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.

Marisole Monday & Friends: Marisole In 1968


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: 1968 Pattern Covers, Jumpers and Harvest Colors

A free printable African-American paper doll with hair and a dress from 1968 from paperthinpersonas.com.

marisole-1968-paper-doll-vintage

I created today’s printable African-American paper doll from the Marisole Monday & Friend’s series after I was inspired by this amazing vintage pattern cover from 1968 that I found on Pinterest. Brown skinned models don’t show up on pattern covers from the big name companies until the 1970s, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t brown skinned girls wearing and making the fashions.

The omission of diversity in historical fashion related documents is the result of the institutionalized racism of the time, but doesn’t indicate a lack of the presence of people of color in fashionable dress.

And now that I have finished my Primary Source Literacy explanation for the day (a danger of being a Special Collections Librarian), we can get back to the paper doll.

My only big frustration with today’s doll is her hair. I tried to get that 1960’s bouffant sorta look with her flip and I just don’t think I quite got it right. People say the 1980s were a time for big hair, but I think that is because they haven’t seen the 1960s. Teasing and hairspray were big things.

I love Pinterest for collecting paper doll inspiration and I have a whole 1960s fashion board, but things there often lack contextual information, so I tend to be pretty critical of what I use.

I know I have readers who were alive in the 1960s, so let me know how I did with today’s paper doll. Did I do justice to that decade? It was, I have to say, a bit before my time.

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

Ms. Mannequin: As A Paper Doll Viking!


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:  Vikings… Yeah, That’s About it

Historical viking clothing for the Ms. Mannequin paper doll series with shoes and stockings. Free to print in color or black and white.

I think it was last year that I did a ton of research on Viking clothing and even wrote up a lot of what I found on this article. Later, my Viking B&B paper doll went a bit viral on Facebook which I had to have other people tell me about, because I don’t have a Facebook page. On occasion, I do think about making one for the blog. Is that something people would like?

Anyway, I took a long look at my goals for 2016 that my patrons helped me come up with. Doing more historical clothing was a part of those goals, so I have decided to dabble in viking clothing once more. It is hard to assess those goals, because I wrote them when I was still posting paper doll sets and I am not doing that anymore. Still, not posting sets has really opened up the options for doing just one of something which is why I have drawn (though not yet posted) my first 17th century piece ever.

Back to the paper doll dress, this is a Viking clothing from around the 10th century. So, she is wearing a shirt, or serk, under an apron-dress, or smokkr. Serk fragments have been found both pleated and unpleated. I chose an unpleated version. She also wears an apron over her apron-dress. In my outline of Viking clothing, I mentioned that Ewing, in his book Viking Clothing published in 2006, discusses a theory that sometimes one apron-dress was worn over another apron-dress. I have illustrated that style today.

I will openly confess that the Ms Mannequin paper dolls have a very modern pose, so drawing historical clothing for them for the first time was a little surreal. I might stick to vintage looks from this century in the future for them.

So, what do you think about today’s foray into Viking dress? Do the Ms. Mannequin dolls need more historical clothing? Let me know what you think.

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

Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s a Suit from 1860s


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Sarah Josepha Hale, 1860’s Men’s Clothing and Harvest Colors

A paper doll men's suit from 1861 featuring a cutaway coat and harvest colors. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

I’ve never done a Thanksgiving paper doll before. Personally, I have always struggled to come up with an idea that isn’t either cliche or offensive. The portrayal of Native American, for example, in paper doll form has generally been rather awful and I certainly wasn’t in the mood to do some mythical pilgrims.

So, why do a suit from the 1860s? Well, I wanted to honor Sarah Josepha Hale.

First of all, she wrote Mary Had a Little Lamb, which is pretty cool, but more then that she was the editor of the important publication Godey’s Lady’s Book, and was an advocate for Thanksgiving.

In short, Hale believed that Thanksgiving was about choosing a time to both unite as a Nation and to express our joy and gratitude for our many blessings. Given the current political climate, I cannot think of a better reason to have a holiday. Her advocacy for the national holiday began in 1846 and was successful in 1863 when Lincoln, in the midst of the Civil War, formally announced a National Day of Thanksgiving.

In celebration this year, I have drawn a suit from the 1860s, specifically 1861. I actually had a really impossible time finding a suit from 1863, so this will have to do. Keeping with the Thanksgiving theme, the suit is done in harvest colors. You’ll need a gent to wear this suit, so I recommend picking up one of the Marisole Monday & Friends guy paper dolls and outfitting him. Should you like him to have a lady date to his 1860s Thanksgiving Dinner, then here’s some 1860s clothing for the Marisole Monday & Friends lady paper dolls.

I don’t know nearly as much about men’s clothing of the Victorian era as I know about women’s clothing, so I am pretty nervous about how accurate this is, but I did my best and I think this is the first ever historical men’s paper doll outfit I have ever posted. So, please be kind to my first attempt. I also need to get some books on men’s clothing of the 19th century. Anyone got any recommendations?

Anyway, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday with family, with friends or just with the day off.

I’d also like to take this chance to thank everyone. I am thankful for everyone who supports the blog on Patreon, who leaves a comment, who follows me on Twitter or who just comes to read. Trust me when I say, it is because of my great readers that PTP is still around.

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

Mini-Maidens: Retro Suit from 1954


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: 1950s Suits, Obviously

A retro suit design from 1954 for the Mini-Maidens paper doll series along with slingback shoes and a beret.

When you think of the 1950s, there are really two common silhouettes. The first is the nipped in waist and the full skirt. That look is pretty flattering on myself and one I enjoy drawing, but there is another look that was equally popular.

That is the narrow skirted silhouette, like today’s suit from 1954 for the Mini-Maiden paper doll series. This design is featured in the Complete Fashion Sourcebook by John Peacock and is identified as being from 1954. My major problem with Peacock’s works is that he rarely states where he found the images he is illustrating, so it is very hard to know what the context of the suit is.

However, very similar designs can be found in many other places including the Everyday Fashions of the Fifties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs book from Dover publishing. Dover has a series of these books, one for each decade, and I could not recommend them enough.

A few more examples of this style from the 1950s can be seen in this vintage pattern cover, this vintage pattern cover and this vintage pattern cover. More 1950s fashion fun can be found on my 1950s fashion Pinterest board.

Sometimes, I think I wouldn’t mind wearing suits very day, because I love how they look. I don’t want to go back to the 1950s though, because as much as I like the clothing, I also like living in a era where the Civil Rights Act exists.

We’re on day three of our variety week and I want to know what you all think, so please let me know in a comment.

And, as always, if you like the blog, consider supporting it through Patreon.

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

Hazel Visits the 1940s: Afternoon Dress from 1940


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mini-maiden-paper-doll-dress-1940

I think it’s a little fitting that at the end of this 1940s paper doll to print week, we are returning to the early part of the decade with this 1940s afternoon dress, especially since we started with a 1940s afternoon dress on Monday. Today’s dress is based on this afternoon dress from 1940 which I found from the New York Public Library Digital Collections.

This dress has many of the details I associated with the 1940s including puffed sleeves, a natural waistline and a gored skirt that falls to the knees, but the ruching details on the bodice are very much of the 1930s. Fashion doesn’t change on a dime, so it’s a nice example of the transition of styles.

The truth is that the 1940s is a fascinating era for fashion. World War II influences everything, of course, but there’s also more women entering the work force, the end of the Depression and Rayon, invented in the 1930s, becaming mainstream. Paris, which was occupied by German forces, was no longer the center of fashion and New York came into its own.

Now you might be wondering, if all that’s true, where can I see more cool 1940’s fashions? Well, I have a whole Pinterest board devoted to the decade. I will confess it’s a little bit of a harder decade to research, because much of the material is still in copyright. However, you can still find stuff around if you dig.

Hazel & Her Wardrobe: A 1940s Paper Doll to Print & Color

In other news, I signed a lease, so I am now in the midst of hard core packing. I think I have enough backlog saved up that the blog will continue as usual, but I will be slow to reply to comments or emails and such until the end of September, I think.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I’ll be spending mine packing up boxes.

As always, I love to hear what people think in the comments.

Hazel Visits the 1940s: Girdles, Purses and Gloves, Oh My!


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Black and white printable paper doll coloring sheet with 1940s underwear, shoes, purses and other accessories for the Min-Maiden paper doll series. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com

It’s Accessory Thursday! See, I didn’t have one last week, but it wasn’t abandoned for long. Today, we have some 1940’s girdles, a long-line bra, two purses, beads and a pair of ever important gloves. If you ever thought to yourself, “I need some 1940s underwear for a paper doll” than here you go!

(I find it hard to imagine anyone ever thought that, but maybe I’m wrong.)

The shoes on the left are based on a blue suede pair from 1941. The other pair is from the 1942 Spiegel Holiday Catalog. The “lower” purse is based on a Gucci model from 1949 while the other is from 1944. See, I said back on Monday one 1949 item slipped into this week’s early 1940s paper doll series.

Her 1940s underwear is based on two different 1940s gridles. The first is from 1942 and the second is from between 1942 and 1949. After I drew these, a freind remarked that he thought they were a bit racy for a paper doll, but I think paper dolls can be sexy if they want to be. Besides, it’s not that racy.

Now, if you need a paper doll to wear these lovely girdles, than Hazel from Monday has the hair for the era, but any of the Mini-Maiden‘s can pull off the looks, I’m sure.

By the way, if you are a twitter person (I am) than follow the blog’s feed and hear all about the movies I watch while I draw and other thrilling details on @paperpersonas. I’ve also been trying out Instagram, but I’ll confess I’m not very good at it yet. And of course, there’s always Patreon if you want to help pay the blogs operating costs.

And who doesn’t want to help with that?

So, what do you think of this weeks set? Are you enjoying this foray into the 1940s? Let me know in a comment!

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

Hazel Visit’s the 1940s: A Smart Dress from 1943


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A smart 1943 dress for my 1940s printable paper doll, Hazel. It's free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

Today’s dress for our 1940s printable paper doll is from another pattern cover. It is based on a Hollywood pattern from 1943. One of the things I liked about this dress was the two ways it was styled. In one option, it almost feels like a suit and in the other it is clearly a house dress. Just like today, people liked versatility in their sewing patterns.

Despite appearances, this dress is really made in one piece. Similiar styles are this 1944 Dubarry design, this 1942 Hollywood desig and this 1945 Simplicity version.

The pattern on the dress’s skirt is based on the fabric of this dress from 1942. It’s another example of the “two piece, but not really” dress style and I loved the fabric print which I simplified extensively to make into a paper doll version. Be sure to read the whole blog post, it’s totally fascinating.

Her hat is based on the hat worn by the fashion figure on the pattern cover, but small hats like this, sometimes called “doll hats”, were very popular. Here’s an example from 1940 and another example from 1940. I did my best to capture the look in a way that I still thought would stay on the paper doll’s head.

If you’re in need of a 1940s printable paper doll to wear this lovely 1943 dress, you can pick up Hazel in all her 1940’s printable paper doll glory from Monday’s post.

If you want an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes of PTP, you can follow the blog on Twitter or become a blog patron. Blog Patron’s get their own special behind the scenes blog and sometimes extra paper doll outfits. (Just sometimes, because I do have a life. Mostly.)

So, is anyone planning on coloring today’s paper doll dress? What colors would you use? I’ve been thinking rust and navy, but that’s just me. Other people’s thoughts? Leave a comment and let me know.

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

Hazel Visits the 1940s: A Dress from 1942


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A 1940's paper doll dress with matching beret in black and white for coloring. The dress is based on a 1942 DuBarry pattern design and fits the Mini-Maiden paper doll series.

So on Monday, I posted Hazel and her afternoon dress from 1940. That was kind a formal 1940’s look, so I wanted to show of something maybe a little less fancy for today. This Dubarry pattern from 1942 is a great example of the masculine influenced dresses of the early 1940s and I recreated as a 1940’s paper doll dress to print and color.

To go with it, I drew a beret which was a very popular hat style, but I’ll admit- beret drawing is maybe not my great strength.

So, a few things about this dress. It’s based on a pattern by the DuBarry company. DuBarry was a branch of Simplicity Patterns that were made from 1931–1946 exclusively for Woolworths. The wonderful Vintage Pattern Wiki has a bunch more Dubarry styles available for browsing, if you want to pop over there to see them. Two of my other 1940s favorites from Dubarry are this wedding dress from 1941 and this dress from 1944.

Most of the dresses I have drawn for this week come from sewing pattern covers. Though not always an obvious source for fashion history, sewing patterns, like catalogs, are useful to see what normal folks had access too. Most people weren’t buying designer clothing after all and I like to keep my paper dolls a little down to earth… except when they’re aliens.

The downside of these sorts of primary sources is that it is impossible to know what people thought about the pattern design. Did they like it? Was it popular? Did people think it as ugly?

For example, here’s a Simplicty pattern for a strange lace up poncho. Will some historian in the future think we all wore lace up ponchos in 2016? Probably not… but it highlights some of the danger of not using multiple sources when making decisions about what to create for historical paper dolls.

By the way, what do you think of today’s 1940’s paper doll dress? Do you like it? Hate it?

New content announcements, plus other interesting stuff, goes up pretty regularly on the blogs Twitter feed. Also, if you love the blog, then support it on Patreon.

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