dresses on the page, so I suspect it is meant to be more of a home dress, rather than a school dress.

I loved the piping in the design and the patterned contrast cuffs and pockets.

The hat was on a different page and might not have been worn with the dress, but I really enjoy drawing hats and I thought it was awfully cute.

If you pop over to my Patreon page you’ll find a pastel based version of today’s 1927 apron dress that you might like better. I was fully divided on which version I preferred, I confess.

So, if you like this than check out the rest of the 1920s Children’s Wardrobe collection which is full of 1920s goodness. There will be another Poppet outfit on Friday- it’s a fantasy ice skating toilette.

Tomorrow, there will be a post about the future of the blog! With pictures! Tune if you like. Otherwise, I shall see you Friday.

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

Marisole Monday’s Paper Doll Steampunk Outfit in Bright Colors


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: My Steampunk Fashion Pinterest Board and This Photo
A steampunk Marisole Monday & Friend's printable paper doll outfit in bright colors to play with from paperthinpersonas.com.

A steampunk Marisole Monday & Friend's printable paper doll outfit in black and white to play with from paperthinpersonas.com.

When I was creating today’s paper doll outfit, I was thinking about steampunk fashions. I was heavily influenced by this steampunk outfit I found on Pinterest. I particularly liked the two-tone skirt design, which I hadn’t seen before. In truth, I think I copied it a little more closely than I usually feel comfortable with, but that is neither here nor there.

I am still learning to draw top hats, so today’s steampunk paper doll outfit was good practice. I am getting better at them, but I also think hats a generally challenging for me.

Still, I will not get better if I don’t try.

When it came time to color this Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll outfit, I knew I was not going with a traditional steampunk color scheme. I just get so bored with browns and creams after a while.

Of course, if you are looking at this and going, “That is not what I want from a steampunk outfit.” Never fear!

There’s a very traditional steampunk color scheme version on the Patreon page for anyone to download. And of course, if you decide you’d like to donate to support the blog while you’re there, than I would certainly appreciate it.

As always, I’d love to hear what you think in a comment!

Need a Marisole Monday & Friends Lady Paper Doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick One Out Here

Regency Paper Doll Clothing For the Sprites Printable Paper Dolls


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: I looked at a lot of stuff to design these, but here are a few this fashion plate, this jacket, this dress and these shoes
A set of regency paper doll clothing to print from paperthinpersonas.com with a man's suit and a woman's day dress and shoes. The pieces are designed to fit the Sprite paper doll series.

A set of regency paper doll clothing to print from paperthinpersonas.com with a man's suit and a woman's day dress and shoes. The pieces are designed to fit the Sprite paper doll series..

I wanted to dabble in regnecy men’s fashion today. In part, because I have been reading a lot of regency romance novels lately. The Regency is also an era where I really love the men’s clothing. I think the women’s clothing is pretty nice, but the men’s clothing really enchants me.

As many of you know, I’m not quite as comfortable with men’s fashions as I am with women’s fashions in history. I can pretty well eyeball women’s clothing from the last 300 years and make a good guess at the era, but men’s clothing remains harder.

It’s partly that I find the changes more subtle and partly that I’ve never had a much of a passion for it.

But since I do love drawing for the Sprites, so I have been slowly trying to face my fears of men’s historical clothing. Which brings me to back to today’s set of regency paper doll clothing, that I created using a variety of reference images.

The man’s suit was based on this suit, this jacket, this suit and this suit. The dress is based on this dressthis dress, this dress and this dress. Her shoes are based on this pair, this pair and this pair. Because the dates on the source pieces range from the early 1800s until about 1820, I chose circa 1810 as the best middle ground date to describe these pieces of regency paper doll clothing.

Every time I post something “new” to me, I feel a little nervous, especially because I know that this is a era of fashion history that many people are very passionate about. Still, I hope to do what I do which is learn more and keep improving my understanding of the fashions of the era.

After all, every paper doll I create is a work in progress.

Looking for some Sprite paper dolls to wear these outfits? Pick out Sprite paper dolls here.

A Fitted Dress from 1956 for the Ms. Mannequin Paper Dolls


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Vogue 8972, A Sewing Pattern from 1956A paper doll dress based on a pattern cover from 1956 for the Ms. Mannequin paper doll series in grape purple.

A paper doll dress based on a pattern cover from 1956 for the Ms. Mannequin paper doll series to print and color.

I’ve written before that part of what I like about drawing from fashion magazines is the simplicity of it. You see a shirt. You draw the shirt.

Thanks to the Vintage Pattern Wiki, I can apply a similar feeling to drawing vintage historical paper doll clothing. There are hundreds of vintage pattern covers in the Vintage Pattern Wiki, so if I feel like drawing 20th century clothing than I find it doesn’t take a lot of energy to track down something I like and draw it. I just pick a decade and start looking.

I’ll openly grant that this isn’t exactly the best research practice, but it’s fun and I like picking out things to try to recreate.

Today’s dress from 1956 comes from Vogue 8972. The Vogue pattern company began as a feature in Vogue magazine. In 1909, Conte Nast bought Vogue magazine and the pattern company was formed in 1914. This was around the same time most of the other big name pattern companies were getting started as well.

It might be confirmation bias, but Vogue patterns, even today, seem to be more couture styled than others.

When I chose to draw Vogue 8972, I thought it was an afternoon or dinner dress, but the pattern isn’t specific. I chose to make my a grape purple, because I like purple.

I am a little concerned that I might have made the skirt a bit shorter than it should be, but fashion figures have such freakishly long legs it can be hard to tell where the skirt actually stops.

There’s a few other patterns from the mid-1950s with similar narrow skirted silhouette are McCall’s 3461Vogue S-4627, Simplicity 1678, McCalls 4615 and Advance 8368. There are dozens of others, but those were a few I thought shared traits with today’s paper doll dress.

Well, what do you think of the 1950s? It is a favorite fashion period of yours? Let me know in a comment.

Need a paper doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick out a Ms. Mannequin Paper Doll Here

B&B Russian Fantasy Outfit


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Ivan Yakovlevich Bilibin and kosovorotka shirts

A set of fantasy paper doll clothing inspired by traditional Russian clothing from paperthinpersonas.com. One of hundreds of free printable paper doll designs.

A set of fantasy paper doll clothing inspired by traditional Russian clothing from paperthinpersonas.com. One of hundreds of free printable paper doll designs.

Personally, I blame my fascination with all thing Russian on growing up in Alaska and reading The Hunt for Red October at far to young of an age. I hope you all will interperate today’s paper doll outfit as an expression of love for the art of Ivan Yakovlevich Bilibin and not a statement on current events in the United States.

(I’m not really sure what a fantasy Russian outfit would be saying about current events, but that’s neither here nor there.)

I’ve loved Russian fairytales for most of my life. Well, I love all fairy tales, but the Russian ones I think resonated with me more than a lot of the others. Perhaps it was growing up in Alaska where there was a lot of Russian culture still or perhaps I saw in Ivan Biliban‘s illustrations a landscape I recognized- over grown forests and snow.

In fact, I sometimes think my fondness for flat color and heavy line is in part because of the exposure to those illustrations. At the time, those things were a limitation of the printing medium, but Biliban took advantage of them to make incredible works of art. It really was the golden age of children’t book illustration.

Anyway, today’s set of printable paper doll clothing consists of a traditional Russian style blouse, a corset, trousers tucked into books and a big fur hat. Everything is better with a big fur hat. The blouse is based on a kosovorotka which is a side fastening men’s shirt.

See? I did some research.

Questions about today’s paper doll outfit? Thoughts on other wonderful classic children’s book illustrators? Let me know in a comment!

And consider following the facebook page, if you want to show the blog some love and support.

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

Poppet Printable Paper Doll’s Little Miss Muffet Costume


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Little Miss Muffet and Kate Greenaway

An late 18th century inspired Little Miss Muffet costume in pink and cream with grey shoes for the Poppet's printable paper doll series from paperthinpersonas.com.

An late 18th century inspired Little Miss Muffet costume to color and play with for the Poppet's printable paper doll series from paperthinpersonas.com.

Today’s Poppet paper doll dress is a Little Miss Muffet costume. In case anyone doesn’t remember the nursery rhyme, it goes like this:

Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away.

So, I did a little research on the rhyme. It turns out that its origins are unclear (not uncommon in nursery rhymes) and it was first published in 1805. The truth is that you will sing ANYTHING to a baby to get it to stop crying (trust me, I know) which means many nursery songs have their origins in popular or political ballads.

When designing today’s Little Miss Muffet costume, I wanted something that was colored with cream accents, rather than cream with colored accents. I was inspired by Kate Greenaway‘s illustrations, but only in the sense that I like her work and always tend to think of it when I start drawing late 18th century inspired children’s clothing.

Okay, I know the rhyme involves a spider, but I am not a big fan of spiders and I was not about to draw one. Deal with it. Instead I made a bowl of curds and whey, which is a dish I’ve never eaten or really know anyone who has eaten.

Have any of you, fair readers, actually eaten it? I know it’s a dairy dish, since curds and whey are both part of the cheese making process.

Her shoes are pretty classic 18th century style (you can see a bunch more like them on my 18th Century Clothing Pinterest Board). She also has a mob-cap which may or may not fit depending on which Poppet doll you put it on.

You can check out my Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes board on Pinterest to see some more of my inspirational images and, of course, you can check out the rest of the Fairy Tale and Nursery Rhyme series for more fairy tale and nursery rhyme inspired paper dolls and outfits.

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

The Poppet’s Get a 1920s Spring-Time Dress and Matching Cloche


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:1920s Children’s Clothing- One of my True Loves
A 1920s inspired paper doll dress for the Poppet printable paper doll series. Free printable in black and white or color from paperthinpersonas.com.

A 1920s inspired paper doll dress for the Poppet printable paper doll series. Free printable in black and white to color from paperthinpersonas.com.

Today’s Poppet 1920s Children’s Wardrobe Collection contribution is a spring time dress. I sort of thought of it as an Easter dress when I designed it, but Easter was a few weeks ago. I chose a pale color scheme with soft blue and pink for the dress. With the dress is a matching cloche, because lord knows the 1920s loved a good looking cloche.

I know I’ve spoken before about how much I adore 1920s children’s clothing. There’s just something about clothing of that era that I adore. I have equal love for children’s clothing of the 1930s, but I haven’t had as many opportunities to draw that.

Maybe that’s a project for another time.

I openly confess that I don’t have a good record of what I used as reference when I drew today’s dress. I am pretty sure I used Children’s Fashions 1900-1950 As Pictured in Sears Catalogs, 1920s Fashions from B. Altman & Company and/or Everyday Fashions of the Twenties: As Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs. All of these books are from Dover which is a great source of reasonably priced fashion history books. I think I own almost all their 1920s fashion books.

The realization that fashion history books are a justifiable business expense has made it a lot harder to talk myself out of buying them.

I do realize that recently most of what I have posted for the Poppet’s paper dolls to print have been either from the Fairy Tale project or the 1920s project. Never fear, there are also normal clothing on the horizon. I mean, even paper dolls need jeans.

So, what do you think of today’s 1920s paper doll dress? Love it? Hate it? Wish it was purple? Let me know in a comment.

Meanwhile, if you want to support the blog, then think about becoming a Patron or liking it on facebook and tune in tomorrow for a paper doll outfit inspired by one of my favorite novels.

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

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