Category Archives: robe a la polonaise

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!

Marie Antoinette movie gown

The next commission on my agenda is recreating the pale blue polonaise gown from Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. The award winning costumes in this film are gorgeous and feminine and the color palette simply delectable! Some of my favorites are the pale blue robe and the zone front gown.

Marie Antoinette movie gown  Marie Antoinette

The gown I have been commissioned to make is based upon two Marie Antoinette gowns- a pink closed robe and the pale blue polonaise.

marie antoinette movie gown  marie antoinette film gown  marie antoinette gown  marie antoinette robe a la polonaise

The cut of this dress will be based upon the blue polonaise but the fabric and color selection is based upon the pink closed robe. Thus, the final dress will be a matte pink satin taffeta polonaise.

It will be worn over pocket hoops and a period corset. I am putting together the pocket hoops as well but not the corset. The corset has been commissioned elsewhere.

I am very much looking forward to the challenge of this project. I have not had any 18th century commissions in quite some time and I am excited about revisiting this time period.

Step 1: The initial muslin
The first step in the construction of the Marie Antoinette gown is complete. After reviewing a variety of historical images, I devised a pattern that will be most appropriate for recreating the blue polonaise gown from Sophia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette.

historical clothing construction books

I have finished the mock- up (also known as the muslin or toile) and made necessary alterations and  notes for the final cutting.

robe a la polonaise muslin  18th century bodice  18th century bodice pattern

I am electing not to make this gown en fourreau. This will allow more control over the center back gathers as I want this area of the skirting to be quite full.

Interestingly enough, 18th century gowns used minimal seaming in the construction of their bodices- electing instead to use a variety of tucks or pleats to fit the bodice to the curves of the upper body. The majority of these tucks appear at the back of the bodice.

18th century bodice tucking  initial muslin

The initial sleeve is completely flat and fits quite smoothly into the bodice armscye. However, I am cutting the final sleeve a little wider at the top to allow for some gathering. This will more closely match the original film gown and also serve as an aesthetic balance for the fully gathered skirt that will attach in polonaise style to the bottom of the bodice.

Finally, I took the muslin apart and used it as my final pattern. Included is a preview of the gorgeous pale pink dull luster satin taffeta I will be using for the final gown.

18th century bodice pattern  bridal satin

Step 2: The Bodice construction
I have chosen to line the bodice with a very pale peach cotton broadcloth. For this gown, I used a heavier weight broadcloth because I wanted a lining that would hold its shape underneath the satin taffeta. I also applied some very light boning as shown in Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion.

Beginnings of the Marie Antoinette film gown’s final bodice:

robe a la polonaise bodice  robe a la polonaise bodice

Ruching detail: Front and back

18th century bodice  18th century bodice

At the request of my client, I have omitted the sleeve flounces.

robe a la polonaise bodice

Except for the front panel, which will hide the hook and eye closure, the bodice is now complete. There are a few hand details I will add when the gown is finished.

Step 3: Completion of the Gown

robe a la polonaise  robe a la polonaise  marie antoinette costume gown

Thanks so much to Sarah for choosing me to make this dress! It was loads of fun to make and I hope it makes you feel as gorgeous as Marie Antoinette herself! Have an enchanting prom!