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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Accessories~~~ Needful Items~~Civil War

Needful items are a girl's best friend
weather it be modern, primitive or Civil War Era
It is all about the accessories.....

I have been diligently researching the 1860's
Civil War Era
Finding and making all the needfuls  a lady of this era requires.
I want to share with you what I think is period correct and what
I will be using at the 150th Anniversary
reenactment of  the Wilson's Creek Battle
in Republic, Missouri

Vintage fan for keeping cool in our Southern heat.
Leather covered journal for taking notes
and recording addresses of new found friends.

Vintage loose powder compact to keep the shine off my nose
an "old" leather coin purse to hold my funds.

Black well worn gloves,
Black sash with brown belt buckle.

Handmade crochet lace collar purchased off Ebay
from a lady that stated her Grandmother made it for her...
How perfect, I love it.........
A black cameo pin is needed to complete this neckline,
I have one...just have to find it.

Under sleeves handmade by myself.
Under sleeves were easier to wash than the entire dress.
They were used daily for practical purposes or to
enhance your dress.

Handmade by myself, tutorial will follow.

Straw Bonnet
I researched bonnets and hats till I was blue in the face,
so many styles~~all so pretty.
I needed the right look for my dress
decided a simple straw bonnet decorated with
handmade ribbon flowers 
coffee dyed crochet lace and 
coffee dyed cheese cloth  looks like fragile "old lace"
My handmade bonnet will be featured later.

The items I chose not to use were:
Corset and Corset Cover
Petticoat, however I am wearing a 3 bone hoop skirt
Long stockings with garters
No parasol but would probably need one
Handmade Mushroom Purse
designed by myself but patterned after
a vintage purse I saw in the Sauder Museum 
in Berryville, Arkansas

Using a bowl to make the round bottom

Fold bottom in half and then half again
this will aid in gathering the sides to bottom

The side or body of the bag is 1 1/2 times the
circumference of the bottom circle.
I then added 3 tucks near the bottom for interest

Next I sewed on black braid trim

I sewed the bottom to the body gathering with small tucks to fit
This gives it the mushroom style,
the bottom tuck turns into a nice ruffle bottom

Black satin was used for lining,
using same technique except no tucks in the body

The lining sewn to the bag.
Right side of bag to wrong side of lining
turn and tuck lining inside bag

Stitch through lining and bag to form casing for straps
Insert ribbon, twill rope of your choice for straps
I forgot to mention you need to leave an opening on each side seam
1" in length to form casing and to pull the rope through.

And~~~~there it is
A vintage style top drawn purse/bag
or as I call it
My Vintage Mushroom Bag

This bag is large enough to carry my camera, 
coin purse, sunglasses, small bottle of water

and a hankie for tears that will be shed.
as we honor our soldiers and celebrate history,
the battle, that is a solemn time
we must never forget what it took to keep
our country united, 
home of the free...for everyone....always.



  1. Wow, I love everything you made and your dress is awesome! I would love to come to
    this event, when is it? I will check it out online. Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a great time.

    Bear Hugs & Blessings~Karen

  2. Connie you did Great you look wonderful and very fitting for the time. Your dress is stunning I love the sleeves and the sleeve inserts.
    Love your purse you designed. And your hat is perfect. Can't wait to see pictures of the event.


  3. You look amazing! You did such an awesome job on everything. Hope you have fun and take a ton of photos to share with us :)

  4. Wow! You look absolutely amazing! The detail is just fabulous! I can't imagine the hours of research let alone work you have put into this. Please take lots of photos to share of the event. Thank you so much for the tutorial of the purse, I would love to try one. This was just wonderful!

  5. Oh Connie, you are one talented lady. I love the purse and had never heard of the under sleeves. Your dress is beautiful. Everything looks great together. Hope you have a cooler day for the reenactment. Can't wait to see pictures. Hope you have a great time

  6. Oh Connie connie you look absolutely Beautiful.. Your dress is perfect.. I love it..You should create a parasal to go with it out of the same colors that would be so cool/cooling.
    I'm so excited to see all the pictures and hear all about your trip.


  7. Oh, Connie!! You are beautiful....and your dress is amazing!!! And I love all the attention you gave to the proper details!! The sleeves and purse you made are perfect and lovely!! How I wish I could see this - especially if even a handful of the participants take the time and effort to "ready" themselves as you have....Enjoy, and I'm with the crowd - take lots of photos!! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

  8. Hi, Connie
    You look like a 1860's Lady, very pretty~Wonderful job researching picking the outfit & great job making the mushroom bag~ My fav's are the bag & the Hat~ gotta love a lady with a pretty hat~
    Have a fun!!!