Paint Daub Jersey Maxi


Does anything scream “SUMMER!” louder than a maxi dress? Particularly in a bold, bright print like this paint daub rayon jersey from Cali Fabrics. I knew this fabric wanted to be a maxi as soon as I saw it online, and in person it doesn’t disappoint. It’s my favourite type of squishy, medium-weight rayon knit – heavy enough to be fully opaque and drape nicely over bumps and lumps, and resilient enough to stretch out and bounce right back.


For the bodice, I used an old favourite, the Kitschy Coo Comino Cap. I like the cut-on cap sleeves and round neckline. I also appreciate that it is cut with extra length in the front to accommodate the bust. I’m always worried when patterns are the same back and front, because people aren’t made that way!

For the skirt, I used the Closet Case Files Sallie. I’ve made the jumpsuit before, but this was my first time using the skirt. Much to my surprise, it was the right length for me… so anyone taller than 5’2″, be warned!

PicMonkey Collage

The bodice is finished with folded bands, and the slits and hem are turned and coverstitched. 

The one drawback of rayon knits is that the skirt can be quite heavy and pull down on the bodice. To solve this, I like to serge elastic into the waist on the inside. My favourite elastic to use is actually fold-over elastic, like you might use for making a headband or finishing lingerie. It is super stretchy and retains that stretch even once it’s sewn into a garment. I’ve tried clear elastic, 1/4″ elastic and various others with less success.

All this print called for a belt to break things up, so I made some belt carrier loops with a 4-thread serger chain. I basted them in place before closing the waist seam, and they do the job well! Now if only they could stop my belt from twisting around, like in the pic below!

PicMonkey Collage belt

All in all, this was a dress without sewing drama.  It’s nice when plans actually turn out – I quite often find myself making big changes or tweaks as I finish a project. Not this time, though! I used 3 yards of fabric, with a bit of creative cutting and a seam down centre back of the skirt. I think there is enough left for a tank top or kiddy tee shirt.



What are your summer sewing plans? Do you have any fabric just begging to become a maxi?

Gillian is a teacher, cat lady, and colour-fanatic, and blogs at


Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow

Hi! My name is Gillian, and I love to sew! I blog at and I run the Sewcialists.

I’ve enjoyed sewing since I was a kid, but when I started sewing clothes in 2012, it became a bit of an obsession. I’m all about wearable, comfy everyday clothes – and my wardrobe is overflowing! I’ve pulled all the colours that I love wearing into my personal colour palette, which keeps me inspired and my fabric shopping on track. I’ve ordered from Cali Fabric for years, and I’m so excited to be able to join their blogger team!

I live in Ontario (Canada) with my nerdy and awesome husband and our two cats. I’m a teacher by day, and fabric hoarder by night!

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60 thoughts on “Paint Daub Jersey Maxi”

    1. Amen to that! I’ve been trying a lot of new patterns lately, but it was nice to sew up an old favourite for a change!

  1. So beautiful! That fabric is awesome and perfect for a maxi dress. Also, what a great tip about holdover elastic. I’ve never heard of that before and will definitely be trying it out.

    1. Thanks Tanya! I’m really enjoying seeing what everyone on the team chose and sewed given free choice! I love your dresses too!

  2. Such a gorgeous dress Gillian! I love all those bright colours, so very you, and so very summer! I love the green belt too!

    1. Thanks Heather! Now picture me with scissors gouging out an extra hole in that belt as I got dressed – turns out I’m a little rounder than I was when I last wore it! 😛

    1. I wish I had a picture of the day a student made me a necklace (well, made it for herself, wore it, then gave it to me) with giant fist-sized play beads – and magically it had every colour from this print! Proof that if you wear a rainbow, you’l match anything! 😉

    1. Thanks! The pattern is roomy enough it probably doesn’t *need* the slide split, but I like how it looks!

  3. Such a breathe of fresh, colorful air! Let us know how the fabric wears – any pilling or fading? And gorgeous photos, too.

    1. Good question! I’ve probably washed it 4 times now… I’d say there is the normal slight “aura” or fuzz on it that all jersey gets, but I always find rayon knits hold up better than cotton ones. So far so good!

  4. It’s like this fabric was made with your personal palette in mind – what a great find! I love knits, but with the heat and humidity we’ve been having lately, even the lightest knit seems too heavy and clingy. I’d love to snap up a whole bunch of rayon challis for summer tops, but alas, emergency house repairs have devoured my spending money, so I’ll be making some separates from other stashed wovens instead.

  5. This is so gorgeous, Gillian! The colors of this fabric are stunning and look fabulous on you, in particular. It’s just such a joyful, pretty dress. Well done!

    1. Thanks Leigh! What you can’t see is the goose poop on the group, and all the many families watching me with confusion! 😛 All in the name of blogging!

  6. Your dress is lovely 🙂 An apparently I’m supposed to leave a random fact about myself, so here goes, lol. I love sewing with knits, but I only like wearing knits on my top half.

    1. Do you like knit dresses? Dresses and leggings (under dresses) are about the only way I like knits on my bottom half – I feel like even ponte is too revealing of bumps and lumps on the bottom half!;)

  7. It looks great on you – you have really nailed the fit on the top! Random fact about me – I like to bake fancy cakes.

  8. I’m not sure i’d have dared to go for something so bright but now, I feel like trying more daring prints because this sure is a gorgeous dress!

    1. I”m glad you like it! I love bright prints – they are definitely my happy place! 😉

    1. Sure! I serge it on as I attached the bodice to the skirt! Easy peasy. I check how tight I want it, cut it to length, then pin it at four points around the waist.

  9. I love your maxi dress! I was surprised to read that you’re 5’2″. I am also and have yet to get on the maxi skirt or dress band wagon thinking this style will make me look shorter. You do not, so I maybe I need to rethink this!

    1. I always feel tall in a maxi dress, no matter how short I am! I do like a long hem on maxis, almost to the ground, instead of an ankle-length hem… I feel like it gives the illusion of a bit more height!

  10. Beautiful! This fabric is perfect for a maxi dress like this. I would get a ton of wear out of that dress in the summer and fall!

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