mcpinier on Oct 21, 2016
This dress is so very beautiful. It fits me perfectly and looks exactly as I hoped it would. It is very suitable for all the many things that need to be done in daily life. Thank you, Mia!
babbzee on Oct 17, 2016
Fantastic dress!! Made exactly to my measurments in a very resonable time. Superior sewing! I hope to order again soon! Thank you!
danluk14 on Oct 12, 2016
Plain and Simple Apparel
Marilla's Apparel provides clothing and individuality to those on the plain journey. It is our belief that perfectly fitting and designed clothing is the true essence of plain dress: simple and fuss- free. Just as the lilies of the field are simply, uniquely, and tastefully clothed, so should the clothing be of those following the plain way of life.
I love to provide my customers with items that they can afford and feel good about, knowing that all the garments from Marilla's Apparel are entirely USA made. In addition, all material used for my garments is 100% cotton. Each dress and apron been tried and tested-- and loved.
Each dress and apron is designed and created here, in a small, forested town in North Carolina with farms still dotting its tumbled hills. Every item has a vision behind it-- a desire to help reveal your individuality and be in tune with your unique plain journey.
Why Marilla's? Marilla Cuthbert was the renown woman of the novel, Anne of Green Gables. Her stoicism and remarkable practicality was gently balanced with her tender heart, foresight, selflessness, and endearing dependability. So too is the modern day Plain woman.
The dresses and aprons from Marilla's Apparel are entirely USA made. They are priced based on a standard labor cost and then account for the amount of material used. This means that you're not getting over-charged for a product that's already been tried and tested-- and loved.
Owner, Creator, Designer
a third generation seamstress. sewing custom dresses.
- Accepts Etsy gift cards
Returns & exchanges
- Digital downloads
- Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
- Items on sale
- To communicate with you about your order
- To fulfill your order
- For legal reasons (like paying taxes)
Frequently asked questions
How do I take the measurements?
Taking measurements for customized clothing can be intimidating, but with help, the process is straightforward and nothing to dread. We have taken pictures of the measuring process and have explained in detail each measurement.
To receive this comprehensive measurement guide, simply send me a message with your email address!
Can I wear the cape dresses if I’m not Amish (or Mennonite, Quaker, Catholic, etc.)?
Yes, you certainly can! Modesty is always respected and appreciated, without regards to your personal religious affiliation. To be sure, if you live amongst any plain dressing communities, I do seriously recommend that you take the time to speak to some member/friend within that community concerning what would be considered appropriate/not offensive. I do not advocate plain dress as a way of trying to “blend into” a religious community, rather I hope to offer as many options possible to those seeking a simpler, more modest lifestyle.
Why do orders take several weeks to be fulfilled?
Orders generally take a month to complete. However, during the busy winter season, an order might be shipped out between 4-8 weeks after purchasing. The wait time is due to both the highly customized nature of the dresses/clothing offered and the fact that all of the work at Marilla’s Apparel is done by one person.
I frequently work with rush orders, and if you need an order of five items or less to be shipped out sooner, please contact me! I do my utmost to work within your deadlines.
Which is the most figure flattering: gathers, pleats, or flared?
For those who are heavier set, I recommend pleats or flared skirt style cape dresses.
The gathered skirt on any of the plain (cape less) dresses are also very flattering.
Which color should I pick?
For those worrying about stains, I would first suggest choosing darker colors such as navy, black, brown, cranberry, purple, or forest green.
Trying to select the color that flatters you the most doesn’t have to be difficult. First of all, look through your current wardrobe. Most likely, there’s a certain blouse or dress you already own that really makes your face light up. If you can’t settle on a color that way, I suggest you experiment with holding different colored fabrics (scarves, hats, etc.) up to your face and examining the effect in a mirror. Ultimately, I will always suggest you select the color that makes you happiest. If yellow makes you smile, choose that!
Where did you purchase your boots? What brand are your boots?
The black boots pictured in the shop were purchased gently used a number of years ago. The brand is Enzo Angiolini, and they run narrow. For those wishing to purchase a similar pair, I have heard good reports about the boots from these brands:
American Dutchess Historical Footwear
Miss L Fire
For less expensive boots, I always suggest perusing ebay or etsy for used pairs.
How long do these dresses last?
This question is really contingent on the woman’s lifestyle. Aprons definitely extend the dresses’ wear, and I personally recommend adding one to your daily, around the house wear.
For the plain woman who farms or gardens avidly, those who work in bakeries, coffee shops, or kitchens, the lifetime of plain dress may be 2-6 years.
For a stay at home mother, stains are going to be the main cause of wear and disrepair. Aprons and dark colors will help enormously. 2-5 years is the average lifespan for most busy mothers.
Office wear, well tended, can last a decade! If you wear plain clothing around the house as well as to a place of work where you have less of a chance of staining the clothing, I heartily recommend you set aside two or three dr
Are you Amish?
No, I am not. I simply aspire to be able to offer many, many different styles of modest, conservative dress to all women. I believe that personal taste, excellent fit, and the dresses’ function should also take precedence alongside the search for modest, practical clothing.
Will you you help me get in contact with Amish/Plain Dressing people?
While I understand that there is a rising interest in the plain dressing community, I will not give out any contact information to those looking to interview plain dressing individuals. My customers' privacy is something I value highly and guard carefully.
If you have questions about plain dressing in general, I will be more than happy to speak with you on the subject personally. Interview requests are discouraged.
How many dresses and aprons should I get to replace my wardrobe?
This really varies for each woman, depending on her lifestyle, taste, and climate. However, I have put together a general list below for the active, outdoor woman in a climate with four distinct seasons. The list includes color, sleeves, length, and material.
(1) Long Sleeved Cotton Dress | dark color | long hem
(1) Long Sleeved Cotton Dress | any color | long hem
(1) Long Sleeved Wool Dress | dark color | long hem
(1) 3/4 Length Sleeved Cotton Dress | dark color | long hem
(1) 3/4 Length Sleeved Rayon Challis Dress | medium/light color | mid-calf hem
(1) 3/4 Length Sleeved Cotton Dress | any color | mid-calf hem
(1) Canning Apron | dark color
(1) Full Apron | light/neutral color