Some of my favorite doll projects are finding original garments or fashion plates and copying them. Sometimes I run into the fact that a certain trim does not exist or its just impossible to make THAT tiny but most of the time I am able to achieve my goal.
Two years ago my boyfriend had fabric custom printed for me based on fabric that was used for multiple garments during the Civil War. It is a brown wool with printed crossed Confederate flags. This fabric was produced in England and shipped through the blockade to the south. Two men’s shirts and two children’s jackets are known to exist today that were made during the war years. There is one dress that was made in the 1880s as well. In talking to Colleen Formby (who has done research into this particular fabric and patriotic aprons), garments during the Civil War made from this fabric would mainly be children’s and men’s garments. The one dress that was made in the 1880’s was more of a remembrance piece.
Todays post will be focusing on the child’s jacket I reproduced. I will be doing a separate post on the other garments because they are too awesome not to!
Now on to the details!
The original was wool but the copy is cotton. Due to limitations in technology, the printing wouldn’t be as crisp and sharp on wool in this scale. So I opted for cotton. This fabric was scaled to fit my 12″ dolls perfectly. I also used brown polished cotton to line the jacket like the original.
The buttons on the original are ringer china buttons with an orange ring around the edge. The button I used was a plain china to imitate the button tab closure at the neck. I did not make teeny tiny button holes though. I used a snap on one side of the tab closure and the other side of the tab is sewn to the jacket. This makes it easier for dressing and undressing, as well as wear and tear in that area. This is not a period correct solution but I tend to go with this closure due to ease of use.
The original had two rows of brown(?) trim and red tape on all the edges of the jacket. My copy will as soon as it comes in the mail!
This garment comes with an awesome story too! This was made by Mrs. P. B. Chambers of Statesville, NC for her five year old son in 1864. The fabric was purchased for $48 a yard in 1864, today it would cost around $500 a yard! I am not sure if the 1864 price is quoted in Confederate dollars or US but still the price is astronomical. The fabric itself was manufactured in England and went through the blockade to get to the South. It is noted that when this jacket was worn in the presence of Federal soldiers in Salisbury,NC, it was commented on severely. This garment was a political statement.
So now that I have gave you all the details on the garments, here they are!
My copy(sans trim):
If you are interested in purchasing this garment for your doll follow this link.
And if you are interested in looking closer at the original garment follow this link.