Category Archives: 1880s

It’s all about the bustle!

1880s era Straw Flower Pot Hat

It’s all 1880s around here these days! This fun little “flower pot hat” is perfect for a breezy summer afternoon!

Made with the signature 1880s era squared off crown, an upturned brim adds playful charm. Trimmed in 100% plaid silk, this hat boasts elegance as well as whimsy. The color palette is an appealing array of earthy jewel tones with a little Colonial blue thrown in as contrast.


A trio of natural feathers adorns the center front for a little extra height. The crown measures 23″- allowing extra room for hairpieces and larger hairstyles. The hat body is lined in 100% cotton. This hat is meant to sit down onto the head just above the ears and is secured with a matching hat pin (included).

You can purchase this hat on our website and view all of our custom and ready made historical fashions at www.maggiemayfashions.com.

1880s era Straw Bonnet

In between commissions, I made this lovely little straw 1880s era bonnet. The bonnet made for our recent 1880s era photoshoot was so much fun, I decided to create another- and this one is for sale on my website!

Reproduction 1880s era straw bonnet

Made from 100% straw, this bonnet is inspired by several different hats illustrations of the period. It perches cheerfully at the back of the head. It’s not too large, yet not too small to be unnoticed. The brim touches the back of the ears and moves upward into a rounded point at the center front.

Trimmed in teal and mint checked satin, it features mint accent braid and small paper and bead flowers. The interior brim is lined with delicate embroidered net lace to give an extra hint of delicateness to this sweet little bonnet.

I chose NOT to add ties to this bonnet as it is more of a hybrid hat-bonnet mix and does instead come with a matching hatpin. The interior circumference measures 21″ and works best with a mid level hair style such as a bun or braided hairstyle.

You can find this bonnet and all of our reproduction historical fashions for sale on our website!

First Snow

Snow is a bit a novelty in the American South. Large quantities are quite rare; however, even the lightest dusting can bring excitement beyond words. Our mountaintops are always the first to spy the flurrying of the cherished sky crystals. And with the falling snow comes a quietness as the world seeks to stop and enjoy each etherial flake.

Our third photoshoot, featuring the lovely Hannah and a modified version of our Harvest Bustle gown, attempts to capture this moment- the first unexpected (and perhaps only) snow fall of the season.

Our Harvest Bustle Gown (c. 1880s) is shown over Corset, skirt supporter, and 2 ruffled petticoats
Pausing for a cup of tea
We modified our original design by replacing the tucked center front panel with 2 rows of pleated ruffles. I was afraid the skirt would be quite heavy but it was the opposite! The light, crisp cotton held its shape beautifully! A simple velvet ribbon serves as a belt.
A sighting
First snow of the season!
Glad she brought her caplet and muff!

For more information about our Harvest Bustle Gown or any of our historical clothing, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com

Victorian corset for rural wear

This lovely Victorian era over bust corset is fashioned from pink and beige ticking with a full cotton lining. This summer weight corset will be worn while working on a living history farm and is designed for maximum comfort. This corset is easily laundered, is lightweight, yet durable enough for daily wear.

For more information about our over bust corsets or any of our custom made garments, please visit our website at www.maggiemayfashions.com

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

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

Old West dress

This 1880s era bustle gown is a custom made version of our Harvest Bustle gown. It is headed to a client in Wyoming who is putting together a Lizzy Borden impression. Lizzie was arrested and tried for murders of her parents in 1892. However, she was acquitted in 1893 and continued to live in Fall River, Massachusetts until her death, on June 1, 1927. The case was never solved.

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

Retirement Announcement!

Well now. I bet that heading got your attention! Never fear! We here at Maggie May Clothing are NOT retiring… but some of our designs are!

Beginning in January 2018, The Godey Dress and The Varina dress, along with a few other styles will be taking to the closet as we make room for fresh new designs from the Georgian era through the 1920s! Keep your eyes peeled throughout the Spring and Summer as we unveil our exciting new projects!

The Godey dress was wildly popular for many years! Several versions of this lovely blue gown are scattered across the United States!

The Varina Dress was originally created for a film in 2008! It was well suited for the early teen actress we designed it for.

In addition, the following garments will be retired beginning January 2018. These designs will no longer be available for custom order.

Retiring: Our mid 19th century baby gown

Retiring: Our c. 1858 cage crinoline

Retiring: Our silk bustle era gown

Retiring: Our Regency era evening dress