Hazel Visit’s the 1940s: The Doll and Her First Dress


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Hazel- a paper doll and her 1940s afternoon dress. She's the first in a series for 1940s paper dolls.

May I be honest with y’all? I like y’all, so I feel I can be honest.

I have been super busy in the last few days looking for an apartment. I have finally found a spot I like and am now starting to pack. So, during the chaos, I have fallen back on the Mini-Maidens. Frankly, they are the only series I can scan and prep in just one night.

I mean, I’d like to say I did this for purely artist reasons, but really it was a mental health decision.

Plus, I printed out some images from the 1940s as source material weeks ago and I decided to get the darn paper doll set done.

Anyway, today we have Hazel, one of the Mini-Maidens. She’ll be getting an early 1940s wardrobe. Because nothing says, stress relief like a 1940s fashion paper doll, am I right?

Why the early 1940s? Because the styles changed dramatically after World War 2. I wanted to look at the fashions for the first part of the decade, except for one purse that slipped in accidentally. You can check it out come Thursday where there will be an Accessory Thursday post. I know that will make some of you happy.

So, Hazel here has one dress for today. It’s based on this uncredited image from a magazine from 1940 that I found in the New York Public Library Digital Collections. I did my best on the hat, but I’ll openly confess that I am not totally pleased with how it came out. Still, you can’t please all the people all the time or even one artist most of the time. I struggle with hats, but I won’t get better if I don’t practice.

Thoughts on the 1940s? Is it an era you like? Or hate? I find people seem to be pretty adamant about this decade one way or the other.

Alice & The Mad Hatter: The Last Outfit


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Two paper doll outfits- one for Alice consisting of a red and white skirt and a yellow corset over a white blouse. and one for the Mad Hatter consisting of a pea-green suit, red top hat and purple and blue vest.

“Tut, tut, child!” said the Duchess. “Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.” — Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 9

Alice and the Mad Hatter are preparing to celebrate an Unbirthday today it seems!

Now, one of the fun things about their clothing is that it is mix and match. Personally, I would pair Alice’s skirt with her top from Wednesday. Yesterday’s green bowler hat would go great with the Mad Hatter’s green suit today.

Frankly, I hadn’t really thought much about outfits when I was drawing this set, so I had to try to make things cohesive with the colors. I’m not sure that worked great, but I’m still learning how to make this new format work.

I really need to learn to think less in “pieces” and more in “outfits.”

Oh well, live and learn!

Alice & The Mad Hatter Paper Dolls

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’m not sure what next week will bring. I may need a hiatus for a few weeks as I move and deal with some other stuff. I haven’t decided yet, but I will let y’all know as soon as I do.

As always, I’d love to hear that people think of the theme this week!

Alice & The Mad Hatter Paper Dolls: Accessory Thursday


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Hat and shoes for Alice and the Mad Hatter paper dolls! Plus lots of tea accessories. “Who are YOU?” said the Caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, “I–I hardly know, sir, just at present– at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.” — Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 5

Well, my friends, it is Accessory Thursday! And today, we have shoes and hats for Alice and the Mad hatter.

I had a great deal of fun designing sock patterns for the Mad Hatter and shoes for them both. Designing hats was also fun, but I need to get better at drawing top hats. Still, you get better by practicing, so I got in a lot of practice with this week’s sets.

If you missed the dolls, here is Alice and here is the Mad Hatter. Shoes with a pink base are for Alice and the teal based ones are for the Mad Hatter. I’d think that would be obvious based on the leg poses, but I thought I should clarify in case there was any confusion.

If you’re a lover of the blog, then please considering supporting it on Patreon, plus there’s an extra outfit for my Patrons this week and who doesn’t want some of that?

And, as always, I love to hear what y’all think, so comments are always appreciated.

Alice & The Mad Hatter Paper Dolls: Clothing Set 1


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Modern Alice and the Mad Hatter Outfits for some paper dolls! “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”– Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6

I tried to pick out motifs from the book that made sense to make into clothing patterns. The black and white checkerboard pattern recalls a chess board. The cups and saucers are some of the best accessories I can think of for a Alice in Wonderland themed paper doll set. I also added hearts, roses and other symbols that make me think of the books.

On the left is an outfit for Alice from Monday including shorts and a underbust corset over a t-shirt. For the Mad Hatter from yesterday, there is a t-shirt and shorts with patched shaped like tea cups, though the fact they are shaped like tea cups might not be immediately obvious.

The black and white version is linked at the top of the post, as usual.

I’ve been working on making sure new content announcements are going up regularly on Twitter. Also, if you like the blog, then support it on Patreon.

I’m going to be moving in the next few weeks, so the blog may go on haitus for a few weeks. I just don’t know yet. So, baring in mind those moving parts, I thought I should give people heads up.

Alice & The Mad Hatter Paper Dolls: The Mad Hatter & His Yellow Suit


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A Mad Hatter paper doll with a three piece suit and shoes. He'd available in color and black and white. Free to print.

The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he said was, “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?” — Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 7

Victor, one of the Sprite guy paper dolls, is getting to be the Mad Hatter today. The Mad Hatter is one of the well known characters from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Back in the Victorian era, when the book was written, certain types of fur and leather were cured using Mercury, which is toxic. The ‘hatters’ who worked with these materials to make hats often ended up victims of Mercury poisoning. So, this brought about the phrase “mad as a hatter.”

Despite the somewhat depressing origins of the term, the character is highly memorable. I think in part, because of the Disney version where the Mad Hatter is voiced by Ed Wynn. Love that guy.

Anyway, for the rest of the week, Alice from Monday and the Mad Hatter will each be getting an outfits and accessories. As always, the black and white version is linked at the top of the post.

So, feel free to follow the blog on Twitter and, if you like it, support it on Patreon.

Edwardian Mia: Accessory Thursday


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Edwardian paper doll accessories including shoes, hats, purses, furs, gloves and a parasol. Who doesn't need a parasol? Free to print for the Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll series from paperthinpersonas.com.

Accessories are tough. I always struggle to decide how many pieces is “enough” pieces. Part of learning to work in this new daily format has been about deciding, “How much makes up a post?”

Anyway, that’s all by way of saying, I might have gotten a little carried away on this one.

I have a lot of sources to site for this eclectic collection of pieces. The shoes in this accessory set come from two different sources. The white pair of shoes comes from Philadelphia Art Museum. The boots are from this advertisement from The NYPL Digital Library. Both pairs are from 1908, sticking them right at the end of the era I’m interested in. The purses come from this particular page from the 1902-1903 catalog of the Chas. A. Stevens & Bros out of Chicago. Her parasol was based on this one, sort of. I think the resemblance is a little spotty.

The hats come from a range of sources. The lavender and blue roses trimmed hat comes from this image from the NYPL Digital Gallery. Her furs and another hat come from this page from National Cloak & Suit Co‘s 1907 catalog. The truth is that hats of this era were very flamboyant. That makes them fun and challenging to draw.

If you like the blog, than consider supporting it on Patreon. None of this happens for free and every little bit helps keep things rolling along here.

Lastly, just because I’m super curious, what are your favorite paper doll accessories? Hats? Shoes? Books? Swords? What makes your experience more fun?

Also, I swear I did nothing but scan last night, so I am trying to decide what to work on this weekend. There’s a poll!

What should Rachel Work on this Weekend?

  • Marisole Monday & Friends Fantasy Gowns (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Sprites in Wonderland (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Little Red Ridinghood inspired Mini-Maidens (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Marcus as a Wizard (14%, 13 Votes)
  • Ms. Mannequinn Hip-Hop Fashions (8%, 7 Votes)
  • B&B Medieval Inspired Fantasy Gowns (6%, 6 Votes)
  • Post-Apocalyptic B&B (4%, 4 Votes)
  • B&B Steampunk Outfits (2%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 93

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Edwardian Mia: A Printable Paper Doll’s Promenade Dress


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A lavender paper doll promenade dress from the Edwardian era. Also available in black and white for coloring from paperthinpersonas.com.

Today’s printable paper doll dress is a promenade dress from 1908.

The gown is based on this illustration from an 1908 Macy’s Catalog. Macy’s was founded in about 1858 and had a thriving mail order business. Their catalogs are just a great source of information. I chose to not try to illustrate the stripes on the original dress fabric. I confess I am not too pleased with how the pleating on the skirt turned out. It should look much stiffer than it does, as taffeta is a very stiff fabric.

Oh well, no dress drawing is perfect.

In fact, a big reason I picked the Edwardian period was because I don’t have a lot of experience drawing these styles of dresses. One of the great challenges of this era is to capture the “pigeon breasted” look of the era. Bodices had a great deal of fullness in the front and then came into a narrow waist. This is actually a pretty challenging thing for me to illustrate in paper doll form.

Still, you get better at nothing unless you practice. So, this is me practicing.

While I chose lavender for today’s dress, the black and white version could be any color. The catalog describes this dress as a two-piece jumper model available in blue, red, green, brown or lavender. I think it would be stunning in red, too.

As always, I recommend printing from the PDF versions at the top of the post.

If you love the blog, than please consider supporting it on Patreon.

Hope everyone has a lovely Wednesday and remember: Accessory Thursday tomorrow!

One last little thing, I am trying to decide what to work on this weekend. I’m out of backlog and have a ton of stuff in process, so to help me focus I am asking my readers what they think.

What should Rachel Work on this Weekend?

  • Marisole Monday & Friends Fantasy Gowns (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Sprites in Wonderland (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Little Red Ridinghood inspired Mini-Maidens (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Marcus as a Wizard (14%, 13 Votes)
  • Ms. Mannequinn Hip-Hop Fashions (8%, 7 Votes)
  • B&B Medieval Inspired Fantasy Gowns (6%, 6 Votes)
  • Post-Apocalyptic B&B (4%, 4 Votes)
  • B&B Steampunk Outfits (2%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 93

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Edwardian Mia: A Paper Doll’s 1908 Walking Suit


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An Edwardian paper doll's walking suit in navy blue. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

Today’s installment for Mia’s Edwardian Wardrobe is a walking suit. I figure every paper doll needs a good suit, just like every person needs one good suit.

Suits were very much in fashion for ladies at the turn of the 20th century. This one is a navy blue wool and trimmed in gold braid and grey velveteen.

Here’s the 1908 suit that today’s paper doll outfit is based on a page from this 1908 Macy’s catalog. Suits could be ordered in a variety of styles and in a variety of fabrics. The fabric selection dictated the cost of the suit- a more expensive tweed made for a more expensive suit than simple wool.

I’ll confess this is not a literal re-drawing of the source material. I ended up simplifying the suit a fair bit and I sorta designed my own hat based on some others from the era. Hats in this period got to be a bit much sometimes.  In case, you’ve never made a hat like this, here are some instructions I wrote up a while ago.

If you missed the doll to go along with this paper wardrobe, here she is from Monday.

Also, as a friendly reminder, I have printing instructions here and you can find the black and white versions of the paper doll for coloring at the top of the post.

There, I think that’s all the housekeeping for the day.

Enjoy the paper doll! As always, I love to hear what you think. 🙂

Peony in the 1860s: A Dress from January 1864


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A paper doll dress from January 1864 based on a fashion plate from Le Follet. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

I seemed to me that I should close up the week with a winter dress from 1864. A dress that speaks to snow and city streets. In my head, I picture Peony wrapping up in this velvet coat trimmed in soft white fur and heading out to shop for the holidays. I had looked for a plate from 1865 (that’s when the Civil War ended), but I fell in love with this winter dress from 1864. A year early, but I hope people don’t mind. Technically, the war ended in May 1865, so I guess I’m still safely in my Civil War era theme.

And to go with the coat, I had to create a muff. I love muffs, but don’t think they would be practical today since I need my fingers for driving and things.

I simplified the coat a bit, because I couldn’t seem to figure-out what was going on with the sleeves in the fashion plate. I thought they were maybe bracelet length, but then maybe not, based on her raised arm… Anyway, in the end, you can’t really see the sleeves thanks to the width of the skirt. One advantage of those wide skirts from Civil War era children’s clothing.

A fashion plate from Le Follet dated January 1864. Originally from the Casey Fashion Plate index.

This particular coat comes from a fashion plate from Le Follet. Le Follet is yet another French fashion publication. It came out weekly from 1829 to 1871, making it useful for tracing 19th century French fashions. Like all fashion magazines, it is important to remember that the plates show an idealized and fantasy version of contemporary fashion.

Women didn’t actually dress in these outfits anymore than women today dress like what we see in Vogue. However, these images offer a window into what women aspired to look like. In short, the these images are a fantasy of the idealized world of glorious dresses and domestic life.

So, this ends our little foray into 1860s or Civil War era children’s clothing for the Poppet Paper Doll series. I’m a little sad to see it wrap as I have had a lot fun showing the fashion plates and talking about the era. If you missed a post, they are all linked below.

A Printable Paper Doll & Her Wardrobe of Civil War Era Children’s Clothing

I’ve had some questions about printing, so I want to mention this: When you print, you must make sure “fit to page” is NOT selected. That should give you the same size prints as before. I also do not recommend printing from the PNGs, because you can not control how your printer treats the file. This lack of control makes sizing a problem.

Importnat announcement: I’ve split up my personal and blog related twitter feeds. The new twitter feed for the blog is here. So, that will be home for the blog updates from now on.

As always, if you love the blog, consider supporting it on Patreon or just leave a comment. I always love comments. 🙂

Peony in the 1860s: A Paper Doll Dress from May 1860


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Paper doll dress from May 1860 based on a fashion plate from Le Bon Ton designed for the Poppet series. Also available in black and white from paperthinpersonas.com. This is the paper doll dress that started it all. One fashion plate from 1860 inspired this whole week of 1860s children’s paper doll dresses. Isn’t it funny how that can happen? I came across this fantastic plate from Le Bon Ton (another 1860s women’s fashion magazine) and I just knew I wanted to dive into this era. It helps, I suspect, that I’ve always had a soft place in my heart for Victorian children’s clothing.

Mostly, I think it is more true to say that I’ve always had a place in my heart for antique dolls and that has led me to a soft place for children’s clothing.

Just like yesterday’s 1860s dress, today’s paper doll dress features a dress over a guimpe. (Yesterday, I got into a whole definition of the guimpe which I am not repeating here.)

Fashion plate from Le Bon Ton dated May 1869. Originally found on the Casey Fashion Plate index.

As you might notice from the fashion plate to the left is that you can see her pantelettes or pantaloons. Tomorrow, there will be two pairs of 1860s children’s underwear, so you two can create that look along with two pairs of shoes.

The fashion plates from the Casey Fashion Plate Index which is such a great resource. I will keep repeating how much I love it probably until the end of time, or at least this week.

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.

If you love the blog, than think about supporting me on Patreon or leaving a comment. As always, I love to hear from everyone.