A Lady at Court: Printable Tudor Paper Doll

logo-tudor-bwLet me be clear here… this is not just a paper doll of the 1500s. Rather, my Margot paper doll is is showing off English Tudor dress from the mid-1500s, specifically Henrician gowns. This is an important distinction, because by the 1500s dress was highly regionalized, especially for people of wealth and status. My paper dolls nearly always have both wealth and status. (Mostly, because rich important people tend to get way cooler looking clothes.)

Both of Margot’s gowns are Henrician gowns, which are specifically gowns worn during the reign of Henry the 8th. She’s also got two french hoods (headdress A & C), one gable (or English) hood (headdress B), one pair of shoes and one set of underwear.

Please note that the underwear may not fit underneath the two gowns. I didn’t want to omit the smock from the underwear and smocks had really full sleeves that got crushed under the gowns and then were displayed through slits in the false sleeves and well… I didn’t want to deal with all that layering.

Moral of the story: She has under things. The underthings might not actually fit under things.

I should add that I knew very little about Tudor dress when I started researching this paper doll set and I am not about to claim that I have magically become an expert. I did my best to create an fairly accurate rendition of a noble woman’s garments of the 1540s through 1550s considering the restrictions of Margot’s pose.

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As always, it is very important to me to be clear about what I studied at prior to drawing this paper doll set. Tudor clothing has always been very intimidating to me, but I wanted to challenge myself. A big part of my historical paper doll set goal is drawing things which “scare me”. Tudor dresses were one of those things.

Selected Sources:

Books:

Arnold, Janet. Patterns of Fashion: Englishwomen’s Dresses & Their Construction. London: Macmillan, 1983.
Ashelford, Jane, and Andreas Einsiedel. The Art of Dress: Clothes through History, 1500-1914. London: National Trust, 1996.
Mikhaila, Ninya, and Jane Malcolm-Davies. The Tudor Tailor: Reconstructing 16th-century Dress. Hollywood, CA: Costume and Fashion, 2006.
Norris, Herbert. Tudor Costume and Fashion. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1997. (Note: Norris’ book has some problems, since it was wirrten in 1927, but it’s useful as an accompaniment for other things.)
Reynolds, Anna. In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion. London: Royal Collection Trust, 2013.

Websites:

There is a fairly large community of people who reconstruct Tudor clothing. I am always dubious of such sites, as they often lack citation (and y’all know that drives me nuts), but they can be excellent sources to corroborate primary and academic secondary documentation. As always with internet research, Caveat emptor.

Damsel in in this Dress: Tudor Kirtle and Gown from May 2014. (Accessed: March 2015)

Tudor Dress: A Portfolio of Images is clearly a product of the days of table’s on the internet, but still has good info. (Accessed: March 2015)

What did a Tudor Noble Lady Wear? is all about the layers of Tudor clothing. (Accessed: March 2015)

Elizabethan Costume Page is older, but quality. Plus there’s an old school Java paper doll game! (Accessed: March 2015)

Tudor Tailor is the website of the people who wrote the excellent book “Tudor Tailor.” Though I think the book is more useful than the website, it would be remiss of me not to mention that it does exist. (Accessed: March 2015)

Portraits:

From the National Gallery, I looked at a lot of famous portraits from Ann Boylen, late 16th Century, Queen Mary the First in minature, circa 1545, and Queen Mary the First circa 1544, Unknown Woman’s Portrait, circa 1545, Jane Dudley, circa 1600, Queen Mary the First, circa 1554 and Katherine Parr’s Portrait, circa 1545.

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s portrait collection, I looked at Lady Lee (aka: Margaret Wyatt, born about 1509) circa 1540s, Portrait of a Young Woma circa 1540-1554,
Anne de Pisseleu, Duchesse d’Étampes, circa 1535-1540, and Lady Rich (Elizabeth Jenks, died 1558) circa 1540.

There are, of course, other sources of Tudor clothing and I am sure I missed some. I don’t think this will be my last trip to the 1500s. I really want to do a more “merchant class” tudor paper doll as well.

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.

Poppet’s Visit the 18th Century… Historical Paper Doll Clothes

logo-poppet-1700s-historicalSo, today the Poppets paper doll series is traveling to the 18th century and rocking some beautiful clothes. One of the great myths of historical costume is that children in the 18th century were dressed “just like adults” and while there is some truth to the fact that children wore very similar clothing to adults, it was rarely identical. Skirt length is a common way to tell that a dress was intended for a child, rather than an adult, along with simpler lines and decorations.

Today’s 18th century outfit is based on a a gown from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her shoes come from a painting by Carl-Ludwig Christine in 1772 of two sisters. Her pocket is based on these pockets from America. Her cap is an amalgamation of about a dozen different caps from portraits and is, I confess, a little odd looking. I am not entirely pleased with it.

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One thing I do not have is a Poppet doll with proper hair for the 18th century, so I am letting Poppy model the historical dress.

Lastly, a bit of the site layout has changed. Mostly just colors, honestly, but I would love to hear what people think of the new design.

Precious in Floral Paper Doll Clothes for the Poppets

logo-poppet-floralI have actually been having more fun with my Poppets paper doll series than I ever thought I would. I am not terribly keen on paper dolls of children, but I do love paper dolls of dolls, so I have been enjoying the Poppets. Something I want to do in the future is create some historical costumes for them. I really love antique dolls with their trousseau of clothing and trunks. When I was a kid, I remember reading A Little Princess over and over again. In the book, the main character, Sarah has a doll name Emily. The part I read over and over again as a child was about Emily and her extensive wardrobe.

So perhaps when Greta’s Trousseau is finished (if it is ever finished), I will work on a similar project for the Poppets. There could be a trunk and a bunch of little dresses and then toys and… Maybe I should worry about that after I have a bit of a backlog rebuilt.

Meanwhile, today we have a historical inspired country feeling jumper and vintage inspired blouse with boots.

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The outfit was partly inspired by Irma’s wonderful paper doll Madaleena. If you haven’t read it yet, Irma is my featured artist right now, so go check out her interview and her blog when you have a chance. She does beautiful work.

Poppets Go Roccoco

poppet-princess-ruffles-logoOne of the big myths of costume history is that children were dressed like adults, but in miniature. While this is sort of true, I have yet to see a decade where there is not some, however slight, difference between children’s and adults clothing. The differences are often subtle and children were considered adults at a much younger age than we consider children adults today.

This is all by way of saying that I really wanted to make sure this fluffy dress (which has NO historical accuracy about it at all) felt like a child’s dress and not an adult’s dress. I think of the Poppets as between 8 and 10 years of age and I really hate it when I see child dolls dressed like adults, especially in historical outfits or psuedo-historical outfits.

So, to maintain the principle, I’ve shortened the skirts of her fluffy dress. See.. I have some principles (not a lot of them… but I digress.)

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Actually, I’ve been thinking about principle’s lately. If you read Liana’s interview from Friday (and if you haven’t than you really should), she talks a lot about the problems of paper doll poses and the complications of paper doll design. I think about these things when I design a paper doll as well, but I also find I think a lot about the principle of correctness. I made this principle up by the way, but for me I think it’s about the correct outfit for the correct paper doll at the correct time.

By my nature, I am scattershot personality. I tend to work on something in the grip of interest, give it up when I get bored, and then move onto something else. Paper doll designs, projects, work endevaors, whatever, all become mixed about in the messy world I exist in. If I’m reading up on women’s publishing, than somehow this filters into everything else I do. I am very envious of people who can have firm divisions in their heads between project A and project B, but I’ve never been wired that way. This means my paper dolls tend to be schizophrenic. Astronauts to mermaids all have happened over the years. I think this is sometimes the charm of PTP, but I also fear it’s a bad thing. I find I envy people like Boots who commit to a theme and then stick to it.

I can not imagine trying to limit myself like that.

Faye Visits the 1920s

logo-1920-period-paper-doll-mini-maidenFaye has decided to do a little time traveling and visit the 1920’s. I love drawing 1920s paper dolls and this one was no exception. Inspired by Anna May Wong (the first Asian-American famous film actress), I knew I wanted to use Faye, my Asian Mini-Maiden in this set.

(I did not give Faye Anna May’s wonderful bangs because every time I tried to draw them they looked… off somehow. Bangs and I just don’t always get along.)

Faye has shoes, stockings, a girdle, a house dress, two day dresses and then a swimsuit. She should probably also have a swimming cap, but I didn’t really think about that until after I finished the set and then it was too late. But she’s got a pretty good set of 1920s clothing to print and color, I think.

Oh well…

I really had fun with this set since I just bought a few more books about 1920’s clothing and wanted an excuse to play with them.


Inspired by Asian-American actress Anna May Wong, here's a black and white printable Asian paper doll with a 1920s wardrobe to print and color. She's free from paperthinpersonas.com.

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I’m trying to give more information on where I do my costume research when I say something is historically accurate, so I’m including a sources list, in case anyone else wants to dabble in the 1920s. It’s not exhaustive. There’s some other great books out there, just what I happened to use for this set and have on my own shelves at home.

A Few Sources for 1920’s Fashion History

1920s Fashions from B. Altman & Company. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1999.
Atelier Bachwitz. Classic French Fashions of the Twenties. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2012.
Blum, Stella. Everyday Fashions of the Twenties as Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs. New York: Dover Publications, 1981.
Lussier, Suzanne. Art Deco Fashion. Boston: Bulfinch/AOL Time Warner Book Group, 2003.
Peacock, John. 20th-century Fashion: The Complete Sourcebook. London: Thames and Hudson, 1993.

Do people find this idea of sources lists useful? I don’t want to do them all the time, but for my historical stuff I thought it might be helpful for folks. Thoughts from my fabulous readers?

Happy Valentine’s Day! From the Poppets

poppets-logo-valentinesHappy Valentine’s Day everyone!

This holiday totally snuck up on me. I kept thinking… I have time before I need to worry about a Valentine’s Day paper doll and then I turned around and it was here.

I’ve done other Valentine’s Day paper dolls over the years, and this year I wanted to do a Poppet Valentine’s Day paper doll (partly because I ran low on time and it was easy). I like only having to draw one paper doll outfit rather than several. It’s very liberating.

I have fond memories of Valentine’s Day in Elementary school when my mother would insist we hand make the Valentines and I’d get to play with glitter and dollies and red construction paper.

As I got older, Valentine’s Day became one of my least favorite holidays in the real world. I’ve had a series of rather horrible Valentine’s Days over the years, but I am looking forward to a quiet night this year. That seems like the ideal way to spend Valentine’s Day to me. Meanwhile, enjoy the paper doll.

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Plus, I ain’t gonna lie… I love the polka-dot tights. They’re some of my favorites.