As a hijab wearing dressmaker, I look out for patterns that are easy to adapt to my requirements. It’s actually quite easy to alter the length of most patterns (sleeves and hemlines) so if I really like a pattern I will still buy it and see if I can make some changes, but this extra step can be daunting if you’re a complete beginner. You can also layer clothes of course and this can work really well for dresses and tops with short sleeves etc. I like having some clothes I can wear at home (when not in hijab) without paying a high street price for something I won’t wear all the time.
I’ve put together a selection of patterns which can be adapted for a versatile modest wardrobe. You can click on the link in the title for a downloadable PDF pattern, paper patterns are also available for some of these patterns.
Grainline Farrow Dress
This is a beautiful dress pattern with long sleeves and simple lines. It would be easy to adapt into a long dress but also looks great with slim leg trousers. I am planning to make one in a Liberty lawn.
Chalk and Notch Waterfall Raglan
I’m really looking forward to making this versatile pattern as it can be made as a dress or a top and there are some great pattern hacks. The swingy shape means it is loose fitting on the body but still fits neatly around the shoulders and arms.
Sew Over It Lola Coat (part of City Break capsule collection)
This is a beautifully draping coat which would be a good cover up in Spring/Summer. The fabric could be a challenge to work with but the end result is stunning.
Grainline Driftless Cardigan
I have already made one of these and am planning at least one more. It can be made in a heavy or fine gauge knit to suit the season, and is a great layering piece.
Named Inari Dress
I really liked the shape of this dress before but the long sleeve bonus pattern piece makes it even more versatile. It is a good shape to wear with trousers as it is not fussy and there is no shaping at the waist (which can look odd with trousers).
Sew Over It Nancy Dress
The Nancy Dress is a simple loose fit Jersey dress with panels, which would make a useful tunic dress over jeans or trousers.
Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress
I’ve made this dress once already and I’m sure a few more dresses and tops will be made with this pattern. It’s great for statement colours and prints which don’t need a lot of fussy design details. It’s a good beginner pattern and a quick to sew staple for more experienced sewists.
Named Kielo Dress
I love this pattern as its elegant and has a beautiful shape. It does have a split at the back but this could be altered or I would maybe just wear leggings underneath. It also comes with a free long sleeve pattern addition that can be downloaded separately.
Liesl & Co Everyday Skirt
This is a good basic skirt pattern which is simple to sew up. I have plans to make at least two maxi length versions before Me Made May.
Colette Moneta Dress
Having just taken part in the Moneta Party, I had to include this pattern as its very versatile and a great pattern for jersey.
A few of these should find their way into my wardrobe before Me Made May, which I’m planning to join in with. Do you have any sewing patterns you’d recommend for a modest wardrobe?