Make Mine a Cappuccino - the new improved Lisette Portfolio dress

Cappuccino dress, Lisette Portfolio's little sister

The Lisette Portfolio Dress and Tunic (Simplicity 2245) is an internet sensation. Like many other dressmakers I discovered it via Pinterest long after it had been taken out of print. Of course knowing it was not available made me want to sew it even more but I baulked at the £45 (or more) prices second hand copies were fetching on eBay. I wrote to Simplicity beseeching them to reprint it or sell me an old tattered copy, but to no avail. Then I wrote to Oliver + S (creators of Lisette sewing patterns) who said they were in the process of remaking and improving the pattern and would add me to the mailing list announcing when the new version was available.

     Happily a new re-drafted version, the Cappuccino Dress is now released by Oliver + S as a Liesl + Co digital download and will (fingers crossed) be published as a paper pattern in the autumn. Of course I couldn't wait until then, so bought the PDF and slowly printed out all 59 pages then carefully cellotaped the sewing pattern together and cut out all the pieces. Cursing as I worked (my printer had jumbled up the pages) I'm relieved to let you know it really was worth going to all the time and trouble it took to assemble and cut out this pattern.

Super bright roller skate, electric fan fabric

With warmer days approaching I decided to use a bright red, orange and pink African wax print cotton fabric bought on eBay in the depths of winter (which I'd been saving for a very special sewing pattern). It's the boldest fabric I've worked with for some time (the antidote to that beige Temperance dress) and is printed with outsize roller skates, huge electric fans, sphinxes, geometric patterns and eyes. 

Liesl & Co Cappuccino dress by Ivy Arch
Cappuccino dress has tapered kimono style sleeves

The Cappuccino dress is a joy to make. The sewing pattern download comes with detailed written instructions and clear diagrams. The sizing is American but full measurements are listed, so I cut mine out in a combination of US size 6 for the top half widening out to a US size 10 at the waist and hips. There had been some concern among fellow small-chested sewers that the new V-neck version of this dress wouldn't be as flattering on us as the higher scoop-necked Portfolio dress. While I can't compare it to a Portolio (not having made one) I can report that the Cappuccino's V-front sits fairly high, is modest and pretty with no cleavage (or lack of) bared and the dress fits well across my tiny shoulders. I love the kimono-like sleeves and the curved front pockets. The Cappuccino is a hit!


Even better than the Lisette Portfolio!
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