Category Archives: Cage Cinoline

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

New policies for 2016


Wow! We’ve had an amazing year! I feel like I say that at the end of every year, but 2015 really turned out to be one of our busiest of all time! I estimate over the course of the past 12 months, we stitched over 1200 yards of fabrics and completed over 300 garments! We lead 2 hands on workshops and gave 8 historical clothing presentations! What a year!

Looking ahead, we will be instituting a few new policies. As our markets and clientelle change, so must we. Effective January 1, 2016, we will be changing a few of our requirements. So here goes:

1. All film commissions will require payment in full at the time of order. Orders not paid in full within 10 days of order date will be subject to cancellation.

2. Effective January 1, 2016 a design fee will be added to production estimates for custom designed projects to cover the cost of pattern drafting, sizing, mock ups, and research (if applicable). Our design fee begins at $75.00 per design and is subject to change based upon individual projects (i.e. the more complicated the design, the higher the design cost).

3. Beginning in January, established clientelle will have priority completion dates. One of our biggest compliments is a returning customer and we would like to say thank you by offering priority scheduling.

4. Our reproduction fabric will now be dedicated exclusively to creating our custom historical garments. Any available yardage will be offered for immediate purchase on our IN STOCK page. -REVISED 2018- ALL FABRIC SALES ARE ACTIVE!

5. Our production calendar runs from January 2- May 31 and September 2- December 20. This allows us to spend our summer months conducting workshops, giving lectures, and attending conferences. All orders placed at the end of our production calendar will receive first priority at the beginning of the consecutive production season. We ship IN STOCK garments year round.

And just a gentle reminder:

All Maggie May Clothing images are protected under creative copyright and may not be shared or published in any way without written consent. This applies to our main website, our Etsy shop, and all affiliated social media sites.

Thanks and we look forward to another fabulous year of historical fashion!

Dress for Kenosha, WI Civil War Museum

A few years ago, I teamed up with Boston Productions to create a series of 1860s era gowns for their film project in conjunction with the 1863 Raid on Indiana exhibit for Conner Prairie. Flash forward to 2013 and now teaming up with AMP Agency, here is a gown created for the Kenosha, WI Civil War Museum. The fabric selections were made by the film production team and the design is by us. Gown is shown and will be worn over an elliptical cage crinoline and overpetticoat, chemise, and corset.

cwmuseum1  cwmuseum3  cwmuseum2

New and improved cage crinoline

We are proud to announce we are now offering a fully revised version of our cage crinoline!

cage crinoline

We have fully encased our double steel hoop boning inside 100% cotton twill! The body of the cage is completely sewn to ensure durability and the double steel boning is joined internally with stainless steel connectors!
This cage is built to last years of wear!

cage crinoline  cage crinoline  cage crinoline

The shape is round and the bottom circumference measures 110.” This cage is ideal for 19th century middle class  impressions!

The Tale of the Cursed Crinoline

Did you ever have one of those pieces that just seemed to be “cursed” from the get go? In the spirit of the season, I will tell you the tale of just such a thing- the cursed cage crinoline.

A dangerous contraption even upon its beginnings, the cage crinoline led to the demise of many a young Victorian lady. Many a damsel caught their foot in the bottom two rows causing them to tumble to the ground spraining ankles in twisted messes. Some high fashion ladies wore their cage crinolines so wide, they were completely unaware when the hems of their gowns caught fire in the burning embers of the fireplace. Yes, a cursed contraption from it’s inception, nearly 150 years later, the cage crinoline continues to bring its troubles.

It all started about a week ago when I received a rush order on a cage crinoline. Not having the correct size in stock, it seemed I would have to make one and make one quickly. It had been a while since I had made a cage crinoline and I neglected to realize my stock of materials was low. So off I went to the local shop to pick up some hardware. Much to my dismay, they did not have the type of rivets I use, so I picked up what they did have- not too concerned really.  But, they did not fit my rivet setter.

So back to the store I went to get an old fashioned hand tool. This meant setting 100+ rivets by hand. Ten hours later, the cage was almost done! But, several of the rivets did not set and had to be redone! Twelve hours later, the cage was finally complete!

So I packaged it up, addressed the box, and happily took it off to the post! I had completed it just in time to meet my customer’s deadline! Or so I thought.

On the day the package was scheduled to arrive at my customer’s door, I received an email from her that it had not been delivered. Concerned, I contacted the post office. To make a long story short, the postal worker who took my package entered in the wrong area code on the shipping bar code. Even though the correct zip code was on my mailing label, the cage crinoline is headed off the most remote location they deliver to!

No one knows where the cursed cage crinoline is now. Perhaps it is roaming the countryside looking for its final destination!

An 1860s sheer ball gown

It is nearing the end of summer in the American South and the sweltering heat has me thinking of Fall and a new ball gown. I am putting the bodice together now. I have chosen a semi sheer “linen colored” embroidered cotton I have had lying around in my studio for YEARS now. For some reason, I seem to be wildly fond of gathered front gowns… and semi sheer fabrics.
With this bodice, I have chosen to pleat the outer layer of the bodice and use a fitted lining. Thus far I am very pleased with the way it is turning out. I like the little fanned peplum going on in the front. Too bad it will be covered up when I put the waistband on. But it does give me an idea for a future dress….

1860s ball gown bodice  1860s ball gown bodice
Detail of Bodice pleating
1860s era ball gown bodice lining
Interior bodice lining with light boning

1860s ball gown skirt
Ball gown skirt over cage/ without petticoats