Mini-Maidens: Retro Suit from 1954


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: 1950s Suits, Obviously

A retro suit design from 1954 for the Mini-Maidens paper doll series along with slingback shoes and a beret.

When you think of the 1950s, there are really two common silhouettes. The first is the nipped in waist and the full skirt. That look is pretty flattering on myself and one I enjoy drawing, but there is another look that was equally popular.

That is the narrow skirted silhouette, like today’s suit from 1954 for the Mini-Maiden paper doll series. This design is featured in the Complete Fashion Sourcebook by John Peacock and is identified as being from 1954. My major problem with Peacock’s works is that he rarely states where he found the images he is illustrating, so it is very hard to know what the context of the suit is.

However, very similar designs can be found in many other places including the Everyday Fashions of the Fifties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs book from Dover publishing. Dover has a series of these books, one for each decade, and I could not recommend them enough.

A few more examples of this style from the 1950s can be seen in this vintage pattern cover, this vintage pattern cover and this vintage pattern cover. More 1950s fashion fun can be found on my 1950s fashion Pinterest board.

Sometimes, I think I wouldn’t mind wearing suits very day, because I love how they look. I don’t want to go back to the 1950s though, because as much as I like the clothing, I also like living in a era where the Civil Rights Act exists.

We’re on day three of our variety week and I want to know what you all think, so please let me know in a comment.

And, as always, if you like the blog, consider supporting it through Patreon.

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

Marisole Monday & Friends: A Retro Astronaut Paper Doll


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:  Retro Sci-Fi Magazine Cover Art, Krylorians and Lavender Hair

A retro sci-fi magazine inspired pink skinned alien paper doll and her pale blue space suit. Free to print in black and white or in color.

Sometimes, I feel like drawing a different sort of paper doll, so today we have a little pink skinned retro alien astronaut paper doll, because why not?

Over the course of the year, I have continued to move closer to my roots. And today, I am moving there even further. When this site started, before the whole thing went down in flames in 2009, there was just one series and that series updated with whatever the heck I felt like. Later, I added the first Curves series, but continued to post whatever I felt like.

Starting today, I am going to abandon weekly themes, except when I feel like there is a real reason I want to do one.

For example, I have only one astronaut paper doll until today. For several years, I’ve wanted to draw a really retro inspired, pin-up inspired sort of astronaut, but I’ve never wanted to make a whole set like that. But during my short hiatus I had an epiphany, I realized that I didn’t have too. There was no reason I had to do a whole week of retro-astronauts. I could just do one!

And on the next day, I could do something else entirely.

So, today enjoy this “Friend of Marisole Monday” and her retro inspired astronaut suit. I also gave her a pair of somewhat impractical shoes, because I thought she might want to wear something other than her space suit and with her pink skin, burrowing shoes might be straight out, unless they were boots.

Thoughts on the new plan? Do let me know in a comment. And if you love the blog, than think about supporting it through Patreon.

Need a more outfits for today’s Marisole Monday & Friends Paper Doll? Find More Clothing Here

Poppets: Floral Border Printed Vintage Inspired Paper Doll Dress


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Bow-Tie Blouses, Mary Engelbreit’s Flowers, Colorful shoes and the November 1954 Betsy McCall Paper Doll.

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Personally, I can’t imagine putting a child in a cream colored dress and not expecting a disastrous spill/stain or something to happen to that dress five minutes later, but part of the pleasure of paper dolls is that reality doesn’t actually have to enter into it. Plus, the Poppets are based on ball-jointed dolls and not real children, so presumably pieces of resin are capable to keeping out of trouble.

One of the things I really love about this dress is the floral border. It was a later addition to the design. Originally, I was just going to do a wide stripe, like I did on the coat-dress from Tuesday. However, I didn’t want to repeat myself so soon, so I decided on some Mary Engelbreit inspired flowers along the hem.

The November 1954 Betsy McCall paper doll had two dresses with ties around their necks, but I’ll confess that I spent a lot of time looking at different Betsy McCall paper dolls and they all start to flow together after a while. Each page also has a little story on it. I tried to read a few, but stuff written for children in the 1950s, just isn’t that compelling to me.

So, next week will begin my first week of different pieces from different series posting. I am nervous and excited. We’ll start the week out with a Retro inspired astronaut and continue from there.

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

Poppets: Heading to the Seashore in a Nautical 1950s Inspired Paper Doll Dress


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Sailboats, Maritime Signal Flags, and Satchel Bags, like these

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I grew up on the coast. On sunny days, which aren’t that common in Southeast Alaska, you could watch from the living room the sailboats as they whipped up and down the channel. I remember watching them as a child. There was a large marker warning people that there was a shoal, but people often ignored it during sailboat races and so, once in a while, a boat would end up stuck in the mud until high tide.

None of the boats on today’s paper doll skirt will likely have that problem.

The color scheme of today’s Poppet paper doll dress is based on maritime signal flags. When my father was studying for some sort of nautical exam, we spent time together looking through the signal flags and I’ll always think of those colors when I think of nautical inspired paper doll outfits.

When I was studying in England, I got a brown leather satchel, a lot like our paper doll’s red version. I carried it for many years, bit eventually the leather split. I’ve always loved how a nice satchel looks.

As always, I’d love to hear that people think in the comments.

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

Poppets: A Yellow and Blue Vintage Style Paper Doll Dress


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A yellow and teal paper doll dress inspired by vintage paper dolls like Betsy McCall

It is easy, given that most photographs of the 1950s and 1960s are black and white, to forget that there was color back then. I really wanted to embrace color when I designed this dress. I was super inspired by a February 1959 Betsy McCall paper doll, but then I simplified things and changed some things too.

Along with the dress, I decided to do a journal and a piece of paper with a pencil as today’s accessories. I remember that all through Elementary and Middle School we had to keep a journal. I never really liked do it, but it was one of those things. I was once way to honest in my journal, called my teacher a name I won’t post in my family friendly blog, and got in trouble with her.

Oddly, I didn’t get in trouble with my parents. They were super understanding and were like, “Well, don’t do it again and remember, private isn’t always really private.”

So, that was a useful lesson at least.

Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations Include: Wanting Teal and Yellow Shoes, February 1959 Betsy McCall paper doll, and All those Journals I kept in School

Because these shoes have socks, they can be shared with any of the Poppet paper dolls, but Monday’s doll with her blond hair would look particularly cute in this dress, I think.

I clearly love drawing vintage and historical clothing for the Poppets, but I have been wondering if people feel like their Poppets need some modern duds.

So, here’s a poll!

Do the Poppets Need Modern Clothing?

  • Actually, I think I'd like to see come fantasy stuff for them. (49%, 19 Votes)
  • Yes, they need some cute modern kid's clothing. (23%, 9 Votes)
  • As it happens, I'm just not a huge Poppet fan. (15%, 6 Votes)
  • No, I think they are just fine as they are. (13%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 39

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Now, you are also totally welcome to tell me your thoughts in a comment as well. I always enjoy getting to hear from you guys.

Lastly, if you like the blog, think about supporting it through Patreon or just leave me a comment to let me know you like it. I always enjoy getting to hear from you guys.

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

Poppets: A Vintage Purple Paper Doll Coat Dress


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A vintage inspired purple coat dress for the Poppet printable paper doll series in color or black and white. From paperthinpersonas.com

In my original plan, today’s dress was red and had a Scotty Dog on the skirt. Then you know what I learned? Scottish Terriers are hard to draw.

So, after one too many deformed looking pups, I decided to go with a nice simple stripe along the bottom.

My mother told me once that when she was a little girl in the 1950s, she had one school dress for each day of the week. So, when I created Monday’s paper doll, my idea was for a week of school dresses. Each dress will have some school accessories. (Okay, mostly books. I like drawing books.)

Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations Include: Sport Socks, 1950s Coat Dresses, Children’s Vintage School Books and Failed Scotty Dog Doodles

In my head, I imagine this as a winter dress, probably made of a heavy wool. I went back and forth about the color, but settled on this dark grape purple, because I like purple. I also think purple is a fun winter/fall color without being totally an obvious choice.

Thoughts on today’s dress? Leave me a comment if you like.

Lastly, if you like the blog and want to support it, than consider becoming a Patron.

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

Poppet: Vintage Paper Doll with Her Lavender Dress


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First off, I want to say thank you for all the kind words I got while I was taking my week off. It was needed and it let me regroup a little. I’ll admit openly that this last few months have been among the crazier in my life.

Secondly, this week’s theme is for a vintage inspired school girl look which owes a lot to the Betsy McCall dolls and paper dolls of the 1950s and 1960s. I have always loved vintage children’s clothing, so we are starting with our unnamed member of the Poppet family and continuing with four other dresses.

Thirdly, starting next week, there will not always be a weekly theme. I’ll get more into that next Monday.

Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations Include: Betsy McCall Paper Dolls, Two-Tone Shoes, Abby Glassenberg’s Soft Toy Designs, and The Color Lavender

Now, as I said, I didn’t name today’s paper doll. I just don’t know if naming dolls where I am never going to reuse the same face makes sense. Like it makes sense to me that maybe someone likes say 1830s Greta and therefore wants to see if there’s a Creepy Ghost Greta, but since I won’t ever use the face of this paper doll again, does it matter if she has a name?

I am thinking on this and I haven’t decided the future of naming the Poppets.

These are the questions that try men’s souls. Really.

Anyway, you can follow the blog on Twitter @paperpersonas and, if you love it, consider supporting it through Patreon.

Need more clothes for today’s Poppet paper doll? Find Additional Outfits Here.

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.