Sprites Borrow Clothing From a Coastal Fantasy World


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Fish! And This Dress on Pinterest

A set of gothic fashions for the Sprites printable paper dolls in color or black and white.

Today’s paper doll costumes are a pair of renaissance inspired fantasy outfits with an elaborate fish pattern on the gown.

In today’s renaissance fantasy paper doll fashions, I gave the Lady Sprites a blue and white dress. The Gentlemen Sprites a pale blue and grey outfit. Rather than giving the Lady Sprite shoes, I opted to create several accessory pieces including the instrument, book and sword.

So, I’m going to make a confession here:

I don’t have a lot of say about these paper doll outfits.

I drew them. I had fun drawing them. I’m actually super-duper proud of how that stylin’ fish pattern came out. But honestly, that’s about it.

After writing yesterdays long post about Snow White, I feel sorta odd that all I can say is that I picked blue and I liked fish.

And I will say that I think fish are a super cool motif. They’re a wonderful shape and I really enjoyed drawing my fish, but that’s kinda all I got.

Not the worlds most insightful post, but they can’t call be.

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

Min-Seo’s Tudor Inspired Paper Doll Fantasy Gown


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Abstracted Snowflakes, Tudor Women’s Gowns, and Pearls
A Tudor fantasy gown and a paper doll to wear it. Print in color or black and white from paperthinpersonas.com.

A Tudor fantasy gown and a paper doll to wear it. A paper doll coloring page from paperthinpersonas.com

Sometimes, I get to design fun and absurd fantasy gowns inspired by the Tudors. This is totally one of those times. I knew I wanted to do a fantasy Min-Seo paper doll, because I do so many fantasy dresses.

Because of the stiffness of the clothing, a Tudor fantasy gown is a really great opportunity to play with elaborate pattern. At first, I conceived of the pattern on her skirt being snowflake inspired. Since, I didn’t want to make yet another blue and white and grey winter gown. When I actually started coloring it, it stopped looking much like snow.

I do think the eggplant/magenta color on the gown does feel autumnal to me. I can’t imagine this a summer gown, but I’m not really sure it is a winter gown. What do you think of my color scheme? Should I have stuck with my blues and grays?

As often happens with paper dolls who’ve got black hair, I feel like the complexity of her hairstyle got a little lost. It’s much more clear in the black and white coloring page version. No matter how you slice it, black line-work tends to disappear against dark dark grey I use for hair. I also gave her black toenails, because it amused me. No other reason. Painted toenails were not a Tudor thing, but that’s why I say Tudor fantasy gown and not Tudor gown.

So, this gives us one punk Min-Seo from Monday. Today’s Tudor fantasy gown wearing Min-Seo. Tomorrow there will be a historical Min-Seo paper doll from the 1920s, so stay tuned.

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

B&B: African-American Fantasy Maiden’s Second Gown


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Athena- Goddess of Wisdom, Renaissance Faires, and This Paper Doll I drew in 2013.

A fantasy paper doll gown featuring owls and puffy sleeves and trim and things. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

Yesterday, I posted my big beautiful brown skinned fantasy maiden B&B paper doll with some rockin’ boots and I explained how that paper doll set was inspired by a project to look again at older sets on the blog and use them for inspiration for newer sets. Yesterday’s paper doll and today’s gown were both based on a Pixie paper doll set called Dionisia.

Athena, goddess of wisdom in Greek mythology, inspired the trim on the bottom of her dress. Owls were the symbol of Athena and I wanted to give a nod to the goddess in this gown. In the Renaissance era, which was a minor inspiration for this gown, ancient Greek myth and legend was super popular, so the owl motif is also a nod to that.

Plus, it was an excuse to draw some owls and who doesn’t want to do that?

My natural instincts told me to make the undergown cream as I did with Monday’s paper doll gown, but I fought those instincts and went with a deep gold instead. Since the gown is trimmed in a nod to Athena, I decided that this gown was worn by a woman of education and distinction.

Therefore, she got a pot of ink, a scroll and a book as her accessories. Seriously, that’s why. It has nothing to do with my love of drawing books. Honestly.

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Tomorrow, there will be a ninja!

Also, I hope all my USA readers take the time today to go vote. Super important.

Need to get a Bodacious & Buxom paper doll to wear these fabulous clothes? Pick one out here.

A Sincere Prince: A Fairy Tale Prince Paper Doll

There’s a wonderful line in Into The Woods where Prince Charming says, “I was raised to be charming, not sincere.”

Well, I prefer my fairy tale prince paper dolls to be sincere, thank you very much. Hence why I named today’s paper doll, A Sincere Prince.

Over the years, I have drawn a few different “prince” paper dolls (no relation to the rockstar) and I think of them as coming from different fantasy worlds, much like I think of my Princesses as coming from different fantasy worlds. Mostly, I group them based on vague time period associations.

So, today’s Prince Marcus has a sort of renaissance feel to it while Prince and Gentleman was more 18th or 19th century and Marcus the Warrior was more Anglo-Saxon or Viking inspired.

A fairy tale prince paper doll with a four piece wardrobe. Part of the Marisole Monday & Friend's paper doll series, he can share clothing with any of the other Marisole Monday & Friend's male paper dolls. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Picking out colors wasn’t that hard. I knew I didn’t want to use green. I tend to use a LOT of green in male paper dolls. I don’t know why, but I do. Anyway, so once I decided, “no green” than it was just a matter of picking some fun colors. I have done a Green Prince if you’re interested.

A black fairy tale prince paper doll with a four piece wardrobe. Part of the Marisole Monday & Friend's paper doll series, he can share clothing with any of the other Marisole Monday & Friend's male paper dolls. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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I’m a bit belated on today’s post. I managed to fall into that trap where I have a good bit of material ready, so I tell myself, “Oh, I don’t need to work on anything. I have time.”

But time has a way of flitting off when I am not paying enough attention.

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys today’s fairytale prince paper doll!

Dreaming Princess: A Paper Doll Princess

logo-dreaming-princess-bw Whenever I meet young girls and ask them about paper dolls, which I confess I don’t do very often, they seem to often ask for Princesses. I don’t know what it is about paper doll princesses, but it seems to be a popular trend. As a child some of my favorite paper dolls were those of Peck-Grande which featured beautiful fairytale paper dolls with fantastic dresses (Here’s some images from their Beauty and the Beast paper doll or Sleeping Beauty paper doll). As far as I can tell, princess seems to translate to “amazing over the top gowns” and that works for me.

(The feminist in me always wants to give a lecture on the patriarchal nature of historical princess-dom right now, but the lover of pretty dresses in me doesn’t care.)

When I design complex patterns for paper doll clothing, I like to try to keep the outfits themselves fairly simple. I think it is easy to get the pattern “lost” in the lines needed for pleats and folds. So, when I decided I wanted to play around with complex patterns for these gowns, it wasn’t a hard decision to know that I needed a simpler silhouette.

Early Italian renaissance dresses (from about the 1490s) have always had a soft place in my heart. Someday I do want to do an actual “historical” paper doll from this period, but until then, I had fun playing with the silhouette in this paper doll princess set. These styles might look familiar if you remember Her Ladyship from 2014, she was inspired by the same time period.

A paper doll princess coloring page featuring four elegant dresses and two pairs of shoes. Free from paperthinpersonas.com.

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The model for today’s gowns is Monica. You can find more paper dolls featuring her here. Confusion about which Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper doll model is which? I wrote a guide a few months ago.

Every time I design a princess paper doll download with these sorts of elaborate patterned fantasy gowns, I swear that I won’t do it again and then I do. Insanity is doing the same thing over again, expecting different results, they say, but here I found myself once more painstakingly coloring an insanely complex pattern and grumbling about it.

My original plan was to go very traditional with the colors here. In the actual Renaissance, the expense of dye meant that darker colors were more fashionable and expensive than lighter colors. So, that was my first plan- black, red and gold would have abounded.

But then I realized that if I was going to use a dark brown skin-tone for the doll (which was my plan all along) and then went black and red with the clothing, it was going to be a really dark paper doll set. Plus dark colors on these kinda elaborately patterned outfits obscures the black line-work. I spent to darn long coloring this to obscure the nuances of those patterns. So, gold, red and black when out the window for rose, lime and teal. Nothing says spring to me like rose, teal and lime.

Plus, I think the brighter spring colors are nice for a May set. It’s spring here in Alabama, after all.

A black princess paper doll download featuring four colorful gowns and two pairs of shoes. Free from paperthinpersonas.com

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If today’s Monica princess color page needs some friends or more dresses, there’s literally dozens of options, but I think A Noble Lady, Pattern & Grace, Queen of Dusk and Book Loving Princess all make nice accompanying black and white paper doll sets as they are in a similar silhouette. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with deciding today’s Monica freelances as a circus performer or pirate, but I thought if people wanted more “princessy” looks than the four paper doll sets I mentioned above would work well. As many of you know, versatility is very important to me in my paper doll related activities, so I try to point out where one set might interrelate to another set.

After all, I don’t expect y’all to keep track of the 500 paper dolls on the site, especially since I can’t always keep track of them myself.

In case you’re wondering why both the color and the black and white version of today’s paper doll are being posted, there will be a post explaining ALL on Wenesday, or at least MOST. 🙂

It is nice to be back.

Isadora Goes to the Ball: A Fantasy Princess Printable Paper Doll Coloring Page

logo-isadora-ballgownThis is not an Independence Day paper dolls, but I have some links to a few down at the bottom of the post. This is a princess paper doll.

Let’s be honest for a moment: A lot of the appeal of princesses lies in their glorious dresses.

We all know intellectually that being a princess would kinda suck. (There’s a great video about this by Amy Schumer.) You’d have to marry someone who you likely didn’t choose. Your value would be entirely defined in your ability to produce an heir. Also, that person you would marry might end up being your cousin.

Never the less, your wardrobe would rock.

So, I’m not sure if Isadora would be a princess, because she doesn’t have a crown. Do princesses need crowns? I suppose they should if they are coronated. But once they get coronated than are they actually queens?

Royal stuff is complicated.
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These three gowns are all ball-gowns in my head, but the glory of paper dolls is that we can choose what they are. Maybe these are what Isadora wears to the grocery store. Actually, if I had these dresses, I might wear them to the grocery store, though I have been told that driving in a hoop-skirt is really difficult.

So, this is the fourth of July or Independence Day in the USA. I did not, however, get a thematic paper doll done. If you wish for one, then I recommend Hazel’s 4th of July set, my Marisole Monday & Friends 18th century 4th of July set or Marisole Monday’s Nautical set which, while not technically 4th of July related, does have a red white and blue color scheme.

The Princess and the Frog: A Paper Doll Costume

poppet-princess-frog-logoI love fairy tales. I have always loved fairy tales. I have fond memories of, far past the point of being able to read complicated books, sitting in the library reading picture books of fairy tales. I love the lavish illustrations, but I also like reading many different versions of the same story. These days I still like doing that, but now I like learning why and where the different varients of Cinderella or the Twelve Dancing Princesses come from.

Today’s paper doll set is an ode to one of my favorite fairy tales. The Frog Prince or The Princess and the Frog, depending on which version you read. A princess loses her beautiful golden ball down a well and a frog retrieves it for her only if she will marry him. She agrees and then backs out of her promise. The story goes from there.

In the end, I think the moral is supposed to be “keep your promises” or “don’t judge on appearances”, but it could also be, “don’t drop your precious golden ball down a well.”

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Disney did an interesting adaption of the tale recently, but I will always picture the Princess how she was drawn by Walter Crane in the Frog Prince. Walter Crane is one of my favorite children’s illustrators. I was inspired by the pseudo-renaissance look for my own paper doll’s costume.

So, there is a frog, a golden ball, and a beautiful gown for the Princess. I am not much an animal artist, but I did my best to make my frog cute and palm sized. I always thought the Princess in the Frog Prince was a little spoiled, but then I suppose that’s just how fairy tales go sometimes.

Her Ladyship’s Dressing Gown and Nightgown

ladyship-wig-10Last page of Her Ladyship today and now you can download all ten pages of this paper doll and print her out at at once, if you haven’t been collecting the pages. I never know how to describe black and white paper dolls. Sometimes, I think I should call them, “Paper dolls to color” or I should call them “colorable paper dolls”, but “black and white paper dolls” is what I seem to have adopted over the years of this little blogs life.

Fairly early on in the Her Ladyship paper doll set, I had a reader ask me if I was going to ever post a wig of her hair down. Well, here it is. Her dressing gown, nightgown and two wigs of her hair in a braid and loose over her shoulders. I couldn’t justify a crazy up-do for sleeping in. I’m a little embarrassed that I take the “reality” of my fantasy paper dolls so seriously, but it is really important to me that the paper doll set makes sense in the context of the world that it exists in.

After all, if I am going to spend my time drawing fantasy paper dolls, I might as well make sure that they are logical fantasy paper dolls.

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I hope everyone has enjoyed this little mini-series. Should I do more little series like this next year?

I had these grand delusions of getting a Hanukkah series together, but at the moment I am thinking that just isn’t going to happen. I will likely do what I did last year and post a paper doll every night. I think I have enough backlog for that.

One More House Dress and A Ballgown for Her Ladyship

ladyship-wig-9Wigs are certainly a theme of today’s page for my Her Ladyship printable paper doll set. Also- paper doll ballgowns and house dresses.

One more page after this set and then I’ll post the whole 10 page PDF of the paper doll for anyone to print who might want it. I have had a lot of fun sharing this set over the last few months.

So, last week I talked a bit about coherent sets and how to develop a consistent look for a paper doll set. Today, I wanted to take a moment and talk about the world I imagine Her Ladyship lives in.

First of all, Her Ladyship has money. Likely, serious money. She’d got ballgowns, after all. That means a decent amount of cash. I imagine her world is Renaissance (her clothing was highly influenced by Italian Renaissance fashion) or higher technology. Why you ask?

Because she has casual gowns that are patterned. Patterned textiles require skilled workforce and a considerable investment in equipment and raw materials- silks and wools have to be imported or homegrown (but generally were imported) from England to Italy. So, without a fair bit of weaving technology, that would be out of the question. So, I’m thinking a 15th century to 17th century level of technology. Clothing can tell you a lot about a time and place.

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So, what do I know about this paper dolls world? She’s a wealthy woman living in a time and place when mechanized weaving existed, at least in part. She’s got “house dresses” but they’re far to nice to actually be worn for anything involving mud or dirt.

Sometimes, I stumble across something and feel rather foolish for not having found it earlier. Paper Doll A Day is a blog that seems to be no longer updating. Never the less, I encourage you to go check out the archives. There are some beautiful outfits (I really like this paper doll dress) and some wonderful different paper dolls, including men. Joleene Naylor has been around the internets for a while sharing her paper dolls and I couldn’t be happier to have found her latest website, though I do wish I had found it when it was still updating.

Any other great paper doll sites I’ve been missing? Or thoughts on the world of Her Ladyship?

A Winter Frock and a Summer Frock

ladyship-wig-8My favorite part of this set might be the wacky looking musical instrument. Just maybe, because I also love both of these dresses. Rarely do things come out as close to how I imagined them in my mind.

I am fascinated by historical dress, because dress is one physical manifestation of social and cultural phenomena. By it’s nature, dress is tied to technology and trade of the time when it was created. So, when I am creating a fantasy dress set, part of the process is thinking about consistency in design elements to create an coherent vision for a whole set. This vision comes out in both the sillouhette of the costumes and in specific repeated design elements.

The silhouette for all of Her Ladyship’s paper wardrobe is a high waist with long sleeves and square necklines (the riding and skating outfits don’t have square necklines, but we’ll get there in a minute). Nearly all the dresses are layered with an under-dress and than an over-dress on top. The two dresses that violate these rules are both for activities that, due to their athletic nature, have masculine overtones. The riding habit and the skating costume are both inspired by men’s wear.

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Her Ladyship’s winter frock shares design elements with her archery outfit. Similarly, her riding habit and her skating costume are very similar- both are athletic outfits.

Her Ladyship’s wardrobe feels like a “set”, because the outfits repeat design elements and style. This is also something I try to do with my one page fantasy sets and my contemporary sets. Dionisia’s wardrobe is held together by doublets. Akemi’s armors are all angular and layered. Denise’s contemporary clothing embraces various types of pleats. If a set feels disjointed, chances are that it is because there are not repeating elements to connect the items.