Vintage Styles of Modest Sewing Patterns

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The McCall Pattern Company headquarters in New York

Headquarted in New York City with additional offices in Kansas, Canada, England and Australia, The McCall Pattern Company is one of the largest home sewing pattern manufacturers in the world. McCall also offers pattern printing services to independent patternmakers. McCall retails several brands, all with modest options.

Simplicity Pattern Company

Simplicity Pattern Company has been manufacturing home sewing patterns since 1927. The founder of the Fashion Belle website was privileged to tour Simplicity's New York offices in 2008, and the scene was much like that at any other clothing company, with designers and merchandisers collaborating around trend inspiration boards and clothing samples. The provided link leads to views of Simplicity's various pattern collections, including New Look and Burda, which are not particularly known for modesty but which offer a broad and frequently updated style selection that dressmakers can alter for more coverage as needed.

Sewing Patterns directory website for many pattern brands

The mega-retailer of sewing patterns online, sells most pattern brands, including independent ones, often with promotional sales. This site is quick to navigate, though links are not always updated, and many of the featured brands offer a larger selection of patterns on their home sites than are available through However, a few brands use this site as their exclusive online pattern outlet for North America.

Marie-Madeline Studio

A selection of boutique-style clothing patterns are offered at this site. The designs employ creative use of fabric print combinations for a youthful, retro look. Look also for an extensive stock of printed cotton fabrics and an especially cute culotte pattern for girls in sizes 2 to 14.

Decades of Style Pattern Company

This reproduction pattern company has taken some of the most popular vintage patterns and improved them for modern usability with additional sizes and construction information. From the website, "You will find it easier to work with a Decades of Style reproduction than with the original vintage pattern. . . . Our goal is to take the beautiful and amazing clothing designs from 1900 through 1959 (with a main focus on 1920 through 1959) and make these patterns available to anyone."

Sense and Sensibility Patterns

Vintage patterns "with a modern twist" and pattern downloads as well as online interactive and educational features are available from this company. Though these patterns are inspired by vintage styles, many of this company's customers use the patterns to make dresses for wearing for special occasions.

You Can Sew! DVD Set from Modesty Matterns

Using 65 video lessons, a textbook and printable patterns on DVD and CD, the You Can Sew! kit leads beginning sewers from a basic to intermediate sewing level. Some tutorials are available for individual purchase and include modern and vintage dresses, skirts, a split skirt, accessories and swim dresses.

Buckaroo Bobbins Patterns

Historically accurate patterns from the American western frontier are available from this manufacturer, including several patterns for split riding skirts. Be sure to follow links at the bottom of pages to see the full collection. Some of the styles may be available as both a pattern and as ready-to-wear clothing.

Hint of History Vintage-Inspired Patterns

"Vintage-inspired patterns for today," is the tagline for this manufacturer that sells its complete line on its home site. Other pattern retailers also carry selected styles from this collection.

Folkwear vintage sewing patterns

Folkwear produces vintage patterns inspired by historic fashion trends from cultures around the world. Especially take a look at this Vintage Bathing Costume. Another supplier, Earthguild, stocks the complete line of Folkwear patterns and offers discounts for orders of six or more. View the Dealer Locations to find in-store retailers around the world. From the Earthguild website, "Anything worn or used by anyone from any time may be in the Folkwear library. No one else has ever tried for such breadth and inclusiveness."

Harper House Vintage Patterns

The provided link leads directly to the Victorian Era section of this company's vintage pattern collections. The dress pictured is actually a Laughing Moon Mercantile original, one of several designs that could be adapted for a wedding dress. To view all the period collections, visit the Harper House Home Page.

Past Patterns Vintage Wedding Gown Patterns

While the focus of the Fashion Belle site is not historically correct costuming for re-enactors, we have chosen to include links to a few sites like Past Patterns that serve that market. Some of these patterns can be adapted for modern use, such as these vintage wedding gown patterns. If you enjoy vintage styles, browse the full collections by era.

Originals by Kay Ballgowns for adaptation into modest wedding dresses with vintage inspiration

Kay Gnagey was commissioned by Simplicity Pattern Company to make several Civil War era reproduction ballgowns. These patterns are available from Kay's site and may be used to create modest wedding dresses.

Patterns of Time Swimming Suit

Make your own historic swimming outfit with these patterns. Search for "swimming" on the site, or follow these links:

Rusty Zipper Vintage Patterns

From one of the largest online resellers of vintage clothing also comes a collection of over 3,000 women's vintage sewing patterns.