So is Addy’s dress starting to look like a Civil War dress yet?

I worked at the Food Pantry today and didn’t get started on Addy’s dress again until late this afternoon. I have a Civil War Coloring Book, from Tom Tierney, and was looking for some ideas of how to make this dress a little different since the fabric is not “necessarily” a Civil War print. Maybe something more Spring-like or cooler looking.


The dresses in this coloring book are rendered drawings taken from illustrations in Harper’s Bazar and Godey’s Lady’s Book and a few other publications. I found a couple of illustrations that I wanted to mimic if I could, or at least get my inspiration from…

This picture was what gave me the idea for the big lace collar. I know it’s not exactly like it, but similar.


…and this was the sleeve I was trying to copy. When I looked at it just in the book, I thought the sleeves went down to her wrists, but as I’ve looked at it closer, and observed quite a few other pictures in the book, I believe those are bracelets at her wrist and that her arm is bare.


This is how I was thinking of making it… although I’m having trouble getting the lace to stay up on the sleeves. It is so soft and dainty, it just wants to slide down. I put snaps on the backside, but I’m not having much success.




So I looked through the book again and found this picture and may change the sleeves to the sweet little ruffles like in this picture…they would definitely convey a more Springy look.


I’ll see what I think when I wake up in the morning…(oops…it’s already morning…)

I only have a little bit of this fabric so I think it will become one of Addy’s shorter version dresses. There isn’t enough fabric to leave it long and just touch the floor, so I’ll probably make it short like I’ve shown pinned up…and that probably means a pair of pantalettes!



So that’s what happened in my sewing room today!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    Those are lovely sleeves. If you want the skirt full length could could face the hem instead of turning it up. You are getting a beautiful dress out of this last bit of this fabric that you have.

    The skirt is already standing out beautifully. Do you have one of your pretty petticoats under it already? Pantalettes are always a nice touch. I’m looking forward to seeing what you choose to do for a headpiece.

    I love the Dover books — they are attractive, informative, and inexpensive, and cover not only costumes but handwork/needlework and architecture, and probably a whole lot of categories I don’t know about.

    Our weather is beautiful right now. In spring, that usually means there should be snow soon.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Marilyn,
      Well, those “were” lovely sleeves… they have been changed… silly woman!
      I do have one of my slips underneath it and it helps hold it out.

      Yes, even though this is just a coloring book, it’s pretty helpful and has lots of ideas in it.
      We had a beautiful day today too, but just a little cool… I know more are coming!
      I can’t even imagine thinking of snow now…
      Thanks Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Linda Doyle says:

    What a pretty little dress! I love the way the sleeves look and can’t quite understand where you mention you have snaps. Where? Anyway, pretty pantalettes with lace trim on the bottom peeking out would look sweet, since the dress won’t be as long. Also, looking at the picture from the coloring book, the model’s hair looks similar to Addy’s. You could add a pretty piece of ruffled lace to a ribbon, and if you have any left, some material from the dress. And oh, a lacy parasol would look good with this too! Do you have Cecile’s, now Samantha’s, parasol?

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Linda,
      Well, I hate to tell you, but the sleeves have been changed… They just weren’t working…
      I wish I had a parasol… that would look pretty with this more spring like dress…
      I think he headpiece will have to be simple, since I’m redoing the sleeves my fabric scraps are dwindling down fast…
      Thank you Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. This is beautiful, Jeanne. I know whatever you come up with will look wonderful on Addy. She’s such a beautiful doll to dress. The combination of colors, lace and style you’re working on are most attractive.

    Take care.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Becky,
      Well, you’ll be in for a surprise tomorrow…as I’ve changed up the sleeves again… Maybe I can “save” the Civil War look and keep it somewhat authentic… let’s hope so…
      Thanks for your compliments,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Karen D says:

    I love your rendition of the sleeves for Addy’s dress! It looks so pretty on her. The shorter hem is actually accurate for a young girl during the Civil War. Pantalettes would be also appropriate. Even though your fabric isn’t quite historically correct, it is a beautiful spring print and paired with the lace is just gorgeous!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Karen,
      Now that I’m reading all these comments about liking the sleeves, I’m getting a little nervous… you see, I just changed them… they were’n’t doing what I wanted them to do…
      I will most likely be making it the shorter version…
      Thank you very much for your kind words about it…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. The dress is coming along so well. Such pretty fabric. Maybe something simple for her hair. Perhaps just some flowers for Spring as in the first coloring book photo.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Joy,
      I hadn’t noticed all the ideas for hair pieces in this coloring book before, but there are certainly lots of options to pick from…
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Hi Jeanne,
    Addy’s dress is looking pretty, love the lace. I’m not really sure what you mean about the sleeves falling down. I had a thought as to what I think you mean. It probably won’t help, but in case it does… would a ribbon sewn inside the puffy sleeve area (the ribbon is shorter than the sleeve) keep it from straightening out and pulling down? Like how we sometimes tie up bustles. Boy, you sure do get the advice from all of us, don’t you? We all care about you, dear Jeanne.

    Hope you get your dress all worked out today.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Cindy,
      I know exactly what you meant with the sleeves and using a ribbon. It may have helped, but the lace was just too flimsy and sort of wrinkled up around her wrists. Even when I pulled it tight it still sort of stretched and wouldn’t stay. So… I did what any other designer would do… I changed them… UGH… one of these days I’m going to have to get it together, so I don’t spend so much time taking things apart and putting them back together…
      I didn’t get much done on it since I’ve taken it apart… and I’m having to help my mom with her taxes so I’ve been a bit behind on everything. I did catch up on your posts this morning, and wanted to comment on how adorable Gracie was in the pink dress and how absolutely beautiful Lucy was in her “happy” dress. I think your Lucy is the prettiest one I’ve seen. Some of the others just don’t look that “right” to me, but your Lucy is a little doll. She was adorable in her dress… I’m sorry I haven’t taken the time to comment on your blog posts…
      Thanks Cindy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. I love the way the sleeves look with the lace peeking out. Could you continue the sleeve to the shoulder with some tulle so it would be a full length sleeve attached to the arm opening but only showing from the elbow down?
    Pantalets would be perfect too. The green waistband is just the right green…it’s really coming together!
    Good luck adding the finishing touches!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Kathie,
      I just changed up the sleeves again and I understand what you mean, so I may try and do that if I don’t like the bare arm showing from the elbow down…
      I’m pretty sure a pair of pantaletts will be in the mix…
      Thanks Kathie… I need to get my patterns figured out BEFORE I cut things out so I can stop “redoing” things…
      Blessings, Jeanne

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