Sewing the Seventies… A Paper Doll For Jo

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll This is the paper doll set I abandoned last week and instead posted the doodles. I am so happy I gave it another week to be refined. Jo was one of the two winners of my drawing in January. She asked for a “groovy” late 60s early 1970s Marisole paper doll based on pattern covers from patterns she actually had sewn at the time. How cool is that?

You can see a PDF of the pattern covers Jo sent me here. I loved all of the pattern covers and I wish I had been able to draw them all, but, of course, that would be way more than a one page paper doll.

Normally, I do two pairs of shoes for each Marisole and friends set, but I wanted to focus on things the patterns had, so a simple pair of clogs did the trick. Tiny calicos were the “in” thing in the 70′s, so I created some to decorate these groovy outfits using a new method that I’m experimenting with involving Photoshops pattern making tools.

I did a new Marisole paper doll face for this set, because I wanted to try to capture some of the whimsy of the pattern cover’s faces. I don’t think I did a good job of that, but I did have fun. Jo asked for bangs and brown hair, or I would have given into the temptation and tried to do Farrah hair.

(Okay, I did try. I confess. It came out… weird looking.)

{Click Here for a PDF of Sewing the Seventies in Color} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG of Sewing the Seventies in Color}{Click Here for a PDF of Sewing the Seventies in Black and White} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG of Sewing the Seventies in Black and White}

I had so much fun dabbling in the 1970s, especially since I’m not very familiar with the clothes of this era. So, fans who remember the 1970s… how did I do?

Marisole Vintage Evening Gowns In Colors…

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll Last week, I posted this paper doll set in black and white for coloring. I promised I would talk a little about each of the gowns and where they came from.

I need to learn to streamline my method for dealing with elaborate florals, or I need to never do one ever again. Normally coloring a paper doll set takes about 2 to 4 hours, at most. Sometimes longer, but only if I take a lot of breaks and am doing a lot of other stuff. If I have my colors picked out and I’m on a roll, I can do the set in about an hour when I’m really on the ball, though formatting, saving and other detail work takes longer. That single floral dress took me nearly an hour, by itself, to color. NEVER AGAIN.

(I say that and I’m already thinking of other cool florals I might draw… I have a problem, people.)

Okay, so here’s the paper doll in full color:


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll
{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Marisole Monday & Friends Printable Paper Dolls}

Let’s talk about where each gown came from. The floral gown, the blue gown and the red gown are all from the V&A in London.

The blue gown is based on this red dress from 1957. The red evening dress was drawn from this evening gown by Hardy Amies was made right after fabric rationing was lifted in England (1949), so lacks the layers of lace and silk that were common in evening gowns on this period. I love the simplicity and shape of the dress. The last dress from the V&A is my favorite, the floral evening gown made in Paris and worn by the wife of the British Ambassador. I tried, but I don’t think I captured the beauty of the rose patterned skirt and layered bodice.

The last pink dress comes from The Met, known as “Tree” this gown was designed by Charles James. Of all of the gowns I drew, I feel like this one didn’t work. My style of flat color just can’t capture the layering of the gowns beautiful fabric. Liana did a beautiful version of Charles james Butterfly dress on her blog several years ago which I think captures his work better than I did here.

Okay, that’s everything. Happy MLK Day to those in the US who are celebrating like me.

Marisole Monday in Vintage Gowns

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll Nearly a year ago, I was asked to draw a paper doll of 1950s evening gowns.

Initially, I didn’t do it, because I couldn’t find any 1950′s evening gowns that I liked. Eventually I felt guilty enough to check out the V&A and the Met, both have strong collections from the 1950s.

I told the requester that I was working on the paper doll and asked what the hair should look like. The immediate answer was, “Like Mine.”

“Well,” I said, “Micro-braids with streaks weren’t really a thing in 1950 something, but okay. If that’s what you want…”

So, we have Marisole here, rocking her micro-braids with some couture 1950′s evening gowns to show off. As inspired by Liana’s comment a few days ago about stories, I offer the following scenario to justify this strange juxtaposition:

    Marisole, working as the fashion editor of a major publication, has been invited to the Met’s annual gala whose theme, this year, is the designers of the 1950s. Eager to make an impression on the red carpet, she’s choosen to wear a vintage gown from the period. I am sure she will be the hit of the party when she arrives. :)

By the way, in a totally unrelated note, that floral pattern on the full skirted gown was the most complicated floral pattern I have ever done. I’ll rant more about coloring next week when I post the colored version. All I have to say is that normally, a paper doll takes me four to six hours to color, layout and get set up for blog. This paper doll… took longer. Much Longer.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll
{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Marisole Monday & Friends Printable Paper Dolls}

I will talk about the sources for each gown next week when I post it in color.

Also, my little drawing/contest is open until midnight on the 15th. Feel free to enter.

Shadow and Light Paper Doll Number 28… Inspired by The Avengers…

Shadow and Light Printable Paper Doll Logo So, this printable paper doll set was inspired by the Avengers. Not the Marvel comic book ones, but the original Avengers from the sixties by BBC. I got into that show because a high-school friend’s mother was totally into it. I thought that Emma Peel was the most elegant woman I’d ever seen. Actually, I still kinda think that.

Also, who doesn’t love 1960′s inspired jumpsuits?

I have to confess that I am neither pleased with how the “logo” image looks nor am I entirely pleased with her hair, but life is short and I wanted to get her posted up into the world. I am trying hard to end the year a little more on track that I was last year, so that means getting my paper doll life organized.

What I don’t want to do is end the year with a lot of random old scans cluttering up my folders. I have scans from years ago that I’ve never finished or posted and they sort of stare at me every time I open the folder with guilt inducing looks.

“Why haven’t you posted us?” They ask.

Nothing is worse than being guilt tripped by your own artwork.

Printable paper doll inspired by the Avengers 1960's British TV Show

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

By the way, if anyone is thinking of starting a blog, I think that While She Naps (A blog I like about sewing stuffed toys which I don’t do, but someday I might… okay, probably not, but I still like her blog) did a wonderful post I recently stumbled across called Nine Reasons Why You Should Have A Blog. One piece of her advice I need to learn to accept better is… It’s okay if a blog evolves. I have trouble with letting my blog evolve. I need to get more accepting of the idea that evolution is natural.

Have something to tell me? Feel free to leave me a comment.

The 27th Shadow and Light Printable Paper Doll

Thumbnail link image {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

Wow, it has been a long time since I’ve done one of these paper dolls and I have missed them.

I developed drawing in this style in college, because I admired the work of many wonderful comic book artists. As I got more concerned with the playability of the paper dolls rather than what I thought was artistic merit, I largely abandoned it for paper doll work and went back to my more cartoony style.

Still… I love the idea of black and white paper dolls that aren’t meant to be colored and can stand alone as pieces of work without needing color.

Today’s Shadow & Light printable paper doll has a 1930′s noir sensibility that I think the heavily shadowed medium really illustrates well and I adore her side glancing eyes.

One of the other reasons I love doing Shadow and Light paper dolls is that they come together very quickly. Well… not the inking and drawing parts (those take more time with all the shadow), but the actualy formatting is quick since they don’t need to be colored and usually I draw the taps right on the paper doll clothing rather than adding them later.

By the way, I have a new poll. I have done this poll once, several years ago. That time, the Marisol Monday won out, by a landslide. I’m curious of that would happen again. I suppose we’ll see.

Meet Kira… A New Mannequin

Black and White fantasy paper doll

{Click Here for a PDF in Color} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG in Color}{Click Here for a PDF of Black and White} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG in Black and White}

I decided Tanya was lonely and needed a friend.

I’m traveling at the moment, back in Alaska for a little while. I really love my home state and it’s great to be able to be home and see the beautiful mountains and things…

Of course, I’ll have to return to Alabama, which is lovely as well, soon, but in the mean time, I’ve been thinking a lot about how much I love and miss Alaska.

Anyway… I think of Kira as a vintage inspired sort of elegant lady. Her style is distinctly art deco, in my head. How much of this resembles reality? That’s hard to say really… there’s nothing terribly vintage about her shoes. Still… she’s elegant and put together and that’s what I’m going with.

Have I mentioned I’m a little sleep deprived from the traveling thing? Well… I am.

Black and White Printable Paper Dolls…. Marisole Monday & Friends

I’ve been busily converting old color Marisole Monday paper dolls into black and white files. Sometimes, this is a totally painless process, but the older the files get and the more… cranky the line-work becomes. Still, it’s been rather fun and it is probably the only time I will ever do this.

So, rather than a “real” Marisole Monday post today, I offer three old Marisole Monday sets in black and white… all historically themed


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

First, let’s take a short trip to the 18th century, shall we? Fourth of July paper doll from several years ago. She had a friend, but I haven’t converted that one to black and white yet.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

Though personally, I’ve never been that keen on the fashions of the 1910′s, I really love how this paper doll came out in color and I think she’s just as cute in black and white. She was inspired, though I don’t think I mentioned this in the original post in part by this doll from Madame Alexander of CJ Walker.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

I do love the 1920s, as you can see from the color version of this paper doll, but I do think that Marisole makes an odd flapper girl.

Mini-Maidens: Meet Hazel

Black and White printable paper doll with vintage style clothing {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the Rest of the Series}

So, I finally named my 4th of July paper doll with Mary’s suggestion, Hazel. I thought Hazel was a vintage sounding name to go with a vintage inspired set of costumes. I rather like how she turned out and I think her dresses are all very pretty. In my mind, Hazel is of African descent and is perhaps from London (though that would make her celebrating the 4th of July a little wierd).

Random Rachel Story Time: When I was traveling around the UK in college, I spent several days in Newcastle hanging out with two wonderful girls from London who were both British-Nigerian. They rescued me from a rather awkward encounter with an older Irish man (fairly common problem in hostel traveling) and we spent the next two days traveling to art museums in the area together. I meant to look them up later when I was back in London, but I never got around to it.

Despite the inspiration, I openly confess it was really tough to get the features to look at all ethnically accurate while also being so stylized.

I wanted to thank everyone, though I will comment as well, who was so kind as to post Marisole ideas. I definitely think more than a few of them have potential. Every time I get frustrated with this blog, I am reminded of the quality of readers that I am so lucky to have.

Magnetic Set for Grandma…

Vintage Magnetic Paper Doll So, I made my Grandma a set of magnetic paper dolls. And she was very happy. And she sent me this very nice thank you note and she observed that her paper doll was lonely.

So, I made her additional dolls. Since she does not use the internet, I feel completely safe posting these here. The originals have been cut out and, along with more clothing from the other Marisole Magnetic sets, been sent off for her to enjoy. I am thinking of them as an early Mother’s day present for her. I’m working on something for my Mother as well, but since she actually reads this blog, I have to be tight lipped about the whole affair.

Please note that these girl’s can wear anything that the Magnetic Marisole’s can wear, so feel free to make them pirates or something.

You can get directions for making magnetic paper dolls, if you need them.

Vintage Styled Paper Doll
Vintage Paper Doll Download Vintage Paper Doll’s Friends

Marisole Monday: Vintage Roses in Pinks and Browns and Purples…

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

So, a version of this paper doll set got to become magnetic and is on it’s way to my grandmother, hopefully to get there before Valentine’s Day. Her set has a different doll with it, but I liked this doll a lot. The truth is that I have owed her a magnetic paper doll set for a while and I would be nervous about saying this online, but since she doesn’t seem to believe in the internet, I think I’m safe. I tend to be of the view that when you get to a certain age than you can decide not to use the internet if it suits you. I plan on becoming a grouchy old woman who may or may not chase children off my porch with a shotgun.

Anyway, this is a busy week for me. There’s a birthday in my family and Valentines Day for which I really should draw a paper doll. I did one for the Chinese New Year after all.

I’m also pleased to announce I now have a Showcase page inspired by Toria’s wonderful one. I am looking for more people’s colored versions of my black and white paper dolls or costumes you might have drawn for the paper dolls or anything else related to the paper dolls on this site that I might feature, so please email me“>email me if you have work that you would like included.

Questions? Thoughts? Theories on the meaning of life? Feel free to comment. I do love comments.

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