I found this lovely brown and rust print cotton at a Wal-Mart last year and bought six (or so) yards with a Civil War dress in mind. Thus, the final product:
Since the print was so busy I wanted to keep the design simple and that resulted in having a very neat, fitted print dress--a necessity in every lady's nineteenth-century wardrobe. ;) The bodice fullness is tucked out below each bust and the tucks are sewn down, then released at a certain point. The silver buttons came off of an old wool sweater and are simply decorative. (The dress actually fastens with hook & eye tape.)
The dress has a tucked back (faux back seams). The seams are invisible due to the busy-ness of the print!
The sleeves are regular, boring coat sleeves--I got lazy and didn't pipe any of the seams in this dress, so they're rather plain. I get to wear my pretty undersleeves with them though. :D The lace trim on the sleeves matches the bit of lace trimming the collar.
And the skirt is simply tucked to the waistband, whipstitched to the bodice and the whole thing closes with a dog-leg closure. Quite nice and neat.
As an added bonus, this dress got its fifteen minutes of fame in the Christmas 2011 issue of the Girlhood Home Companion. (You can purchase it here.) My four friends and I were asked to portray the March sisters from Little Women and we are featured inside the issue. It was a lot of fun! You can find my friends here:
Bethany Lynn at www.diaryofaseamstress.blogspot.com
Rebecca Ann at www.singinginhisname.blogspot.com
Stephanie at www.stephanienotes.blogspot.com
and our lovely photographer Lindsey at www.lindseymae.zenfolio.com