Instructions for Sewing a One-Piece Open Abaya
Measure yourself from one wrist to the other, going over your head. If
you can find very wide fabric, you will need twice this amount (the width
will be your height). For 45" wide fabric, you will need four times this
amount and lengthen as instructed in the next step.
Cut the fabric in half and and attach them together along the long edges,
so as to lengthen your fabric.
Broken line in Diagram 1 shows piece one and piece two.
Once your fabric is wide enough, fold the two sides (right sides together)
in so that they almost meet in the center. Leave a gap wide enough for
your head. (10-12 inches). Stitch the seamline at the top from G to H.
Cut a small circular shape at the corner of each fold for your hands.
Now, you have a VERY long abayah. Cut the bottom to a length that suits
you. Cut a large curved bottom (from x to x in diagram 2).
Trim the raw edges of the abayah with pre-packaged bias binding or ribbon.
*In the traditional method of abayah making,
the abayahs were shortened from the inside without cutting the fabric.
To do that you would need the help of a friend. Put the
abayah on the wrong way. With the abayah on your head, ask your friend
to pin the fabric up for you. The pins would come near the line EF, this
wouldn't be a straight line.
This all is done by hand. And finally all the edges and
the openings are crocheted. Abayahs used to be made from silk, nowadays
mostly silky polyester, but always in black.
This pattern was first posted on the "SalafiSisters" mailing