Edwardian Mia: A Paper Doll Evening Gown


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A pale blue and yellow Edwardian paper doll dress. Also available in black and white for coloring. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

Somehow, it just seems fitting to wrap the week with a ballgown. I mean, everyone needs at least one ballgown. I struggled with finding an Edwardian era ballgown that I liked. Most of the ones I saw were just too lacy for my taste. Eventually, I came across one from the book Victorian and Edwardian Fashions from “La Mode Illustrée” published by Dover. As much as I love the internet, I do really like having a few good costume plate books around for reference, because they often give contextual information which is helpful. This particular ballgown was recommended for young matrons, which I assume means ladies who were just married.

I’ll confess right now that I don’t always get Victorian categorizations of age and/or class.

What I do know is that ballgowns were, short of court dress, the most formal gowns a woman would ever own. In fact, many women would wear their wedding gown after their wedding as a ballgown for the coming year. Can I just say that it makes WAY more sense to me to buy a gown you’re then going to wear to balls than to pay like 5,000 dollars for a dress you wear once?

That just seems insane.

And yes, these comments might come out of my odd fascination with “Say Yes to the Dress.”

Anyhow, back to paper dolls… Here’s the whole of this week’s set if you missed any of the pieces.

An Edwardian Paper Doll Wardrobe For Mia

So, in this new format, we have so far had five weeks of paper dolls ranging from Monica’s Neo-Victorian week to last week’s mermaids. I’ve been wondering what people might most like to see next. I have several sets “in progress” and I’m out of backlog (eep!), so this weekend I’ll be working on one of these sets. No promises I’ll get it done in time for Monday, but I am super curious what people might like to see next. 🙂

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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Note: I was a little surprised that “Mini-Maiden Little Red Riding Hood option” won by such a landslide, so I checked the voting logs. Seventeen votes came from the same IP address within the same time frame for that choice. Clearly, someone too the “vote early, vote often” mandate to heart, but since I noticed it, I have removed those votes from the system.

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. 🙂

Edwardian Mia: The Paper Doll and Her Underwear


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An Asian American paper doll with a set of Edwardian underwear. Also available in black and white for coloring from paperthinpersonas.com.

I was trying to decide which of the Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper dolls would model this series of Edwardian dresses and I settled on Mia.

I was inspired to use her as the model when I found this wonderful photograph of an Asian woman, just called Alice, wearing a suit from probably the 1890s or early 1900s.

Today, Mia gets just a set of Edwardian underwear and, I confess, not even a complete set. Women in this era wore, in order, a chemise and drawers, or a combination, under a corset. Over the corset, she would have worn a corset cover and over that a petticoat. I decided to just show her corset cover and petticoat, thereby skipping a few layers. Seriously, ladies in this era wore a lot of underwear!

I based her underwear on this page from a catalog from 1902-1903. Her hair is the best I could do trying to draw a Gibson girl kinda bun like these. Drawing Gibson girl buns is clearly not my strength.

Though out the week I’ll be posting outfits for Mia and accessories on Thursday (as usual). I hope you all enjoy this little foray into the first decade of the 1900s.

By the way, if you love the blog, consider becoming a patron. It’s really appreciated.

So, my question for all of you is, what to you think of this week’s theme?

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. 🙂

Poppets Visit the 1860s: Accessory Thursday with Shoes and Underwear


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Two pairs of 1860s underwear, shoes and stockings from the 1860s sized for the Poppets paper doll series. Available in black and white as well. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

Guess what day it is?

It’s Accessory Thursday!

The whole point of Accessory Thursday is to allow me to show off some of the smaller pieces that make up a paper doll collection.

For a child’s wardrobe in the 1860s, accessories meant shoes and underwear. Now, kids back in this era wore a lot of underwear, but I decided to focus just on a pantaloons and camisoles. Staybands where also very common. Staybands were like a corset, but they weren’t boned the same way. The idea was to keep the spine straight and help with development.

If you feel that you need a stayband, than check out Promenade & Play which features one from the 1870s.

Shoe-wise, she’s got brown leather boots with a bow detail and some black and white button up boots. I think I just like the idea of two-tone boots. I confess I don’t know how popular they actually were back in the day.

As always, I’d love to know what y’all think of the continuing trend of Accessory Thursdays!

Also, if you love the blog and want to help support it, consider joining my Patreon page.

Peony In the 1860s: A Dress from August 1864


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Poppets paper dolls dress with pink and black color scheme from August of 1864. From paperthinpersonas.com.

It’s day two of our Civil War children’s clothing week. Today’s paper doll dress is a mix of two dresses from the 1860s. A fashion plate from August 1864 inspired the dress design. The color scheme is from a different fashion plate from June 1865. The pink and black combination from that fashion plate was so contemporary that I wanted to use it. I think it is easy to forget how bold the Victorians could be.

This dress would have been in several parts. It’s not clear from the illustration, but I think the bodice and skirt are meant to be separate pieces. Underneath the bodice, a guimpe is worn. While It is also possible that the bodice and skirt connect, like a jumper, that is not how adult women’s dresses in this era were made.

fashion-plate2-1864

The dress design comes from this fashion plate.

If you’ve never heard the word guimpe before, don’t fret. It’s not a word that gets tossed around in most conversations. A guimpe was a high necked blouse-like garment women and children wore underneath a low-necked dress. Think of it like like a dickie or a camisole today. A guimpe was never supposed to be seen without a something over it. Some weren’t even complete blouses, but were just dickies and matching sleeves. Part of the appeal of the guimpe, I suspect, was that washing it was more easy than washing the entire dress.

(If you ever have a time and interest, laundry practices of the 19th century are actually fascinating if, you know, you’re me.)

fashion-plate3-1865

The color scheme comes from this fashion plate.

Both of the inspirational fashion plates come from the same publication Magasin des Demoiselles. This French fashion magazine in the 19th century was very popular. Many of the 1860s plates from Magasin des Demoiselles include children, along with the ladies. It’s a great resource for what the fashionable girl, or, more rarely, boy, would have worn while running about and being a kid.

Not that running around being a kid was really condoned too much in this era.

Both fashion plates are from the Casey Fashion Plate index which is an excellent resource for 19th century fashion plates.

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.

So, what do you think of my pink and black color scheme? Too bold for the era or okay? I always love to know what you think. Love the blog? Consider supporting it by becoming a Patron, every dollar is lovely.

Peony in the 1860s: A Paper Doll Dress from August 1862


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A paper doll with a dress from August 1862, boots and a hat from paperthinpersonas.com. Part of a week of civil war children's clothing designs for the Poppets paper doll series.This week I’m diving into civil war children’s clothing with the help of the Casey Fashion Plate Index from the Los Angeles Public Library. This fantastic resource has literally hundreds of fashion plates. Today’s Poppet dress comes from Magasin des Demoiselles, a French fashion magazine of the 19th century.

I named today’s Poppet paper doll Peony. I thought I was out of P flower names, but I never did a Peony, so Peony it is! Then I’ll have to decide what to do about Poppet paper dolls and their P names.

Despite what I was once told in a costume history class, children of the 19th century didn’t dress like miniature adults. There were, in fact, many complex social rules governing how children were dressed.

While adult women did not expose their arms unless they were attending a ball (or swimming, sometimes), children could have short sleeves, especially in the heat of summer. Today’s dress is and example of this from August 1862. I simplified some of the trimming and chose blue tonal color scheme over the red and black scheme of the original Civil War children’s clothing dress design.

Fashion plate from Casey fashion plate collection from August 1862 featuring two women and a child.

Alternatively, you can download the black and white version from the links at the top of the post.

Peony’s hat is trimmed in contrasting yellow roses and matching blue ribbon. Her boots are flat soled and side lacing, which was typical for civil war era shoes. Side laced and button up boots were both worn in the 1860s, but by the end of the decade button boots were much more popular. Her stockings should really be tights or held up by a garter belt, but in the interest of making things simpler, I decided to ignore that particular fact of history.

Should you be worried about her going commando, than fear not- she’ll get some proper undergarments on Accessory Thursday.

If you need another set of dolls to wear this clothing, here’s more of the Poppet family, just be sure to print them from the PDF without fit to page and everything should work out.

Thoughts? Comments? Solutions to my “P flower names” problem? As always, I love to hear from y’all and if you like the blog, consider supporting it by becoming a Patron.

1930’s Historical Fashion Paper Doll With Maeghan

1930s-summer-logo Over the years, I have made several other paper dolls of the 1930s, but never a Marisole Monday & Friend’s set, so it seems fitting to rectify that in my goal of 10 historical paper dolls this year. Meaghan is modeling this set, though I’m sure she’d be happy to share with Mia, Monica, Marisole, or Margot.

The 1930s introduced beach pajamas for women, so Meaghan has a set of those with a striped sweater. Other trends of the era include bias cut evening dresses, of which she also has one. And no lady could leave her house without a fashionable hat and gloves, of course. Shoes wise, she has sandals, since this is a summer set and she needs sandals.

Whenever I see vintage fashions and I am jealous of them, I am reminded that I rather wouldn’t want to wear hats and gloves all the time.

A paper doll coloring page celebrating the 1930s with a five piece wardrobe, hats and accessories. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Originally, I was planning a red, white and blue sort of nautical color scheme, but I didn’t like the idea of it once I actually started coloring. Once I was in the midst of the coloring, I decided to go with a coral, yellow and pale blue scheme. The colors are summery and bright.

There is no black at all in the set, I chose white as my neutral color instead. Something about white just screams summer to me.

A printable paper doll celebrating the 1930s with a five piece wardrobe, hats and accessories. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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This is normally where I put down a list of sources. I confess that I drew these dresses so long ago, that I simply can not recall all of them.

I remember two inspirations though. This post from Wearing History from 1936 and this pattern cover from 1934.

I’ve only done two other historical paper dolls this year and so I need to get on the ball with that one, huh?

And I need your help…

What series should I post next week?

  • Mini-Maiden (51%, 59 Votes)
  • Sprites (23%, 26 Votes)
  • Buxom & Bodacious (13%, 15 Votes)
  • Poppet (7%, 8 Votes)
  • Ms. Mannequin (6%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 115

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