Book Review: Civil War Fashions Coloring Book

Thank you for your very kind comments about the 3rd Anniversary of my blog. I read them to my hubby when we were in the car going someplace, and then I read them again, just to myself. You have no idea how special you all are!

Oh, we had a Giveaway didn’t we? Guess who the winner of the slip was? Out of 20 entries…

Our winner was Laureen Bakri…Congratulations Laureen… she emailed me with the sweetest comments about my blog.

Well, this will certainly be a different kind of book review. If you hadn’t noticed, coloring books are the rage right now!! You might even own one or have given one to someone. My sister, Deb, just brought one to my mom recently. They have actually taken over the book shelves in a lot of stores. I used to go in Joann Fabrics and see dozens of different books that interested me…now, more than half the shelves are filled with coloring books. I thought, “I don’t have time for a coloring book… I’m too busy sewing!” But guess what? I already had one!! Yep, and not just any ole coloring book… A Civil War Fashions Coloring book.

The one I have is by Tom Tierney, who has more of these designated fashion books than just about anyone. Most of his books are paper dolls, but some are coloring books. He has books with all the fashions from the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, etc. He has Movie Star books, President’s books, Southern Belle’s books, Favorite storybook characters, John Wayne, and the list goes on and on. Tom’s books are published by Dover.

I don’t use my book for coloring in. I can tell you right now, coloring in it has never crossed my mind. I use it as a reference book because the illustrations come from the fashion plates of Harper’s Bazar and Godey’s Lady’s Book. I like to look at my book for ideas on bonnets, the use of buttons, lace, how sleeves were decorated, what they have in the way of “accessories” in their hands, and there is a snippet of information at the bottom of the page telling if it was a walking dress, an evening gown, a day dress, etc. You can learn a lot from a coloring book!

There are only 2 colored pictures in the whole book, which is 48 pages long. The front inside cover….

…and the back inside cover.

Two more colored pictures are on the back.

I picked this coloring book up at a store called Abrahams’s Lady, in Gettysbury, PA when I visited Cindy. It was only $3.95. They had another book I liked, that was an authentic Civil War era book with Fashion Plates in was either a Godey’s Lady’s Book or one by Peterson. It was over $200… I think I’ll stick to $3.00 coloring books! :o)

So this wasn’t really a book review, but more of a look at a tool I use for ideas. Hope you enjoyed the information…

Now, who’s up for some coloring?

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda D. says:

    Oh coloring, yes, Jeanne, I have spent a lot of time coloring with my grandchildren and just myself when I was a little girl! I LOVE to color! I don’t have the time anymore, and feel kind of silly if I do it now, but I think coloring is a very good way to learn hand coordination, for one thing. Why I feel silly coloring, while on the other hand, I spend time dressing dolls, I’ll never know!
    Those are gorgeous outfits in that coloring book! Can you imagine getting dressed in those, and just getting around different places with all that material? Or sitting down—-and the upkeep!! I have a few of those paper doll books, but have never really cut them out. They are just too valuable to play with, in my opinion, but I love to look at them.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Linda,
      Yes it seems like coloring in coloring books is silly but when you think about it, a grown woman dressing dolls and sometimes playing with them sounds even sillier, but who cares?
      Not me…
      I used to love to color… first I would outline the lines of whatever it was I was coloring with my crayon making it pretty dark and then I would color the inside parts of it lighter. It just kind of made it stand out a little more.

      As pretty as those dresses are, I’m like you, and can’t imagine wearing them every day…
      Thanks Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Linda D. says:

    Oh, forgot to say “Congratulations Laureen” for winning the slip! You will love it!

  3. How super that the books include some children’s fashions.
    I like all the plaids too. Fall is coming — there might be some great plaids in the stores.
    I especially like the ruffles on the dress near the top. I definitely think you need to make a dress with tiers of tiny ruffles, adding hours of labor to the many you put in.
    And the lace caps and hair ornaments — you are already good at those, but what a lovely excuse to buy more lace.
    Dover has wonderful books at nice low prices. They do us all a service in publishing them. Thanks for showing us this one.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      The book IS a pretty good reference book, isn’t it? I think I’ll keep mine away from any crayons so I can enjoy all the details!
      I do love pretty lace…I think everyone knows that by now!
      Thanks Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. The Dover books truly are a blessing. Thanks for sharing yours.

    And, congrats to Laureen. As Linda said, you’ll love Jeanne’s work.


    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Becky,
      I’m glad you enjoyed this “sort of” review of Toms book. Sometimes it’s easier to see the details of a dress when it’s an illustration rather than an actual photograph.
      Thank you, Becky,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Charlotte A. says:

    Congratulations, Laureen!
    Your coloring book is great fun and a wonderful resources too. And you certainly can’t beat that price. I’m going to have to look for some of those in the series. They can make such good reference or inspiration. Thanks for the tip!
    Have a good day.
    Take care.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Charlotte
      These books really do make great reference books and even if you don’t copy one complete dress, you can get one idea from several dresses and come up with something just as nice!
      I’m glad you enjoyed seeing the book…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Congratulations Laureen in winning. I love Jeanne’s slips.
    I have seen those paper dolls and coloring books. They are fun to peruse. I had a few on the presidents and enjoyed seeing the types of clothing from all the different eras.
    The evening gown with the dots is really neat. Reminds me of a few you have done, Jeanne.

    I thought that was funny what Linda said about feeling silly coloring but not dressing her dolls !! I compare things to my dolls like that all the time.
    And speaking of dressing dolls, yesterday I spent some time in my doll room, redressing some of my dolls who had been in certain outfits for awhile. That’s what happens when you have too many dolls. I was only able to tolerate working on two dolls – new outfit, shoes and socks and by the time I was through man handling them, I was exhausted and discouraged !! I couldn’t keep the dolls steady and ended up fighting them from flopping all over, to the point I wasn’t enjoying this task. How do little girls manage these dolls? It’s hard to hang onto the doll’s body while fixing the hair and changing clothes. Jeanne, do you have that problem while using your dolls as models? all of my dolls are tightly strung – it must be the nature of the size of the doll. Barbies weren’t this hard to redress !
    Have a good day !

    • Hi Paula,
      I agree that dressing the dolls can be a challenge at times. I like to put the hair into a hairnet while dressing so the velcro doesn’t catch. I always take tights or socks and shoes off even if I plan to use the same ones so again velcro doesn’t catch. Only then does the hairnet come off and the hat or bow goes on. When I have a little extra cash my absolute next doll purchase will be some of the Kaiser chubby waist doll stands. My dolls always sit now because I’m afraid if they are standing they could topple over and get damaged even though all mine are tightly strung as well. Since beyond Samantha’s PC desk I don’t have furniture, dolls stands are really a must since sitting down doesn’t show off the outfits to the best advantage.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Paula,
      It’s a good thing I don’t live too close to a bridal factory where they sell their scraps…I’d be broke. Some of these drawings convey the fabrics so well you can almost “feel” them…

      Sometimes when I am working on a dolls hair, I put the doll in a basket big enough to hold her…if you put a dowel rod across the top of the basket and hook her arms over it, it kind of stabilizes the doll and you can work on her hair without her flopping over. Of course if you are putting her in a hooped crinoline it might not work…unless you got a laundry basket or something…
      Thanks Paula,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Linda D. says:

    No, Paula, you are not alone in having trouble with dressing dolls and keeping them upright, and the Velcro from sticking to everything, plus a variety of other things! I too, can’t figure out how little girls do this, or if they manage to!

  8. I’m sure Laureen’s dollies will enjoy the slip. Congrats.
    Coloring eh? Was never very good at it myself. But, have always admired others work. The b&w pages in your book are so detailed and useful for design as you mentioned.
    For a prop alert, Target has the cutest little back packs by Yoobi right now. The larger size fits American Girls (for pencils or school things) and the smaller is just right for the Little Darlings. (supposed to be a change or keychain purse). They come in several colors/patterns and the price is only 2.99 so I managed to buy several for my Little Darlings. Also, Staples has the cutest little mini binders and packs of extra paper too. They come in a lot of different colors and are the exact size for the American Girls. Had to get one of those. My girls are all looking at it and saying, “we have to share?”
    Can’t believe that it is Wednesday already. School will be starting here soon. And Fall is not far behind.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thank you for your comments, Joy….and thanks for the tips about “school supplies” for the dolls. I can just see a rush at Target and Staples on these great dolly finds!

      School starts here on the 14th….whatever happened to starting after Labor Day?
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. Colouring is my stress relief. When I am so stressed that I make too many mistakes sewing, that’s when the colouring books come out. Or if it’s too hot, or I just feel like colouring. I have several books, and more on the way. I have always loved to colour. The civil war book looks lovely. I might have to track one down. 😀

    Congrats to Laureen!!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Christine,
      You are our first official “admitter” to coloring!
      I probably could get into if I let myself, but once I started, I might be in trouble…that’s the way I am with puzzles…I am obsessed with them when my mom has one started on her table…
      Thanks Christine,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. Kathie Welsh says:

    Wow… it’s hard to pick a favorite. They all have something different to love about them. The amount of yardage and the layers and ruffles ….oh my.
    Glad you reached your 3rd Anniversary !!
    Congratulations Laureen

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Kathie,
      I can’t even imagine getting all those ruffles under my presser foot! But they sure are lovely to look at!
      You’d really have to find a bargain on lace when decorating one, wouldn’t you?
      Thanks Kathie,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. Glad to hear I’m not the only one who struggles dressing the American Girl dolls, Linda. On top of that, I have a few dolls with gorgeous new wigs. (Beautifully Custom Doll Wigs) In trying to redress those dolls, I also fight with the wig because it is so thick ( really un-natural for most little 10 year old girls except in the doll world,) it makes the doll top heavy to a degree. The hair is so thick it’s almost uncontrollable. My two dolls looked mangled by the time I finished. Whew !! LOL.

    • Jeanne W says:

      I’ve seen some of those long wigs and they do look heavy…maybe someone else will have some suggestions for you.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  12. Congratulations, Laureen on winning the slip. I’m sure your dolls will love it.
    I’ve seen some of those books by Tom Tierney and they are great. The detail is wonderful and I love those fashions. It’s amazing the details on the dresses from that era as well as Victorian when the ability to care for things was so difficult.
    I have two paper doll like books I just love. One is Mice paper dolls and the other is a repro of The Pretty Little Village. I set it up for Samantha with a few of the Playmobil Victorian figures and items my daughter had, but no longer wanted. Maybe a tad out of scale, but who cares.
    Her are the links in case anyone would like to see. I have one still together and one cut apart.

    Dover has a lot of really great things including repros of old-fashioned stickers etc.

    • Just checked and it says “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” Hmmm,
      what? I’ve never seen that on here before. I wonder why.

      • Jeanne W says:

        HI Laura,
        I either missed your comment unintentionally yesterday or it came on later…I’m not sure why it says waiting moderation sometimes… I used to think it was when there was someone new trying to make a comment… but that couldn’t be the case for you…

        Dover IS a really fun company it seems… they do things right and try to be as authentic as possible. I looked at the links you shared and I like the Pretty Village and bet it was fun to set up for Samantha.
        Sorry for the overlook, Laura…
        Blessings, Jeanne

  13. Anne Johnson says:

    Congratulations to Laureen as the winner of the Anniversary Blog! You and your girls will love Jeanne’s slips. If only I had one like it when I was a little girl! Enjoy!

    At $3.95, this is a beautifully detailed coloring book and a wonderful reference for sewing ideas, Jeanne. Yes, indeed, those outfits were a lot of layers to wear and take care of, but, oh my, how feminine they were! They are a pleasure to examine, and I will look forward to returning to this post to study the details more fully when I have some time. Thank you for sharing something lovely with us again today, Jeanne. You never fail to inspire us!

    Although I am a new LD mommy and I haven’t had much time for doll dressing lately, I have found that slipping a small ziplock baggie over Bella’s long wavy hair from the bottom and zipping it tightly as much as possible from each side helps to keep her hair from getting tangled and messy. I can easily push the bag up or to the side as needed, and can carefully rotate her head around to the side or front, if necessary. I have also slipped another baggie down over the top of her head and zipped it from the sides to keep her hair “muss free” during the dressing process. I know plastic bags are a danger for little ones, so please don’t report me for neglect! ;o)

    Congratulations again, Jeanne, on the third anniversary of your wonderful blog! Wishing you every good thing and lots of dolly surprises in the year ahead as your blog continues to delight us.


    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Anne,
      I think your “hair in the baggie” is a good idea and I bet someone will give it a try.
      I think dressing your dolls slowly and just carefully moving the hair helps too…making sure not to have any hairs that get tangled as you work at getting the doll dressed.

      Thank you again for the congrats on 3 years of blogging…it’s such a part of my everyday life now, I’d be lost without it and All of you wonderful readers!
      Thanks Anne,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  14. All the dresses are pretty, and, like you, I prefer the black and white illustrations for seeing the details. I bought some of the Tom Tierney books at a quilt show of all places, but I don’t think I have that particular one.
    I don’t do the adult coloring books as I don’t have time, but it sounds like a nice pastime. I read somewhere that Kate Middleton does them as a stress reliever.
    Congratulations to Laureen and thanks to Joy for the Target and Staples tips!

    • Thank you Carolyn,
      I bought some little Tom Tierney books at a quilt show too… They have great ideas in them too!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  15. Paula F. says:

    Thank you Jeanne, Linda, Laura and Anne – good ideas and I will try them all.

  16. Charlotte Trayer says:

    Oh, I love coloring, and sometimes I will color when I am not feeling like doing anything else! And, yes, Tom Tierney’s illustrations were always wonderful. I think he died about a year or two ago, so we will treasure all the things he did do. I have one or two books of his paper dolls, too, but I just look at them, I don’t punch/cut them out.

    I’m with my best friend, June, and her husband at their home in Michigan right now, so I’m just using her computer as it’s available and I have time. Today after lunch we went blueberry picking, and June is making pies now! Yum!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Charlotte,
      I don’t think I would punch out the Paperdolls either in the books…they are just sweet to look at…all in one book.
      Oh yum, blueberry pies… eat a slice for me! :o)
      Blessings, Jeanne

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