Lois: A Paper Doll of the 1930s

Link to Lois, a printable historical paper doll with dresses from the 1930s I 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.

Lois is a printable historical paper doll with two dresses, two hats, a coat, underwear and shoes from the early 1930s in black and white for coloring
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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.

Lois is a printable historical paper doll with two dresses, underwear, shoes and hats from the early 1930s in color
{Download a PDF to Print in Color} {Download a PNG to Print in Color}{More Pixie & Puck Printable Paper Dolls}

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

Link to Lynn, a printable historical paper doll with dresses from the 1920s Let 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.

Link to Lynn, a printable historical paper doll with dresses from the 1920s in black and white for coloring
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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.

Link to Lynn, a printable historical paper doll with dresses from the 1920s in color
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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

Printable paper doll coloring page of a baton twirling majorette There 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.

A printable majorette or baton twirling paper doll to print and color.
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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

Pheobe Noir Flock The 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.

Magnetic Noir Punk Paper Doll Page

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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.

Magnetic Noir Punk Paper Doll Page

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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

Pheobe Noir Flock Back 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.

Magnetic Noir Punk Paper Doll Page
{Click Here for Download the PDF for Printing} {Click here for the Rest of the Flock Magnetic Paper Dolls}

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.

Magnetic Noir Punk Paper Doll Page
{Click Here for Download the PDF for Printing} {Click here for the Rest of the Flock Magnetic Paper Dolls}

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.

Precious in Floral Paper Doll Clothes for the Poppets

Poppet Posey in her School Clothes Logo I 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.

Full color Poppet Paper Doll clothes

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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.

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
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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
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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

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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.

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