Ms. Mannequin’s 15th Century Burgundian Gown and Headdress


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Manuscript Illustration from 1470, this Manuscript Illustration from 1401-1500, this one from the same work, and this Manuscript Illustration from 1475

A Burgundian gown for a paper doll based on illuminated manuscript illustrations. Along with the gown, there is a headdress based on the designs of the 1450s.

A Burgundian gown for a paper doll based on illuminated manuscript illustrations. Along with the gown, there is a headdress based on the designs of the 1450s.

Today’s paper doll dress and headdress are both from the 15h century. The gown is known as a Burgundian gown named for the Duchy of Burgundy.

About 1450, this style of Burgundian gown became popular. The deep V-neckline revealed the kirtle (under dress) beneath. The trimming would have been fur or wool. The wide belt was placed above the natural waist and gives the gowns a pregnant look.

(Remember, being pregnant was a good thing for women in this time. After all, fertility was seen as a super critical part of a woman’s value.)

Women never had uncovered hair in this era. So, I needed a headdress to go with the Burgundian gown.

The headdress I chose to draw was based on this illustration of the Whore of Babylon from an 1470 manuscript. The headdress is from 1450, according to the Morgan Library where the manuscript is housed. I’m afraid I don’t know quite enough about the era yet (though I am studying) to make any claim either way.

By the way, the wonderful book Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands, 1325-1515 is currently on sale from the Morgan Library for just 20 dollars. I bought a copy for my library and I’d recommend it if you are at all interested in medieval dress. Though it doesn’t touch on how these garments were made, nor does it discuss how to make them yourself, so… don’t buy it if that is what you want.

Secondary Sources:

Houston, Mary G. Medieval Costume in England and France: The 13th, 14th, and 15th Centuries. N.p.: Dover Publications, 1996. Print.

Scott, Margaret. Fashion in the Middle Ages. N.p.: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011. Print.

Scott, Margaret. Medieval Dress & Fashion. N.p.: British Library, 2009. Print.

Ask me if you have any questions about the books or the manuscripts I looked at. There are links to all the manuscript illustrations at the top under the “inspiration” links list. I was just too lazy tonight to bother citing them all properly.

I know. I’m a rebel librarian sometimes. Happy Friday!

Mini-Maiden’s 1935 Dress & Shoes From Sears Magazine


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Sears Fashions from 1935
A black and white 1935 paper doll dress coloring page with shoes. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.
The Mini-Maiden paper doll series are getting some attention today with a 1935 dress and a pair of 1933 Shoes. Both the shoes that go with today’s day dress and the dress based on designs from the book, Everyday Fashions of the Thirties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs.

One of my favorite series of fashion history books are the Sears Fashions set from Dover Publications. Each book is a reprint of pages from Sears Magazines from a decade long period. There’s not a huge amount of contextual information, but they provide a vivid window into the fashions of the decade for children and adults. Plus, they are super reasonably priced, so not bad place to start a collection.

(Says the girl with over 50 fashion history books on her shelves.)

The 1930s is a fascinating period. Skirts get longer than the 1920s and there’s a lot of fun details like the scalloped collar on this dress. There’s also a lot of asymmetry in the styles as well which you can see from the side wrap style of today’s dress.

Right behind the 1920s (which are my first love) is the 1930s. Again, it’s not a period where it would look terribly good on me, but I love the details in the styles.

There’s also a theory in fashion history that really modern clothing begins in the 1930s and the changes that follow this era are fairly minor. I think there’s a lot of truth to that.

Really fashion hasn’t dramatically changed in the last 80 or so years.

So, what do people think of today’s paper doll dress? I always love to hear from people in the comments.

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

Regency Paper Doll Clothing For the Sprites Printable Paper Dolls


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: I looked at a lot of stuff to design these, but here are a few this fashion plate, this jacket, this dress and these shoes
A set of regency paper doll clothing to print from paperthinpersonas.com with a man's suit and a woman's day dress and shoes. The pieces are designed to fit the Sprite paper doll series.

A set of regency paper doll clothing to print from paperthinpersonas.com with a man's suit and a woman's day dress and shoes. The pieces are designed to fit the Sprite paper doll series..

I wanted to dabble in regnecy men’s fashion today. In part, because I have been reading a lot of regency romance novels lately. The Regency is also an era where I really love the men’s clothing. I think the women’s clothing is pretty nice, but the men’s clothing really enchants me.

As many of you know, I’m not quite as comfortable with men’s fashions as I am with women’s fashions in history. I can pretty well eyeball women’s clothing from the last 300 years and make a good guess at the era, but men’s clothing remains harder.

It’s partly that I find the changes more subtle and partly that I’ve never had a much of a passion for it.

But since I do love drawing for the Sprites, so I have been slowly trying to face my fears of men’s historical clothing. Which brings me to back to today’s set of regency paper doll clothing, that I created using a variety of reference images.

The man’s suit was based on this suit, this jacket, this suit and this suit. The dress is based on this dressthis dress, this dress and this dress. Her shoes are based on this pair, this pair and this pair. Because the dates on the source pieces range from the early 1800s until about 1820, I chose circa 1810 as the best middle ground date to describe these pieces of regency paper doll clothing.

Every time I post something “new” to me, I feel a little nervous, especially because I know that this is a era of fashion history that many people are very passionate about. Still, I hope to do what I do which is learn more and keep improving my understanding of the fashions of the era.

After all, every paper doll I create is a work in progress.

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

A 1927 Paper Doll Dress for the 2017 Collaborative Paper Doll Project


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Montgomery Ward Catalog 1927
A coloring page of a 1920s dress for a paper doll, based on Montgomery Ward catalog designs from 1927. The dress has a matching hat. Great for homeschooling history classes from paperthinpersonas.com.

As many of you know, this year on the last Friday of most months (we’ve also done the last day of the month), Julie of Paper Doll School, Boots of Popculture Looking Land, Miss Missy of Miss. Missy’s Paper Dolls and I are all posting a black and white outfit for a shared paper doll. This has been such a rewarding project.

I confess there were times I wondered if I would really get it done.

And there have been times when I’ve wondered if we would stick with it.

But, here we are in the 8th Month of the year, August, and here’s another paper doll outfit.

I couldn’t be more thrilled.

So, today’s Collaborative Paper Doll 2017 Project theme was Favorite Historical Period. I chose the late 1920s.

And choosing one historical era wasn’t easy, because I love all sorts of eras. I have so many favorites, I felt a little absurd being asked to pick just one. How could I decide?

In the end, I chose the late 1920s, because it is an era I have loved for a long time. It is an era that I know I could never wear. I have both hips and a bust, which means the 1920s will never look good on me. I also chose it, because there was something about the base doll’s pose that reminded me of the 1920s, as well.

So, here it is! The dress was based on an illustration from the Montgomery Ward Catalog of 1927, sections of which are republished in the book, Montgomery Ward Fashions of the Twenties. I just got the book which is the other reason that I drew clothing from this era.

This month’s Paper Doll Collaboration theme was was really fun. Head over to Paper Doll SchoolPopculture Looking Land and Miss. Missy’s Paper Dolls to see what other folks created to celebrate the theme.

Need a doll to wear this stylish outfit? Grab the Doll here. 

A Fitted Dress from 1956 for the Ms. Mannequin Paper Dolls


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Vogue 8972, A Sewing Pattern from 1956A paper doll dress based on a pattern cover from 1956 for the Ms. Mannequin paper doll series in grape purple.

A paper doll dress based on a pattern cover from 1956 for the Ms. Mannequin paper doll series to print and color.

I’ve written before that part of what I like about drawing from fashion magazines is the simplicity of it. You see a shirt. You draw the shirt.

Thanks to the Vintage Pattern Wiki, I can apply a similar feeling to drawing vintage historical paper doll clothing. There are hundreds of vintage pattern covers in the Vintage Pattern Wiki, so if I feel like drawing 20th century clothing than I find it doesn’t take a lot of energy to track down something I like and draw it. I just pick a decade and start looking.

I’ll openly grant that this isn’t exactly the best research practice, but it’s fun and I like picking out things to try to recreate.

Today’s dress from 1956 comes from Vogue 8972. The Vogue pattern company began as a feature in Vogue magazine. In 1909, Conte Nast bought Vogue magazine and the pattern company was formed in 1914. This was around the same time most of the other big name pattern companies were getting started as well.

It might be confirmation bias, but Vogue patterns, even today, seem to be more couture styled than others.

When I chose to draw Vogue 8972, I thought it was an afternoon or dinner dress, but the pattern isn’t specific. I chose to make my a grape purple, because I like purple.

I am a little concerned that I might have made the skirt a bit shorter than it should be, but fashion figures have such freakishly long legs it can be hard to tell where the skirt actually stops.

There’s a few other patterns from the mid-1950s with similar narrow skirted silhouette are McCall’s 3461Vogue S-4627, Simplicity 1678, McCalls 4615 and Advance 8368. There are dozens of others, but those were a few I thought shared traits with today’s paper doll dress.

Well, what do you think of the 1950s? It is a favorite fashion period of yours? Let me know in a comment.

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

1920s Pajamas for Marisole Monday & Her Printable Paper Doll Friends


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: 1920s Fashions from B. Altman & Company
A pair of 1920s paper doll pajamas for the Marisole Monday and Friend's paper doll series. The pajamas are based on a design from the 1920s and are pink trimmed in dark pink.

Paper doll Dress. Printable paper doll series from paperthinpersonas.com.

So, it was pointed out to me earlier this year that I had done very few sets of paper doll pajamas. As a result, I’ve been working on creating paper doll pajamas for the various series over the last year. Every paper doll needs pajamas, after all.

One of the things that always surprises me in my costume research is when I see something and I think, “Well, I didn’t know that was a thing.”

All of us, myself included, suffer from the tendency to see what we want to see in historical evidence. It’s very easy to get so used to a time period as to stop noticing it. When I found this pajamas in 1920s Fashions from B. Altman & Company, I thought to myself, “Wow, that’s awfully modern looking.”

Sadly, the illustration was in black and white, so I have no idea the true color of these pajamas. However, I know coral was a popular shade in the 1920s, so that is what I went with. I love the art deco floral design on the right side of them.

One pair a pajamas is hardly enough to make up for years of pajama paper doll neglect, but hopefully this pair helps a bit.

And I think it could pass as super comfortable lounge wear in the 21st century. I’d wear it.

(And I can’t say that about all the paper doll clothes I create.)

What do you think? Would you wear it? Let me know in a comment.

And if you want to support the blog, think about donating through Patreon.

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

A 1920s Children’s Playsuit for the Poppet’s Printable Paper Dolls


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: 1920s Children’s Clothing

A 1920s playsuit in navy and red for the Poppet printable paper doll series from paperthinpersonas.com.

A 1920s inspired paper doll play suit for the Poppet printable paper doll series. Free printable in black and white to color from paperthinpersonas.com.

Playsuits were the 1920s version of overalls for small children. Overall out start being worn by both sexes in the 1930s, but before that the play suit was the thing to do.

Playsuits are bloomers worn under a short dress like tunic. They usually have a high waist and a aline shape to the dress and then the bloomers just peep out the bottom.

It’s really a very girly look for play clothing, but still is pretty practical, all things considered.

Normally a style for younger children, I had some conflict about drawing a play suit for the Poppets.

In my head, the Poppets are between 7 and 9 years old. The playsuit is really a style mostly for younger children, but I found a few that were cited as fitting children up to 8 years old. I decided that they were on the edge of the age range, but I would go for it anyway.

I didn’t record where I got this design from. This is shameful behavior for a librarian and I swear the next batch of the Poppet’s 1920s Collection is all properly cited.

However, I am pretty sure this play suit is from the book 1920s Fashions from B. Altman and Company. I can’t say for positive, but I am pretty sure.

(Mostly, because I am too lazy right now to get off my couch and double check the book which is sitting on my bookshelf.)

If you feel like you need a Poppet to wear this outfit with the right hair or you are just feeling like you’d like some more 1920s styles, you can check out the whole collection under the “1920s Children’s Wardrobe Collection” tag.

So, what do you like today’s 1920s paper doll playsuit? Let me know in a comment. Always love to hear from y’all.

If you have a moment, think about becoming a Patron or liking it on facebook. It really does help.

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

Marisole Monday’s 1820s Morning Dress With Cap in White


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Cap from 1825-1830 and This Morning Dress Circa 1827

An 1820s morning dress for the Marisole Monday & Friends printable paper doll series from paperthinpersonas.com. Free to print and play with.

An 1820s morning dress for the Marisole Monday & Friends printable paper doll series from paperthinpersonas.com. Free to print and play with.

I wanted to make an 1820s dress and I wanted to do a morning dress, because morning dresses kinda fascinate me. I knew it I was drawing a morning dress, than I would have to draw a cap. So, today’s 1820s morning dress was born.

First thing, I kinda messed up. I wrote in my notes that the source image which I printed to draw from was from 1828, but actually it is from 1827. This error got repeated on the image of the dress, so I will fix it as soon as I have a chance, but that might be a while since I am traveling this week.

Anyway, here is the 1820s morning dress that I based today’s printable paper doll dress on from the Met. It had the most wonderful delicate flowers on it that I simply could not render to scale. Morning dresses were a private piece of clothing worn usually just for family members. They were classified as undress which was a least formal form of clothing in the 1800s. There was also half-dress and full-dress, if you’re interested.

No lady would be seen without a hat of some kind and caps were basically indoor hats. I based the paper doll’s cap off one from the McCord Museum in Canada and you can see it here.

Today’s dress from 1828 will eventually evolve into this style from 1830. The skirts will widen, the waist will drop and the sleeves will get yet bigger. The late 1820s is such an interesting period, because it is evolving into the 1830s.

I hope everyone enjoys today’s foray into the late 1820s for a morning dress. Tomorrow, the week wraps with a sci-fi outfit.

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

B&B Curvy Paper Dolls Visit the Groovy 1970s


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: 1970s and Platform Shoes and Afros and People Whose Blogs I Admire
A black paper doll with an afro and 1970s fashion with shoes and a dress. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

A paper doll Princess Lolita outfit with thigh high socks from paperthinpersonas.com. Available in color or black and white for coloring.

Years ago, Debbie of Black Doll Collecting asked for a 1970s fashion inspired black paper doll with a huge afro. It’s one of those ideas that has been percolating for a long long time.

But I super respect Debbie as the authority on black dolls that she is. She has opened my eyes to examples of early black dolls that are super rare like Cynthia from the 1950s and these early Effanbee dolls.

So, I decided that my ignorance was no excuse to not give it a go. I did some research on 1970s black culture and set to work on creating today’s paper doll.

The 1970s were an interesting era for black culture. The Black is Beautiful movement was in full force bringing with it respect for traditional hairstyles like the afro and dutch wax print fabrics. There were even Black is Beautiful paper dolls produced in 1969, another thing I learned from Debbie’s blog. Black owned toy companies, like Shindana, were bringing out black dolls for children. Meanwhile, blaxploitation films began flourishing in Hollywood when Shaft came out in 1971.

Now, that we’ve all learned about the 1970s, let’s talk today’s paper doll.

Her hair is the first afro I have drawn that I am actually pretty proud of. It’s a little big perhaps for the 1970s, but maybe not? There is that famous scene in Foxy Brown where Pam Grier pulls a gun from her afro.

Her dress is from McCall’s 2316 sewing pattern from 1970 and her shoes are both from the early 1970s as well. Both shoe designs were taken from 20th Century Fashion by John Peacock.

Normally, I steer clear of brown shoes on brown skin, but I actually really liked how the shoes colors (from Peacock’s book) coordinated with the paper doll’s ebony skin-tone.

In my research, I watched Chris Rock’s documentary, Good Hair, which wasn’t very helpful about historical black fashion, but it was a fascinating window into a world I know nearly nothing about. It also made me feel super cheap for complaining at how much my hair cuts cost. If you haven’t seen it and you’re interested in fashion or culture, I strongly recommend it.

Meanwhile, I’d love to hear what you think of today’s paper doll in a comment. I love to hear from y’all.

Need to get some more clothing for this Bodacious & Buxom paper doll to wear? Pick out some clothing here.

Marisole Monday’s 1920s Party Dress In Teal


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: 1920s party dresses- Classic French Fashions of the Twenties, a book from Dover
A 1920s party dress based on a French design from 1929 for the Marisole Monday and friends paper doll series. One of hundreds of paper doll designs from paperthinpersonas.com.

A 1920s party dress based on a French design from 1929 for the Marisole Monday and friends paper doll series. One of hundreds of paper doll designs from paperthinpersonas.com.

So, sometimes I drew things and upload them and then I kinda forget they exist. This 1920s party dress was one of those things, I’m afraid. I finished it around the same time that I finished the 1920s golf outfit and then I completely forgot about it. I didn’t want to post it right after the gold outfit, I recall, because I wanted some variety.

I try to space out my paper doll posts. While I might get on a kick and draw several similar things, I know some readers come here for the historical stuff, some for the fantasy stuff, and some for the contemporary stuff. So, I try to make sure there’s something for everyone.

This week alone we’ve had Monday and Tuesday post apocalyptic paper dolls, Wednesday an Archivist paper doll and Thursday was a Lolita dress for a paper doll. And now, here we are on Friday (Happy Friday!) and there’s a 1920s party dress for a paper doll.

After looking through every 1920s fashion book I own, I retraced that the model I based this dress on came from this book, Classic French Fashions of the Twenties. The original dress was patterned, but I sort of decided that it was a lot of work to draw a pattern. There was no way that was going to happen.

Classic French Fashions of the Twenties is one of my favorite Dover fashion books. It is a reprint of all the plates from a French fashion catalog from 1929. Like most fashion catalogs of that era, it starts with casual day wear goes through evening wear and then ends with coats.

I have, at this point, built up a pretty solid backlog of content. So, my goal is to try to get the next few weeks scheduled quickly, so I can take a few days off to rest and recoup.

Plus, play with my cat whose frustration at my laptop consuming prime lap space is tangible.

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