Welcome to Civil War Civilian Living History, formerly the Texas Civil War Home Front Living History website. The site has been redesigned and refocused to address the wider American Civil War civilian living history community. But don't worry Texans, the majority of the Texas information is still housed here, just put your cursor on "Texas" above.

This site provides information and links that will help the Civil War living history interpreter develop a general impression of the Civil War civilian and home front. Each region has its own variations, of course, but a general impression is a good place to start.

This is also the new home for my Blog, Civil War Living History; you will find the most recent posts below. I have maintained this blog on Blogger for sometime and the previous posts are still housed at http://txcwcivilian.blogspot.com/.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me from the "About Me" page.


New Undies!


Now that I live in the East, I am able to attend more of Carolann Schmitt’s sewing classes. The classes start at 8:00 am and run to 5:00 pm so they are full weekend sessions. She provides us with a notebook with a bibliography and gives an overview lecture. The most recent was a chemise and drawers class.  The weekend was divided up into sections; we first worked on the drawers, not bloomers or knickers, but drawers.img_4635

As always, Carolann had several original on display from her collection.

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Drawers were just coming into popularity by 1860; they were not worn by all women. Older women, especially, who may have grown up and lived their early years without drawers of any kind may not still have worn them past the 1860s. Another important point is the length. Women’s drawers were worn to mid-calf, not to the ankle and were not meant to be seen under dresses. Drawers were generally buttoned in the back.

Our first task was to get our measurements and draft the pattern. It really is fairly straight forward but you may wish to have someone help you. From these measurements we constructed the pattern. Usually I like to use interfacing to trace/draw my patterns as it is sturdy and fairly inexpensive. However, this pattern required me to tape pieces together to get the required width and tape does not stick well to interfacing. The pattern drafting requires math…I hate math, but with little trouble I was able to develop a pattern that fit. And then it was just a matter of stitching them up!

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We took a break from the drawers and started work on the chemise. Again we were able to look at some originals.

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There was also a discussion on whether to tuck or not to tuck. Carolann stated that based on staining she has seen on some originals she believes that some did tuck their drawers into their drawers. This may have been to eliminate some of the bulk under the corset. I personally think it diminishes the point of wearing split drawers, but it is a preference left to the individual.

We drafted our own patterns for the chemise, although Maggie had pre-drafted the yoke pattern for us in three different sizes. This pattern has no gussets so it is fairly easy to put together.

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I didn’t finish my chemise as I want to embellish the yoke first before putting it on. But I did finish my drawers, all but the hem.

I really enjoy Carolann’s classes. She is very knowledgeable on her subjects and having someone there to help you through tricky parts and to help fit is really nice. Plus they are held in Gettysburg, where I always enjoy visiting.

To the Top of the Mountian 2016: Mt. Washington NH, Part II

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Sunday morning we packed up early and headed to the Mt. Washington Hotel for their buffet breakfast, in period dress. We were given a private room that overlooked the main dining room. We had many of the other guests asking questions, mostly “what are you doing?”

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14055014_10153575175322126_9146306697578657671_nThe food was great but the hotel is beautiful! It was built in 1902, so after our interpretation period, but I don’t think anyone minded.
































After breakfast we rambled around on the porch of the hotel for a while and took the opportunity for group pictures.

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We then headed our separate ways to meet in the 1860s again.