Ms. Mannequin’s Summery Paper Doll Dress from 1935


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This 1935 McCalls Pattern & This 1935 Fabric
A summery paper doll dress from 1935 based on pattern covers and vintage fabric swatches. Available in color or black and white for coloring.

This is only the second historical paper doll outfit I have ever made for the Ms. Mannequin series. My last one was my second foray into Viking dress. This is a bit more current and I do think the paper doll’s pose works better with more contemporary fashions (if you can call the 1930s contemporary) than it did with Viking looks.

I suppose contemporary is really just a matter of point of view.

What I liked about the pattern cover that inspired today’s paper doll dress was the split sleeves and the wide white collar.

Confession time: The dress fabric pattern is way out of scale for what was common in the 1930s, but I found this amazing pattern swatch from the V&A and I just had to use it. The tulips felt so modern and contemporary. Obviously, I heavily adapted the pattern, so it was more of a jumping off point than anything else.

Part of what I wanted to do was a spring dress in black which isn’t a color usually associated with Springtime fashions.

What are your favorite spring colors? I love corals and yellows. Let me know in a comment.

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Need a paper doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick out a Ms. Mannequin Paper Doll Here

Marisole Monday & Friends Paper Dolls Get Some 1970s Clothing


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Simplicity 9370 from 1971
A super cute bright yellow jumpsuit from 1971 based on the art on a vintage sewing pattern cover. Available in color or black and white.

A super cute jumpsuit from 1971 based on the art on a vintage sewing pattern cover. Available in color or black and white.

So, I work in batches. This doesn’t just mean I tend to draw a batch of the same paper doll series together, it also means I sometimes draw the same themes together. For example, I drew today’s jumpsuit around the same time I drew the my 1970s Mini-Maiden. Sometimes, I get into a theme, like 1970s clothing, and want to spend some time there.

Then I promptly get over and am distracted by some other thing. That’s the nature of my brain.

Today’s jumpsuit was based on a 1971 Simplicity sewing pattern cover. Apparently the pattern was designed to be sewn quickly and only took two different pattern pieces. I loved the cheery bright yellow color in the cover art, so I kept it.

The wide brown belt was from the pattern cover, but it also was nice because it split up the jumpsuit. I think jumpsuits really need belts, don’t you?

This is probably the last piece of 1970s clothing for the paper dolls for a while. As I said above, I tend to be a bit flighty in my paper doll interests. I have been feeling very “over the top princess gowns” lately, so stay tuned for some of that, also I have been dabbling in the 1870s.

Out of the curiosity, which do you like better for the fashion- the 1970s, the 1870s or the 1770s?

I have so confess to being a pretty big 1870s fan. Let me know your favorite in a comment.

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Need a Marisole Monday & Friends Lady Paper Doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick One Out Here

My Curvy Paper Dolls And A Dress from 1820


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Dress from 1820 in the Philadelphia Museum of Art and these shoes from 1815-1825 in the Bata Shoe Museum 

A dress from 1820 for the B&B curvy paper doll series based on a gown from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

A dress from 1820 for the B&B curvy paper doll series based on a gown from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to color and print.

The 1820s fascinate me as a fashion era, because there is a clear evolution from the beginning of the decade to the end of the decade. In the beginning of the 1820s, the era this dress comes from, the waist was still quite high as you can see from this 1820 fashion plate. By the end of the decade, it has dropped to the natural waist, as you can see from this 1829 fashion plate.

The green gown for the B&B series is based off this dress from 1820, though I added the clasp detail on the belt. I love the three-dimensional padded appliques that were a common form of decoration in this era. I wanted to make it clear in my paper doll dress from 1820 that the designs were raised. I think that part of it came out well. I did not keep the striped pattern on the original dress. I thought it would be way to hard to not lose the applique leaf pattern if I did that. So, my version is a bit simpler in style. The shoes are based on this pair from the Bata Shoe Museum in Canada.

A few other notes about today’s dress. I’m not sure what the formality of a dress like this would have been in 1820. I am included to think it is a formal dress, but not really a ballgown. I think maybe a dinner dress? Something for half-dress, anyway. It’s not as informal as undress and not as formal as full-dress. Any thoughts from y’all?

Short sleeves would indicate evening wear after the 1820s, but during the era it is such a transitional period that I am hard pressed to guess exactly what the “rules” were for ladies. As I often say in these situations, I should do more research!

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Poppets: Ice Skating in 1927


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Everyday Fashions of the Twenties: As Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs, Bobble Hats

A 1920s ice skating outfit for a child paper doll from paperthinpersonas.com

This is the first of a bunch of 1920s clothing I have drawn for the Poppets, so I hope everyone loves this era as much as I do. I originally drew the outfits last year when I was still doing sets and then I kinda forgot about them for a few months and rediscovered them while I was cleaning up my files at the end of the year.

I always do an annual file clean up and I often discover things I kinda forgot about or abandoned because they weren’t something I really liked. Boots wrote a really brave post on her blog, Pop Culture Looking Land,  about failed projects. I wrote a follow-up over on my Patreon page for my Patrons.

Moral of the story: Sometimes, I abandon stuff and then find it again and go, “Actually, that’s not so bad.”

And this one of those things. I don’t even remember what I didn’t like about it. I think it was the ice skates.

Still now I look at them and I am like, “They’re okay. What was my problem?”

The human mind is a funny thing.

Can I make a confession? I have no idea how to ice skate. I think I have been on ice skates exactly three times and every time I ended up on my butt. It was not much fun. Still, I like watching other people ice skate, so that should be worth something.

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

Marisole Monday & Friends in 1830s Fashion


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This 1830 fashion plate, Bonnets
A green 1830s paper doll dress based on a fashion plate from 1830 with a matching bonnet and shoes from paperthinpersonas.com.

I’ve written before that the 1830s are a period of fashion I find a little absurd looking. Yet, the more I draw clothing from those years, the more it grows on me.

I am starting to almost like the era. Just almost.

So, a quick overview of the fashions of this era shows an abundance of sleeves and bonnets. If the three decades from 1800 to 1830 were the era of the column silhouette, than the 1830s were the era of the oval. The sloping shoulders, wide-sleeves, round bonnets, and full skirts all give a oval shape to the silhouette.

Plus, the wide skirts and sleeves also emphasized the desirable small waist, often accented with a belt.  The invention of metal eyelets in 1828 allowed for a much tighter fit on a corset. There was no longer the danger of the lacing cutting through the hand-sewn eyelet due to tight lacing. So, waists got smaller.

Like the earlier part of the century, people were still super into the Ancient Civilizations.  So, references to the Roman and Greek civilizations abound. Hairstyles have names like Apollo’s Knot, one of the dumbest looking hairstyles ever. The hair in this fashion plate is an Apollo’s Knot style and so is this. It was very popular. And, clearly, not one of my favorites.

Anyway, this 1830 fashion plate from the Casey Fashion Plate Index inspired today’s outfit.  As hard as it is to believe, I actually simplified the bonnet from the original drawing. Bonnets are not my forte, so I have mixed feelings about how this one turned out.

All in all, however, I think I didn’t do a bad job on today’s foray into 1830s fashion.

What do you think? More of this era in order? Not a favorite?

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Need a Marisole Monday & Friends Lady Paper Doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick One Out Here

Sprites In Some 18th Century Clothing Options


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: 18th Century Merchant Class Clothing
18th century clothing for paper dolls including a round-gown and a tricorn hat. Free to print in color or black and white from paperthinpersonas.com.

18th Century paper doll clothing in black and white

This 18th century clothing for the Sprites paper dolls are meant to represent the Merchant Class. On the left, for the men, we have a jacket and vest worn over a shirt. His breeches, stockings and shoes are all mid-18th century. On the right, for the lady, we have a round-gown, defined by the lack of a stomacher. A handkerchief fills her low neckline and she has a matching cap, stockings and shoes.

In the United States in the 18th century, there were four social classes. You could be wealthy, merchant class, lower class or in some for of bondage, such as enslaved or indentured. In England, these classes were defined by birth. So, it was entirely possible to be a Merchant and make more money than a Lord, but you were still in the middle class. Unless you could marry off your son or daughter into a higher social status and then… Well, we have the plot of one of a million 18th century romances.

I should add that the merchant class didn’t just include merchants. Anyone involved in a trade like lawyers, doctors and clergy were considered middle-class. It wasn’t until the late 18th century that Barbers were separate from Doctors.

If you’re interested in learning more about 18th century clothing, you can check out my 18th Century Pixies series. I talk a lot in there about the ladies clothing of the era.

Alternatively, one of my favorite 18th century costume history books is What Clothes Reveal. I used it a lot for these, because it shows what “middle-class” people wore, rather than just what those with lots of cash wore. Colonial Williamsburg also has a decent overview of 18th century clothing. If you’re not sure where to start, start there.

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Looking for some Sprite paper dolls to wear these outfits? Pick out Sprite paper dolls here.

Mini-Maidens in some 1970s Fashions


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Simplicity 6931 from 1975
A black and white paper doll coloring page with 1970s fashions based on a vintage pattern cover. From paperthinpersonas.com

Today, the Mini-Maidens are visiting 1975 with an outfit and hair inspired by the looks of that era. I’ve never been a big 1970s fashion fan, but I confess the period has grown on my lately. I think it’s the sideburns.

One thing I do love are vintage pattern covers. Everything about them from the pose to the styles are so much of their era. A 1975 pattern cover from Simplicity inspired today’s paper doll 1970s fashion. The pattern had two options- a dress or a blouse, but I liked the blouse better. Somehow, the dress reminded me a little too much of a nightgown. A lot of 1970s maxi dresses remind me a lot of nightgowns.

If you’re a sewist, Wren Feathers has a super cute pattern for a blouse in this style sized for slim body 18 inch dolls. I haven’t sewn it up yet, but it has been in my “to sew” pile for a long time. Just in case your non-paper dolls need some 1970s fashion.

Greta, one of the Mini-Maiden dolls, is modeling the outfit and has a 1970’s shag haircut. The pattern cover inspired the jeans and platform shoes too.

One thing I find fascinating about 1970s fashion is that a lot of it looks very contemporary. Sometimes it is just the hair or the textile that gives away the age of the garment. You could probably get away with the jeans and shoes today. I’m not so sure about the blouse. Something about those sleeves kinda feels very dowdy to me.

What do you think? Are you a 1970s fashion lover or is it a decade you could see less of? Let me know in a comment.

Tomorrow there will be 18th Century Sprites Clothing. Yes, male historical clothing. Shocking, I know.

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Also, happy MLK Day to everyone who is celebrating.

Need a more outfits for today’s Mini-Maiden Paper Doll? Find More Clothing Here

Min-Seo With a 1925 Dress


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Everyday Fashions of the 1920s as Published in Sears Catalogs

A 1920s fashion paper doll with two hats, shoes, a 1925 dress and a purse. Available in black and white or color from paperthinpersonas.com.

A 1920s fashion paper doll with two hats, shoes, a 1925 dress and a purse. Color and print it from paperthinpersonas.com

I love love love 1920s fashion. I can’t help it.

Now, as I mentioned on Monday, Min-Seo is a Korean name. I really don’t know much about the introduction of western style dress to Korea. However, Korean immigration began to the United States in 1884, mostly to Hawaii. So, it’s entirely possible that Min-Seo could be living in the United States in the 1920s.

It is also entirely possible that I am way over thinking this. It’s not like I worry about the fact that the name Meaghan didn’t exist in the 1300s and she still has 1300s clothing.

Meanwhile, our Min-Seo paper doll has a 1920s day dress, along with two hats, matching shoes and a purse. A design from Everyday Fashions of the 1920s as Published in Sears Catalogs inspired today’s 1925 dress. I confess that the dress is for a teenager, but I liked it and clearly drew it anyway. The color scheme is based on this Afternoon Gown by Madeleine Vionnet in 1927

For those who have missed my other forays into 1920s fashion, you can find them all in the 1920s tag. There are two other 1920s Marisole Monday & Friends paper dolls. Jazz Age Baby in black and white or in color and Art Deco Goddess in black and white or in color.

I have several more 1920s dresses scanned and drawn, so there will be more from this era, but I don’t know when. As always, it can be a long slow period between drawing and posting. I have a golf outfit that is pretty darn cute, so I want to get that done soon.

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Need a more outfits for today’s Marisole Monday & Friends Paper Doll? Find More Ladies Clothing Here

Mini-Maidens Visit The 17th Century


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Severall Habits of English Women Plate 11 By Wenceslaus Hollar and Shoes from 1640
A 17th century paper doll dress in black and white for coloring and printing from paperthinpersonas.com.
Just like when I go clothing shopping, I am naturally attracted to tweed and cardigans, when I look at historical clothing, certain periods are more appealing to me then others. I have never found the 17th century to be a very interesting clothing era, which is odd considering how much I love the book Three Musketeers.

Part of the liberty of drawing “one” printable paper doll outfit at a time is being able to say, “Well, I can try this and I am not committing to something crazy.”

So, today I am showing off my first ever 17th century paper doll dress. This dress is based on this image from the 1640s. I don’t think the sleeves are quit right and drawing lace is always a challenge, but I have to remind myself that it is my first try, so I should probably be more forgiving of my own work.

The shoes are based off this pair from 1640, but I also used the book Mode in Footwear to help me as well.

I think I would like to do more research and try a few more 17th century paper doll dress creations, but I need to learn more about it. I feel like I just don’t know enough to really get into the 1600s when I draw.

So, would you like to see more from the 17th century? Do you like this attempt? Should I keep exploring this period? Let me know in a comment.

Also, you might have noticed I have been playing around with the blog format. It has been the same for like three years and I think I am overdue for a change. We’ll see if I still like it in a few days. 🙂

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

The Poppets Visit 1908 and Get Some Edwardian Children’s Clothes


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Macy’s 1908 Catalog
Today the Popper paper dolls are visiting 1908 and get some Edwardian children's clothes and shoes. The paper doll dress can be printed in color or black and white from paperthinpersonas.com.

So, back in June, I posted a preview of this Edwardian Poppet dress from 1908. Today, I am posting it finished. So, you can print and dress up the Poppets in it. My source was this Macy’s 1908 catalog. You can find the dress on page 97. It’s described as being made from chambray and trimmed in white. It came in rose or blue and cost 97 cents in sizes 4 to 14. I imagine the Poppet paper dolls as about 10, so it is right in their age range.

The Edwardian period is only one decade, 1900 to 1910 during the reign of King Edward. A lot of people extend the fashion period to 1914 since World War 1 really changed clothing. That makes sense, but then what do you call the era from 1914 until 1920? Anyway, I haven’t decided if I am willing to extend my era beyond 1910.

I find Edwardian children’s clothing interesting, because it is so different from Victorian outfits. The popularity of Rousseau’s beliefs that children should be allowed to do play actively meant that the styles tend to be simpler. And unlike earlier periods, you can’t immediately ID the age of a child by the length of the skirt. Most skirts are just below knee length, no matter what the age.

Though simpler than Victorian outfits, Edwardian children’s clothing still feels stuffy compared to today. Several more Edwardian paper doll pieces planned, so eventually the Poppets will have a whole wardrobe of Edwardian outfits for all sorts of occasions.

Until then, enjoy today’s summery 1908 dress even if it is December and outside it might not be so warm.

So, Edwardian children’s clothes? Love them? Hate them? Personally, I have mixed feelings. I think it is the pigeon breasted thing. Other’s thoughts?

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