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From 1840 to 1860 the focus of the woman's figure was her waistline and fashionable dresses were designed to accentuate this feature. The desired circumference of the waistline was 20 inches around. Take a look at your doll. Her waistline probably measures about 10 inches around. That would mean that fashion conscious women were trying to get their waistlines to just twice that of your doll's. To achieve this look women and girls as young as 10 years of age wore extremely tight corsets. To further diminish the waistline, dress skirts became extremely full. By the mid 1860's they as wide six feet in diameter.

In order to squeeze the large amounts of fabric into the skirt without adding bulk to the waistline, skirts were pleated and only the points of the pleats were attached to the edge of the waistband (see photo 4). This way, the extra fabric could hang below the waist. This dress is modeled with a crinoline, however, the dress is still quite full without it. See my shop or contact me if you would like to order one with the dress.

The skirt on this dress is calf length, which was the appropriate length for a pre-teen girl during the Victorian Era.

The doll and crinoline are not part of this listing, however, a beautiful wood hanger is included with each dress.

Constructions Details: All seam allowances are professionally finished with a serger. The bodice and skirt are fully lined. The skirt is hand pleated. The back of the dress closes with 5 snaps to ensure a snug fit. All fabric is 100% cotton.

American Girl Civil War Era Dress


  • Handmade item
  • Ships worldwide from Minnesota, United States
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