Introducing 1940s Week: Beatrix, Her 1940s Underwear and Shoes

A printable paper doll in black and white and in color with 1940s period underwear and four pairs of shoes. The paper doll is a young black woman with period 1940s underwear, shoes and hair. She has three other pairs of shoes to wear.

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So, one thing I’ve kinda missed doing were theme weeks. So this week is all 1940s! We’re starting with a 1940s paper doll in this version of Beatrix, wearing a girdle and bra and with her four pairs of shoes. Wednesday and Friday will be 1940s dresses to go with Beatrix.

When I asked last week what people wanted to know more about, a lot of folks here and on the Patreon page said inspirations and sources. So, let’s start with Beatrix, her Hollywood inspired hair and 1940s underwear. I own several books on historical hair, but none of them discuss black hair styles. In fact, I don’t know of one that does (does anyone know of one?)

So, I went to look for the hairstyles of Hollywood black actresses of the time, as Hollywood was a leader in fashion during this era. I settled on this image of Theresa Harris. The still is from the 1948 thriller, “The Velvet Touch.” I don’t know much about Harris, except what I read on her Wikipedia page. She sounds like a strong interesting woman.

The paper doll’s 1940s underwear is based on a set sold from Sears in 1947. I used the Dover book, Everyday Fashions of the Forties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs. I chose this underwear to draw because I could draw the paper doll pants, someday. Most girdles I saw would not have made pants very viable and pants were finally coming into their own in the 1940s.

The paper doll’s shoes are all from various museums. She is wearing this pair from Gucci at The Met. And from top to bottom, she has a pair from 1942 from the V&A, a pair from the 1940s also from the V&A and a pair from 1942 from The Met. I tried to chose shoes that were interesting, but also typical from the period. You can see a bunch more shoes from my 1940s Fashion on Pinterest.

Any further questions? Let me know in a comment. I always like hearing from you guys.

Need a clothing for today’s paper doll? All the B Pose Dolls & Clothing.

Benedita: The 1930s Paper Doll Version

A beautiful 1930s printable paper doll with black hair and period underwear. She has stockings and four different pairs of shoes. Free to print in color or in black and white for coloring.

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On Monday, I posted some 1930s dresses, but paper doll dresses aren’t much use without a 1930s paper doll to wear them. So, here is Benedita, being a 1930s paper doll today! Never has the “dames” title for this printable paper doll collection been more fitting.

Benedita’s 1930s corset was based on this one from The Met. The original corset has a ruffle at the bottom. I had drawn it that way, at first, but to make the slim skirts of the 1930s work over the ruffle was basically impossible, so through the Power of Photoshop, the ruffle went away. Sometimes, paper doll creation requires editing changes, because fabric can fold and paper… doesn’t.

The shoes all came from 1930s shoes in different museums. I love 1930s shoes, but I wanted to try to focus on classic designs that would be versatile for different outfits. Her brown shoes, for example, were based on this pair of purple shoes from Saks Fifth Avenue crica 1934. Her green shoes are a simplified version of this patterned pair from 1935. Her beige and black pair were based on this pair of French sandals. The black pair of the doll is wearing come from this pair of shoes, which is also black.

And yes, today’s 1930s paper doll is wearing shoes. Why? Because I thought it would be easier to put her in shoes than deal with the fact that she can’t be barefoot (she’s wearing stockings) and I didn’t want to deal with the whole “toes under stockings” thing. So, the solution? A nice neutral pair of black shoes.

(And you can always put something over them, if you think she would secretly like to be a fantasy warrior or something.)

Now, just like my 18th Century Alice, 1930s Benedita can’t wear all the clothing I’ve ever drawn for the B Pose paper dolls without her underthings showing. So, if she does decide she wants to go slay a dragon in this ridiculous get up, than she may need need to be okay with her corset showing. Or you can always cut her head off and paste it onto another Benedita’s body. It’s a little gruesome, but no one will judge a bit of paper doll decapitation.

Love her? Hate her? Have an opinion on what decade I should do next? Let me know in a comment!

Need a clothing for today’s Doll? All the B Pose Dolls & Clothing

Alice Goes to the 18th Century

A paper doll with 18th century underwear including a shift, stays, pocket, hoops and shoes. She's free to print in black and white or in color from paperthinpersonas.com. Great for homeschooling history lessons about women's fashion through time.

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I love costume history  and the 18th century is a favorite era of mine. I wanted to design an 18th century paper doll and I chose Alice as the model. Because of the paper doll’s historic underwear, she won’t be able to wear all the A Pose clothing. I made the decision that I was more concerned with having period underwear than with having versatility. 

So, what underwear is she wearing? Well, Alice is wearing a shift, a strapless set of stays (like these or these) and has a pocket tied around her waist (like this or this). She also has a separate set of hoops. I based them on this set of hoops from LACMA. Hoops were only worn with the most formal of gowns in the 18th century, so they won’t fit under all the 18th century paper doll gowns I ever draw.

If you look at enough pairs of mid-18th century shoes, they do start to flow together at after a while. I could literally link to dozens that are in the same basic style as Alice’s brown shoes, her red shoes and blue shoes with pattens. Here is one example, here is another and here is another. The differences come from the shape of the toe and the heel.

By the 1780s, other styles were coming into fashion. So, her brocade shoes are based on this pair from 1785 from Historic New England. By the 1790s, shoes that look more like modern kitten heels had taken over like this pair.

Her blue shoes have attached pattens, which were leather and wood oversoles meant to protect the shoes from the muck and mud. This set was my main inspiration, but here is another example of the same idea.

Historic hairstyles are a challenge for me every time. I’m still learning enough to illustrate them properly, but for today’s 18th century paper doll I really wanted to draw something that was as not too over the top. I used my historic hair style books and portraits, including this one, this one and this one. I could have gone gray with her hair, but I just didn’t really like how it looked.

Wednesday, there will be a gown for today’s 18th century paper doll version of Alice.

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

A New 1920s Poppet Printable Paper Doll


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Children’s Fashions 1900-1950 As Pictured in Sears Catalogs
A paper doll of the Poppet series with brown skin, black hair and brown eyes. She has a 1920s set of underwear and two pairs of shoes.Today’s paper doll is a new addition to the 1920s Children’s Wardrobe Collection. My love of 1920s fashion is pretty well documented on the blog, just check out the 1920s tag.

So, for the last year, I’ve been drawing a lot of 1920s children’s clothing. The late 1920s to the early 1930s are perhaps my favorite era in the 20th century. None of the looks would look decent on me, but I adore them.

So far, I’ve drawn 5 dresses for the Poppet’s paper dolls 1920s Children’s Wardrobe Collection. It seemed high time that I added another new doll to the project. So, now my Louise Brooks clone paper doll has a friend.

Along with her shoes, today’s Poppet paper doll to print has a pair of combinations based on several different sets I’ve seen. I drew her so long ago, that I confess I’m not certain about my sources.

So, this may be a 1920s experience in feel, more than a precise act of historical research.

Anyway, I super hope you enjoy her and I really think she’d pretty cute. I’ve got a few more 1920s pieces drawn before I need to work on more. And there will be more.

Need a some clothing for today’s Poppet paper doll? Pick Out Some Clothing Here.

A 1920s Poppet Paper Doll to Print and Play With


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:1920s Children’s Clothing & Frannie Fisher on PBS
A 1920s paper doll with underwear and two pairs of shoes. Part of the Poppet printable paper doll collection from paperthinpersonas.com.

A paper doll coloring page to print with underwear and two pairs of shoes based on 1920s clothing. Free printable in black and white to color from paperthinpersonas.com.

So, with all the 1920s paper doll clothing I have been drawing lately, it seemed dumb not to have a 1920s Poppet paper doll to wear it. This is the first of what I hope will end up being two or three 1920s Poppet dolls, but for now I am calling one a victory.

I am also a huge Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries on PBS fan and it seemed to me that the best 1920s doll would be one with Phryne Fisher’s coloring which means dark hair and pale skin. This was very fashionable look for women of the 1920s thanks to the movie star Louise Brooks. The paper dolls hair is based on Louise Brooks.

I gave our 1920s paper doll a period slip with attached drawers and lace accents. I also wanted to give her two pairs of shoes to wear with any of the 1920s collection dresses or any of the other Poppet clothing. She has the same skintone as Poppy, Paradisea and my Vintage 1950s one.

Her side-glancing eyes are a nod to Lenci dolls, one of my favorite doll companies of this era.

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

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.

Edwardian Mia: The Paper Doll and Her Underwear


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An Asian American paper doll with a set of Edwardian underwear. Also available in black and white for coloring from paperthinpersonas.com.

I was trying to decide which of the Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper dolls would model this series of Edwardian dresses and I settled on Mia.

I was inspired to use her as the model when I found this wonderful photograph of an Asian woman, just called Alice, wearing a suit from probably the 1890s or early 1900s.

Today, Mia gets just a set of Edwardian underwear and, I confess, not even a complete set. Women in this era wore, in order, a chemise and drawers, or a combination, under a corset. Over the corset, she would have worn a corset cover and over that a petticoat. I decided to just show her corset cover and petticoat, thereby skipping a few layers. Seriously, ladies in this era wore a lot of underwear!

I based her underwear on this page from a catalog from 1902-1903. Her hair is the best I could do trying to draw a Gibson girl kinda bun like these. Drawing Gibson girl buns is clearly not my strength.

Though out the week I’ll be posting outfits for Mia and accessories on Thursday (as usual). I hope you all enjoy this little foray into the first decade of the 1900s.

By the way, if you love the blog, consider becoming a patron. It’s really appreciated.

So, my question for all of you is, what to you think of this week’s theme?

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


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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.

An 1830s Historical Paper Doll Coloring Page Featuring Greta

1830s-greta-logo The 1830s is an era of Western fashion that I have generally found mystifying. Poke bonnets, giant sleeves, caplets are all features of this era of historical dress and none of them have ever really appealed that deeply.

And yet, I am nothing if not someone who like to learn about stuff and sometimes I try to challenge myself. I want to embrace periods of fashion that I don’t really like all that much and so I found myself deciding that this year, I was going to try out the Romantic period.

I would, I told myself, draw a paper doll with 1830s fashions and I would enjoy it!

(Or at least not totally hate it.)

The 1830s are an interesting time fashion wise though. The introduction of the metal eyelet in 1828 means that the 1830s are the first era when corsets were really capable of being laced terribly tightly (metal eyelets can take a lot more stress than handsewn ones) and to make matters more interesting, vulcanized rubber was used in clothing as well for the first time in the 1830s. Innovations all around.

The cage carioline which was used to support skirts in the 1860s doesn’t exist yet, so skirts are held out with horse hair petticoats and horsehair sewn in the hems. That means the silhouette isn’t as full as it would become in a few decades.

A historical fashion coloring page featuring a paper doll and her 1830s wardrobe. Exclusive to paperthinpersonas.com

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All right, so Greta, the paper doll modeling these 1830s outfits has a full set of underwear from this era which includes a chemise, corset, petticoat and sleeve supports. In order to fill out huge leg-o-mutton sleeves of the era, women used a variety of sleeve supports of various sizes. I made hers small so the underwear could easily layer.

She has two dresses. A day dress based on this garment and a ballgown. I swear the ballgown is based on something, but try as I might, I just couldn’t find the reference image I used. So… Trust me? Greta also had a poke bonnet and some false hair styled in the Apollo Knot style.

Women in the 1830s went a little nuts in the hair department. See this fashion plate and you know what I mean.

I hope everyone enjoys this little foray into the 1830s. This is an era I should stick around with? Drop me a comment and let me know!

Also, I am looking for questions to answer in a video about inking paper dolls. So, if you have a question that you’ve always wanted answered, put it in the comments. 🙂

Smart Winter Clothes: 1940s Printable Paper Doll Clothes

poppet-1940s-logoThere aren’t a lot of really good books on historical children’s clothing. I know I’ve mentioned before my pet-peeve of people making the assumption that “children dressed like adults” which is a huge over simplification of the history of childhood.

For this 1940’s outfit, I used Children’s Fashions 1900-1950 As Pictured in Sears Catalogs. The book is out of print, which I think is a pity, since it is one of the few fashion history books that specifically focuses on children’s dress. There are a few others, but this is one of my favorites.

The original dress was patterned, but I worried if I added a pattern I would lose the heart shaped pocket details and the pleats, so I went patternless. Sometimes I think busy patterns obscure some of the more interesting design details.

I stuck with simple underwear- just a pair of panties- and shoes with socks. Mary-Janes are my favorites in any era. There would probably be a slip worn under this dress, but it didn’t occur to me to draw one until later, so we’re going slipless.

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The color scheme I think came from a catalog page, but now I can’t find it. I usually save these things on Pinterest, but alas. So, you’ll just have to trust me on this one. Both these garments are from the early part of the decade before World War Two. Once the war starts, things like pleated skirts are largely out of the picture due to fabric rationing. However, before the war, they are very much in style.

For those of you who might be curious, Petunia is modeling our 1940s outfit.

So, I hope everyone in the US had a fantastic Thanksgiving. I made pie! Everything’s better with pie. After nearly a decade, I think I have finally mastered my mother’s pie crust recipe. I still think she makes better pie than me. There is something about the pie made by family. Nothing is ever as good.

As usual, I always love to hear from readers in the comments. And if you like the paper dolls, please consider supporting PTP through Patreon.