Art Deco Goddess: A Flapper Paper Doll from the 1920s

Sometimes, this blog feels a bit like albatross around my neck, only with fewer feathers. It’s gets heavy and awkward and then I don’t update for a few days and I feel guilty for not updating.

And I tell myself, “No one reads it” (which I know to not be true, but it’s a good line) or “I don’t have anything to post” (which is also usually false) or “There’s no point in posting something when I know I don’t have a weeks worth of posts” (also not true, but it’s an excuse) and, of course, “I’m too busy” (which of all my excuses is actually sometimes true).

None of these excuses really keep me from feeling guilty about the whole thing, but they make the guilt slightly easier to deal with.

I wonder if other paper doll bloggers feel this way. I don’t know. We’re not exactly a massive community.

Wow, this might be the most melodramatic post I’ve ever put up on this blog and I almost didn’t post it, but I’m struggling to be more personal on the blog. The irony is that I have been drawing, but none of it has been blog related and I have tons penciled, but am having a hard time getting around to inking, scanning and coloring. But I buckled down this weekend and got some done, so I have high hopes for at least getting back to some updating.

A flapper printable paper doll in full color with an eighteen piece mix and match wardrobe from suits to swimsuits. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Starting that trend is today’s Marisole flapper paper doll rocking some roaring 1920s fashions. She’s wearing a wardrobe taken from fashion plates and magazines of the twenties. While I love 1920’s fashion, I don’t know if Marisole wears it very well. She has pretty serious hips and this was a time when long and lean was the name of the game. So, I have some mixed feelings about how they all look. Still, I have enjoyed getting to do some historical stuff with Marisole and I do think she makes a pretty cute “flapper”.

I’m also playing around with this new “related” posts feature which I think might be totally useless. I’ll give it a few more weeks.

Edit 8/23/13: This paper doll is now available in black and white for coloring, scroll down a bit on the post and you should see her.

Curves 2.0 In Day Dresses

I recently received several very kind emails. Whenever people email me about my paper dolls, it always makes my day. It’s also a great way to get me to do things I’ve been sort of being lazy about, like updating the Dictionary Girls. I feel bad about neglecting them for a few weeks (especially since I had two things done and colored and absolutely no excuse for not putting them up except laziness).

To beg forgiveness for my lax ways, and because I got a very sweet email from a woman telling me how much she liked the Dictionary Girls, I make sure to get one up tonight even if it is almost Thursday here in the Midwest.

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On a semi-unrelated note, I am having a little drawing in the post below. If you wish to win a free custom paper doll, just answer my drawing question. The Winner will be announced next Monday. I’d like to thank everyone whose already answered- it’s really interesting to see what of my work is people’s favorites. Usually, I judge success by the number of comments, so I’ve had a few surprises for people’s favorites (and a few I expected.)

Curves 2.0 Welcome Elena

This paper doll is named in honor of a good friend, as many of my paper dolls are. The moment I drew her, I thought she looked Hispanic, so I decided to make her Elena and I gave her more coral colored lips since I’ve done a lot of red lipped pin-up dolls. Someday I need to draw her a bull fighter costume in order to forefill a complicated inside joke, but until then she has some darn sexy underwear.

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She’s up a little late tonight, because I spent the evening baking rather then working on blog things. I am part of a club at my University and we’re having a bakesale. I promised to make stuff for it, so tonight I found myself putting together cookies. Tomorrow will be brownies and rice crispy treats- both easy enough to make though I confess I haven’t made rice crispy treats since I was about ten. Still, how complicated can they possibly be?

I forget sometimes how much I like baking until I get back into the kitchen to do it. I rarely bake for myself, because I live alone and it would be dangerous to have cookies around the house. Stuff like this is an excuse to pull out my grandmothers chocolate chip cookie recipe and use it, though I don’t make them as crispy as she always did.

And that, my friends, is more then I can imagine anyone wanted to know about my cooking habits. I am thinking now though that a series of aprons would be a fun thing to draw for Curves 2.0. I should get on that… but not until I finish my cookies.

Curves 2.0 Meet Chiharu

I debated long and hard what to name this paper doll. I had a friend in high-school who was Japanese American named Claire, and I almost named the paper doll (with whom she shares really no resemblance) Claire, but then I decided I wanted to actually try to find a name with Asian origins which started with C. I wanted it to be a fairly common name and I didn’t care if it was Chinese or Korean or Japanese or really from anywhere else.

Being as I know nothing about traditional naming practices of pretty much any Asian country and being as I didn’t really feel like learning them, I ended up pawing around baby name sites looking for something I could pronounce and which was not hyper unusual. I don’t know how common this name is, but based on the fact that several actresses in Hong Kong have it, I think it can’t be that unusual. (Thank you, Wikipedia.)

dictionary-girls-paper-dolls-chiharu {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series} {Click Here for More Dolls to Dress}

There will be another paper doll next week and then some costumes to dress them both in. Once I have a few more dolls, I’ll do more clothing. I just wanted to have a range of different dolls for dressing up. I’ve written before about the large number of child development studies which have been done about the need for children to see themselves reflected in their toys. While I don’t usually think much about children when I’m working on paper dolls, I do try to have many different skin tones and hair colors and combinations, so that almost any child could be given a paper doll that looked like them. Plus it keeps me amused. I’m always divided between the desire to have a bunch of different skin tones and the practical need to create mix and match clothing options. The biggest issue is shoes which often show some skin and then can only be worn by paper dolls who have the same color skin as the skin shown in the shoes.

Some people worry about world hunger, I worry about paper doll shoes.

Curves 2.0 Capri Pants… Pigtails… Huge Sunglasses

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I hope is to have at least six different skin tones for these paper dolls. In order to keep straight which things can be worn by which dolls (they all have the same pose, but some shoes show off skin), things that can’t be really exchanged between the dolls will have colored tabs which match the dolls stand color (most wigs, some shoes) and the things which can be worn by any paper doll will have plain white tabs (dresses, hats). The wigs might be able to be exchanged among dolls in some circumstances, but I won’t be double checking them, so I can’t assure their versatility.

I can easily think of more then six skin-tones I would like to do as paper dolls, but the reality is that while people come in thousands of colors, paper dolls are best I think if they come in a more limited palette. It helps make more pieces wearable between paper dolls.

On a slightly unrelated note, I am totally in love with her white sunglasses and they are meant to match the belt and I think it’s cute, though a little absurd which is rather the point of pin-ups, isn’t it?

Curves 2.0 Meet Bianna

Today we have Alyssa’s partner in crime, Bianna. I spent a while debating if I should post clothing before I posted another doll, but in the end the other doll won out, mostly because I’m rather in love with her wigs and her lips.

dictionary-girls-paper-dolls-bianna

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I promise next week there will be some clothing, so the poor girls aren’t running around in their girdles for too much longer. I’m having a lot of fun digging around the Vintage Pattern Wiki looking for dress ideas while fretting about how I don’t like their feet placement.

Oh, well, I don’t think I’ll ever have a perfect paper doll. 🙂

Bianna is not named after anything or anyone specific, except that her name starts with B and I liked how it sounded. Do cut along the dotted lines on her wigs and by her arm to help her wear her costumes. I’ve spent the last few days working hard to finish up assignments for my summer course work and I must confess I have little intelligent to say in this blog post, so enjoy the paper doll and, as always, I love to hear what people think.

Marisole Monday: Retro Pin-Up: Sweet

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Today’s printable paper doll is the companion to yesterday’s paper doll. I don’t often do follow-up Marisole’s and I think the last time I did it was for Gothic Lolita paper doll and the Sweet Lolita paper doll… well, actually, there was also both a black and white and a full-color version of Marisole Modern Girl.

Every time I do a two color version, I always swear I won’t ever do it again. It always takes twice as long as I think it will. However, I think it’s kinda fun to play with color and I think people like it, so I keep doing even when I should know better.

Marisole Monday: Retro Pin-Up: Saucy

This paper is sort of a gift for a friend who very much likes retro-vintage styling. Sometimes, when I don’t know what to draw I ask my friends what they think I should draw. This has caused some totally unusable suggestions, but mostly the suggestions are good if a trifle odd. These are the people who can be blamed for my zombie paper doll and my attempt at a Gothic Lolita paper doll, both of which I rather like (the zombie more then the Lolita, to be honest).

marisole-pin-up-saucy-150 {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

This one came out with a series of suggestions that included Ninja Vs. Pirate (I’m not even sure how I would draw that), superhero (well, actually Batgirl from the 1960’s.. ideally, Batgirl tied up from the 1960’s, but I think this says more about the guy making the suggestion then anything else), and retro-pin-up. Obviously, the pin-up was the easy one.

Unlike many of my vintage costumed paper dolls, this doll has more in common with people’s ideas of what was worn then what was actually worn. I borrowed designs from Pinup Girl Clothing and a few others who I don’t recall. I use online stores a lot when I’m looking for ideas.

EDIT: Since posting this, I have, in fact, drawn a superhero paper doll and Ninja Vs Pirate paper doll.

Curves: 1940’s

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I do love vintage fashion and though the 1940’s are not my favorite period, I drew this set of paper dolls around the same time I drew last weeks Curves post. In fact, it was exactly the same time, as with that post I used the Vintage Fashion Wiki to find pattern covers from the 1940s and then drew them.

Though I like the way it turned out, I am the first to confess that my interest in 1940’s costume can be linked entirely to my love of Foyle’s War another fantastic BBC drama. I love BBC dramas much more than I should. Plus I can get them from the library for free which when you’re a starving graduate student is a lovely advantage. To be fair, I’ve also been watching a great deal of The X-files, but I doubt I am going to drawing 1990’s suits a la Dana Scully. I’m just not that much of a fan of early 90’s suits.

1930’s: Historical Printable Paper Doll

Curves: 1930s

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I sort of collect historical costume and vintage fashion resources around the web. One of my favorites is The Vintage Patterns Wiki full of pattern covers from the 20th century. From there, I found the wonderful blog What I Found where the author had posted a Simplicity Simplicity Fashion Forecast – 1937 advertising book. It’s wonderful. Curve’s paper doll costumes both come from this lookbook from the era- one smart suit and one summery casual frock. Her shoes are based on illustrations in John Peacock’s book Fashion Accessories.

I’ve been drawing a lot, but not posting a lot which is rare for me. Usually, I’m struggling to keep up with the blog and come up with ideas. Lately, all I’ve been wanting to do is draw and when it comes time to scan or color, I just sort of go, “Meh”. I think it’s because I find drawing relaxing and posting is more like work. Anyway, today’s Curves is going up and on Friday there will be a Florence (one of the last Florence’s I suspect) and starting in November there will be a new Fashion Doll Friday paper doll, of style I don’t know yet. Maybe I’ll put it too a vote.