Author Archives: Susan

About Susan

Hi! My name is Susan and I am a historian, seamstress, teacher, mother, and wife. My passion for history has manifested itself in the art of recreating clothing from different periods of time. Growing up in the American South, I am heavily schooled in the art of recreating clothing from the 19th century. After nearly a decade of immersing myself primarily in the Victorian period, I found the need to branch out and explore other periods of time. However, it is my connection with the American South and the clothing of rural America that continues to be the driving force behind my designs.

Bustle gown for Victorian Roses Ladies Riding Society

This lovely muted mauve velvet and cotton bustle era gown was commissioned by a member of Southern California’s prestigious Victorian Roses Ladies Riding Society. The gowns worn by this riding club must be authentic to the late Victorian period and must be a rose colored hue.

Another requirement of the club is materials used in the gown must be natural fibers. Many of the riders choose silk for their gowns, but this client was drawn to the large array of historical prints we carry. So for this gown, we chose to work in cotton.

Cotton breathes well and will be both comfortable to wear and easy to launder. To elevate the status of the gown, we coupled our cotton print with a contrasting cotton velveteen. The client wanted something simple, yet elegant and not overly done. So, I added the finest of lace trim in a few select places to give just “a little extra” to the gown.

There is a whopping 8 yards of fabric in the underskirt alone!

I cannot wait to see this client in her gown at the next Tournament of Roses parade!
Happy Trails!

For more information about this gown or any of our custom designed historical fashions, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com

Girl’s early 19th century straw bonnets

These simple and sweet girls’ bonnets are ideal for the years 1800-1850s. Worn by girls of all ages, these little darlings are headed to Historic Exchange Place in Jonesboro, Tennessee to be worn by their Junior Apprentices. The girls who participate in this program range in age from 10-18.

For more information about these girls bonnets or any of our millinery, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com

1850s Autumn jacket

This 1850s era wool jacket was styled after an original lady’s denim jacket in the Met.

Made of 100% wool yarn dyed homespun with cotton lining, this jacket is just enough to keep the chill away during crisp Autumn evenings. It has a small patch pocket tucked away in the interior to hide any small incidental items a lady farmer might need.

This jacket is headed to Historic Brattonsville to be used in their 19th century farm life interpretation program.

For more information about this jacket or any of our custom designed historical clothing, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com

Rural Lady’s Better dress

This 1880s era gown was designed for a museum display in Michigan. It was styled to represent a rural woman’s “better” or “best” dress. It is a modified version of our Harvest Bustle gown.


Made of 100% cotton, it is serviceable and easily laundered. Styled in the latest fashion, this dress uses little expensive trim yet is striking with its contrasting fabrics. The brown striped print is a reproduction 19th century print. The one piece skirt features a bustled back that is worn over a small bustle pad and petticoat.

For more information about this gown or any of our custom designed historical garments, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com

New website underway!


New logo for a new website!

Times are a chang’in (even though our clothes are not!) and we are transitioning to a new, super snazzy mobile friendly, more interactive website! I guess it’s time to change the old c. 2000 static HTML based site. Sigh. (Historians don’t like change you know!)

We will be doing our best to keep the old site live until the new one is completely finished. But if you happen by chance to run into our new site- never fear. Just think of it as a sneak preview.

Also, remember the studio is currently closed for the summer. However, we are taking orders for our FALL production season which begins August 2. Just drop us an email! Be sure to get those orders in early as our calendar tends to fill up quickly!

Our shop is currently getting a fresh new coat of paint and solid cleaning. Be sure to check out Instagram #maggiemayfashions #maggiemayclothing and Facebook for pics of progress!

WWI US Motor Corps Uniform

Earlier this Spring we completed a WWI Era US Motor Corps Uniform for The State of TN. It was and EPIC project! From original buttons to sourcing “just the right shade of wool,” attention to detail was paramount. I completely drafted the pattern myself. Both the jacket and skirt are fully lined. The shirt and tie I picked up at a local second hand shop to use for the photo. I purchased the reproduction Sam Browne Belt on Ebay.

For more information about our WWI Era US Motor Corps Uniform or any of our custom designed historical clothing, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com

1875 serviceable dress

This 19th century day dress was designed for a house museum exhibit in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Inspired by an original gown in the Met, this cotton version is meant to celebrate the rural heritage of the now suburban community. A second gown in a later style is being designed to represent Sterling Height’s connection to urban Detroit. The two gowns will be exhibited side by side.

Original gown c. 1875 of wool and silk. Image courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This gown has been carefully curated to accurately capture the heritage of this city. Original photographs of area families from the late 19th century were referenced and an overall look and feel of the exhibit was discussed. Together we settled upon this gown for its simplicity and practicality of style.

For more information about this custom designed gown or any of our historical  clothing, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com.

WWI American Red Cross Ward Uniform

We recently made one of our WWI era American Red Cross Ward nurse uniform with armband (not shown) for The American Museum in Britain’s exhibition entitled Side by Side: America in WWI running March 29- October 28, 2018.

This gown is part of an exhibit of a reconstructed hospital ward intended to give the audience a glimpse into early 20th century medicine and treatment in wartime Europe.

Image courtesy The American Museum in Britain

Our WWI era Ward uniform is based on photographs and written descriptions of the period. For more information about our WWI Ward uniform or any of our historical garments, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com