Skip to main content

Made By A Fabricista: Ilma Smock Dress

Hello friends.  My name is Byrd and I am a self-taught dopamine-loving curvy sewist.  I’m super excited to share my first Fabricista make.  This is the Named Clothing Company Ilma Smock Dress in a yummy Black/Pink/Emerald Retro Floral Print Challis.  The Ilma Smock Dress is a fun flirty off the shoulder dress with a wavy tiered hem and elasticized neckline.  There is also a top version.  Let’s get into the details.

Fabric choice is everything.  Fabric Mart’s Retro Floral Challis was perfect for the Ilma Dress.  The fabric is light, soft, smooth and has a gorgeous drape.  I immediately fell in love with the print.  The vibrant bright orange, pink, green and blue set against the black background will set you apart in any setting.  

The Ilma Smock Dress is officially rated as an intermediate pattern but there are no buttonholes of zippers.  I’d personally rate the pattern beginner advanced.  The instruction booklet is detailed with easy-to-follow diagrams.  The pattern is designed for a person 5’8”.  The pattern is not size-inclusive.  It goes up to a 54-inch hip.  There is quite a bit of ease built into the patter and it would be easy to grade up.  

I recommend washing and drying your fabric to address possible shrinkage.  The top and dress share the same pattern pieces.  Take caution when cutting out your preferred view (dress or top) to ensure you cut along the right lines.  I recommend tracing your pattern to preserve the original pattern pieces should you choose to cut the other view.  

My measurements are bust 42, waist 28 and hips 48.  I cut an XL.  You can choose a smaller size based on your preferred look and fit.  I am 5’3” and did not shorten the dress.  I like the length and airy look and feel.  The fit works perfectly for me.  The only modification I made was to add pockets.  I placed the pockets 9 inches below the under-arm seam.  Every garment needs pockets.

I love an off-shoulder dress.  The top of the Ilma dress features two rows of elastic creating a sort of faux shirred look.  I really like this feature.  The shoulders did not feel too night nor did they slip down.  The fit is spot on and comfortable.  After inserting the elastic, I recommend trying on your dress several times making adjustments as needed.  The sleeves are elasticized as well with just one casing of elastic.

For the gathers on the skirt portion of the dress, you can run two rows of basting stitches (usually this is your longest stitch length) or you can use a gathering foot.  

I also recommend serging, overlocking or using a zig-zag stitch on raw edges for a clean finish that won’t fray.

I styled my Ilma with bright pink spring sandals and multi-colored earrings from my trip last year to Kenya.  Depending on your desired vibe, you could make Ilma into a maxi or mini dress along with short sleeves.  Have fun sewing and styling your Ilma,  Fabric is key and Fabric Mart’s Rayon Challis makes for a great pairing.

What’s on your spring sewing list?  Thank you for reading!  

Happy Sewing,

BYRD  @yogabyrdsews

You can find similar fabrics by shopping the following categories: CHALLIS.


  1. Love your fun outfit!

  2. Your dress is beautiful and looks great on you!!! Yes to pockets, too!!!

    1. Thank you and pockets are a must 😊 - Byrd

  3. It's totally adorable and you provided great details! Awesome job as a fabricista, Byrd!

  4. You look darling! And, those pink sandals...great job!

    1. Thank you so much Kim - (Byrd)

  5. Absolutely stunning!!

  6. Looks like your dress has the perfect swish.


Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! All comments are reviewed before posting to help us eliminate spam. Your comment will be posted within 24 hours.

Popular Posts You Might Like

Week 4: Jeansmaking- What They Made

This is it, the final round! And we certainly did not go easy on our three remaining contestants this time. This round they had to make their own pair of well fitting jeans. I think they all did an absolutely outstanding job! Take a look what these ladies accomplished & be sure to vote for your favorite! (Link at bottom of post.) And, don't forget to show us your me-made jeans on Facebook or Instagram. Details at the bottom of this post. Danesha from  Classyfied Life So first I must say that this entire challenge has been just that...a challenge! Two weeks ago there was hurricane Irma and I was blessed enough to not lose power and then I went out into the aftermath to capture some photos of my submission. Then two weeks ago I had a big trip planned so I had to do EVERYTHING  in two days . Then the BIGGEST challenge of all...THIS week! I got the challenge and I was super excited to have an extra few days and then before I could even get started I ended up in the eme

Made By A Fabricista: A great tee shirt pattern – or three!

Hi fellow sewists! It’s Andrea and I’m here today to talk tee shirts!  I love a good tee pattern…or two…or four. Despite having more than enough of them in my pattern collection, I’m always up for trying a new one. And I also have my favorites and tried and trues (TNTs). I love the versatility of a good tee pattern – dress it up with fancy fabrics to make a work wardrobe piece, use a high quality solid to add some basics, or anything in between. Today I’m sharing three patterns I’ve used multiple times and with many different kinds of fabrics - all a little different and all great beginner patterns too. First up is the newest addition to my pattern collection – the Upland tee and crop top by Rivet Patterns. They are a newer designer who I recently discovered when this tee pattern caught my eye. I love that it has multiple bodice options including a classic design tee and also a crop version with different separate and uniquely shaped bodice pieces. I first made the

Made By A Fabricista: Dreamy Florals | A DIY Dress Inspired by Son de Flor's Spring Collection

Hi everyone!  When I saw this floral print linen/cotton blend make it’s way onto the to-be-described table I knew I had to make a dress from it.  I’d been staring dreamily at all the dresses from the brand Son de Flor who had just put out their spring collection and thought, maybe I can throw together something inspired by them!  I grabbed three yards of that floral shirting and a yard of SWC5682w to line the bodice with.  I used Simplicity’s S8946 for its simple bodice block.  This pattern has a gathered rectangle for the skirt, but I’m a sucker for a circle skirt so that’s where I decided to start.  I folded the fabric twice and cut out the longest circle the fabric would allow.  Then got to work on the bodice, sewing up the darts and attaching everything. Now, I don’t love installing zippers.  I ha d a lot of trouble getting them to sit right, and no matter how much mental gymnastics I do when first pinning one side is always put in the wrong way.  So while I did have to unpick and