1960s Dresses from the Pages of Sears

A pair of 1960s paper doll dress straight from the pages of vintage Sears catalogs. Both dresses are available in color or black and white.
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First off, I know this is Christmas Eve and while I don’t celebrate, I wanted wish a Merry Christmas to everyone who does. I hope your holiday is full of laughter, joy and a minimum of family drama.

And now… paper dolls!

If you’re interested in the history of clothing (as I am), Sears catalogs are a goldmine. Unlike the fashion magazines which often show the latest styles of the top designers, Sears (and others) show what most women actually wore day to day. The pricing and color information also provide a valuable window into how much items cost and what sorts of colors were popular.

Due to copyright, full reproductions of Sears catalogs aren’t always possible, but Dover has a series of books that reprint selected pages. Everyday Fashions of the Sixties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs was the source for today’s dresses.  The dress on the left is from 1967 Sears catalog and the dress on the right is from 1960.

The purse is from 1960 and you can see it on The Met’s website.

On a slightly sad note, today’s post is the last Dames & Dandies post for a while. There have been over 120 Dames & Dandies paper doll posts, so there’s plenty to explore there.

For the first quarter of 2019, I plan to be working on a new series called Jewels & Gemstones (yes, the ampersand is my favorite piece of punctuation). I am super excited about this new series and it will debut on December 31st. Wednesday, there will be a longer preview post and Friday the last of the Paper Doll Collaborative 2018 will post.

Questions? Ask me in a comment and I will reply.

Need some clothing for today’s paper doll? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

A 1960s Twiggy Inspired Aisha

A 1960s paper doll with three pairs of shoes and a Twiigg
A 1960's Twiggy inspired paper doll with three pairs of historical shoes to print in color or black and white. Her Rudi Gernreich inspired underwear is also historically accurate.
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If Monday’s Abigail was an ode to the beehives of the early 1960s, than today’s Aisha is a nod to Twiggy and the styles of the later sixties. Twiggy, real name Lesley Hornby, was a famous model of the later 1960s. Her androgynous look was long eyelashes, short hair and big eyes. Well, all my paper dolls have big eyes, but I did add additional eyelashes to Aisha. Here is the official Twiggy website with photos of her modeling work in the 1960s.

Interestingly, Twiggy was the beginning of the fashionable obsession with youth. She was only 17 when she reached her stardom. Today, trends are driven by younger and younger consumers. There has always been an interest in “looking young” in fashion, but the late 1960s really instilled it into our culture, I think.

As with all my historical paper dolls, there are sources. The hair was obviously Twiggy inspired. Her underwear is based on this Rudi Gernreich bra from the Met Museum. Rudi Gernreich is most famous for his topless monokini. The bra she wears is based on his “no bra” concept, which was a bra, but without any support or padding. It is notable that this design was only available in small cup sizes. This highlights the obsession with the “youthful” boyish figure of the era.

Let’s talk about shoes (one of my favorite things to draw). The black and white pair of shoes are from 1966-1968. The white strappy pair are from the 1960s. The ones with the bow were originally pink from 1962. All are from the V&A museum which has a great costume history collection.

One last announcement, I should make the Dames and Dandies series will be going on hiatus in 2019, so I can debut my new series called Jewels & Gemstones (Thank you Patrons for voting on that). It will be a single doll pose for the first quarter of 2019. After that quarter, it will be time to reassess where things are. I’ll share more Wednesday of next week. Monday will be the last Dames & Dandies post for the foreseeable future. It’s more 1960s stuff.

Feel free to ask any questions you might have and I’ll answer if I can. You can see a preview of the new doll on my Patreon page.

Need some clothing for today’s paper doll? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

1960s Dresses from Sewing Patterns

1960s sewing pattern cover inspired paper doll dresses. One from 1961 and one from 1967. Both dresses are historically accurate and free to print.

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One of the fascinating things about fashion is that it is never one thing. Simultaneously to the mod fashion movement that the 1960s are so associated with, there was a second thread of fashion that was more sophisticated and modest. Think Jackie Kennedy vs Twiggy, you know? (If you don’t know, check out the books at the bottom of this page.) So, today’s dresses are both of the more conservative, clean styles that were popular as well.

(And yes, yesterday’s Abigail paper doll can wear that hat, despite her insane beehive, I made sure.)

The dress on the left is based on this sewing pattern cover, the dress on the right is based on this sewing pattern cover, the hat I sort of cobbled together based on a bunch of different hats and the purse is Gucci and you can see it here.

But wait, you’re thinking, what if I want more 1960s costume history? What if I want an actual bibliography of the books you used for this week and Monday?

Well, I’m so glad you asked.

1960s History Fashion Sources

Hill, Colleen. Paris Refashioned, 1957-1968. Yale University Press, 2017.
Magidson, Phyllis, and Donald Albrecht. Mod New York: Fashion Takes a Trip. Monacelli Press, 2017.
Olian, JoAnne. Everyday Fashions of the Sixties As Pictured In Sears Catalogs. Dover, 1998.
Walford, Jonathan. Sixties Fashion: from ‘Less Is More’ to Youthquake. Thames & Hudson, 2013.

These are all great books that I highly recommend. You can probably get them all from the library. 

Need a doll to wear today’s paper doll clothing? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

And 1960s Week Begins with Abigail!

This week's paper doll theme is 1960s styles and here's Abigail with shoes and beehive hair. She wears a body suit and has three pairs of period shoes.

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I knew I wanted to draw a 1960s paper doll and I knew I wanted to do a beehive hair. And lest you think that this hair is “unrealistic” than I would refer to the Ronnetts (this photo) and the Supremes (this photo), both inspirations for today’s Abigail paper doll’s hair. As I’ve said before, finding historical references for black vintage hair styles is not an easy task and the copyright law nuances make it much harder.

Now, if Ebony would just digitize their entire archive and put it online for free for me, that would be fantastic… But since I don’t see that happening soon. I went with my usual “find famous people and copy them, technique.”

If there is one thing I will never fully understand, it’s 1960s hair. I mean, I get wanting a little lift in your hair, but seriously, the 1960s took the big hair thing to a whole different level. Unlike the 1980s, 1960s big hair was stiff. One might even use the term shellacked. At least, that’s what I’ve been told by people who lived in that era. I asked a woman once, after looking at her yearbook photo with her, how she’d gotten her hair like that and she replied to me, deadpan, “One hour and hairspray.”

Ask a dumb question…

Anyway, Abigail’s underwear is based on this Mary Quant designed body suit. Her shoes can all be found in the V&A. I did make them different colors, but the styles are here, here and here.

If you want to see all my 1960s inspiration, as we are heading into a week of 1960s content, head over to my 1960s Pinterest Board.

Need some clothing for today’s paper doll? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

Paper Doll Collaboration November 2018 Ambulance Driver Uniform of World War 1

A paper doll coloring page featuring a World War 1 ambulance driver uniform from the Women's Motor Corps of America. A great kid's history activity or homeschooling printable for World War 1 history.

Black and White Paper Doll PDF Paper Doll Collaboration 2018

If you’re allowed to have a favorite war (and I’m not sure you are) than my favorite war in the First World War aka The Great War aka The War to End All Wars aka The War with Way to Many Names. (Okay, confession, I invented the last one.)

First off, I love the poetry that came out of the war. To this day, I can quote Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. In my teenage life, when I was full of angst, I adored Wilfred Owen. I still do, but I am no longer filled with quite so much angst.

So, this is all to say that today’s paper doll outfit is based on an ambulance drivers uniform of the First World War. This design was drawn from a uniform from the Women’s Motor Corps of America which you can see here and another example here. There’s also this great photo from the Library of Congress.

I was a little hesitant to use this for our military themed month, because while I though the uniform was military related when I first drew it, I have realized its not. Most of the ambulance drivers during the war were affiliated with civilian relief and welfare organizations such as the Red Cross. While nurses did serve in the Army and Navy Nursing Corps, I haven’t found much information on ambulance drivers doing the same. The Red Cross provided a great deal of the medical treatment during the war. They had female ambulance drivers, but technically they aren’t military.

But by the time I figured that out, I’d already finished the paper doll set. So, I am going to go with it anyway.

As always, Paper Doll School and Miss Missy Paper Dolls are my partners in crime when it comes to the Collaborative Paper Doll Project and I can’t wait to see what they came up with for this week so head over to their sites for that.

Need a paper doll to wear these clothes? Grab her and more clothing here.

A 14th Century Surcoat With Tibbets and Headdresses

Dress up a paper doll in historically accurate 1300s clothing including a surcoat over a kirtle and two head-dresses.

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First off 14th Century week continues with today’s surcoat over a kirtle and some headdresses. Second off Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrated yesterday.

Surcoats were worn over kirtles (I did one of those on Wednesday). Like a lot of surcoats, today’s has slits in the front that provided access to the purse worn off the girdle underneath. Think of it as the 14th century solution to pockets.

Today’s paper doll surcoat with kirtle was inspired by the Romance of Alexander from the Bodleian Library MS. Bodl. 264. There’s a bunch of different examples of this short sleeved surcoat in there, but I based this dress off the red dress in this miniature and the blue dress (and pink dress) in this miniature.

One of the interesting things about those miniatures and many others from this era (check out my 14th Century Dress Pinterest board for more) is how many of them show women with their hair uncovered. Unlike later eras (and some earlier ones) the 14th century seems to be a time when women could go around without covering their hair.

(Women shown with uncovered hair in miniatures from other eras are often depicting vice and/or wickedness and this is indicated by the uncovered hair. The scandal of showing one’s hair in the 15th century was intense. )

However, some women did still cover their hair. Here’s one miniature with some hair covered and here’s another and here’s a third one. You also see head coverings in statuary. One thing I do when I am trying to decide what to include in these historical sets is to try to find multiple examples of something. That’s why you see some duplication of types of images on my 14th Century Dress Pinterest board.

That’s also why when I am dealing with an era I don’t know much about it can take me a long long time before I am comfortable drawing a paper doll of it. I learned a lot of history from Tom Tierney’s historical paper dolls and I want mine to be as helpful and accurate as I can make them. 

If you want some say in the time periods I create paper dolls for, think about supporting the blog on Patreon. I tend to listen to my Patrons when they make requests. Here’s a post about what patrons have made possible from earlier this week. 

Have you enjoyed 14th Century week? Let me know. I love to hear from you. 

Need a doll to wear today’s paper doll clothing? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

A 14th Century European Kirtle & Shoes

A 1300s kirtle for a paper doll with matching shoes and headdress from paperthinpersoas.com. A great way to teach kids history and a super fun coloring activity.

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In the world of 14th century dress in Europe, there’s a lot of layers. On Monday, you got to see the shift, the stockings and the shoes which were the first layers. Over that, women wore a kirtle.

Technically, add a girdle (belt) to keep your purse (which was also as close as anyone got to having pockets in the 14th century) and you were fulling dressed. This kirtle example has a spiral laced front and buttons on the cuffs.

Her girdle is based on this example. I looked at a lot of carved sculptures of the Virgin Mary when designing this set like this one and this one.

Her shoes come from Stepping Through Time by Olaf Goubitz. It’s a great resource. Her stockings would have been held up by garters, because bias cut wool doesn’t stay up on its own. However, based on my current understanding, the stockings would be rolled down over the garters to cover them, so that’s why the garter’s aren’t visible. 

If you want a historical doll to wear this example of 1300s clothing, than you can go grab Alice whose wearing a shift and has many pair of period shoes. 

Right now, I am thinking about what to do with Paper Thin Personas in 2019. I have a poll and please answer it if you haven’t. 

Should I continue the Dames & Dandies into 2019 or do a new annual project in 2019?

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And leave me a comment if you like or consider supporting the blog on Patreon if you want to donate. Here’s a post about how Patrons have helped

Need a doll to wear today’s paper doll clothing? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

A 14th Century Version of Alice

A historical paper doll with shoes and underwear from the 1300s. A great way to learn about 14th century women's clothing and teach history to kids!

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I have had several requests for early fashion history paper dolls and this week I am sharing a whole week of 14th century clothing from Europe. This is not how they were dressing in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties of China, for example. Though someday maybe I’ll feel confident enough to try out historical Chinese dress (it’s really interesting).

Okay, so about today’s paper doll…

The 14th century is one of the last eras in which women could get away with having their heads uncovered which I think is kinda nice. Her hairstyle was based on manuscript illustrations like this one and busts like this one.

Her shift is a bit more fitted than they probably would have been in the real world, but that’s because paper dolls don’t have the benefit of fabric and the layering gets to be an issue. It’s based on one of the few shifts I could find in manuscript illustration. It comes from Roman de Giron the Courtois which is a manuscript held in the National Museum of France under the call number NAF 5243. The illustration I used is on folio 87v. It’s also on a few other pages as well.

Her shoes all come from the excellent, though rather dry, book Stepping Through Time by Olaf Goubitz. It took me months to find a copy at a reasonable price, but it’s an excellent source full of drawings of archaeological footwear finds. If you know, that’s your kinda thing.

As always, a big thank you to my Patrons and if you’d like to help out the blog by making a donation, you can do that over on the Patreon page.

Also, I’m doing a poll! I posted this on my Patreon page, but I didn’t get a lot of responses, so I am hoping if I post it here I might get more. Plus I know Monday is my highest traffic day.

Should I continue the Dames & Dandies into 2019 or do a new annual project in 2019?

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As always I reserve the right to ignore the outcome if I feel like it. 🙂 Anyway, enjoy today’s paper doll and if you have a moment, let me know what you think about 2019.

Need some clothing for today’s paper doll? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

A 1920s Paper Doll Dress With Hats Based on Designs from Catalog Pages

1920s paper doll dress and hats based on the catalogs of B. Altman and Company and Sears from paperthinpersonas.com. Available to print in color or in black and white.

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And once more into the 1920s my friends. Once more.

Today’s dress, hat and purse are both based on a design from B. Altman and Company. B. Altman and Company was a luxury department store, so the clothing tends to be very fashionable and on the more expensive side. 1920s Fashions from B. Altman & Company is a collection of reprints from their catalogs from Dover Publishers that I used.

The other hat was adapted from a design from Sears, another major department store of the era. Also from a Dover book, but that time I used Everyday Fashions of the Twenties: As Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs also from Dover. Both of these books are pretty easy to find on the secondary market for reasonable prices.

In case you’ve missed any of my 1920s paper doll series, here’s what I’ve created so far.

The 1920’s Doll & Her Dresses

In the works is some 1960s clothing for the paper dolls (as voted on by my Patrons), but I have no idea when those dolls will be done. I also really want to do some more older historical styles like the 13th century, but I haven’t really tried to tackle that yet. Soon, I hope.

Meanwhile, enjoy my foray into the 1920s.

And if you’d like to help support the blog (I very much run PTP through the NPR model- no ads and maybe people will be nice enough to help me offset costs) consider becoming a Patron.

Need a doll to wear today’s paper doll clothing? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

Celebrating the 1960s with the August Collaborative Paper Doll Post

A vintage styled paper doll dress coloring page based on a design from 1968 with matching shoes and wig for the 2018 Collaborative paper doll from paperthinpersonas.com.

Black and White Paper Doll PDF Paper Doll Collaboration 2018
So, the theme for August was Favorite Decade and I almost did the 1920s, because as you know, I love the 1920s so much. I just adore that era.

But then I thought, “But the 1920s is so expected.”

And you know, I have been drawing a fair bit of 1920s stuff for my 1920s Akiko. 

Then I thought about other decades I really love- the 1880s and 1960s. Trying to draw a bustle dress was, frankly, more than I thought I could handle this month. Between my allergies (thanks Ragweed) and the start of school again (Hi, students), I just didn’t have the complex layers of the 1880s in me. 

I did, however, have a simplicity of a 1960s shift dress in me. Today’s 1960s dress is based on Simplicity 7587 from 1968. The dress came in two lengths. Her shoes are based on this pair from 1962. And, of course, she has a big flipped hair style which you may need to add some floating tabs too. 

If you want to see more “favorite decades” head over to Paper Doll School and Miss Missy Paper Dolls to see their August posts. I have no idea what decades they chose and I am looking forward to seeing myself.

Meanwhile, back in April, I started a project to draw 100 dresses and post my drawings on Instagram. It was more about completing my #100dressesproject than any kind of timeline. Of course, I did take a few weeks off in the middle. However, I am super happy that I posted dress 100 today! So, go check out all 100 dresses and let me know what you think of them in a comment there or here. 

And, as always, I’d love to know what you think of today’s 1960s paper doll dress. 

There’s a second, patron exclusive, 1960s dress over on my Patreon page. So, if you are a patron (thank you) and enjoy! If you aren’t a patron, consider joining. Any amount really does help keep the blog’s costs down.   

Need a paper doll to wear these clothes? Grab her and more clothing here.

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