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.

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.

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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.

Jazz Age Baby: A Color Paper Doll with 1920s Fashions

1920-logo-colorBack when I started this blog, it was the dead of winter and I was going stir crazy in a one bedroom apartment surrounded by snow. Today, the sun in shining and the weather is lovely and I am still at this nearly six years later.

Time does fly.

Okay, so way back in 2011, I did this paper doll called Art Deco Goddess. I was full of ennui when I wrote that post. It is both mellow-dramatic and whiny. Not to suggest that I’m not capable of being both melodramatic and whiny at my age today, but try to at least steer clear of being too melodramatic and whiny.

Anyway, I just thought of it, because Art Deco Goddess like Jazz Age Baby are both paper dolls with 1920s wardrobes.

Jazz Age Baby, however, owes a fair bit to the hair of Josephine Baker and a bit to the fun wardrobes of ladies of the decade.

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Now technically, Monica should be wearing stockings and a garter belt and slip and all sorts of 1920’s underwear, but I thought another paper doll might want to borrow her shoes or she might want to get to be fairy or in jeans and so I did not give her period underwear. I’m pretty much okay with this choice. I rarely give my historical paper dolls period undies.

Hope everyone has a lovely Monday!

Jazz Age Baby: A Paper Doll with 1920s Fashions

1920-logo-bwPeople who have been reading this blog for a while already know this, but I love 1920s fashions. I love the hats. I love the shoes. I love the stylized art deco drawings of the hats and the shoes. Seriously, this era is among my favorites.

Nevermind the fact that as a woman with serious hips, I would look awful in these styles. I don’t want to wear 1920s dresses, I just think they are beautiful on other people. (Mostly people made of paper who wear whatever I want them too, because I am their creator.)

One of the lovely things about paper dolls is that I can enjoy clothing that I would never want to wear myself.

I think part of what appeals to me about the 1920s is that people had outfits. It was not an era of mix and match clothing like we have today. People had outfits where hats matched their dresses and gloves and bags. I love the idea of matching outfits, as I have mentioned before. My obsession with trousseaux of clothing is well documented throughout this blog.

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So, let’s talk about sources… One of the interesting things about 1920s fashion is that, in the United States, 1923 is the date before which things are out of copyright. That means that things after 1923 begin to fall under various copyright extensions and other rules. Libraries often steer clear of digitizing works that are post 1923, because of concerns about copyright violation. So, I tend to rely on books more than digitized documents for my post-1923 fashion history needs.

To be honest, I don’t recall exactly what I used for this paper doll set, but I know I at least looked at these, as they are part of my history book collection. I know a few of her dresses come specifically from Classic French Fashions of the Twenties.

Sources:

Atelier Bachwitz. Classic French Fashions of the Twenties. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2012.
B. Altman & Co. 1920s Fashions from B. Altman & Company. 4th ed. New York: Dover, 1998. Print.
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, 2003.

For those who have missed my other forays into 1920s fashion, you can find them all under the 1920s tag.

Lois: A Paper Doll of the 1930s

lois-logoI love the styles of the early 1930s and I wanted to create a paper doll that showed them off, so here is Lois- a paper doll of the early 1930s. That is to say, everything in it comes from 1930-1932.

It’s common to speak of the last century of fashion as though it happened in neat decade compartments. In reality, fashion doesn’t care what decade it is. It moves based on cultural and social shifts, often subtly, and then you look around and notice that the silhouette has shifted. Rarely, fashion changes dramatically over a short period, but only very rarely.

So, when looking at the early 1930s, as this paper doll does, you might be struck at how close these dresses are to the late 1920s. In truth, they are very similar, because fashion just doesn’t change that quickly. The Great Depression will catch up with the styles of the 1930s, it just hasn’t yet. All of these dresses are drawn from images in the book Everyday Fashions of the Thirties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs published by Dover. The Sears series from Dover is an inexpensive way to gather up books the show what people wore, rather than what fashion magazines thought people should be wearing. I own almost all of them.

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I have mixed feelings about my color choices. I knew I wanted to pick a color scheme where I hats could go with either of the dresses, but I don’t know how successful I was. I really do like how the white hat contrasts with her dark skin and I like how rich the red coat looks, but I’m not so sure about the yellow dress. The early 1930s is a very art deco influenced period and that makes me happy. I love the asymmetrical styles and the often surprising details.

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Unlike my 1920s Pixie Lynn, I actually gave Lois some undergarments. She has a girdle decorated with flowers to go under her dresses. She should, technically, have a slip to go over that and panties to go under it, but its a start.

I would have to pour through all my posts to be certain, but I think this is my second 1930s paper doll ever. The first was way back in 2010 for my original Curves Series and is just called 1930s. I got totally distracted looking through those old paper dolls trying to find the 1930s set I was pretty sure was there. It’s strange to go back and look at things I drew four or five years ago.

Some of them paper dolls I still really like and others I don’t. It rather makes me want to take on a project like Julie’s toddlers where she goes back to older color schemes. I’ll have to think on it. I don’t want to “redraw” old things, but there are some ideas there that I think could be reexamined fruitfully.

Lynn: A Paper Doll of the 1920s

logo-lynn-1920Let me state one thing first, on the record- Lynn’s underwear is not period. If I had drawn her period undergarments, than she’d never get to wear jeans. So, I chose to omit even a period slip for her in favor of fitting some fairly large hats onto a fairly small space. Pixies have big heads and therefore big hats.

I hope no one feels horribly cheated out of 1920’s undergarments.

It was really hard to give myself permission to do a small historical set for the Pixies. Normally, my historical Pixie sets are at least two pages and my Regency paper doll set was three. And I do have an 18th century set which has the dubious honor of being the largest collection I have ever drawn for the Pixies. It is literally five sketchbook pages. I’ve no idea how I am going to post it.

One of my big goals for 2015 was to draw historical paper dolls, because- frankly, I really like them.

But I also think if I always think “These sets must be huge” than it creates a lot of pressure to produce big sets. I think smaller sets can be just as fun.

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Todays paper doll’s three dresses are from two different sources. The short sleeved dress and the one with the chevron patter are from this image on Flickr. The party dress is from the Met and dated 1926 through 1928. Her shoes were based on this pair from the Philadelphia Art Museum.

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The color scheme was fairly arbitrary. I do wish I had done something a little more fun with the shoes rather than playing it safe with black. I like to think that these three dresses cover day and evening wear fairly smoothly for Lynn. Long term, it is my hope to do more smaller historical sets for the Pixies. There’s no logical reason why they shouldn’t get to share in the single page historical paper doll fun.

I say this having just begun coloring the largest pixie set I have ever drawn of 18th century dress. I might be unable to keep this single page historical Pixie set concept alive.

Twirling Majorette: A Printable Paper Doll

logo-majorette-bwThere are a few perks of knowing me in the real world. One of those perks is that when you ask for a paper doll set, it is a lot more likely to actually happen. It might take a little while, but eventually it will happen.

This request only took me a year to get to. I was asked to do a baton twirling or majorette paper doll by a young women I know who was one in high school.

Now, I’ll admit that I had no idea there even were baton twirlers anymore. I think it might be a Southern thing. I certainly don’t recall any on the West Coast and definitely not in Alaska where I grew up. If you have a chance though, do check out youtube for baton twirling. It’s pretty amazing watching someone who really knows what they are doing. Definitely a remarkable skill.

So, while I know nothing about baton twirling other than what I could learn on the internet, this paper doll was fun to draw and I hope I didn’t mess up anything too badly. After all, I’d like my baton twirling fans (if I have any) to be pleased. By the way, one thing I did notice, is a lot of baton twirling outfits are similiar to skating costumes, so I think Margot could share with my ice skating Marisole.

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One thing I did notice is that a lot of modern majorette costumes use a lot of illusion netting. I decided against the appearence of illusion netting in my costumes. I also found that my favorite outfits were those from the fifties and sixties, much more than I liked the costumes today. Margot has a few old fashioned outfits, along with boots with tassels, and a few modern outfits.

I gave her a normal baton, a sword baton and one on fire. Everything is better on fire.

So, any majorettes (current or former) out there want to tell me how I did?

A Noir Punk Magnetic Paper Doll Set Featuring Pheobe

logo-flock-noir-pheobeThe fascinating thing about paper dolls (or perhaps one fascinating thing) is how the medium of “paper” can effect the actual playability of a paper doll set. You can fold paper, so tabs are used to hold on pieces. Paper is easily cut to make slits for hats.

Magnetic paper dolls require a different thought process. Hats can not be tucked behind the doll, for example. There are no tabs and collars can not “wrap around” the back of the doll’s neck. Everything has to stack neatly on top of each other.

Sometimes people ask me if I would make the Flock a “paper” paper doll series, rather than a magnetic paper doll series. The answer is no. Flock was conceived to be made of magnet and their outfits just wouldn’t all work as paper set.

Today’s magnetic set features a dabble into Noir Punk by Pheobe, one of my other Flock magnetic paper dolls.

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I had a very good childhood friend named Phoebe and it’s after her that I named this paper doll (though I have to confess the paper doll looks NOTHING like Phoebe.) I love the blue hair against the light brown skin tone and I really want her hats. Hats make everything better. I wish we still wore hats, except I look terrible in hats.

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All the pieces on this wardrobe page and intended to be mixed and matched with all the pieces on Wren’s Noir Punk pages. I don’t think I did as good of a job on this set as I did on my Starling Punk Noir set. I have to give that some thought. In the meantime, enjoy the magnetic paper dolls. :)

Also, if you need instructions on how to make magnetic paper dolls, I explain too methods in my Magnetic Paper Dolls Tutorial.

Flock Punk Noir… Noir Punk… Diesel Punk… Whatever

logo-flock-noir-wrenBack in the early days of the interweb when I built my first, and perhaps best forgotten, paper doll site, images were generally small. They look a long time to load and things like Pinterest didn’t exist- neither did really any Social Media.

In those days images were best kept small, but today we can get away with much larger images and I like large images. They are pretty. One of the things I have been doing is working on reformating a lot of the images on the blog to be larger and easier to see.

This is a very long way of saying that today’s Flock magnetic paper doll post is in a different format then my other Flock posts. Let me know what you think in a comment…

Meanwhile, I am dabbling again with Noir Punk, or as I think most know it, Diesel Punk. Personally, I like my name better. Basically, it’s vintage styled clothing of the 1930s and 1940s combined with a punk aesthetic.

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I do not offer a link to the PNG to print for my magnetic paper dolls, because you shouldn’t print them from the PNG. The PDF allows the image to be properly sized to the page and therefore to the dolls.

Anyway, here is Wren, named for a bird, showing off her shoes and hats. I really do like the hats and I think they are fun for the Flock magnetic paper dolls. Magnetic paper dolls are fun.

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Wren is here with some retro clothes and corsets, because that’s what everyone needs. I love the boots, personally. Next week, there will be another set of these with Wren showing off page two of these outfits.

I’ve dabbled in this style before and you can see that Starling set of Punk Noir if you like. I’m not sure how I feel about the colors on this set, but for the moment, I like them.

Thoughts? Ideas? Drop me a note in the comments.