Poppets Visit the 1860s: Accessory Thursday with Shoes and Underwear


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Two pairs of 1860s underwear, shoes and stockings from the 1860s sized for the Poppets paper doll series. Available in black and white as well. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

Guess what day it is?

It’s Accessory Thursday!

The whole point of Accessory Thursday is to allow me to show off some of the smaller pieces that make up a paper doll collection.

For a child’s wardrobe in the 1860s, accessories meant shoes and underwear. Now, kids back in this era wore a lot of underwear, but I decided to focus just on a pantaloons and camisoles. Staybands where also very common. Staybands were like a corset, but they weren’t boned the same way. The idea was to keep the spine straight and help with development.

If you feel that you need a stayband, than check out Promenade & Play which features one from the 1870s.

Shoe-wise, she’s got brown leather boots with a bow detail and some black and white button up boots. I think I just like the idea of two-tone boots. I confess I don’t know how popular they actually were back in the day.

As always, I’d love to know what y’all think of the continuing trend of Accessory Thursdays!

Also, if you love the blog and want to help support it, consider joining my Patreon page.

Peony in the 1860s: A Paper Doll Dress from August 1862


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A paper doll with a dress from August 1862, boots and a hat from paperthinpersonas.com. Part of a week of civil war children's clothing designs for the Poppets paper doll series.This week I’m diving into civil war children’s clothing with the help of the Casey Fashion Plate Index from the Los Angeles Public Library. This fantastic resource has literally hundreds of fashion plates. Today’s Poppet dress comes from Magasin des Demoiselles, a French fashion magazine of the 19th century.

I named today’s Poppet paper doll Peony. I thought I was out of P flower names, but I never did a Peony, so Peony it is! Then I’ll have to decide what to do about Poppet paper dolls and their P names.

Despite what I was once told in a costume history class, children of the 19th century didn’t dress like miniature adults. There were, in fact, many complex social rules governing how children were dressed.

While adult women did not expose their arms unless they were attending a ball (or swimming, sometimes), children could have short sleeves, especially in the heat of summer. Today’s dress is and example of this from August 1862. I simplified some of the trimming and chose blue tonal color scheme over the red and black scheme of the original Civil War children’s clothing dress design.

Fashion plate from Casey fashion plate collection from August 1862 featuring two women and a child.

Alternatively, you can download the black and white version from the links at the top of the post.

Peony’s hat is trimmed in contrasting yellow roses and matching blue ribbon. Her boots are flat soled and side lacing, which was typical for civil war era shoes. Side laced and button up boots were both worn in the 1860s, but by the end of the decade button boots were much more popular. Her stockings should really be tights or held up by a garter belt, but in the interest of making things simpler, I decided to ignore that particular fact of history.

Should you be worried about her going commando, than fear not- she’ll get some proper undergarments on Accessory Thursday.

If you need another set of dolls to wear this clothing, here’s more of the Poppet family, just be sure to print them from the PDF without fit to page and everything should work out.

Thoughts? Comments? Solutions to my “P flower names” problem? As always, I love to hear from y’all and if you like the blog, consider supporting it by becoming a Patron.

Monica’s Neo-Victorian Wardrobe: Accessory Thursday With Shoes, Parasols & Hats


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Printable paper doll accessories including shoes and hats! Also available in black and white. From paperthinpersonas.com.

It’s Accessory Thursday! Yay!

But to come down from the high for a moment, it has occurred to me that I’m not really sure how to write a pseudo-19th century fashion plate description of these pieces.

So, instead, I thought I would wax philosophical about accessories. In the real work, I am not a big accessories girl, but in the paper doll world, I just love them. Back when I was a kid, I had a paper doll book called, The Victorian Cat Family. It was an amazing paper doll book with literally thousands of fantastic tiny accessories all of which I painstakingly cut out.

Oh, the memories… Still love that book.

Anyway, I’m not the greatest artist when it comes to non-clothing items, but I try to spice things up with parasols, hats and shoes. Part of the fun of hats is that they change up an outfit. Also, I just love love love drawing paper doll shoes.

(Yes, I realize that is a kinda quirky thing to love. No, I am not ashamed.)

If you missed Monday, you might need a doll to wear theses fun shoes. Here’s Monica all ready for her neo-Victorian wardrobe.

A 1300s Fashion Paper Doll

1300s-historical-paper-doll-logo Once again, we are dabbling in the 1300s with today’s paper doll. There’s no new sources for this one, so if you want to know what I referenced, than I would recommend returning to my last paper doll of the 1300s with a sources list at the bottom.

One of my goals for 2016 was to draw ten historical paper dolls. I confess I am far from achieving that goal and we’re halfway though the year (nearly), so I seriously need to get my act together on this one. So, my goal for the next few days is to buckle down and get some drawing, scanning and finishing done.

We’ll see how that goes.

I have a few days off work and I always start these things with a long list of “goals”, but I fear my plans are often larger than my capacity. Still, I’m out of backlog and nothing is as good as an artist motivation as desperation.

A 1300s fashion paper doll coloring page with a five piece wardrobe. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Picking out colors wasn’t very hard, since I seem to always come back to the same ones when it comes to the 1300s. I blame it on medieval manuscripts I have seen. I always think of the 14th century was being red and blue and gold.

Sterotypical, perhaps, but none the less. There we are.

A 1300s fashion paper doll with a five piece wardrobe. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Between my new 1300s Buxom and Bodacious paper doll, my viking paper doll, and my Cranach paper doll, we’re starting to get a pretty nice set of early Western Fashions. I keep promising myself I’ll do one from a decade of the 19th century, but I can’t pick one. So, 19th century B&B series suggestions would be welcomed.

Lastly, I hope everyone has a delightful week.

Poppet’s in Spring Time

logo-poppet-spring-playtime So, I wasn’t going to post this today. I was going to post it later, but then I was complaining about how I didn’t know what to write.

And he said, “Do you have anything ready?”

And I said, “Well, I have some poppets, but I said I was only going to post paper dolls on Monday..”

And he said, “Do you really think anyone will mind an extra paper doll?”

And I was like, “You make a good point, honey.”

And here we are.

So, it’s not a Monday, but here’s a paper doll anyway!

A colorful set of paper doll clothing for the Poppets! A dress, blouse, shoes, pants and a skirt, plus some fun toys. Free to print from paperthinprsonas.com. A colorful set of paper doll clothing for the Poppets! A dress, blouse, shoes, pants and a skirt, plus some fun toys in black and white. Free to print and color from paperthinprsonas.com.

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These outfit pieces are in the same color scheme as Paradisea and Petal, so they cam mix and match with those girls wardrobes. The toys in this set are all based on two designs from Abby Glassenberg and are used with her permission.

I am somewhat embarassed to admit that I think I drafted this set at least a year ago. Possibly 2 years… either way, its finally up now. 🙂

Sometimes I am slow on these things. Don’t judge me!

I am hoping beyond hope that I can get out my sewing machine, but I’ll need to do some cutting first, so I don’t know if I am ready to sew. The truth is that very little sewing is actually “sewing” and a lot is “prepping”.

But this time I am going to make something I can post here in progress rather than have to wait until it is done.

Anyone else have fun plans for the weekend? Or want to say what they think about the paper doll? Drop me a comment.

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.

Nautical Summer: Paper Doll Clothing

logo-poppet-nautical One of the challenges of the Poppets is coming up with ideas, because contemporary children’s clothing is strangely the same as contemporary adult clothing, just shrunk down. (I could go into a while childhood studies discussion of this, but let’s not.) I however think that kids should look like kids, not like mini-adults and therefore I tend towards old-fashioned kids clothing. The Poppets, being children’s dolls, also get semi-old fashioned kids clothes. What can I say? My paper doll clothing tends to reflect my interests.

Something about warm weather always gets me thinking about the seashore. Today it was 80 degrees outside! Spring has come to Alabama and while I don’t dislike winter, I love Spring and Fall in my adopted state. It’s warm enough to go outside without a jacket and not yet so warm that I don’t want to go outside, becuase it’s over 90 degrees and 80% humidity. In honor of Spring, I decided to post nautical paper doll clothing.

A set of nautical inspired paper doll clothes for the Poppet paper doll series. Also available in black and white from paperthinpersonas.com. A set of nautical inspired printable paper doll clothes for the Poppet paper doll series. Also available in color from paperthinpersonas.com.

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This whole set was inspired by this wonderful Whale fabric I found on Pinterest. I have a whole board devoted to patterns and I use it to collect inspiring pieces of fabric, wall paper or carpets that I see. Anyway, I saw that whale and I thought, “I bet that would make a cute motif for a t-shirt.”

Of course, by the time I was done it looked a lot different than the one on the fabric, but that was my inspiration for the top.

It’s always amazing to me what things can inspired other things. 🙂

So, I was trying to print some of these out to send to a friend and I discovered that on a Windows machine, Adobe’s fit to page works totally different than on a Mac. I couldn’t just move the image over to fit in the printable space. It was very annoying.

Since these guys are sized to print out as a half page, because I originally conceived of one day putting them into booklet format, the placement of the image really does matter. To fix this problem, I stick a one inch white border around the PDF.

If you’ve always been printing them as a 5 by 8, this might not matter. However, if you have been printing them as a larger scale, this might matter for fit purposes.

Let me know if anyone hates this and I’ll decide if I can come up with a better solution that doesn’t require me re-doing the whole series.

Tea & Ruching: A Fantasy Princess Paper Doll

Another one of my princess paper dolls, today we have an African princess with two fantasy gowns and lots of accessories. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.comAs I mentioned when I posted the black and white version of this princess paper doll last week, rarely can I look back and share several stages of paper doll creation. From the sketchbook stage to the coloring stage. There’s a sort of allusion that I think is common in blogging. It’s always presented as current, as immediate.

Sort of the “I just threw together this perfect brunch for my family on Tuesday and I wanted to share it with you all” idea. The truth is that while sometimes I work against the wire- barely have the paper doll done before I post it- I think most people understand that generally there’s a long wait between idea, rough sketches, final sketches and posted paper doll.

So, as you all probably know, I love drawing princess paper dolls. It’s an excuse to let out my girly side and create fluffy over the top dresses around whatever themes strike my fancy. For this princess set, I wanted to use some of the motifs and styles of African wax print fabrics.

An elegant princess paper doll inspired by African wax print fabrics. She's got two fantasy gowns and lots of fun accessories. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Originally, I have conceived of a pink, green and purple color scheme, but it really didn’t work in practice. So, back on Pinterest, I selected this wax print fabric to be my basis for my colors. The orange, red, blues and yellow color scheme seemed like a lovely change of pace from the pinks and purples that are generally associated with princess paper dolls. Plus the white really lightened up the outfit.

I’ve decided her white shoes are a sign of wealth, because can you imagine trying to keep white shoes white? I mean, I don’t own any for that exact reason.

Now, if you’re thinking, but she needs more clothes… Than I recommend considering borrowing gowns from the Yellow Princess, Rose Ballgowns or Garden Ballgowns. All those sets share the big-skirted look of today’s princess paper doll.

Thoughts on today’s princess paper doll? Feel free to leave a comment. Also, on Friday, there will be Elves!

At the Seaside: 1890s Paper Doll Children’s Clothes

Poppet logo. 1890s historical paper doll children's clothes. First of all, Merry Christmas to anyone who celebrates. Today we have a completely non-thematic set of paper doll clothes. 🙂 This is what happens to me at the end of the year. I’m just all about getting the stuff I have done posted, so today we have some 1890s beachwear for the Poppets with a sailor suit and a swim suit.

Sailor suits were very popular in the 1890s and they were worn by all different ages of children (and some adults). You can find examples all over the place if you happen to be looking. I used the book Children’s Fashions, 1860–1912: 1,065 Costume Designs from “La Mode Illustree” which happens to be out of print, but is a great resource. Both the swimming costume and the sailor suit come from the illustrations in this book.

One of the interesting things about sailor suits is that they didn’t change in style much. Here is an example from La Semaine De Suzette in 1908. (La Semaine De Suzette was a French children’s magazine that published sewing patterns for the doll Bleuette through out its many year run. There are passionate collectors of the dolls who make the wonderful patterns. Someday I would love to do a paper doll of some of the amazing Bleuette patterns.) Some more examples from various eras include this sailor suit from the 1920s, a magazine illustration from 1890 and an extant example from 1905. Clearly, the sailor suit stuck around for a long while, making them a great subject for paper doll clothes.

A set of 1890s paper doll clothes for the Poppet printable paper doll series. Free to print in color from Paperthinpersonas.com A set of 1890s paper doll clothes for the Poppet printable paper doll series. Free to print from Paperthinpersonas.com

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Our paper doll’s swimsuit is also from Children’s Fashions, 1860–1912: 1,065 Costume Designs from “La Mode Illustree”. Swimsuits in this era never look like they would be very comfortable or easy to swim in to me. Still I liked the little ruffles on the sleeves.

Posey is the paper doll modeling today’s 1890s outfits, but Peach probably has the most historical hair style of the bunch with her curls.

I hope everyone is having a Merry Christmas with family or not, as you prefer. 🙂

Lillies & Birds: Fantasy Printable Paper Doll

lilliesandbirds-logo-colorEvery paper doll set tells a story. As a kid, I remember I would tell all sorts of stories with my paper dolls. Some of them were the actual stories of the paper dolls- like Little Women or Cinderella. Far more often, I would design my own stories to be told with the paper dolls.

Now that I’m an adult, or so people tell me, my paper dolls don’t have the same sorts of stories. They do, however, often have worlds that I imagine they come from. In the case of today’s Margot paper doll, I imagine she comes from a pseudo-victorian world with her button up boots and her hats.

Speaking of hats, it was really important to me that either hat could be worn with either dress. Don’t get me wrong- the feathered hat was designed to match the bird-dress and the lily hat goes with the lily dress, but if you were feeling rebellious and wanted to put the feathered hat with the lily dress than I won’t stop you.

Live dangerously.

Anyway, as for her blue hair, I confess that as a total whim. I was coloring her and I thought, I should give her blue hair. So, I did.lilliesandbirds-princess-paper-doll-color

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I am actually quite pleased how the blue hair came out. I think it’s fun and unexpected.

I’ve always wanted to dye my hair blue, but I fear I am long past the point in my work life where I could get away with blue hair. Plus my hair goes down to my waist, so if I dye it than I have to live with it for a long long time.

So, we are cruising into December (so exciting!), there’s going to be fun things on the horizon and some announcements. The Pixie paper doll series is retiring and will be replaced by a new series. Lots of fun & crazy stuff.

Thoughts? As usual, I love to hear what you think about the paper doll or anything else in the comments.