Mia Goes Minimalist and Monochrome…

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll I am both very excited and a little nervous about today’s colored version of last week’s Minimalist fashion paper doll.

Why nervous?

Because color is something I love. I adore color and pattern and surprise and color… well color is something today’s paper doll set lacks.

Minimalism in fashion usually relies on a black and white color palette and is considered to be austere and simple. It has been popular for several years on the runways. I didn’t go as wild as I could have with shape, because I wanted everything to be wearable. This is not, after all, a fantasy paper doll set where I don’t care about realism and/or whether or not a person might actually be able to function in these crazy clothes. I am very pleased with the outcome (and this was the fastest coloring job I think I’ve ever done.)


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Were I to make a list of things I’d never done before on the blog, I think doing a paper doll set entirely in black, white, and grey would end up on the list. I’m not certain, and I don’t really want to go pouring through over 500 posts to find out, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never done it before.

While I do agree that many of these shapes mirror Seagulls and Seaside, as was pointed out by a reader last week, I think the color really changes the tone of the entire set. I’m most pleased with Mia’s shoes (I love drawing shoes, though I really think one pair came out a little clunky) and the collared blouse.

Mia Goes Minimalist…

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll I love March. I love March for the fashion magazines that come out in March. March, like September, is a big month in the Fashion magazine world. It’s right after Spring Fashion Week and the fashion magazines are stuffed with the new seasonal looks.

I always like to buy several when I go to the grocery store. I love Vogue for it’s amazing photo shoots, but for paper dolling purposes I want simple clear photos of clothing. (Models jumping around or standing in wierd poses are beautiful and all, but a pain to draw off of.) Generally, I pick from People StyleWatch, Elle, Instyle, Vogue or Bazaar. This time I wasn’t impressed with any of them except Instyle, and there wasn’t a new People Stylewatch to be had, so I just got my Instyle and spent Saturday drawing this paper doll set. (Also watching Escape from New York and Wall-e, but I digress.)

All of Mia’s clothing is based off items I saw in InStyle with a focus on things that were part of the minimalist collections that have been on the runway as of late, especially from Micheal Kors, Carolina Herrar and Ralph Lauren. I didn’t want to do pattern and I didn’t want to do anything elaborate, I wanted to focus on shape.


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I’m really pleased with all the clothes, but a little less pleased with the doll. I decided to make her a Mia after I finished drawing the whole set, because I haven’t done a Mia yet this year, but once I finished her I realized that I have done a very similar hairstyle before for Mia before.

Anyway, I’m still pleased with this paper doll set and very excited to color it. It’s going to be a lot different I think than any other set I’ve done which is, to me, exciting.

Chic Chick from Buxom and Bodacious

So, historically, I’ve been posting a black and white B&B paper doll and then a full color version the next day.

I’ve decided that this technique is not time saving in any real way, unlike my spacing of my Marisole Monday & Friends paper dolls a week apart which saves me so many headaches, so I am going to start posting both and black and white version of the Buxom and Bodacious printable paper doll and the full color version on the same day. I hope no one minds this change, but I don’t think anyone will.

Anyway, to say something intelligent about the paper doll… I actually haven’t got much intelligent to say about the paper doll. This is one of those paper dolls the languished on my computer hard drive for weeks. I thought about working on it, got distracted and then moved on and eventually realized (like on Sunday) that all I really needed to do was layout and file formatting. So, feeling a little foolish I finished her up and here she is.


Full color Poppet Paper Doll clothes

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I confess to not being completely pleased with her color scheme. It feels a little sedate for my usual taste, but not every color scheme is a winner and that’s why the paper doll has a black and white option for coloring yourself.

Lastly, I want to give a shout out to Lina’s Paper Dolls. I’ve had her on my Links Page for a while, but keep forgetting to give her a little spotlight here. As I always say, new paper doll blogs make me happy. Check her out and drop her a comment when you have a chance. Paper doll bloggers need all the encouragement we can get. :)

Faye Visits the 1920s

Thumbnail of the printable paper doll clothes Faye has decided to do a little time traveling and visit the 1920′s. Inspired in part by Anna May Wong (the first Asian-American famous film actress), I knew I wanted to use Faye, my Asian Mini-Maiden in this set.

(I did not give Faye Anna May’s wonderful bangs because every time I tried to draw them they looked… off somehow.)

Faye has shoes, stockings, a girdle, a house dress, two day dresses and then a swimsuit. She should probably also have a swimming cap, but I didn’t really think about that until after I finished the set and then it was too late. ‘

Oh well…

I really had fun with this set since I just bought a few more books of 1920′s fashion and wanted an excuse to play with them.


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I’m trying to give more information on where I do my costume research when I say something is historically accurate, so I’m including a sources list, in case anyone else wants to dabble in the 1920s. It’s not exhaustive. There’s some other great books out there, just what I happened to use for this set and have on my own shelves at home.

A Few Sources for 1920′s Fashion History

1920s Fashions from B. Altman & Company. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1999.
Atelier Bachwitz. Classic French Fashions of the Twenties. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2012.
Blum, Stella. Everyday Fashions of the Twenties as Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs. New York: Dover Publications, 1981.
Lussier, Suzanne. Art Deco Fashion. Boston: Bulfinch/AOL Time Warner Book Group, 2003.
Peacock, John. 20th-century Fashion: The Complete Sourcebook. London: Thames and Hudson, 1993.

Do people find this idea of sources lists useful? I don’t want to do them all the time, but for my historical stuff I thought it might be helpful for folks. Thoughts from my fabulous readers?

Marisole Vintage Evening Gowns In Colors…

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll Last week, I posted this paper doll set in black and white for coloring. I promised I would talk a little about each of the gowns and where they came from.

I need to learn to streamline my method for dealing with elaborate florals, or I need to never do one ever again. Normally coloring a paper doll set takes about 2 to 4 hours, at most. Sometimes longer, but only if I take a lot of breaks and am doing a lot of other stuff. If I have my colors picked out and I’m on a roll, I can do the set in about an hour when I’m really on the ball, though formatting, saving and other detail work takes longer. That single floral dress took me nearly an hour, by itself, to color. NEVER AGAIN.

(I say that and I’m already thinking of other cool florals I might draw… I have a problem, people.)

Okay, so here’s the paper doll in full color:


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Let’s talk about where each gown came from. The floral gown, the blue gown and the red gown are all from the V&A in London.

The blue gown is based on this red dress from 1957. The red evening dress was drawn from this evening gown by Hardy Amies was made right after fabric rationing was lifted in England (1949), so lacks the layers of lace and silk that were common in evening gowns on this period. I love the simplicity and shape of the dress. The last dress from the V&A is my favorite, the floral evening gown made in Paris and worn by the wife of the British Ambassador. I tried, but I don’t think I captured the beauty of the rose patterned skirt and layered bodice.

The last pink dress comes from The Met, known as “Tree” this gown was designed by Charles James. Of all of the gowns I drew, I feel like this one didn’t work. My style of flat color just can’t capture the layering of the gowns beautiful fabric. Liana did a beautiful version of Charles james Butterfly dress on her blog several years ago which I think captures his work better than I did here.

Okay, that’s everything. Happy MLK Day to those in the US who are celebrating like me.

Marisole Monday in Vintage Gowns

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll Nearly a year ago, I was asked to draw a paper doll of 1950s evening gowns.

Initially, I didn’t do it, because I couldn’t find any 1950′s evening gowns that I liked. Eventually I felt guilty enough to check out the V&A and the Met, both have strong collections from the 1950s.

I told the requester that I was working on the paper doll and asked what the hair should look like. The immediate answer was, “Like Mine.”

“Well,” I said, “Micro-braids with streaks weren’t really a thing in 1950 something, but okay. If that’s what you want…”

So, we have Marisole here, rocking her micro-braids with some couture 1950′s evening gowns to show off. As inspired by Liana’s comment a few days ago about stories, I offer the following scenario to justify this strange juxtaposition:

    Marisole, working as the fashion editor of a major publication, has been invited to the Met’s annual gala whose theme, this year, is the designers of the 1950s. Eager to make an impression on the red carpet, she’s choosen to wear a vintage gown from the period. I am sure she will be the hit of the party when she arrives. :)

By the way, in a totally unrelated note, that floral pattern on the full skirted gown was the most complicated floral pattern I have ever done. I’ll rant more about coloring next week when I post the colored version. All I have to say is that normally, a paper doll takes me four to six hours to color, layout and get set up for blog. This paper doll… took longer. Much Longer.


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I will talk about the sources for each gown next week when I post it in color.

Also, my little drawing/contest is open until midnight on the 15th. Feel free to enter.

Marisole Monday Paper Dolls To Color- 3 Modern Sets

This is the 500th post on Paper Thin Personas. YAY. Go Me! (I feel like I should do something more celebratory, but I’m not really sure what.)

Anyway, I’ve had several comments lately requesting old paper dolls re-done in black and white for coloring. So, today I’ll be posting three older Marisole Monday Paper Dolls in black and white.

Plus I didn’t quite get done with my planned post, so there’s always that too. I’m doing my usual January poll about what th blog should gain in the next year. Feel free to vote and there’s a drawing/contest with details here.


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This was a pretty early Marisole paper doll. I think she was the first Caucasian Marisole paper doll (which still looks odd to me) and she’s, unsurprisingly, a redhead. I’d had a few requests for redheads, which is where she came from. I see a lot of problems with her now that I’ve drawn a lot more Marisole paper dolls, but I still like her hair.


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I love winter coats and I drew this right after moving to Illinois. It was a cold chilly snow filled place and I particularly like the snowman and the snowball. This remains one of my favorite sets. It’s also a rare set where Marisole’s original hairstyle is visible.


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I was never really pleased with how this Sporty Girl paper doll came out. I drew her because I got a request to do some spots outfits and the requester wrote a really nice email about the importance of girls in sports.I thought the intention was really good, but I think the desire to do something that my heart wasn’t in really shows. I was drawing it because I thought I should, not because I liked the idea or I was committed to it. On the other hand, I like her shoes.

And that is all for this Monday. There will be another edition to Greta’s Trousseau later this week.

Marisole Monday and Friends: Queen of Dusk

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll I confess I named this paper doll after I decided on the color scheme, so it doesn’t make as much sense in black and white as it does when the doll is fully colored. I thought about making her another princess, but then I decided that Queens have power. Power seems like a good thing. So, she’s a Queen not a Princess. (Unless you want her to be a Princess, in which case, go for it, I say.)

Having recently watched the first Hobbit film with my Mother to get ready to go see the sequel, I feel that I can say these costumes feel far more Elf like than Hobbit or Dwarf. Also the new first of the Hobbit movies felt very manic.

I like the layers on the dresses, but I’m not totally pleased with the shoes. Still… Not everything has to be perfect, I suppose.

Someone requested the lute. That’s why she has a lute. I am not going to go down in history as the worlds best lute artist. Still, it was fun to draw my slightly deformed insturement. I wish I could recall who asked for a lute… If it was you, drop me a comment. It’s bugging me now.

Anyway… Um… Here’s a paper doll.


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Ruffles & Florals & Stripes & Afro-Puffs & Printable Paper Dolls

Thumbnail of the printable paper doll clothes For my second Bodacious and Buxom printable paper doll, I wanted to do something modern. Most of my readers know my love of fashion magazines and I wanted to create a mix and match set that felt contemporary and contained things I could imagine a stylish girl wearing when she walked down the street.

So many “modern” paper doll sets are very very frumpy and I try very hard to avoid frumpy when I make my paper dolls.

Anyway, people have probably already noticed I have a thing for afro puffs. I just think they are SO cute, though I have been told recently by someone whose far more familiar with black hairstyles than I am that they are not currently an IN thing to do with your hair.

Still, I think afro puffs are cute and I can draw them if I want too.

Full color Popper Paper Doll
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Before I forget, I would like to wish a Happy Yule to any of my readers who are celebrating tonight. (Someday, I may tell the story of me and badly chosen shoes and a lot of snow and the search for a suitable Yule log. It was um… an interesting high school adventure.)

Also, while I was wandering around the web, I came across a blog I’d never seen before called Paper Doll World. It’s a fun blog devoted to one of my favorite topics (paper dolls) and the dolls are very cute. They remind me of some of the dolls I drew as a child, which is fun.

Hello! Stella… A New Asian Ms. Mannequin Printable Paper Doll

Thumbnail of the Asian printable paper doll- StellaFirst of all, Happy Last Night of Hanukkah.

And then… what to say about Stella?

Well… hmmm… I confess I try to avoid talking to much politics on this blog. The truth is that I like paper dolls. My readers like paper dolls. And really… that’s why we’re all here right? To enjoy paper dolls, play with paper dolls and feel guilt free about being in my late twenties and still in love with these tiny ephemeral objects.

Still, I think Stella deserves some commentary. I drew her several years ago, like most of the Mannequin’s while I was reading a book on the history of Asian-American theater, creatively titled, A History of Asian American Theater. I picked it up for a class I couldn’t take and ended up reading it anyway, because I was curious. So, when I sat down to draw my Mannequin heads, as I do when I’m starting a new paper doll series, I was full of thoughts about repression of Asian-Americans and stereotypes of the “oriental”.

I knew I wanted to create diversity in the paper doll series, but I also felt weird drawing an Asian paper doll and not acknowledging that Asia is a very large, very diverse place. Is it fair to simply stick Stella up, note in my tags that she’s Asian and then move on with my life? I just wasn’t and still am not sure.

Which brings us to Stella and what I can say about her. She’s based on no one in particular. I have struggled to draw Asian features, particularly eyes which have epicanthic folds and a single eyelid, for a long time, so I don’t trust myself to do them very well. I think she looks good though. She’s based, very vaguely, off a very kind Korean student I knew and also some Chinese girls who rode the same bus I did in the afternoons and with whom I struck up conversations sometimes. They were both law students.

Black and White fantasy paper doll

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Personally, I think Stella is Asian-American, perhaps Chinese or Korean in descent (in honor of my various models), I think she is going to university and studying to become a historian. That’s all I’ve decided about her. Perhaps other people have other ideas?

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