Book Review: Women’s Fashions at the time of the Civil War 1860-1865

Before I do the book review for today, just a REMINDER that Ellowyne’s dress ends this evening on Ebay. You can see it HERE, or click on the picture of it at the right side bar and you’ll be taken directly to the listing. Thanks!

This book review involves 3 volumes that come as a set. The paperback books are published by Yesterday in Pictures and are probably my favorite and most looked at booklets when I’m debating about a Civil War dress. I love the illustrations taken from Harper’s New Monthly Magazine and Godey’s Lady’s Book. The pen and ink illustrations are my favorite way of studying the details of the Civil War dresses. Sometimes the details get lost in the photographs, but the line drawings are so easy to see and copy (in my case.)


Each booklet is 24 pages and has lots of information on each page, including descriptions of the garments, usually what fabrics were used, and what accessories looked best with the dress. If I could only have one book (or set of booklets) these would be my choice.

I’ll show you a few things that inspired me and what I turned that inspiration into…

This is my all-time favorite Civil War dress on Addy….and the illustration that inspired it.




The black and white ruffled Civil War dress was inspired by this illustration…



Rebecca modeled a red and black dress with a bonnet that was copied from this illustration…





Pintucks on the bodice makes for beautiful detailing… just like in this illustration and 2 examples I copied…





…and also the bodice on the black and white ruffled dress…


There are many ideas packed in these 3 volumes and I would highly recommend these books if you sew Civil War dresses. You won’t be sorry for the investment.
I give them a 10!

One more thing…
I got a coupon in the mail from Kohl’s saying I could get $10.00 off a purchase of $50.00…from the TOY department…


I had received $10.00 Kohl’s cash back when I bought Willa the other day. My mind was doing a little “figuring” and I thought I could maybe get Kendall using the $10.00 Kohl’s cash AND the $10.00 coupon, but look at the back…exclusions…”American Girl.” BUMMER!


See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

Please spread the word!Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPrint this pageEmail this to someone


  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Those are fantastic books to look at and get inspiration from, Jeanne! I’m wondering just who these artists are that did the drawings, and how they learned their craft so well? There are so many details on each picture, it makes me wonder how long it took to draw them. I absolutely love the fancy stitiching on Addy’s two black and white dresses! Cecile would look lovely in those outfits too, and she is my Civil War girl, plus a few other timelines! Her hair-do is what puts her there, I think.

    I too, got the coupons from Kohl’s but mine was for 30%!!! I’m going over today to check out Lea and the Wellies. Not sure if I will buy today, but want to see them again. What I wanted to ask you, how does that dress you made for Willa, currently on Ebay, fit your LD dolls? Would it fit or is it too big?

    • HI Linda,
      They are fantastic books and yes, they are FULL of lease for me! The back of the booklets say, “All the illustrations in this AuthentoGram are made directly from the original wood engravings published in books and magazines during the American Civil War Period.”
      I think Cecile would have been pretty modeling these dresses too. I didn’t have her then.
      I had to make myself NOT go to Kohl’s today and look at Kendall again… she’s pulling at my heartstrings, but I just can’t…
      I haven’t tried Willa’s dress on my Effner dolls… I’ll have to, but I’m sure it will swalllow them.
      Thanks Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. I absolutely LOVE civil war fashion for women! Thanks for the ‘review’! I ordered myself a set – and, am excited for them to get here! I can’t duplicate as well as you – but – it will give me something to ‘daydream’ about! The dress pictures you posted are also among my favorites!

    • I found this on and on Amazon Marketplace — it was the same set in both cases — I need to say this more clearly — the same copies of the books were being sold by the same seller. It looks as if these are tricky to find. Where did you find yours?

      • HI Marilyn,
        Cindy found my books in a stack of Civil War books out in Gettysburg at a Thrift shop. She bought the whole stack and sent them to me. I was so thrilled…and still love them. They are a bit hard to find…
        Thanks so much,
        Blessings, Jeanne

      • this is where I found mine….


        Northwest Press Books
        PO BOX 702
        Pelican Rapids, 56572
        United States
        Phone: (503) 504-4804

        I searched at that site this morning, again…and didn’t see any available, tho…. :-/ it might be worth a call to inquire, tho…

    • OH good for you Mary,
      I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. They certainly are fun to read and just dream about what the dresses were really like back then. I hope you get your books quickly.
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. I love your book review posts, especially when they are accompanied by the wonderful adaptations you create, all the tiny buttons, braid and all the details. Thanks.

    • HI Susette,
      How are the costumes coming along? Almost finished?
      Thanks for the nice comments about today’s book review. I’m glad you liked it.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. I definitely agree with Susette, down to the last period. I loved the second black dress because of your fabric choice and the way you used the pattern. The first picture of Addy in yellow should be with the all time great photos. She looks as if someone she really wanted to see just called her name and she has just turned to see her.

    • HI Marilyn,
      I actually found that black white fabric at a thrift store. It was a brand new skirt still with the tags on it and had this most wonderful border on it. I knew it would make a great Civil War dress so I snagged it for $3.00. It turned out just as I hoped it would.
      Thanks for your compliments on my pictures… I DO love that yellow dress on Addy!
      Glad you do too!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Those booklets look very interesting. Thank you for sharing.
    Did you look at the A Girl For All Time dolls? I believe they have won Doll of the Year awards several years. Good model for children.
    I’ll have to talk to daughter to see if she thinks granddaughter would like a Wellie or not. Perhaps other grandmother may get for her. We’ll see.

    • HI Joy,
      Thanks for sharing about the Girl for All Time dolls. I did take a look at them and would like to see one in person. I’ll have to ask around at church and see if any of the little girls have one of the dolls.
      I think when you see the Wellie’s in person, it makes such a difference… to touch their skin and see their hair and see their exact size makes an impact you can’t feel when you just see them on the computer screen.
      Thanks Joy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

Speak Your Mind