A Printable Paper Doll Dress from 1870 for Marisole Monday & Friends


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Fashion Plate from January 1870
A beautiful Victorian printable paper doll bustle dress based on a dress from 1870. Free to print in color or black and white from paperthinpersonas.com.

A beautiful Victorian printable paper doll bustle dress based on a dress from 1870. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

If I had to pick a favorite period of fashion history, I’m not sure I could. I love the 18th century, the 1920s, 1960s, the Regency, the 1300s… I could go on and on, clearly. However, if I had to pick a favorite era of the Victorian period, then the bustles absolutely win.

I love them all. I love the soft draped bustle of the early 1870s, the narrow skirted bustle of the early 1880s and the tea-tray supporting bustle of the late 1880s. I don’t care how absurd they look.

I just think they are so much darn fun.

Despite that, I have drawn very few paper dolls with dresses from 1870. I think the reason is that I’ve also been intimidated by the bustle. So many loops of fabric. So much drapery. The angle has to be just right to show off the fit. But I decided to try it this time, so here she is- a dress from 1870 for Marisole Monday & Her Friends.

Just the ladies. This won’t fit the gents.

It is based off this dress from 1870 published in The Queen, the Ladies’ Newspaper in January. Queen was an English fashion magazine that published French fashion plates and started in 1861. In 1968, it was purchased by Harpers Bazaar. Until 2006, in England anyway, Harper’s Bazaar was published as Harpers & Queen. I’ve yet to find a good online archive of The Queen, the Ladies’ Newspaper full-text, but if anyone locates one let me know. Their fashion plates are lovely.

Without the accompanying information, it is hard to know what exactly this dress was intended for. Based on the style, I am thinking a seaside nautical thing. January magazines often published the first Spring plates, so I suspect this is a Springtime outfit.

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Ms Mannequin and a 1960s Fashion Experience


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This 1960s Fashion Design
A paper doll foray into 1960s fashion with a blue and white shirt dress and tights. Free to print in color or black and white.

A paper doll foray into 1960s fashion with a mini-shirtdress and tights. Free to print in color or black and white.

Given how much I like 1960s fashion, it is a trifle weird how little of it has made its way onto the blog. I think part of that is the lack of online sources. Sadly, stuff created in the 1960s is still under copyright, because the open access date hasn’t moved forward as was originally intended. (Thank you, Disney for messing up that.)

I only have one book on 1960s fashion. To give a comparison, I have three on 1920s fashion. So, if anyone has a rec, leave it in the comments. I really should track down more, since I do enjoy the era. Today’s Ms. Mannequin outfit comes from this fashion design by Creators Studio.

The original dress was a blue and blue windowpane plaid, but plaid is my nemesis, so I omitted it.

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Meanwhile, there’s a 25% off coupon for my readers (Reader2017) good in my Etsy store until the end of the month. Nothing terribly 1960s in there, yet, but I have done some smashing evening gowns.

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

Some 1910s Clothing for my Curvy B&B Printable Paper Dolls


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Fashion Plate form 1915

A paper doll outfit based on 1910s clothing, specifically 1915. Available to print in color or black and white.

A paper doll outfit based on 1910s clothing, specifically 1915. Available to print and color for free.

There are periods of fashion I am naturally attracted too like the 1920s and 1870s, but others that I am learning to apperciate more. One of these is 1910s clothing.

1910s clothing can be broken down into two major eras. The early part of the decade has a column silhouette, like this dress from 1912. After the beginning of World War I in 1914, the skirts begin to flare out and shorten. The silhouette becomes much freer. Today’s paper doll outfit is from 1915 and falls into this flared skirt era. Other examples of this “look” include this fashion plate from 1916, this dress or this suit.

One thing I love about 1910s clothing is the profusion of really absurd looking hats, like today’s hat from this fashion plate. I mean, really? I would say that surely no one wore a hat like that, but check out this example and this example from the Met.

See? Absurd hats abound in the 1910s. Does anyone but me kinda wish we still wore hats? Let me know in a comment.

Clearly, I need to spend more time in this era. There’s some fun stuff there.

One quick historical note: No one wore socks like the ones I drew here in 1910, but I didn’t want do deal will bare legs (which would  have been a scandal in 1910) and I didn’t want to have draw full on stockings or attach the shoes to the dress, so this was my solution. Not perfect from a historical accuracy point of view, but there you have it.

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Marisole Monday in a Women’s 1920s Golf Clothes


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Golfing Outfits from the 1920s

Women's 1920s golf clothes for my Marisole Monday & Friend's paper doll series in full color to print from paperhinpersonas.com.

Women's 1920s golf clothes for my Marisole Monday & Friend's paper doll series in black and white.

I can’t tell you how many times my father has dropped hints that I should draw some golf clothing. He’s a fan of the sport. So, today I am pleased to present some 1920s historical clothing attire for the Marisole Monday & Freind’s paper dolls.

The history of women’s sports attire has always fascinated me. By the 1920s, from which today’s paper doll outfit hails, women were participating in many different team and individual sports including basketball, tennis, archery, fencing, and, of course, golf. Golf was pretty popular in the 1920s and women’s 1920s golf clothes were being designed by big names like this golf outfit by Worth.

Most women’s golf outfits have skirts, but there were also trousers options, like the ones shown in this article about golf in advertisements. I based today’s outfit off illustrations from my two favorite 1920s fashion history books, Everyday Fashions of the Twenties: As Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs and 1920s Fashions from B. Altman & Company, both of which are from Dover publications and are excellent resources on 1920s clothing. Sears was a more affordable company while B. Altman was much more fashionable and expensive.

Catalogs offer such a great window into what people could purchase in the past.

Anyway, I also had to draw a golf club for today’s outfit. Now, I will openly confess that I am not a skillful golfer, but I have taken a lesson or two. I based my golf club (I was not about to draw a whole set) on photos of 1920s golf clubs from Google Image Search. I know, I know. Not the best research practice.

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

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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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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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.