Category Archives: Exhibits

Johns Hopkins Base 18

This series of garments was created for The Maryland Military Museum’s 2017 exhibit on Johns Hopkins Base 18 and WWI era nurse Bessie Baker.

After looking at several original images of Bessie Baker both prior to and during the War, I decided upon this design for her uniform.

The design of her uniform is actually a blend of her prewar nursing uniform, her war era uniform, an illustration found in a WWI era recruitment poster, and an extant JHH gown in the collection of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Archives.

Her cape is drawn directly from this one in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Archives.

In addition, I also created a nurse’s cap, armband, and located a pair of black shoes in the style of the pair shown in this period illustration.

This was by far my most heavily researched commission for 2016 but also one of the most fascinating.

For more information about this gown or any of our custom historical garments, please visit our website at or email us at

Girl’s 1850s era clothing

We made these mid 19th century girl’s garments for The Andrew Johnson Homeplace for their education and interpretation programming. Sizing is for girls ages 12-14.

girls1850sdress girlscivilwarapron girlscivilwarapron2 girlscivilwardress1 girlscivilwarskirt

For more information about our historical children’s garments or any of our custom made clothing, please visit our website at

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!

Kent State University Museum

This past summer while on an Association for Living History and Farm Museum conference in Akron, Ohio, I (along with other historical clothing professionals) was given the opportunity to get a behind the scenes tour of the Kent State University Museum’s fashion collection. While there, a presentation on collections management was given by Joanne Fenn- the registrar. We had the opportunity to chat with Jean Druesedow, and were given tips about mounting and display of historical textiles by Jim Williams- the museums exhibitions expert. Sara Hume was on hand to answer any curatorial questions, and Kevin Wolfgang let us have a hands on experience in recreating historical textiles.

ksu6Tour of tech lab with Kevin Wolfgang

Because we were a special group, we were allowed to visit the collection on a day that the museum is normally closed to the public. And we were allowed to take photographs! However, out of respect for the museum, the collection, and kindness of its curators, I will not be making those images public in their entirety. However, these clips should give you a glimpse into what we saw 🙂



Detail of Corded corset


Decorative flossing on late 19th century corset


Bodice detail on Regency Era gown

Hem Treatment on 1820s era gown


Decorative white work on 1850s era capksu8

Sleeve detail on mid 19th century gown

For more information about the collections at Kent State University, the curators and staff, or the fashion institute, follow these links below:


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

Custom commissions for Conner Prairie

Lady’s 1860s era
upper middle class day dress
featured in Journey’s film

Last weekend (June 3-4) marked the opening of Conner Prairie’s new interactive exhibit entitled 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on IndianaAs terms of my contract, I was asked to hold off all discussion of this project until it was unveiled.

Now that the exhibit opening is past, I am free to discuss my participation. In addition to advising on appropriate historical attire for this project, I created a total of 13 garments for this exhibit. Two of the dresses I designed are worn by the key actresses in the Journey’s film.  The third dress I created was a young girl’s dress for an animated figure playing a violin. I provided the corsets, chemises, cage crinolines, and petticoats for the both the actresses and the permanent displays as well.

1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana is based upon General John Hunt Morgan’s historical cavalry raid on Indiana. It also explores the roles women and children played and how they supported the troops. For more information about this exhibit, please visit Conner Prairie’s website. This program runs from 
June 4-October 30, 2011.

1860s era summer day dress for a young lady
about the age of 15 also featured in Journey’s film

Ongoing and Upcoming Historical Clothing Exhibits

The Charleston Museum in Charleston, South Carolina currently has on exhibition clothing and textiles from the Civil War Era.

Exhibit highlights: (From their website)
This original exhibition offers a peek into the lives of those left on the home front and those battling deprivation and fear while raising their families and protecting their property, as well as those fighting on the front lines. Threads of War will illustrate how, as the 1860s marched on, the war took its toll not only in lives lost but on fashion, supplies, and every aspect of life. Women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, uniforms and accessories, quilts, coverlets and flags, along with magazines, newspapers, daguerreotypes and diaries provide tangible images of mid-nineteenth century Charleston and a lifestyle torn apart by war. The Charleston Museum will offer a wide variety of workshops and programs in conjunction with the exhibit. For more information, please visit or call (843) 722-2996.” 

Exhibit features include a beautiful brown silk day dress worn… a cream wool challis dress with Zouave-style jacket… Wedding garments, accessories and memoir excerpts from the 1865 wedding of Louisa McCord and Augustine T. Smythe… A home-made palmetto straw hat and hand-crafted turkey feather fans… a magnificent Chinese embroidered shawl… Men’s riding trousers… elegant vests from shortly before the war… 19th century top hat… An intricate woven coverlet made on Towles Plantation… A magnificent Star of Bethlehem quilt… a flowery chintz-appliquéd quilt… a custom-tailored coat of fine wool…
Sounds pretty amazing!

Also, from the FIDM Museum in California:

9th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design
February 8 – April 30, 2011

“On view will be actual costumes from over 20 movies from 2010.”
From their website, it looks like they may have a few of the gowns from The Young Victoria.