By the time the Civil War came about, women of America were experiencing enough prosperity among the middle classes to make it possible for the latest fashions of the civilized world to come into their hands. Later on, new dyes and new fabric production methods would make the most fashionable of fabrics readily available, even at the "general store" level. So began the era of the crinoline. Sue and her daughter Sally lived alone in a cottage on Main Street in Anytown, USA. The year was 1862, and the Civil War was in motion. Sue's husband, Paul, was far away, fighting the war. Sue's daily life was one of hard work, prayer and loneliness; but also of family love, creativity and dreams of better times to come. The days were taken up with the simple doings of life such as washing, cooking, mending, shopping, gardening, sewing, visiting neighbors and attending church and choir practice. Quilts and blankets were badly needed in the war effort, so there were always quilts to piece and stitch. Today, we have much that is written of the history of the Civil War. Girls of the time probably had dolls like these to play with, hand-stitched by their mothers. The fabrics of the days long past, have now been reproduced so we have a wide array of lovely colors and patterns from which to choose. I hope you will enjoy sewing these lovely dolls and that your daughters will enjoy playing with them for a long time to come.