Hazel Visit’s the 1940s: A Smart Dress from 1943


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A smart 1943 dress for my 1940s printable paper doll, Hazel. It's free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

Today’s dress for our 1940s printable paper doll is from another pattern cover. It is based on a Hollywood pattern from 1943. One of the things I liked about this dress was the two ways it was styled. In one option, it almost feels like a suit and in the other it is clearly a house dress. Just like today, people liked versatility in their sewing patterns.

Despite appearances, this dress is really made in one piece. Similiar styles are this 1944 Dubarry design, this 1942 Hollywood desig and this 1945 Simplicity version.

The pattern on the dress’s skirt is based on the fabric of this dress from 1942. It’s another example of the “two piece, but not really” dress style and I loved the fabric print which I simplified extensively to make into a paper doll version. Be sure to read the whole blog post, it’s totally fascinating.

Her hat is based on the hat worn by the fashion figure on the pattern cover, but small hats like this, sometimes called “doll hats”, were very popular. Here’s an example from 1940 and another example from 1940. I did my best to capture the look in a way that I still thought would stay on the paper doll’s head.

If you’re in need of a 1940s printable paper doll to wear this lovely 1943 dress, you can pick up Hazel in all her 1940’s printable paper doll glory from Monday’s post.

If you want an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes of PTP, you can follow the blog on Twitter or become a blog patron. Blog Patron’s get their own special behind the scenes blog and sometimes extra paper doll outfits. (Just sometimes, because I do have a life. Mostly.)

So, is anyone planning on coloring today’s paper doll dress? What colors would you use? I’ve been thinking rust and navy, but that’s just me. Other people’s thoughts? Leave a comment and let me know.

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

Hazel Visits the 1940s: A Dress from 1942


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A 1940's paper doll dress with matching beret in black and white for coloring. The dress is based on a 1942 DuBarry pattern design and fits the Mini-Maiden paper doll series.

So on Monday, I posted Hazel and her afternoon dress from 1940. That was kind a formal 1940’s look, so I wanted to show of something maybe a little less fancy for today. This Dubarry pattern from 1942 is a great example of the masculine influenced dresses of the early 1940s and I recreated as a 1940’s paper doll dress to print and color.

To go with it, I drew a beret which was a very popular hat style, but I’ll admit- beret drawing is maybe not my great strength.

So, a few things about this dress. It’s based on a pattern by the DuBarry company. DuBarry was a branch of Simplicity Patterns that were made from 1931–1946 exclusively for Woolworths. The wonderful Vintage Pattern Wiki has a bunch more Dubarry styles available for browsing, if you want to pop over there to see them. Two of my other 1940s favorites from Dubarry are this wedding dress from 1941 and this dress from 1944.

Most of the dresses I have drawn for this week come from sewing pattern covers. Though not always an obvious source for fashion history, sewing patterns, like catalogs, are useful to see what normal folks had access too. Most people weren’t buying designer clothing after all and I like to keep my paper dolls a little down to earth… except when they’re aliens.

The downside of these sorts of primary sources is that it is impossible to know what people thought about the pattern design. Did they like it? Was it popular? Did people think it as ugly?

For example, here’s a Simplicty pattern for a strange lace up poncho. Will some historian in the future think we all wore lace up ponchos in 2016? Probably not… but it highlights some of the danger of not using multiple sources when making decisions about what to create for historical paper dolls.

By the way, what do you think of today’s 1940’s paper doll dress? Do you like it? Hate it?

New content announcements, plus other interesting stuff, goes up pretty regularly on the blogs Twitter feed. Also, if you love the blog, then support it on Patreon.

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

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 (19%, 15 Votes)
  • Sprites in Wonderland (19%, 15 Votes)
  • Little Red Ridinghood inspired Mini-Maidens (19%, 15 Votes)
  • Marcus as a Wizard (17%, 13 Votes)
  • Ms. Mannequinn Hip-Hop Fashions (9%, 7 Votes)
  • B&B Medieval Inspired Fantasy Gowns (8%, 6 Votes)
  • Post-Apocalyptic B&B (5%, 4 Votes)
  • B&B Steampunk Outfits (3%, 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 (19%, 15 Votes)
  • Sprites in Wonderland (19%, 15 Votes)
  • Little Red Ridinghood inspired Mini-Maidens (19%, 15 Votes)
  • Marcus as a Wizard (17%, 13 Votes)
  • Ms. Mannequinn Hip-Hop Fashions (9%, 7 Votes)
  • B&B Medieval Inspired Fantasy Gowns (8%, 6 Votes)
  • Post-Apocalyptic B&B (5%, 4 Votes)
  • B&B Steampunk Outfits (3%, 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. 🙂