A Mermaid Costume

A printable mermaid costume for the Jewels and Gemstones paper doll series. Can be printed in color or black and white.

Black and White PDF | Color PDF | More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls

Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I wanted to create a mermaid outfit that was a costume, not an actual mermaid. Usually when I draw mermaids, they are mermaids, not people dressing up like mermaids.

So, yeah, that’s a thing I think about sometimes.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
I wanted to think in terms of what would a dress for a mermaid costume look like. I thought about as mermaid shaped dress, of course, and then I remembered Liana’s beautiful mermaid paper dolls and that was one of my big inspirations to draw a mermaid at all.

Specific Source Images: This Mermaid Costume from Liana’s Paper Doll Blog

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & More Halloween Paper Dolls
Around the Internet: Liana’s Paper Doll Blog is why this site exists. It hasn’t been updated in years, but the paper dolls are beautiful and the writing very funny. Check it out when you have a chance.

Last Thoughts
Tomorrow, my Patreon supporters who have signed up at a 2 dollar a month and more category, will get a super cute little Devil paper doll. She’s darling, if I do say so myself.

Also, I finally live in a place where there are kids! I’m super exciting to get to maybe actually have trick or treaters this year.

A Ghostly Paper Doll!

A ghost paper doll with long blue hair, pale blue skin and bloody feet. Free to print and cut out an play with.

Black and White PDF | Color PDF | More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls

Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
When I was brainstorming what I wanted to draw for Halloween, I worked out a list of themes for the Jewels and Gemstones dolls. I wanted to do a series of sort of cute monsters that were still a bit wicked. I settled on a ghost paper doll, a devil paper doll (for my patrons) and a Frankenstein’s monster paper doll for my set of three.

I’m super happy to be sharing the first- my blood footed ghost here.

I thought about designing all new faces for these dolls, since Pearl can’t really share shoes with the rest of the Pearl paper dolls, but I decided against it. Mostly, because I have such a nice range of Gemstone dolls, I didn’t really want to draw more faces just for the sake of it. I confess I was being a little lazy. No shame.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Her dress is a nod to the Chemise A La Reine of the 18th century. Here’s another one I’ve drawn and here’s one in the real world.

Her feet are a nod to murder.

Specific Source Images: Nothing this time.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & my other Ghost paper doll
Around the Internet: White Ladies and Some fun Victorian Ghost Stories

Last Thoughts
I love a good (and by good I mean creepy) ghost story. I just love them. I don’t know why they appeal so strongly, but they do. I hate horror movies, but I love ghost stories and therefore will watch a few IF they are previewed by my horror loving best friend and IF I can watch them at noon with the lights on and IF I can read a summary ahead of time, so I’m not too scared. The Others is a great ghost horror film I super enjoyed.

Tomorrow for most of my Patreon supporters there will be an additional paper doll outfit for the Jewels and Gemstones.

By the way, I really went back and forth about the toenails on this paper doll. I wasn’t sure if I should erase them. I couldn’t decide. Am I weird in that I really think toenails belong on ghosts?

Archives Round Up: Paper Dolls In Regency Dress

First of all, I hereby forbid any debate about what to call the period between 1800 and 1820. It’s got many many names and I just don’t have the tolerance for the debate, y’all.

Anyway, I made 1820 my cut off date, though you could argue that the waistline progressively drops through that decade until it hits the natural waist about 1828-1830 and then the silhouette really changes.

But you know, that’s a level of nuance that I just decided I didn’t care that much about.

Women’s Regency Fashion in Paper Dolls

There’s two more Regency dresses I’ve created for the patrons over on Patreon and, of course, an extra paper doll outfit every Friday.

Hip Hop Dance Clothing for the Paper Dolls

Printable paper doll clothing including a pair of leggings, cropped top and sportsbra halter top. Also, high topped sneakers.

Black and White PDF | Color PDF | More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls

Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
In a continuing theme of Rachel draws paper doll outfits based on topics of which she knows very little, I am pleased to share my latest dance creation. I made a big list of dance styles and one I knew I wanted to draw was hip-hop dance.

I also rapidly discovered I don’t know much about dance. However, I did my research (as much as Googling- Hip-Hop Dance counts as research) and went from there.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Anyway, here’s my attempt at a hip-hop dance outfit based on styles from Discount Dance, a dance supply store. Also, I know stage makeup is a thing, but children photographed in stage makeup look… surreal. Under bright lights, the makeup makes sense. In the regular world, it’s kinda creepy.

Specific Source Images: These costumes and these costumes from two dance supply stores.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & More from the Ballet and Dancing collection
Around the Internet: Interesting articles on Amanda LaCount a plus-sized hip-hop dancer & Pretty Big Movement a plus-sized hip-hop dancing troupe

Last Thoughts
By the way, my Patreon supporters get extra paper dolls every Friday. So, consider subscribing if you’d like to help support the blog.

Friday there will be a round up of paper dolls I’ve created in Regency dress. I am running a little low on round up ideas, so anyone have something they’d love to see? Let me know in the comments.

Paper Doll Collaboration 2019: Pattern!

A paper doll coloring page featureing autumn themed dresses with fun patterns. Great as a fall activitiy for kids!

Black and White PDF | More of the Paper Doll Collaboration 2019

Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
Melissa of Miss. Missy’s Paper Dolls  and Julie of Paper Doll School have done such a better job of keeping up with this collaboration than I have. I confess I have several months drawn, but never finished.

My natural instinct is to feel guilty about this (I have an overdeveloped since of responsibility), but since in the last three months I have moved across the country, gotten a new job and moved in with my partner. I really don’t think I should feel the least bit guilty about any of it.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
The theme for September was pattern and I was super excited to explore that theme. I really love working with patterns, though I think some patterns are easier for me to draw than others. My fights with plaid are a thing that I wish I didn’t have quite so much. I also think some types of patterns render bettern in my style of pen and ink than others.

Anyway, since I knew the patterns were going to take center stage, I chose to do two very simple silhouettes for my paper doll outfits- a pair of a-line dresses. Neither of these pieces would be warm enough for Alaska in February without some serious tights. There was ice on my car last week! But they’re both fun and I can pretend warm weather is going to continue a little longer.

Specific Source Images: Well, I did look at some gourds, but… nothing I can point to today!

Learn/See More
On the Blog: The 2017 Collaborative Paper Doll Project, the 2018 Collaborative Paper Doll Project and this years 2019 Paper Doll Collaborative Project
Around the Internet: Julie of Paper Doll School, the lovely Melissa of Miss. Missy’s Paper Dolls also have created some paper dolls, I know.

Last Thoughts
Be sure to go check out Paper Doll School, Miss. Missy’s Paper Dolls both of whom I know have some really fun versions of this month’s theme.

Last, but not least, Happy New Year to anyone celebrating! May your New Year be very sweet.

12 Century Bliaut with Girdle

A printable paper doll with 12th century clothing including a bliaut, girdle, headdress, stockings and shoes. A great homeschooling history activity or just a fun paper doll for anyone who likes medieval fashions.

Black and White PDF | Color PDF | More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls

Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
So, I am still working on the 1100s, 1200s and 1300s paper dolls. The 1300s paper dolls aren’t even drawn yet. So, I’m sticking with the 1100s and 1200s. I’ll get to the 1300s when I have a moment.

Anyway, meanwhile, there’s this 1100s gown known as a bliaut. Can I confess that I’m not sure how to pronounce that word? Anyway, it’s the wide sleeved garment that most of us associate with the medieval era. Despite being popular in pop culture, it’s actually gown there’s a lot of debate about how it was constructed.

The bliaut was worn by men and women, often in layers. The length seems to have been regional. In France, they look really long, but in Germany there’s often a shorter bliaunt illustrated over a longer kirtle. So, there seems to be some variation in the regional styles.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Okay, so I looked at a lot of pictures and a lot of statues and I read a bit. Here’s what I understand: The bliaut is the subject of a lot of debate, as I mentioned above. Statues of the time show a very wrinkled, almost pleated fabric effect (like this), but illustrations by and large don’t. When they do show horizontal wrinkles across the abdomen they tend to be more subtle (like this). Additionally, smaller statuary (like this one) doesn’t show wrinkles across the abdomen.

There are, at the moment, several theories as to why and how wrinkles abdomens got formed, from cutting the fabric on the bias and lacing the sides (to create wrinkles across the stomach) to making a separate bodice and attaching it to the skirt.

I chose to go with a more subtle wrinkled look in my illustration, because outside of the giant statuary outside French cathedrals,  the wrinkles just don’t seem the tight or distinct in the art of the time.

Specific Source Images: Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres Statuary (see this picture) & Stuttgart WLB, cod. bibl. fol. 57, origin: Zwiefalten abbey circa 1125-1130, f. 55 as pictured here (retrieved 9/9/2019).

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls, more paper dolls from the Medieval era, Topaz with her 1100s underwear
Around the Internet: Illumanu (a tumblr devoted to manuscript illustrations of clothing & dress), an interesting webpage with lots of pictures, and an interesting site with lots of pictures in German (I think?)

Last Thoughts
While I don’t have a real opinion on how bliauts were constructed, I do find it interesting the amount of debate there seems to be out there on the topic. The only theory I find least plausible is the separate bodice with skirt theory. I’ve seen some illustrations that seem to back it up, but never with proper citation. Cite your sources people! Additionally, separate bodices  would have had to have been invented and then ignored for like 300 years and that just seems implausible. Not impossible, mind you, but implausible. However, I always love to hear from folks to know more than me on these topics, so share away in the comments.

(But do try to keep it polite. I’ve had strange debates and oddly angry emails over medieval clothing before which, odd the true, still boggles my mind.)

Mean while, on Patreon, there’s an extra paper doll outfit every Friday! Plus previews of what I’m working on, polls and whole different paper doll series called Vivian. It’s a fun group. Check it out!

And if you need a paper doll with proper hair and undies for this era, grab Topaz in her 1100s underwear. The 1200s Lapis can also do in a pinch, if you’re more partial to redheads.

Topaz in the 1100s Undergarments and Shoes

A 12th century fashion paper doll with shoes, wigs and historical underwear.

Black and White PDF | Color PDF | More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls

Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I am super excited about this collection of paper dolls. I love costume history. Sometimes, I feel like despite my love of the topic (or perhaps because of it), I get a little paralyzed feeling like I have to do so much research before I can create something and worrying about the quality of my sources. This worries me less in eras I am confident in, such as the 19th and 20th century, and worries me more in eras I am not confident about.

But then I won’t learn or get better if I don’t practice drawing these periods, so I think it is okay to not be perfect. Even more importantly, I think you have to start with in perfection or you never move forward.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Like last week’s Lapis, this week’s Topaz is wearing a shift based one illustrated in Roman de Giron le Courtois on Folio 87v. The manuscript dates from between 1370-1380. Illustrations of women in just shifts are exceedingly rare, so even though this is 200 years after the 1100s, I am still using it. I made my version shorter and tighter than the originals probably were to facilitate the paper doll layering clothing over the shift. Paper dolls have to layer.

Additionally, Topaz’s shoes all come from Stepping Through Time by Olaf Goubitz, a book on archeological footwear finds. It’s fascinating, but very densely written work. Women’s Hats, Headdresses and Hairstyles: With 453 Illustrations, Medieval to Modern by Georgine de Courtais was the book I used for her hair and headdress, along with this statue, Enthroned Virgin and Child, from The Met.

Specific Source Images: Roman de Giron le Courtois Bibliothèque nationale de France. Département des manuscrits. NAF 5243 (f.87v) &  Enthroned Virgin and Child ca. 1130–1140, The Met, Accession Number:47.101.15.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & More from the Ballet and Dancing collection
Around the Internet: Claricia Psalter from the Late 12th Century

Last Thoughts
I’d like to give a shout out to my Patreon supporters, because without you all, the blog wouldn’t happen.

Additionally, later this week there will be a gown from the 12th century (aka the 1100s) and I am excited to share that though I am also nervous about how little I know about this era. However, this is how I learn, so there you go!

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