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!
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!
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 craftingarainbow.wordpress.com .