Kitty’s dress is finished! The cotton fabric is a blue, green, and brown print of birds, leaves, flowers, and branches on an ivory ground. It has brown cotton epaulets at the shoulders, matching brown piping at the sleeve hems, and brown fabric covered buttons. The collar is an antique ivory lace collar from my collection.
Author Archives: Alice
For the mother’s dress, I first made a test of the bodice and sleeves in some spare fabric similar in weight and weave to the final fabric. Even though Kitty’s corset hadn’t arrived yet, we were able to test the bodice fit by having her try it on with a similar corset and her chemise on. I was able to tell that the fit through shoulders and neck worked well. I’ll make the final bodice able to have fine tuning adjustments made to the waist when we have her corset.
“Farm boys or town apprentices wore heavy, coarse, durable fabrics that could withstand the hard daily labor. Jackets and pants were made from denim or canvas. Children during the Civil War also wore cotton shirts, woolen vests (in cool weather), and suspenders (not belts) to hold up their pants. Wide-brimmed straw hats protected outdoor laborers from the sun. Continue reading
I’ve been enjoying listening to learn more about the people, events, changes and challenges both large and small before, during, and after the Civil War. Here are some Audiobooks and Podcasts I recommend:
Yale University Open Course on iTunes U Continue reading
“From the late 1820s through to the 1860s, there was a structural undergarment that was required in order to get the “proper” bell-shape to your skirt: the Corded Petticoat. It came into fashion right after the Regency era when the waist line was slowly dropping and before the American Civil War when hoop skirts were commonly used.” ~ Jennifer Rosbrugh in 5 questions about corded petticoats at HistoricalSewing.com Continue reading
Needle and thread were important tools for women in supporting and giving comfort to soldiers. The last gift a mother, wife, or other female relative often gave to a departing soldier was a sewing kit, called a “housewife”, that they made for him to carry to repair his uniform. Women gathered in church halls and parlors to sew the vast quantities of bed shirts and linens needed for the wounded. The work likely gave them some solace and a chance to share news as they gathered to work. Read more in Ardeana Hamlin’s article at Bangor Daily News.
“Women contributed to the war effort in innumerable ways. Women’s domestic work, including sewing, took on new meaning when their labors were destined to assist soldiers.” Selection from “The Influence of Woman”, Harper’s Weekly, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries
Link to online archive of the exhibition “Women on the Border: Maryland Perspectives of the Civil War”.
Date: ca. 1865 Culture:British Medium:Wool, silk
Credit Line:Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Ethel Paxton, 1950