Hazel Visits the 1940s: Afternoon Dress from 1940


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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!

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.

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.

Hazel Visit’s the 1940s: The Doll and Her First Dress


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Hazel- a paper doll and her 1940s afternoon dress. She's the first in a series for 1940s paper dolls.

May I be honest with y’all? I like y’all, so I feel I can be honest.

I have been super busy in the last few days looking for an apartment. I have finally found a spot I like and am now starting to pack. So, during the chaos, I have fallen back on the Mini-Maidens. Frankly, they are the only series I can scan and prep in just one night.

I mean, I’d like to say I did this for purely artist reasons, but really it was a mental health decision.

Plus, I printed out some images from the 1940s as source material weeks ago and I decided to get the darn paper doll set done.

Anyway, today we have Hazel, one of the Mini-Maidens. She’ll be getting an early 1940s wardrobe. Because nothing says, stress relief like a 1940s fashion paper doll, am I right?

Why the early 1940s? Because the styles changed dramatically after World War 2. I wanted to look at the fashions for the first part of the decade, except for one purse that slipped in accidentally. You can check it out come Thursday where there will be an Accessory Thursday post. I know that will make some of you happy.

So, Hazel here has one dress for today. It’s based on this uncredited image from a magazine from 1940 that I found in the New York Public Library Digital Collections. I did my best on the hat, but I’ll openly confess that I am not totally pleased with how it came out. Still, you can’t please all the people all the time or even one artist most of the time. I struggle with hats, but I won’t get better if I don’t practice.

Thoughts on the 1940s? Is it an era you like? Or hate? I find people seem to be pretty adamant about this decade one way or the other.

1930’s Historical Fashion Paper Doll With Maeghan

1930s-summer-logo Over the years, I have made several other paper dolls of the 1930s, but never a Marisole Monday & Friend’s set, so it seems fitting to rectify that in my goal of 10 historical paper dolls this year. Meaghan is modeling this set, though I’m sure she’d be happy to share with Mia, Monica, Marisole, or Margot.

The 1930s introduced beach pajamas for women, so Meaghan has a set of those with a striped sweater. Other trends of the era include bias cut evening dresses, of which she also has one. And no lady could leave her house without a fashionable hat and gloves, of course. Shoes wise, she has sandals, since this is a summer set and she needs sandals.

Whenever I see vintage fashions and I am jealous of them, I am reminded that I rather wouldn’t want to wear hats and gloves all the time.

A paper doll coloring page celebrating the 1930s with a five piece wardrobe, hats and accessories. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Originally, I was planning a red, white and blue sort of nautical color scheme, but I didn’t like the idea of it once I actually started coloring. Once I was in the midst of the coloring, I decided to go with a coral, yellow and pale blue scheme. The colors are summery and bright.

There is no black at all in the set, I chose white as my neutral color instead. Something about white just screams summer to me.

A printable paper doll celebrating the 1930s with a five piece wardrobe, hats and accessories. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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This is normally where I put down a list of sources. I confess that I drew these dresses so long ago, that I simply can not recall all of them.

I remember two inspirations though. This post from Wearing History from 1936 and this pattern cover from 1934.

I’ve only done two other historical paper dolls this year and so I need to get on the ball with that one, huh?

And I need your help…

What series should I post next week?

  • Mini-Maiden (51%, 59 Votes)
  • Sprites (23%, 26 Votes)
  • Buxom & Bodacious (13%, 15 Votes)
  • Poppet (7%, 8 Votes)
  • Ms. Mannequin (6%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 115

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A 1960s Paper Doll to Color Featuring Isadora

Mini Maidens Logo IsadoraI have, over the years, created a lot of paper doll sets and I just couldn’t believe I’ve only done one 1960s paper doll and I haven’t felt comfortable calling her historical, because I can’t verify my sources on her. So, here’s another one, giving me two 1960s paper dolls.

Let’s talk sources, since that’s what divides “historical” paper dolls from “inspired by” paper dolls. (At least that’s my standard today, I haven’t always been SO militant about it.)

The dresses for this paper doll set were drawn based on this image and this image both of which are Creators Studios fashion illustrations from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.  Two of the other dresses were based on pattern covers from McCalls in 1965 and Simplicity in 1965. Ankle boots from the V&A dated 1967.

Another of the dresses is an André Courrèges mini-dresses from 1965 thanks to the FIDM Museum Blog which is totally my favorite museum blog. Is that bad? Am I allowed to have a favorite? Cause I totally do.

I swear I had a reference for her other boots and her pants and matching top, but I’ll be darned if I can find them… So, I’ll add them if I track them down.

One of my 1960s paper dolls, Isadora is rocking a mod wardrobe of 11 pieces. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com

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So, can I confess that I tend to get Isadora and Hazel confused? I totally do. And so as I was working on this post, I actually had it labeled as Hazel for a few hours before I realized that I wasn’t looking at Hazel.

How embarrassing!

Today’s 1960s paper doll was a request from one of my Patrons. (Want to join?) At the end of 2015, I sent a private survey to all my Patrons asking for ideas for 2016. It was anonymous, so I don’t know who put down 1960s, but I do confess it made me realize I’d done very few 1960s paper dolls.

And that was easy to fix!

Thoughts on Isadora and her sixties fashions?

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.

poppets-1940s-paper-doll poppets-1940s-paper-doll-bw

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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.

A 1950s Paper Doll with Some Curves

A printable paper doll with a 1950's vintage wardrobe in black and white. She has a suit, a cocktail dress and a day dress.Today’s printable paper doll has a retro flare- 1950s fashions abound. My goal was to make ten Buxom and Bodacious paper dolls before the end of 2015. I’m going to be honest, I don’t know right now if I’ll make it. My other goal was to have ten historical paper dolls by the end of 2015 and I have certainly made that goal, even if I count the massive 18th century Pixie paper doll set from August as one one set and not several.

Next week I’ll have a 1940s Poppet set up. It’s very cute and I’m very excited about it.

Actually, I’m very content with where I am in blogging and life at the moment. If I can just stop thinking of January as “a long way off.”

A printable paper doll with a 1950's vintage wardrobe in black and white. She has a suit, a cocktail dress and a day dress.

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So, my sources for these 1950s paper doll dresses were this day dress from the V&A, this Dior suit from the Chicago history Museum. The cocktail dress comes from a site called Vintageous which sells vintage formal-wear. I couldn’t find the original cocktail dress, but you can see it on my 1950’s Fashion Pinterest board. My only major regret with these dresses is that I ended up with such a busy pattern on the day dress. It is reflect the original well, but I think it also obscures some of the details.

It’s okay though. Not every plan works out well.

A printable paper doll with a 1950's vintage wardrobe in black and white. She has a suit, a cocktail dress and a day dress.

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I choose to use mostly secondary colors in this set. Orange, green and purple with some dark navy and light blue thrown in for fun. I went with black for the accessories, since any well dressed lady of this era had shoes that matched her purse. I wish there was a way to fit more than one pair of shoes into these B&B sets, but alas… there really isn’t.

I was listening to West Side Story while I colored this paper doll set, so I based her skintone, hair color and eyes on a Puerto Rican friend I had in high-school.

I have a quick poll for my readers:

How would you feel about B&B sets with just clothes?

  • Wonderful idea. Clothes are better than dolls any day. (54%, 26 Votes)
  • May be. If it wasn't too often. The dolls are important too. (38%, 18 Votes)
  • Not my thing. Without dolls, who wears the clothes? (8%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 48

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As always I love to hear what you think in the comments and would appreciate your support through Patreon. 🙂

Isadora in Ruffles & Bows: Printable Paper Doll in Black and White

isadora-ruffle-logoI’ve been in this whole printable paper doll drawing thing for a while. There’s a few things I have learned and one of them is that what I like is not always what my readers like.

Now, a lot of the time I don’t care. Sorry, folks, but I draw for me first and for most. Don’t get me wrong, I love that I have active readers and every comment I get makes me smile, but if I couldn’t draw what I liked than I would go mad. Mad I tell you!

(Okay, maybe that was a little overly dramatic. 🙂 )

I mention this in direct relation to black and white paper doll sets. They are easier for me, since coloring takes time, but when I was a kid I really didn’t like to color. I know that sounds odd, but I never really “got” coloring books. They were boring. I far more wanted to draw my own stuff than color someone else’s drawing.

So, sometimes I forget that I have readers who LOVE my black and white paper dolls.

That’s part of why I created the Mini-Maiden’s series. I wanted to share with my readers something just for the black and white coloring readers that I have. I might not “get it”, but I am do enjoy drawing them and not having to color them in does make them easier to finish.

Celebrating the girly girl in all of us. Black and white paper doll with a 14 piece wardrobe.

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To bring this around to this actual post, let’s talk about Isadora. Isadora has only had three other outfit sets and none of them are contemporary. The poor girl can go to balls or fight off radioactive hordes, but she hasn’t got a decent pencil skirt. (Everyone needs a decent pencil skirt.) Well, all that ends today!

When I do contemporary sets, I like to do them in themes. So, for this set I was thinking about sweet, lady-like fashions. I wanted some delicate details like the rose pattern on the shorts and the scalloped hem on the pencil skirt. I often see these styles on the college students I work with, being that this is the South and all, so I wanted to do something of a Southern Belle. All she needs are white lace gloves and a mint-julep to sip while sitting in a white rocking chair.

Her short hair was intended to contrast with the wardrobe.

Today is Friday the 13th, if you’re the superstitious sort. I think paper dolls are good protection from such things. 🙂

By the way, speaking to my coloring readers, I know some people use simple coloring programs, but I have no ideas what they are. So, my questions are: What programs to y’all use? What file formats do those programs like? And would coloring sheets with no grey be useful?

(I’m thinking about digital paper dolls for sale right now and trying to decide what file formats to offer.)

And if you like my paper dolls, please consider supporting me through Patreon.