Comfortable Summer Color-Blocking

Fiery Colette Moneta Dress - Mood Fabrics - Jersey -7510

Good afternoon, everyone! It’s officially summer down here in Texas — temperatures blazing above 90 degrees and heavy thunderstorms brewing across the state. Even better, school is out for a few months! Since most of my break will be spent putting the finishing touches on my dissertation, I opted for comfort with this month’s Mood Sewing Network piece. A comfortable, classic knit dress sounded heavenly!

Fiery Colette Moneta Dress - Mood Fabrics - Jersey -7533

Luckily, Mood Fabrics has the most divine selection of cotton jerseys. Seeing as this dress was going to be a simple silhouette, I opted to mix things up with my fabric choice. Instead of going for one color all over, I chose to color block with two midweight jerseys, Cayenne Red and Spice Orange. (Spice Orange is sadly sold out now, but this lightweight Brick jersey is very similar in color.) These fabrics are absolutely gorgeous, y’all! Thanks to their slightly heftier weight, they drape beautifully and have impressive stretch recovery. These are jerseys that feel as soft as your favorite pair of pajamas, but translate perfectly to a summer dress.

Fiery Colette Moneta Dress - Mood Fabrics - Jersey -7517

To make this casual wardrobe staple, I turned to the newest dress from Colette Patterns, the Moneta. It’s a simple knit piece with an A-line, shirred skirt and three sleeve variations. For the bodice I used the earthy Spice jersey, then combined alternating tiers of Cayenne and Spice for the skirt. It’s a relatively easy pattern hack: draw in your tiers on your original pattern, trace over them for three new pattern pieces, then add in your new seam allowances. Easy, but a fun visual effect!

Both of these fabrics were a cinch to sew with. Their recovery prevented some of the warp that can happen, when sewing a knit, though I did stabilize both the shoulders and neckline with knit stay tape. That’s not a step to skip, with even the best of fabrics, since knits can stretch out over time. The waistband is shirred with clear elastic, which will prevent any sagging there, as well. The whole dress was serged together in only a few hours’ time, though it could just have easily been sewn with a stretch stitch on a regular machine. Mid-weight jerseys sew up as easily as wovens, without any of the slide you can get in their lighter-weight cousins. That’s a relief, for those of us still harboring some knit anxieties! I can’t recommend Mood’s jerseys enough, if you’re a knit newbie.

Fiery Colette Moneta Dress - Mood Fabrics - Jersey -7491

Fiery Colette Moneta Dress - Mood Fabrics - Jersey -7454

Once finished, these jerseys combined to make my perfect summer dress: comfy, visually intriguing, and with just the right amount of swish. The shirred waistline gives body to the skirt tiers in such a fun way, reminiscent of the layered bohohemian dresses of the 1970’s. That’s not usually my decade for style inspiration, but I’ll happily take it in this case. I can’t think of a better dress to weather this steamy Texas summers! Not only will I stay cozy during those long bouts of writing, but I won’t wilt when popping out for drinks with friends. Jersey for the win!

What are you plotting for summer wardrobe staples, friends? Any knit newbies out there ready to try out some simple jersey pieces this season?



  • Jenny
    May 30, 2014

    Gorge! Love the colour-blocking, you innovative minx you. I already have 3 Monetas and have entirely constructed a 4th in my imagination already…. Thank heaven for TNTs.

  • Ginger
    May 30, 2014

    I looooooooove this color combo! It’s so fresh and summery! I’ve got to get on the Moneta wagon stat! I’m a dope, though, because I seem to only have knits in my stash in one-yard cuts! D’oh!

  • Faye Lewis
    May 30, 2014

    Very cute!

  • Maggie
    May 30, 2014


  • Goodbye Valentino
    May 30, 2014

    Excellent color combo for summer! Love your pretty dress 🙂

  • Linda L
    May 30, 2014

    Love the pattern using color blocking. You look good in these colors.

  • Sue
    May 31, 2014

    This dress looks absolutely fa-bilious on you!

  • Sallieoh
    May 31, 2014

    This somehow looks both comfy and sexy on you! I love the color combination – and this might be the push I need to give Moneta a try!

  • Heather
    May 31, 2014

    I’m anxiously awaiting my fabric for my first…and second…and third Moneta. I love this variation!

  • Lauren
    May 31, 2014

    This is SO PRETTY, Mary! Wow! I love that combination of colors on you, and what a fun way to modify the skirt for color blocking! Love love loveeeee. Probs gonna copy you, jsyk. Don’t hate 🙂 hahaha

  • Peter
    May 31, 2014

    Beautiful color combo — and a gorgeous dress!

  • Lori
    June 1, 2014

    This is such a beautiful color combination and the dress looks beautiful on you. Great job.

  • elaineoc
    June 2, 2014

    Gorgeous colour combo 🙂 So summery and bright!

  • Fiona
    June 3, 2014

    Gorgeous choice of colours to go together! What is better than a dress that looks chic and stylish but feels like you’re wearing PJs?!

  • DebB
    June 4, 2014

    Love the way you color blocked that dress! The colors you chose are just beautiful and I love how they work together and with those fabulous yellow shoes! My bff is a curvy blonde and I am trying to get her on board with wearing more color – can’t wait to show her what you have done.

  • Cennetta
    June 5, 2014

    Stylish and comfortable who could ask for more. Color blocking this classic style made your dress was a plus. The dress looks great on you.

  • Doni
    June 7, 2014

    I love everything you have shown here!!! I believe a little copycatting of my own is in order, namely the ikat skirt and the Silk Faille wiggle dress “I will have to solicit some help with the dress but I will find a way!” that dress fit you perfectly and the print was beautiful on you!!! thank you for sharing!

  • Amanda S.
    June 7, 2014

    Wow, adorable dress in the perfect summer colors!

  • Beth Conkwright
    June 8, 2014

    Cute dress. Love the colors.