Lynn: A Paper Doll of the 1920s

logo-lynn-1920Let me state one thing first, on the record- Lynn’s underwear is not period. If I had drawn her period undergarments, than she’d never get to wear jeans. So, I chose to omit even a period slip for her in favor of fitting some fairly large hats onto a fairly small space. Pixies have big heads and therefore big hats.

I hope no one feels horribly cheated out of 1920’s undergarments.

It was really hard to give myself permission to do a small historical set for the Pixies. Normally, my historical Pixie sets are at least two pages and my Regency paper doll set was three. And I do have an 18th century set which has the dubious honor of being the largest collection I have ever drawn for the Pixies. It is literally five sketchbook pages. I’ve no idea how I am going to post it.

One of my big goals for 2015 was to draw historical paper dolls, because- frankly, I really like them.

But I also think if I always think “These sets must be huge” than it creates a lot of pressure to produce big sets. I think smaller sets can be just as fun.

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Todays paper doll’s three dresses are from two different sources. The short sleeved dress and the one with the chevron patter are from this image on Flickr. The party dress is from the Met and dated 1926 through 1928. Her shoes were based on this pair from the Philadelphia Art Museum.

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The color scheme was fairly arbitrary. I do wish I had done something a little more fun with the shoes rather than playing it safe with black. I like to think that these three dresses cover day and evening wear fairly smoothly for Lynn. Long term, it is my hope to do more smaller historical sets for the Pixies. There’s no logical reason why they shouldn’t get to share in the single page historical paper doll fun.

I say this having just begun coloring the largest pixie set I have ever drawn of 18th century dress. I might be unable to keep this single page historical Pixie set concept alive.

Country Lolita inspired Paper Doll Clothes

logo-country-lolita-colorThere’s something about Lolita style clothes that I find appealing. I think part of it is that I love the Victorian inspired details of the outfits, but I also think it’s fascinating to see how a non-Western culture like Japan interprets Western European and American Victorian children’s clothing into something for adults.

There is a tendency when we talk about cultural adaptations to speak strictly of Western nations adapting Asian clothing and there’s a lot of great research on that topic, but non-Western countries are also adapting Western dress and transforming the meaning into something entirely different for their cultural needs. I find this back and forth to be one of the more interesting aspects of cultural contact.

To paraphrase Terry Pratchett, the act of observation doesn’t just change the object being observed, it also can change the observer. (Soul Music I think… but maybe Reaper Man… Can’t recall which at the moment.)

Plus, you know, pretty clothes.

So, Lolita, like any good alt-fashion scene, has many sub-genres that are confusing to me, as an outsider. Never the less, I did some research and wanted to so something in the County Lolita sub-genre. If regular Lolita is all about puffy skirts and ruffles, Country Lolita seems to be all about puffy skirts and gingham. Here’s a blog devoted to the style called, Country Lolita and here’s a post about Country Lolita from F Yeah Lolita, a great Lolita blog. (There is not gingham here… I can’t draw it to save my life.)

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I wanted to play with the style, but I wouldn’t say my interpretation is strictly accurate. It’s more about seeing what happens when I try something new and the excuse to draw some giant cherries.

Honestly, I think I had mixed success. The yellow skirt has a better shape than the blue skirt. Both the cherry and the apple pattern came out cute and feel bright and country to me, but border prints are super popular it sems and . I wish I had gone with a darker blue to balance out of the pale yellow, but I’m not sure about that. When I look at it, sometimes I like it and sometimes I don’t. I settled on knee socks rater then tights, because I thought they would fit better on the page. I do want to know how you all think I did, so there’s a poll…

How did I do on my Country Lolita?

  • I have no idea what Country Lolita looks like... (58%, 21 Votes)
  • Nailed it! (33%, 12 Votes)
  • Not so much... Should have used gingham (8%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 36

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By the way, there is a doll to go with this set. She’ll be up sometime next week.

Fashionable Irradiated: A Post-Apocalyptic Paper Doll

logo-fashionably-irriadiatedOne of the fun things about doing contest paper dolls is that I really don’t know what people will ask for and I am often surprised. Truth be told, what I know about the Fallout the computer game is that it is a computer game and apparently there are vaults and radiation. That’s about it. Also jumpsuits.

Never the less, my last contest winner asked for a paper doll based on the Fallout games. Now, I have both ethical and legal concerns about violating other artists copyright, so I wanted to be careful how I borrowed from the source materials. Truthfully, more for ethical reasons than for legal ones.

She wanted her paper doll’s hair to be short and so I did my best to accomodate. I don’t do short hair styles very often, because I think I am not very good at them. Never the less, I wanted to do something fun and sort of spiky. The outfits are based on designs from the Fallout Three wiki. I did a jumpsuit, of course, some power armor and some leather armot at her request. I also did some goggles which, as always with goggles and me, might not stay on the paper doll’s head, so I also did some goggles attached to a scarf, wrap, head-covering thing.

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I added a few other mix and match pieces. Quite a few pieces didn’t fit the page, so I had to cut them. They weren’t very exciting (a pair of pants and a shirt), so I don’t feel like it is a great loss. One of these days I may have to do a “bits and pieces” set of all the random stuff I have cut over the years. I just don’t think I have ever cut enough to fit a whole sheet. (I can usually tell early if I have “too much” and then don’t color the offending pieces.)

Jintka also asked for, “Purple hair (more on the bluish side), medium skin color, and bluish-gray eyes, please. :).”

So, the paper doll got that color and then I used mostly muted colors for the clothing. After going back and forth about what “medium” meant for skintone, I decided on using Hex #d4aa78 from my Skin Tone Palette. I liked the yellow undertone against the blue in the purple hair.

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Lastly, I wanted to note that this base doll is the same as the base doll I used for my 1300s paper doll set. I remain undecided what I will name her, but here she is again. I think she came out very cute in this set and her short hair has inspired me to try out more short hair styles on my paper dolls.

That’s all the news for Monday! Lemme know what you think of the paper doll set or if you have a name suggestion for my still unnamed paper doll.

1940’s Vixen: A 1940’s Fashion Paper Doll

Bodacious & Buxom logo- 1940's VixenThere are some periods of fashion I’m naturally drawn too. I love the regency era and the 1870s. I have a strange soft spot for the 1920s and the mod looks of the 1960s. However, 1940’s fashions just doesn’t do so much for me. Still, one of my goals for my paper dolls in 2015 is to do more historical paper doll sets and to stretch myself into eras that I’m not naturally interested in.

As a result, today’s paper doll is clad in 1940’s fashion finery.

Truly, the 1940s is a fascinating time in fashion history. World War Two interrupts the middle of the decade and the end of the war welcomes in a whole new style of clothes thanks to Dior’s New Look. Prior to 1947, however, there is cloth rationing in many countries, most notable England, and an emphasis on “Make Due and Make Mend”. Magazines would publish articles on how to transform a man’s suit into a woman’s suit or how to turn dishtowels into aprons.

A printable paper doll with 1940's fashions including three diereses, three hats, purses and shoes. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com. {Download a PDF of this paper doll to Color} {View a 150 dpi PNG of this Paper Doll to Color}
Hats were still required for day wear. Our paper doll is sporting three different hats and two purses. Marie Claie UK published these wonderful photos of 1940s fashion on their blog- photo number 27 inspired one of her hats. Her black purse is from 1945 and is based on this purse from the V&A. Her shoes are from 1943, based on this pair at the Met.

A red-headed printable paper doll with 1940's fashions including three diereses, three hats, purses and shoes. Free to print in color from paperthinpersonas.com. {Download a PDF of this paper doll in Full Color} {View a 150 dpi PNG of this Paper Doll in Full Color} {More Bodacious and Buxom Printable Paper Dolls}
All of her dresses come from vintage pattern covers- Vogue 5667, Simplicity 3296 A (one of my favorite designs, I used it here too) and Vogue 5802 A. My 1940s fashion Pinterest board contains more images that influenced this set.

A Quick Poll…

What historical era should B&B visit next?

  • Vikings! (AKA 800s) (28%, 18 Votes)
  • 1950s (20%, 13 Votes)
  • 1860s (17%, 11 Votes)
  • Regency (15%, 10 Votes)
  • 1300s (8%, 5 Votes)
  • 1700s (8%, 5 Votes)
  • Other, and I'll tell you in a comment (5%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 65

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Greta’s Trousseau: Traveling to the Seaside

First paper doll of 2015! Yay!

Okay, so as I mentioned, I’ll be posting some stuff in the next few weeks with the 2014 date on it. That’s because I date things from when I save them, not when I post them on the blog and I’ve got some backlog to go through. Never the less… first post of 2015 and I am going to celebrate that.

In 2015, Greta’s Trousseau is steadily growing. She’s traveling to the seaside with her paper wardrobe to deep sea dive, swim and also, you know, walk around looking fashionable.

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Her costumes are, left to right, a diving suit (because who doesn’t have one of those in their wedding trousseau?), a traveling suit, slightly fancier than the last one I posted, a swimming costume with flippers and a spear for fending off aggressive sea-life and a walking dress, because sometimes a girl just wants to look good while walking along the beach.

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For those counting this takes Greta’s Trousseau to just over sixty pieces and 21 distinct outfits. Wow. Of course, she can share with her friends Isadora, Hazel and Faye. It’s not like she’s the only one who can wear these outfits.

Next up for her paper doll wardrobe is probably going to be more sporting outfits, including golf, croquet and tennis. I also have a set with a morning dress and a nightgown in the wings.

Here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau for those who’d like to see it. Also, there’s a drawing/contest open at the moment, so check that out.

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.

Marcus as Steampunk Airship Mechanic

logo-airshipFor those of you who don’t know this, I generally write these posts the day before they go live. The idea is that they post will go live at midnight on the day it’s scheduled. I don’t always succeed in that goal, but that, never the less, is the goal.

Tonight while I write this post for tomorrow it is pouring rain outside. Not slightly drizzling or thinking about raining, but actually torrents of water. I love nights like this, but they make me want to do thing except wrap up in a blanket and drink tea… which is not an impossible wish to achieve on a Sunday night.

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In a world with steam engines and airships, Marcus knew from a young age he wanted to be on those ships. Growing up in the Caribbean, freight vessels came into port and he always hung around to listen to stories of far way lands. So, as soon as he was old enough, he ran away and got a job on one of the airships and worked his way up from errand boy to head mechanic.

By and large, I don’t write stories for my paper dolls, but somehow this character made sense to me and I thought I would share. Over the years, I have always admired Liana’s wonderful stories for her paper doll outfits. I am trying to branch out a bit in my blog habits, so I would love to know if people like the ideas of forays into fiction.

Greta’s Trousseau: Traveling Suit and Evening Attire

It has been a while since we’ve had to visit to Greta’s Trousseau. I have had these drawn for a few mnths and it has been taking me a long time to get my act together and sort out the adding of tabs. I loath having to add tabs, but it’s easier to add them than to remove them later for the fashion plates and I do like putting together the fashion plates.

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So, in this page of Greta’s ever expanding trousseau, there is a ballgown which also has a more conservative long sleeved bodice. Dresses with two bodices were very common in the 19th century. Most “gowns” of the period are actually a top and a separate skirt. This women’s dress from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has an evening bodice and a day bodice. I imagine that Greta’s dress is more of a “ballgown” and then “dinner-dress” sort of arrangement.

Her traveling attire has two major outfits. One is a pair of bloomers with a blouse and hat for exploring or slightly rough and tumble travel. The other is a crisp traveling suit with a jacket, skirt and gaiters (or really long spats). These pieces can be mixed and matched for other outfit combinations, of course.


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In total, this takes Greta’s Trousseau to over fifty outfit pieces and seventeen outfits. Technically, based on my paper doll outfit math than there’s about 1300 outfit combinations, more if you include hats, of course. I don’t actually think most of those outfit combinations make a lot of sense, but it was fun to work out how many existed. Greta’s Trousseau isn’t over, by any means. There are more sporting outfits to be finished (including a really cute croquet dress) and a set of clothing for seaside visits which includes a scuba suit, complete with helmet.

For anyone whose interested, here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau.

Poppet’s Visit the 18th Century… Historical Paper Doll Clothes

logo-poppet-1700s-historicalSo, today the Poppets paper doll series is traveling to the 18th century and rocking some beautiful clothes. One of the great myths of historical costume is that children in the 18th century were dressed “just like adults” and while there is some truth to the fact that children wore very similar clothing to adults, it was rarely identical. Skirt length is a common way to tell that a dress was intended for a child, rather than an adult, along with simpler lines and decorations.

Today’s 18th century outfit is based on a a gown from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her shoes come from a painting by Carl-Ludwig Christine┬áin 1772 of two sisters. Her pocket is based on these pockets from America. Her cap is an amalgamation of about a dozen different caps from portraits and is, I confess, a little odd looking. I am not entirely pleased with it.

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One thing I do not have is a Poppet doll with proper hair for the 18th century, so I am letting Poppy model the historical dress.

Lastly, a bit of the site layout has changed. Mostly just colors, honestly, but I would love to hear what people think of the new design.

Steampunk Paper Doll Clothes for the Ms. Mannequinn Series

logo-mannequin-steampunk-clothesOver the years, I have done a fair number of steampunk or neo-victorian inspired sets of paper doll clothing. I’d name them all, but I really don’t feel like digging through the blog’s massive archives to track them all down.

Generally, I see the whole steampunk thing as an version of the Arts and Crafts movement of the 19th century. A sort of call back to a fantasy of an analog time while ignoring major issues of the actual 19th century like lack of labor protection, colonization, and treatment of the mentally ill (to name a few), just as the Arts and Craft movement exalted the medieval and gothic periods while ignoring the plague. Within reason, I don’t find this troubling though sometimes I do worry that when we exalt certain periods of history, than it is far to easy to ignore their horrors.

And every period of history, including our own, has a few horrors.

Still, I have always found alternative fashion movement fascinating, be it goth, punk, steampunk or the dress reform movement and therefore have every intention of continuing to draw neo-victorian clothing for the blog.

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Somehow today’s set got awfully Christmas looking with the red and the green color scheme. I was thinking more burgundy and olive while I started, but it came out a bit brighter than I’d intended it to be. Despite the small number of pieces in this set, there’s actually 18 outfit options and more if you include the shoes each of the Ms. mannequin paper dolls come with.

Okay, quick question to my readers. I’m debating working on Flock stuff this coming weekend or working on Pixies. Anyone want to express a preference?

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