Day 6 – Playing with Paper Dolls

As a little girl, I loved paper dolls! Do they still make them? I haven’t looked around lately, Hmmm… a quick search at Amazon shows that you can still purchase “paper dolls” although I daresay they look much different than the ones I had as a child. I had an entire suitcase — yes, really, an old suitcase — filled with paper dolls and clothes.

I was never good with scissors, you know. I’m still not good with scissors. Even so, I loved cutting out the clothes for my paper dolls. The dolls themselves were punched from a very thin cardstock. The clothing had little tabs — so hard to cut out — that allowed you to “clip” the clothes to your doll.

Although paper dolls ranged from little girls to movie queens, I always preferred the “grown-up” ones. I loved everything about my paper dolls. The high fashion poses, the colors, the patterns, the idea of assembling an entire coordinated “wardrobe”, complete with various accessories.

Yes, fashion is something I’ve loved forever, so of course I’m having a grand time now making croquis and thinking of all the fashions I’ll create as I learn fashion illustration.

It feels so much like playing with paper dolls!

I’ve finished my first croquis, using a 10-head proportional system. I then outlined her with a Sharpie following a suggestion from Nick Verreos. Having drawn her on Day 5, the project for Day 6 was to bring her to life a bit with skin color.

She doesn’t have a face yet, nor does she have any hair. Her thighs are a bit… well, not quite right. And, her pose is simple and straightforward. You’ll see lots of notes surrounding her as I wrote out the measurements needed.

I know she’s not perfect, but she’s mine. Eventually she’ll have a face. And hair. And clothes, too. She’ll become one of the models I use for the designs I create and illustrate.

From the “Fashion School” video I watched yesterday, I learned that a croquis like this can be used for making “flat sketches” of garments. A flat sketch is quite similar to the paper doll outfits shown above — garments that are flat, not shown on a model. This is why Nick Verreos suggests outlining the croquis with a Sharpie. A fashion illustrator can simply place tracing paper over the croquis to see the different body proportions as they sketch.

My next projects will be making additional croquis in different poses like those templates I shared recently. I truly am having fun once again playing with my paper dolls.

Fashion is fun, and I’m definitely enjoying fashion illustration!



    1. I loved my paper dolls! I guess I still do LOL. I’ve really enjoyed working my way through this “9 Day” quick fashion course. I’m still playing around with it and still having fun. You’ll be seeing more posts on fashion illustration. 🙂

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      1. It seems so simple now – I really don’t see today’s kids doing this! But we learnt fine motor co-ordination, creativity and all sorts!
        Enjoy your project. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Today’s kids have more “high-tech” ways of playing with fashion. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method, I suppose. I know I certainly enjoyed my paper dolls as a child, and I’m enjoying them now, too. 🙂

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  1. I played with paperdolls as well. But everything about them was handmade. And their clothes either cut out of magazines or drawn with crayons. Precious memories. Thanks for sharing. All the best to you in all your projects.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the good wishes. I wasn’t artistic enough to make my own paper doll clothing as a child. I guess that’s why I’m having so much fun with it now. I did design and make doll clothes, though.

      Liked by 2 people

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