|DRESS UNDER DIFFICULTIES
Godey's Lady's Book
Summaries and Notes
Character: Eliza Hay
Class: Apparently the planter class
1) Eliza states that women in her area wore homespun at first- "a fashion which it would have been wise to keep up."
2) Ball dresses of white "factory cloth" - the type of cloth that slaves once used for underclothing. These were worn with jewelry
of strung corn and a coiffure of cotton balls.
3. Silk gloves or lace mitts after they could no longer get kid gloves.
4. The Garabaldi blouse was welcome, and these were made of old aprons, merino shawls, sacks, & scarfs, etc. "we all
appeared in waists of every conceivable shade and color, with skirts of every other conceivable shade and color."
5. White spencers (blouses) worn with skirts whose bodices had worn out.
6. Great care taken of clothes to make them last.
7. Tight sleeves could be cut down from larger ones.
8. Trimming or flounces on the bottoms of skirts disguised wear. Using one old dress to patch or trim another. Using trim to
disguise patched areas.
9. "....I can never look upon a skirt of one color and a waist of another, or see the latter decorated with any solid trimming,
without instantly suspecting a patch or a make-shift...."
10. Dye two dresses black and then make one new dress out of the two.
11. Using a black silk umbrella for multiple uses.
12. "I have seen a tight sleeve pieced in sixteen places...."
13. "I have seen a cavalry jacket that was pieced in thirty-six places with equal skill."
14. "Cavalry jackets were in high favor with us, for two reasons: first because they answered the same purpose as the Garibaldi
in helping out bodiless skirts, and secondly, because they were so military."
15. Gold braid very popular
16. Coarse, clumsy shoes
17. "Southern women became expert knitters, but the more fancifully they were made, the more vulgar did our coarse stockings
18. We learned to make cuffs of white cotton shirting.....
19. "As bonnets grew larger they were pieced with ribbon or silk boarders round the front..."
20. "Artificial flowers made of goose feathers became very fashionable...."
21. Bonnets became extremely expensive and almost unobtainable.
22. Palmetto hats popular
23. Veils were $75. Many veils were made of old barege dresses.
24. Underwear of coarse factory cloth from Macon Mills.
25. "Evening dresses were unheard of toward the close of the war: even brides...never aspired higher than Suisse muslin, and
many contented themselves with humbler fabrics. I saw the waist of one wedding dress made out of the flounces of an old
26. "Any kind of simple muslin dress, and even thick, dark skirts with muslin spencers, figured in elegant ball rooms without
seeming out of place. ....I have seen ladies look very well in old silk petticoats trimmed with black lace or white tarletane ruches."
27. Frizzing the hair became popular, as hair pins could not be had, nor false hair braids.