Designing Your Historical Wardrobe
When ordering historical outfits from Gathering of Goods, remember a few tips:
The proper length for young girls when measuring for Prairie or Civil War dresses can be determined by your personal preference, ankle to mid-calf being most attractive and will give plenty of wear for growing children. For plays and costuming, Harper's Bazaar 1868 indicates that just above ankle length was appropriate for 2-16 years old.
Little girls in Colonial times were little versions of the grown ladies, lower mid-calf to ankle length.
For adult ladies, working class women from colonial times to the wagon trains of the prairie wore their gowns from the lower mid-calf to the ankle. Any dress occasion for all classes would be ankle to floor length. Upper class women would wear this length for everyday wear.
Colors and Prints
If you need to be really exact(plays, reenacting, etc.), choose the following types of fabrics:
Colonial~Lighter backgrounds, simple prints of one or two colors, prints fairly far apart.
Prairie~Simple small prints of many colors, any color or shade, on any background.
Civil War~ Prints can be bolder, and of many colors, on any background. Darker/brighter dyes had just come out, and women were wild about them!
If you don't need to be exact...have fun picking your favorite color and print! They'll all look beautiful when made into your unique and one of a kind article!