Peony In the 1860s: A Dress from August 1864


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Poppets paper dolls dress with pink and black color scheme from August of 1864. From paperthinpersonas.com.

It’s day two of our Civil War children’s clothing week. Today’s paper doll dress is a mix of two dresses from the 1860s. A fashion plate from August 1864 inspired the dress design. The color scheme is from a different fashion plate from June 1865. The pink and black combination from that fashion plate was so contemporary that I wanted to use it. I think it is easy to forget how bold the Victorians could be.

This dress would have been in several parts. It’s not clear from the illustration, but I think the bodice and skirt are meant to be separate pieces. Underneath the bodice, a guimpe is worn. While It is also possible that the bodice and skirt connect, like a jumper, that is not how adult women’s dresses in this era were made.

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The dress design comes from this fashion plate.

If you’ve never heard the word guimpe before, don’t fret. It’s not a word that gets tossed around in most conversations. A guimpe was a high necked blouse-like garment women and children wore underneath a low-necked dress. Think of it like like a dickie or a camisole today. A guimpe was never supposed to be seen without a something over it. Some weren’t even complete blouses, but were just dickies and matching sleeves. Part of the appeal of the guimpe, I suspect, was that washing it was more easy than washing the entire dress.

(If you ever have a time and interest, laundry practices of the 19th century are actually fascinating if, you know, you’re me.)

fashion-plate3-1865

The color scheme comes from this fashion plate.

Both of the inspirational fashion plates come from the same publication Magasin des Demoiselles. This French fashion magazine in the 19th century was very popular. Many of the 1860s plates from Magasin des Demoiselles include children, along with the ladies. It’s a great resource for what the fashionable girl, or, more rarely, boy, would have worn while running about and being a kid.

Not that running around being a kid was really condoned too much in this era.

Both fashion plates are from the Casey Fashion Plate index which is an excellent resource for 19th century fashion plates.

As a friendly reminder, the black and white versions are linked above with the PDFs. Also, if you need a doll, here she is from Monday.

So, what do you think of my pink and black color scheme? Too bold for the era or okay? I always love to know what you think. Love the blog? Consider supporting it by becoming a Patron, every dollar is lovely.

Peony in the 1860s: A Paper Doll with a Dress from August 1862


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A paper doll with a dress from August 1862, boots and a hat from paperthinpersonas.com. Part of a week of civil war children's clothing designs for the Poppets paper doll series.This week I’m diving into civil war children’s clothing with the help of the Casey Fashion Plate Index from the Los Angeles Public Library. This fantastic resource has literally hundreds of fashion plates. Today’s Poppet dress comes from Magasin des Demoiselles, a French fashion magazine of the 19th century.

I named today’s Poppet paper doll Peony. I thought I was out of P flower names, but I never did a Peony, so Peony it is! Then I’ll have to decide what to do about Poppet paper dolls and their P names.

Despite what I was once told in a costume history class, children of the 19th century didn’t dress like miniature adults. There were, in fact, many complex social rules governing how children were dressed.

While adult women did not expose their arms unless they were attending a ball (or swimming, sometimes), children could have short sleeves, especially in the heat of summer. Today’s dress is and example of this from August 1862. I simplified some of the trimming and chose blue tonal color scheme over the red and black scheme of the original Civil War children’s clothing dress design.

Fashion plate from Casey fashion plate collection from August 1862 featuring two women and a child.

Alternatively, you can download the black and white version from the links at the top of the post.

Peony’s hat is trimmed in contrasting yellow roses and matching blue ribbon. Her boots are flat soled and side lacing, which was typical for civil war era shoes. Side laced and button up boots were both worn in the 1860s, but by the end of the decade button boots were much more popular. Her stockings should really be tights or held up by a garter belt, but in the interest of making things simpler, I decided to ignore that particular fact of history.

Should you be worried about her going commando, than fear not- she’ll get some proper undergarments on Accessory Thursday.

If you need another set of dolls to wear this clothing, here’s more of the Poppet family, just be sure to print them from the PDF without fit to page and everything should work out.

Thoughts? Comments? Solutions to my “P flower names” problem? As always, I love to hear from y’all and if you like the blog, consider supporting it by becoming a Patron.

Monica’s Neo-Victorian Wardrobe: Accessory Thursday With Shoes, Parasols & Hats


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Printable paper doll accessories including shoes and hats! Also available in black and white. From paperthinpersonas.com.

It’s Accessory Thursday! Yay!

But to come down from the high for a moment, it has occurred to me that I’m not really sure how to write a pseudo-19th century fashion plate description of these pieces.

So, instead, I thought I would wax philosophical about accessories. In the real work, I am not a big accessories girl, but in the paper doll world, I just love them. Back when I was a kid, I had a paper doll book called, The Victorian Cat Family. It was an amazing paper doll book with literally thousands of fantastic tiny accessories all of which I painstakingly cut out.

Oh, the memories… Still love that book.

Anyway, I’m not the greatest artist when it comes to non-clothing items, but I try to spice things up with parasols, hats and shoes. Part of the fun of hats is that they change up an outfit. Also, I just love love love drawing paper doll shoes.

(Yes, I realize that is a kinda quirky thing to love. No, I am not ashamed.)

If you missed Monday, you might need a doll to wear theses fun shoes. Here’s Monica all ready for her neo-Victorian wardrobe.

Monica’s Neo-Victorian Wardrobe: A Dinner or Carriage Dress


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Printable paper doll steampunk inspired dress with a matching hat. Also available in black and white for coloring from paperthinpersonas.com.

Happy Wednesday!

All righty, Dinner or Carriage dresses were worn to evening of later afternoon events that were formal, but not formal enough to warrant full-dress. Carriage dresses are often identifiable, because they are are more fussy and formal than promenade dresses.

The basic order of formality is a walking suit is less formal then a promenade toilette which is less formal than a carriage dress. A dinner dress is less formal than a evening dress, but may also be worn to evening events like come concerts or lectures. Opera was its own insane category.

Who ever said Victorian dressing was simple?

Continuing my 19th century fashion magazines descriptions, here is today’s:

A pale blue bolero jacket with pale blue sleeve puffs worn over a lavender corset with brass button accents. The neckline of the corset is filled with a pale blue high-necked blouse. The matching skirt is lavender and trimmed in pale green with three rows of blue ruffles. The hat is a bowler style trimmed with dark purple fabric roses and a wide blue ribbon band. Without the hat, this ensemble would be a lovely dinner attire and with the hat would be appropriate for afternoon visiting or carriage rides.

I have to confess, I have never been one of those people who romanticizes history. I’m pretty much certain that I like air conditioning, indoor plumbing and antibiotics too much to want to live in the past, but sometimes when I’m working on fantasy romanticized history pieces like this series, I start to think, “Hmmm… it might be fun to get to put on fancy dresses and go to a ball!”

So tell me in a comment what era of history you’d like to visit sometime. I’ve never been able to settle on one, but I think it might be fun to visit the Library of Alexandria or the Aldine Press in Venice.

(My library geek is coming out in those choices.)

Thoughts from all of you? What time period would you like to visit?

If you missed Monday, pop over to that post for Monica and if you love the blog, consider becoming a patron. 

Monica’s Neo-Victorian Wardrobe: A House or Morning Costume


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A neo-victorian morning dress or house dress with a hat designed for the Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll series.

Today’s neo-Victorian costume for Monday’s Monica moves to a much lower rung of the formality ladder.

Today, Monica has a morning costume or a house dress. There really shouldn’t be a hat with this costume, because house dresses and morning dresses were not something women wore outside. Still, I drew a lot of hats with these outfits. So, I thought people might enjoy a spare hat today.

To once again channel my inner 19th century fashion magazine, here we go:

A lavender shirtwaist of the crispest cotton with a jabot at the neckline. The sleeves are long and go over the hands, replacing the need for gloves of any sort. Worn over the shirt waist is a decorative long corset of misty blue leather trimmed in pale green ribbon. The skirt is tightly fitted, as is the current fashion, and made to match the corset’s trimmings. There is a decorative band of tea green right before the knees and then asymmetrical layers of ruffles. The matching hat is green and trimmed in over-sized bows.

I am having way more fun writing these 19th century style descriptions of these outfits than I really should probably admit to most people.

Still, I kinda figure that if you’re reading the blog than you probably already know that I am a trifle quirky and such things shouldn’t bother you at all.

Black and white versions can be downloaded at the top of the post, as usual.

If you love the blog, please think about becoming a patron and, if you’re not up for that, leave a comment. I love hearing from y’all.

At the Seaside: 1890s Paper Doll Children’s Clothes

Poppet logo. 1890s historical paper doll children's clothes. First of all, Merry Christmas to anyone who celebrates. Today we have a completely non-thematic set of paper doll clothes. 🙂 This is what happens to me at the end of the year. I’m just all about getting the stuff I have done posted, so today we have some 1890s beachwear for the Poppets with a sailor suit and a swim suit.

Sailor suits were very popular in the 1890s and they were worn by all different ages of children (and some adults). You can find examples all over the place if you happen to be looking. I used the book Children’s Fashions, 1860–1912: 1,065 Costume Designs from “La Mode Illustree” which happens to be out of print, but is a great resource. Both the swimming costume and the sailor suit come from the illustrations in this book.

One of the interesting things about sailor suits is that they didn’t change in style much. Here is an example from La Semaine De Suzette in 1908. (La Semaine De Suzette was a French children’s magazine that published sewing patterns for the doll Bleuette through out its many year run. There are passionate collectors of the dolls who make the wonderful patterns. Someday I would love to do a paper doll of some of the amazing Bleuette patterns.) Some more examples from various eras include this sailor suit from the 1920s, a magazine illustration from 1890 and an extant example from 1905. Clearly, the sailor suit stuck around for a long while, making them a great subject for paper doll clothes.

A set of 1890s paper doll clothes for the Poppet printable paper doll series. Free to print in color from Paperthinpersonas.com A set of 1890s paper doll clothes for the Poppet printable paper doll series. Free to print from Paperthinpersonas.com

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Our paper doll’s swimsuit is also from Children’s Fashions, 1860–1912: 1,065 Costume Designs from “La Mode Illustree”. Swimsuits in this era never look like they would be very comfortable or easy to swim in to me. Still I liked the little ruffles on the sleeves.

Posey is the paper doll modeling today’s 1890s outfits, but Peach probably has the most historical hair style of the bunch with her curls.

I hope everyone is having a Merry Christmas with family or not, as you prefer. 🙂

Lillies & Birds: Fantasy Printable Paper Doll

lilliesandbirds-logo-colorEvery paper doll set tells a story. As a kid, I remember I would tell all sorts of stories with my paper dolls. Some of them were the actual stories of the paper dolls- like Little Women or Cinderella. Far more often, I would design my own stories to be told with the paper dolls.

Now that I’m an adult, or so people tell me, my paper dolls don’t have the same sorts of stories. They do, however, often have worlds that I imagine they come from. In the case of today’s Margot paper doll, I imagine she comes from a pseudo-victorian world with her button up boots and her hats.

Speaking of hats, it was really important to me that either hat could be worn with either dress. Don’t get me wrong- the feathered hat was designed to match the bird-dress and the lily hat goes with the lily dress, but if you were feeling rebellious and wanted to put the feathered hat with the lily dress than I won’t stop you.

Live dangerously.

Anyway, as for her blue hair, I confess that as a total whim. I was coloring her and I thought, I should give her blue hair. So, I did.lilliesandbirds-princess-paper-doll-color

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I am actually quite pleased how the blue hair came out. I think it’s fun and unexpected.

I’ve always wanted to dye my hair blue, but I fear I am long past the point in my work life where I could get away with blue hair. Plus my hair goes down to my waist, so if I dye it than I have to live with it for a long long time.

So, we are cruising into December (so exciting!), there’s going to be fun things on the horizon and some announcements. The Pixie paper doll series is retiring and will be replaced by a new series. Lots of fun & crazy stuff.

Thoughts? As usual, I love to hear what you think about the paper doll or anything else in the comments.

Lillies & Birds: A Printable Paper Doll Coloring Page

lilliesandbirds-logo-bwThe trouble of posting from paper doll backlog, is that sometimes I get to the point where I’ve drawn something so many weeks ago that I have no real recollection of what I was thinking or planning when I designed whatever it is. This is one of those sets. I remember drawing it, but I don’t remember much about this set except worrying about drawing the lily flowers on her skirt and hat.

I decided I tend to always draw the same flowers and I wanted to try something different.

Beyond that, I feel like I can’t say much.

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Margot is showing off this set. I feel rather bad for Margot, since she hasn’t gotten a set since April when she was a Tudor lady. I think it is just that she got a LOT of love at the beginning of the year and then very little for the rest of the year.

Anyway, this is the last Margot set for 2015. The year is wrapping up my friends. 🙂

As always, if you have thoughts, please share them in the comments and if you like the paper dolls than consider supporting them through Patreon.

Also, there’s going to be a really fun Q&A on Wednesday with a special guest from Dover publishing. I’ve been waiting to publish this for weeks. 🙂

A 1950s Paper Doll with Some Curves

A printable paper doll with a 1950's vintage wardrobe in black and white. She has a suit, a cocktail dress and a day dress.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.”

A printable paper doll with a 1950's vintage wardrobe in black and white. She has a suit, a cocktail dress and a day dress.

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So, my sources for these 1950s paper doll dresses were this day dress from the V&A, this Dior suit from the Chicago history Museum. The cocktail dress comes from a site called Vintageous which sells vintage formal-wear. I couldn’t find the original cocktail dress, but you can see it on my 1950’s Fashion Pinterest board. My only major regret with these dresses is that I ended up with such a busy pattern on the day dress. It is reflect the original well, but I think it also obscures some of the details.

It’s okay though. Not every plan works out well.

A printable paper doll with a 1950's vintage wardrobe in black and white. She has a suit, a cocktail dress and a day dress.

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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

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As always I love to hear what you think in the comments and would appreciate your support through Patreon. 🙂

Poppet Pirate: Printable Paper Doll

poppets-logo-pirateLast week I posted a fairy costume for the Poppet paper dolls. This week, we’ve got a pirate costume for the Poppet paper dolls.

Some people had store bought costumes, but in my family that was strictly out. All of our costumes were always homemade. When I was designing this pirate costume for the Poppet paper dolls, I imagined a little girl getting one of her father’s shirts, perhaps and a scarf from her mother’s drawer and a pair of old pants that got cut off and patched and a plastic sword and getting to be a pirate. I have distinct and fond memories of brainstorming with my mother what I wanted to be for each Halloween.

One year, my best friend went as a girl in a poodle skirt and I went as a poodle.

Another year, I was a head of garlic. Yes, I wanted to be a head of garlic and bless my mother, she didn’t even blink. She came up with a way to use white garbage bags to make a head of garlic costume for her very odd first-grade daughter.

It should come as no shock that I was an odd child.

I imagine therefore that this costume is homemade. Pirates are always a fun easy homemade costume to go with.

poppet-halloween-paper-doll-pirate-bw poppet-halloween-paper-doll-pirate

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I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween on Saturday. Julie, Boots, and I will be sharing our Collaborative paper doll! I can’t wait for everyone to see her. She came out great.