DDJ: Color Blocking with Twilight

A black and white paper doll with a mix and match wardrobe of 8 clothing pieces.

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A black paper doll with a mix and match wardrobe of 8 clothing pieces.

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Color blocking is one of my favorite fashion themes. I just love how it lets me play with different colors and experiment with how different lines look on a set of garments. I first drew this paper doll set last year, but didn’t manage to actually get it done until a few weeks ago. Sometimes, I am a little slow on finishing up my own artwork.

Let’s not talk about the large number of 80% finished projects lurking on my hard-drive.

By the way, this is only my 6th Dolls Du Jour paper doll. I created this series in May of 2020 as part of my move towards drawing more diverse figures. Figure drawing is my least favorite part of paper doll making and it is the part I think I am worse at. There’s dozens of abandoned attempts at figure drawing in my notebooks. I still don’t think my figures are as diverse as they could be, but I also can only bang my head against the things I don’t like doing so long.

Just let me draw silly shoes and ignore when my people look off, which they often do.

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1970s Fashion Paper Doll- Sapphire

Occasionally, I ask Patrons to vote on what they would like to see. Last time I did it, there was a three way tie between Tudor, 1970s and 1890s. Today’s creation is a 1970s fashion paper doll. When I usually think of the 1970s, I think of psychedelics prints and bellbottoms. When I actually spent some time looking at images from the era, I noticed quickly that while that was one trend of the era, it wasn’t the only trend of the era.

I fell in love a little with the more conservative business attire I kept seeing for women. Well and one jumpsuit, because the 1970s is full of amazing jumpsuits. I couldn’t exactly draw the clothing of the period and not include a jumpsuit. My sources were vintage sewing patterns (this one and this one) and several books I have on 20th century fashion.

A 1970s fashion paper doll coloring page for printing out and playing with. Fun vintage fashion activity for kids featuring a black paper doll and her work wardrobe from the mid-1970s.

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I decided to go with a swimsuit rather than traditional underwear for this paper doll and my other 1970s paper doll. I just kept seeing swimsuit vintage sewing patterns. I settled on this one as my source material. The hip hugger boy-short bottoms with the belt felt very period appropriate.

The closer you get to the current era, the more it is small things that define a period style. For the 1970s, some of those small things include the shape of the collars, skirt length and pant shape. The last is color and that’s a big one too. Speaking of color, I chose avocado green (such a classic of this era), burnt orange and some deep coral. For the dolls makeup, I tried to keep with the “natural look” of the 1970s which required like 57 products, but was supposed to look like it didn’t.

A 1970s fashion paper doll printable. Fun vintage fashion activity for kids featuring a black paper doll and her wardrobe from the mid-1970s.

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I chose Sapphire for the model here, because before the 1970s, you almost never seen black women in mainstream catalogs or magazines. During the 1970s, there’s a wave of diversity. Also, I love 1970s afros. Sapphire’s was inspired by Pam Grier and her amazing curls. I tried to make this look like a looser afro than some of the others I have drawn, but I am not 100% sure it was effective. I’m still practicing my hair drawing skills a decade into this blog.

There is another 1970s fashion paper doll forth coming, but until then you can check out my other 1970s paper dolls or join Patreon if you want to get to vote in my next “time period for Rachel to work on” poll.

A Celebration of Tudor Clothing

Today’s paper doll is my second Tudor clothing paper doll. My amazing patrons voted for Tudor as a historical era to explore, hence the focus on Tudor. Also, I realized I still didn’t know a lot about the clothing of this time period. My first Tudor clothing paper doll from the Jewels and Gemstones was Ruby and today’s paper doll is Topaz.

A little about this Tudor clothing- this portrait of a young woman from 1567 and this portrait of Susan Bertie inspired the dress on the left. The dress on the right is a Henrician gown. This portrait of Mary I and this portrait of Katherine Parr feature this style of dress in lighter colors than you usually see it. These portraits also show off French Hoods, a very popular headdress style. This portrait, often identified as Helena Snakenborg, is where I saw the court bonnet. I should note that the identification as Helena Snakenborg has never been proven.

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First rule, I gave myself was that I was not going to make any dresses black. Don’t get me wrong, black fabric was wildly expensive in the 1500s and therefore very popular for portraits and people of wealth. Black is, however, one of my least favorite colors. It obscures line work, so I only used it for her hair and the veil for the French Hood. I didn’t see any French Hood’s that had veils of other colors. Also, I have no idea if French Hood is a proper noun and should be capitalized, but I am anyway.

I wanted to use colors I knew were common/referenced in source materials. According to sumptuary laws of the time only nobles could wear blue and there’s references in The Art of Dress by Jane Ashelford to tawny colored gowns. That’s why I chose to make one gown blue and the other a sort of beige color.

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Topaz’s underwear is based on illustrations from the Tudor Tailor by Ninya Mikhaila and Jane Malcolm-Davies. The bodies are based on the famous Pfaltzgrafin Dorothea Sabine von Neuberg’s pair of bodies from around 1598. All of her shoes come from Stepping Through Time by Olaf Goubitz. Her underwear, as I noted on the paper doll, has been simplified to facilitate playing with the paper doll. An actual extant 16th century shift is at the V&A and you can see it here.

Other books I consulted about Tudor clothing were, in no particular order, were Tudor Fashion, The History of Underclothes, In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion, and Tudor Costume and Fashion. And you can see some of my reference image so on my 16th Century Dress Pinterest board.

You can see all my Tudor paper dolls here. Up next on the historical paper doll front will be the 1970s and the 1890s. That was the other winners when I polled my Patrons.

Winter Geometric

Today’s paper doll might be familiar to folks, because she’s made up of pieces from Jewels and Gemstones 1.0. One of the things I knew I wanted to do with Jewels and Gemstones 2.0 was take advantage of the 1.0 content to create sets as well.

So, you might recall these pieces from Winter Fashion Week 2019.

A paper doll coloring page with 12 clothing pieces.

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I did decide to re-color this set though. I wanted to make some changes and I really do enjoy coloring paper doll sets.

A black paper doll coloring page with curly hair and 12 clothing pieces. She's a printable from paperthinpersonas.com.

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I chose a warm, autumn color scheme with warm reds and oranges. I wanted it to feel different from the Original Winter Fashion Week, but I like teals and reds, so I’m not sure how different it really is.

If you want even more paper doll content and to help support the blog, I have a Patreon page. Thanks to my Patrons financial support, I’ve moved server companies this year, been able to pay for better website security and, hopefully, have a few more upgrades coming down the line.

A link to the exclusive Friday paper doll content on Patreon

Sapphire Goes to a Party

A curvy black paper doll with long hair and a part dress with matching shoes. Printable in color or black and white

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I usually describe these dresses as cocktail dresses, but I don’t think many people do cocktails anymore? I don’t, but then I don’t really drink. So, I’m not 100% sure that description still makes sense to anyone but me. As a result, I decided to just go with the description “party dress” and figured that would work for now. It’s not really a formal gown, but it’s fun and maybe a date-night option? For people with more formal lives than mine, I suppose.

My paper dolls all live much fancier lives than I do.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
I wanted to do a series of paper dolls with party dresses for the blog. I also realized it had been a long time since Sapphire got any love, so it was easy to combine the two instincts to this paper doll set of Sapphire and her cocktail dress.

Specific Source Images: My Inspiration Dress from Pinterest

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls
Around the Internet: My formal gowns and cocktail dresses Pinterest Board

Last Thoughts
A big thank you to my Patreon supporters who are amazing and awesome.

Also, cocktail dresses. Is that a term anyone uses anymore? Am I just insanely old fashioned? I can live with it if the answer is, Yes, but I am curious.

Winter Fashion Week: Meet Jade & Her Booties

A curvy black paper doll with curly hair and three pairs of boots. Each paper doll can wear any clothing from other paper dolls in the Jewels & Gemstones collection.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I wanted to do a collection of contemporary fashions that were all winter themed and all in coordinating colors, so everything this week can be mix and matched. I also wanted to practice drawing tight curls (something I always need practice on).

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
So many things… Okay, so for this paper doll I was kinda obsessing over open toed booties. I’ve linked to the reference images below.

Her hair comes from one of my favorite resources for hair which is hairstyle magazines. Sophisticate’s Black Hairstyle and Care Guide shows lots of different hairstyles (updos, natural hair, treated hair, weaves, the whole nine yards). These magazines are a great way to help built a photo reference collection. I pick mine up at the local grocery store, but if you live in a place without a large black population, you might need to order it online.

Specific Source Images: Theses booties, these sandals, which I thought felt kinda wintery, and these booties.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Black Paper Dolls, One of my favorite Winter paper dolls, and More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls
Around the Internet: Did you know that Oprah’s stylist Andre Walker developed a hair typing system for curly hair? There’s some controversy around it (isn’t there around everything?), but it’s an interesting idea. I liked this guide, because it has photos.

Last Thoughts
Don’t expect me to continue this “theme week” and then “random week” pattern. It just happened, because this was what I had finished. I don’t want people to think there’s going to be a pattern, because then I’ll feel pressure for there to be a pattern.

My Patreon have been helping me plan for my next few theme weeks by kindly voting on ideas. If you are a Patron, please vote here, if not, than join us! Patron support keeps Paper Thin Personas around.

Tomorrow there will be another contemporary winter outfit for the ladies and then we’ll continue from there all week! How do you feel about the winter? Are you a fan of cold weather or do you prefer the summer?

Two Bridget Dress Up Dolls

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The first two Bridget paper dolls were both red heads. I do love red headed paper dolls. I blame it on reading Anne of Green Gables as a young child.

Anyway, I felt like poor Bridget deserved a non-redhead version, so I designed these two dolls to a a blond and a brunette.

Also, the other two Bridget paper dolls both have fairly straight hair. Therefore, these two have curls. I am trying to increase paper doll diversity after all and I can’t exactly do that if I just draw the same style Bridget paper dolls every time.

What I don’t have yet is an “unusual hair color” Bridget, so I guess that’s next up for her someday. Maybe blue or green hair… I’m not sure. I haven’t crossed that bridge yet.

What hair color would you like to see for Bridget? Let me know in a comment! I love to hear from you.

And also, if you like the blog, consider supporting it through Patreon. It really does help keep my costs down, because the internet is not free and I won’t put ads on the site. Even a dollar a month helps. Join here if you want too

Oh, and if you aren’t aware, I’m doing a curvy paper doll for Inktober. My goal is ten drawings for the month of October. and I’m sharing her to Instagram as I get her done. You can follow me there or follow the tag #ptptinktober to see my drawings. Two other people are doing paper dolls too on Instagram- @enolablue_ooakdolls and @elizabethjoymcdonald. Miss Missy is posting her Inktober paper doll on her website

Need clothing for today’s paper doll? All the B Pose Dolls & Clothing.

And Now For 2 Benedita Paper Dolls

A pair of printable paper dolls with brown skin from paperthinpersonas.com. The paper dolls are part of the Dames and Dandies Series and can share clothing with other paper dolls. These cute Latinx paper dolls have dozens of outfit options on paperthinpersonas.com.

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Today’s paper dolls are a double set of Benedita paper dolls, part of the series of sets I created with two dolls each.

I struggle with setting limits. I am the kind of person who doesn’t bake one cookie recipe when I feel like baking cookies. I make two or three. And while my coworkers appreciate my baking spasms, it occasionally creates problems in my creative life.

So, when I started the Dames and Dandies I knew from the start that I needed to set a few limits or would I end up completely overwhelmed. One of those limits was to start with four dolls of four different skin-tones in each pose. Another limit was to start with just three poses.

I regret the second one occasionally, because I think- what if I had a curvy set of poses or a taller or shorter set of poses or a pose in a wheel chair or…

You see how these things spiral for me very quickly. Paper doll diversity is super important to me in both theme, skin-tone and body shape, but I am a one woman show.

Anyway, the Double-Sets like today’s two Benedita paper dolls were a way of tackling a problem I knew existed. I wanted there to be more versions of each paper doll and I wanted them quickly. So, by fitting two dolls onto each page I could get to a more robust collection of options a bit quicker than if I did one doll per page. Plus, I didn’t have to come up with themes beyond different hair styles.

With Benedita, I wanted to do hair styles and colors I hadn’t used for her before. So, I did a lighter brown bob and blond waves. She also has two different eye colors, but it’s so subtle that I don’t think anyone can tell.

I have more double set to share, so fear not the rest of the dames will get their versions.

I’ve always preferred clothing to dolls. So, I would rather have a smaller number of dolls and lots of clothing options. It occurs to me that you all might not feel the same, so let me know in a comment. Do you prefer lots of dolls or lots of clothing?

And, of course, if you like the blog than follow it on Instagram or Facebook and consider becoming a Patron.

Need a clothing for today’s paper doll? All the B Pose Dolls & Clothing.

Happy March! Here’s Akiko in her Sweet Lolita JSK

A Sweet Lolita paper doll with a ruffled dress, purse and two pairs of shoes in color or black and white for coloring. Free from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Today, I am pleased to share version 2 of Akiko whose rocking a Sweet Lolita dress and ringlet curls. For those of you not aware of the Japanese alternative street style known as Lolita, here’s a brief run down- It’s a alternative fashion style from Japan- think Gothic fashion or Punk fashion in the United States and the UK. According to Lolita the influences are Victorian children’s clothing. As someone whose seen a lot of Victorian children’s clothing, I don’t quite agree, but you can decide for yourself if you want by looking through my Lolita Fashion pinterest board.

One thing I adore about Lolita is that it is not just about the dresses. Rather, the idea is to put together a “coordinate” which is a perfectly coordinating outfit from the tights to the dress to the bonnet. This is not surprising given that this style came from the country that developed a system of colors and motifs for kimonos based on the seasons when they were to be worn. Talk about matchy-matchy.

Anyway, within Lolita, as within almost every alternative fashion scene on the planet, there’s an endless collection of sub-genres and variants. The three major genres are Sweet Lolita, Gothic Lolita and Classic Lolita. I love this post from F Yeah Lolita with example wardrobes in each genre.

For my first Dames and Dandies foray into Lolita (and not my last, never fear) I went with Sweet Lolita, though there is a Gothic Lolita variant on my Patreon page that I hope you will download and play with as well. I tried to capture the bell shaped skirt and I designed what is known as a JSK (Jumperskirt) which is a sleeveless dress designed to go over a blouse. I made 2 matching pairs of shoes and one purse.

So, I did my usually research hunt for reference photos when I started my latest Lolita fashion paper doll. My previous favorite fashion blog devoted to Lolita, F Yeah Lolita has not updated in a long time. So, I dusted off my librarian searching skills and found a few new ones that I really liked. Magical Girl Me, Lolita Fashion on Tumblr and Miss Carol Belle’s Lolita Fashion Sewing and Pattern Advice all appear to be currently active, if you’re looking for more information on Lolita styles. I also had fun reading through Lolita Tips. Reading through that led me to the amazing Loli Library where I think I could easily get lost for hours staring at pretty dresses.

So, let me know if you like this Sweet version or the Gothic version better in a comment. I’d love to know! And if there’s a great Lolita fashion blog I don’t know about, I’d like to know that too!

Need a Doll to wear today’s outfit? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

Meet Beatrix: The First Pose B Paper Doll

A black paper doll with curly natural hair to print in color or black and white for coloring from paperthinpersonas.com. She comes with three pairs of shoes.

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This is Beatrix, a name I knew I wanted to name her the moment I drew her. I have no idea why, but she looked like a Beatrix to me.

She is also the first of the Pose B paper dolls for the Dames and Dandies series. This is version one of Beatrix, which I intentionally made pretty neutral. A doll and some shoes. There will, no doubt be a version 2 and a version 3 eventually.

But we are starting with version one.

My original plan for Beatrix version one was micro-braids, but I seriously screwed them up while I was inking them and I decided to do something different instead. I draw a lot of micro-braids, after all. Instead, I thought I would stretch my wings a little and try a side parted natural hair style. 

I think it came out pretty well.

Let me know what you think on a comment about today’s paper doll? I’d love to hear from you.

Need a clothing for today’s Doll? All the B Pose Dolls & Clothing