Ila Dress from Coffee and Thread

It's not often that I pull out my precious nani IRO during a pattern test, but somehow when it's a Coffee + Thread pattern, I feel pretty safe doing so. I've done it before (strangely I have never blogged my nani IRO Eleena Dress, but I posted a different one here) and as you can see with this Ila Dress, I've turned to nani IRO again. 


So first let me give you the details of this cute dress, taken from the Coffee + Thread site:

The Ila dress is an A-line dress that features a shaped yoke, front panel and in-seam pockets. There are two sleeve options to choose from - a short and a long sleeve. The design of the dress allows for numerous color blocking options as well as the addition of piping, pom poms, lace, etc. The trim of choice can be easily added to any seam in the dress.

It comes in sizes 18 months - 12 years. It is a layered PDF pattern (so you can choose the sizes you need). I made the size 4 for my younger daughter, but when I re-checked her measurements, it turns out I really should have gone with the size 3 with 4 length for her. So big sister was happy to step in and model the dress. The problem is that she needs a size 5 length, hence the tunic-like look on her.

Unfortunately, I don't think this nani IRO fabric is available anymore, and honestly I'm not even sure what it's called. My older daughter calls it her "cloud dress" (see--she already insists it's hers) and my younger daughter said it looks more like popcorn. I bought the fabric from a shop in Nippori maybe a year or more ago, so it was probably already a couple of years old by then. I used silver piping in the waist seam and the bodice seams, but neglected to add it to the yoke -- mainly because I ran out and I was too lazy to go out and buy more. Of course now I'm regretting that.

What I love best about this dress is the pockets, so you might find it odd that I neglected to add them to this version. I did add them to my first test version, quickly made with an Ed Emberley print, which my younger daughter has since claimed for herself. It's too big for her, but since I made the short-sleeved version, most likely she will have grown into it by the time spring rolls around.

For me, one of the appealing features of Coffee + Thread patterns is the clean lines and almost retro feel of the designs. I love that they let my kids be kids when they're wearing the clothes. I think the words I'm looking for are "timeless" and "classic."

And so excuse me now while I go off and make them each a dress in the proper size. I already have a request for one "with pockets, please" and another one in a "fluffy fabric" (i.e., knit). Wish me luck!

You can get your copy of the Ila Dress here, and be sure to join the Coffee + Thread Facebook group to share your makes!

And if you'd like some more inspiration, you will want to take a look at these blogs: ZowieZo Handmade, La couture pour les brutes (here, here and here), Zijkant, and NaaiSGerief. All these ladies made such pretty versions!


  1. Love both your versions so much, Emi! πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™Thsnk you my dear friend!

  2. Such a beautiful dress! I love sewing with Nani Iro and this dress turned out so lovely!

  3. Stunning dresses! I first thought clouds also, but now your little one said popcorn that's all I see :D Stunning dresses! I am cutious to know how you go making a knit version. I showed this dress to R and her first question was if it was stretchy.

  4. The cloud fabric πŸ˜‰ Is so beautiful and perfect for this dress! Like your version very much! The other one is really cute for your youngest. Ik can see why she likes it so much.

  5. The Nani Iro is so so beautiful! I love the way you played with the print for the pattern pieces!

  6. Beautiful dress, and what STUNNING fabric. I love that soft grey colour. It actually looks really cute as a tunic :)

  7. What a stunning dress and I can't blame big sister for trying to take ownership :-) Silver piping...yes please!

  8. So pretty!!!! I love the fabric and your piping choice.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts