July 27, 2015

The rites of summer: a Colette Moneta maxi

This is fast becoming an annual tradition for me: a Colette Moneta maxi in a bright colour!

In fact, I was in Colette’s hometown of Portland recently when I spied this “hand-painted” bright green striped jersey at Modern Domestic and it had to be mine. In fact, I liked it so much I bought the entire bolt (sorry not sorry). Expect to see more of it in the future!

Colette Moneta maxi dress

To turn it into a maxi, I used the pattern I made last year, which basically involved cutting at the “lengthen/shorten” line on the skirt, spreading it out to the right length, and then continuing the hip curve down so it ends up getting really wide at the hem.


This approach gives it a lot of swoosh, though the A line shape does mean that the skirt stripes don’t end up entirely horizontal. Here I prove I did actually cut them correctly!


Also, as with all my Monetas, the neckline is scooped out quite a bit lower – it’s a much better proportion if you have a big bust. Construction-wise, I skipped the “gathering with clear elastic” method which I’ve never had work for me – instead, I gathered by using my serger turned up to a high differential feed which partially gathered it, and then I pulled on the needle thread to gather it a little more. I’ve never done this before but it was much more accurate than my usual approach! After I sewed the waist seam I then sewed regular elastic to it for support as there’s quite a lot of weight in a maxi length skirt.

Colette Moneta maxi

There’s nothing I like more in the summer than swooshing around in something floor length, so my only regret is not making it sooner! It’s such a rewarding pattern, especially as it only takes me about 2 hours to make these days.

Are you a fan of maxi-fi-cation? Are there any other patterns that are just screaming out to be maxified? Do tell me, because you know I’m into it.


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44 thoughts on “The rites of summer: a Colette Moneta maxi

  1. Love it. You look fabulous!

  2. sherece says:

    Ur maxi came out fabulous !!

  3. Sew Brunswick says:

    Beautiful! I want to steal it!

  4. megret1979 says:

    Gorgeous! The fabric… sigh, so lovely!

    1. Isn’t it? Alyson can confirm that I shrieked when I saw it…

  5. Carolyn says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! The fabric screams cool summer maxi!

    1. Thanks Carolyn! I think I’ll basically only wear this in August.

  6. gilliancrafts says:

    Oh swoon! That fabric! The SWOOSH! I wear a LOT of maxis in summer – I love how comfy but “I’m-so-fancy” fun to wear they are. I think my favourites are Tiramisu bodice with a maxi skirt. This is gorgeous on you – good luck keeping the hem clean though! 😛

    1. I don’t hold out much hope, but slightly short maxis drive me crazy so I’m sacrificing practicality for style! 😀

  7. oonaballoona says:

    stripes on skirts drive me nutso because they start to frown the longer you go– i was going to say it’s magic how you got yours to stay pretty much horizontal! i’m with sew brunswick, we’ll be over to raid your closet shortly. please have libations ready.

    1. Ha, it’s a pretty mild A-line but the frowns still drive ma touch mental!

  8. Iris says:

    Need one!

  9. Jennie says:

    Love that fabric choice, I have already pulled out some purple floral for a moneta make tonight, may have to lower my neckline too, I already use the same curve as the back for the front but the lower neckline is lovely on you x

  10. Andrea says:

    Its just like us sew-ist to not want to leave any fabric behind. The fabric and colors you choose are so refreshing. Great tip on the gathering and of course, we busty ones need to mind the necklines.

  11. It’s absolutely beautiful 🙂

  12. Lori says:

    Love this dress, gorgeous fabric and look.

  13. I LOVE THIS! It’s gorgeous on you! Moneta is on my short list of things to sew before the summer is over. I better sew fast. Or at least be prepared to wear a cardigan 🙂

  14. Amanda S. says:

    Awesome! Lovely color on you and perfect fit. I can see why you bought the whole bolt!

  15. Abigail says:

    Beautiful fabric–good thing you got a lot of it, it’s super summery:) Aren’t maxis just the best??

  16. Carol says:

    I couldn’t ever get the bodice to fit correctly. I had gaposis at the arm hole and I think the shoulders are to wide for me also. I set it aside last year and never got back to it. It’s really to bad because it’s a cute dress.

  17. Such a beautiful color on you! I be a lone voice whose never worn a maxi. I think they look great on other people, but I’d be concerned they’d look out of proportion on me…or rather, I’d have to wear giant heels to feel comfortable with the skirt length. Giant heels + ultra long dress = I’m totally falling on my face. 😉

  18. Sarah Jane says:

    You look gorgeous! As does your dress! ????

  19. To me it’s Myrtle that wants to be made to the max. This, as usual, is flawless.

  20. gmariesews says:

    Beautiful. Everything about this. The color, pattern, length. You. Love a quick make that’s so fun and fabulous to wear. g

  21. Angela says:

    This Portlander would have taken you to a couple more fabric hot spots. Love the stripes!

  22. This looks great, as usual. I’m curious how tall you are, because I feel like this would make me look so frumpy! But it doesn’t make you look frumpy in the least bit. I just don’t think I’m tall enough to pull off maxi….

  23. Almond Rock says:

    Love the painted stripes! I’m not a maxi girl because I don’t like not showing my legs but you look great and really tall all of a sudden! Are you an Amazon in disguise?

  24. Beautiful! And thanks for the tips about the neckline and gathering!

  25. This is so, so, so YOU! The color looks fantastic with your skin and hair, and you look super happy and pretty. And I love the length! So dramatic!

  26. Oh, and I just cannot bring myself to maxi. They feel way too glamorous to me or something! If I ever take a sewing dare, that should probably be my dare, because they just feel SO out of my comfort zone.

  27. rycrafty says:

    I was just thinkinking that I’d gather my next Moneta with thread rather than the elastic method. I hate clear elastic! I find it hard to sew, because you’re stretching it out so thin, and I also find it lumpy on the inside when I (eventually) finish sewing it in. I understand the need to stabilize the waist so it doesn’t stretch out, how/where did you attach the elastic inside? Is it against your skin, or does something clever with the seam allowance keep it off you? Is it a stitch-in-the-ditch from the outside thing?

  28. Michelle says:

    I am 100% on board with maxification. 😀 You and this dress look amazing!

  29. Cinderellis says:

    Ooh that’s gorgeous! Maxi dresses have been calling to me recently, but as I cycle everywhere, I’m worried that they wouldn’t get worn – don’t fancy catching my skirt in my wheels 😮

  30. Holly says:

    Stunning! Such a fab color – im so happy to see it back in style. I’m heading to PDX next weekend and am looking forward to checking out some new stores in addition to my fave: Cool Cottons! Thanks dor the lowdown!

  31. Mai T says:

    You look gorgeour in the mint dress! Really love it! 😀

  32. Margo says:

    Oh yes I love a maxi dress!! The look awesome in this one as always!!

  33. Wow! You look beautiful in that maxi! Maxis are my favorite summer attire also…especially the ones that drag just a little 🙂

  34. Jennie says:

    I love the color of this dress, it and you are beautiful. I think I want one in every color.

  35. Alessa says:

    Looks great! I have also started a love affair with maxi dresses. I think you can turn any remotely close fitting top into a maxi dress – just cut it off at the waist and add a maxi length skirt. 😉

  36. Rachel says:

    OK, this is going to be REALLY indelicate but I have to ask because I just can’t dins an answer! I would LOVE to wear skirts. My problem? My thighs! I hate the way they rub together when wearing dresses and skirts. Is there a way around this besides biking shorts (which add heat, winter it isn’t so bad, but summer it’s killer!). Any advice??

    1. Hi Rachel – the struggle is real! In fact, I wrote a whole article on the Curvy Sewing Collective on the topic: http://curvysewingcollective.com/cure-chub-rub/
      Personally I use the Jockey skim short things, and Bandalettes.

Let me know what you think!