Monday, September 15, 2014

Liesl + Co. Cappuccino Dress Returns to Its Roots

So, I understand that Simplicity 2245, the Lisette Portfolio dress designed by Liesl Gibson, is kind of a thing. After the pattern had been taken out of print, it caught fire on Pinterest and copies grew scarce. I believe they go for big money on eBay.

According to Liesl's blog, despite much customer interest and many requests, Simplicity decided not to reprint 2245. Reading a bit between the lines, I am guessing that copyright concerns prevented Liesl from reissuing the pattern in its original form under her own brand, Liesl + Co.

Original 2245

2245 Line drawing. The pants are cute too!
So Liesl + Co. reworked the design and released it in digital format as the Cappuccino Dress + Tunic.

I like the new design and I think the V neckline would probably suit me better than the original round neck. But when I showed the pattern to my friend Amie as part of our "smock project" to outfit her in comfy funky smocks, she preferred the round neck. I blithely assured her that redrafting the Cappuccino dress to return it to the original Portfolio design would be no problem.

And actually it wasn't a problem, though like all pattern drafting it did require some thinking and much studying of images of the original dress. This is a size 12, shortened 3" at the hem to hit Amie right above the knee for wearing with leggings or slim pants, over a long-sleeved t-shirt.

I'm going to show you a couple of photos of the inside of the dress, in case someone out there would like to try a similar "back to the future" adaptation of the current pattern.

The gray linen smock for Amie is actually the second version I made of the pattern. After downloading, printing (all 45-some pages!), taping together, tracing and altering the pattern, I felt a need to check it before cutting into the final fabric. Using a cotton print bought for little at FabricMart (specifically for making test garments) and a scrap of linen from Amie's Tosca Dress, I mocked up a trial version. Here it is pre-embellishment:

I brought in the side seams underneath the arms and through the bodice to see if I could make this muslin work for me, but it's still really too big for me to wear out of the house. And it is long! Not the hemline--though I shortened that six inches--but the distance to the pockets. I can hardly reach them.

Even though I couldn't see myself getting much use from this garment, I couldn't help but try to dress it up a touch, with an applique made from some very fancy Anna Maria Horner ribbon.

Now I honestly like the tunic, but the colors still look grim on me and the neckline is still too large. So I'm tracing out a smaller size at the chest and shoulders, and shortening it through the torso, and I will see how that goes. I can't imagine this shape being particularly flattering on me, but it could be so comfortable and practical for my everyday activities of writing, housekeeping, cooking and childcare. I think it would be great for winter worn over a warm turtleneck and warm leggings or pants as an upper layer to brighten things up and hold my phone and tissues. And think of the crazy possibilities for combining fabrics and trims...


  1. I think the round neckline is really sweet actually, and seems to suit the smock better. But I really like the opportunity to contrast prints as you have done on your trial version (and on the longer sleeved version on the original pattern). I'm guessing Amie is delighted and looks wonderful in her grey linen smock, but I must confess I am smiling at the notion of petite little you trying and failing to reach the pockets! Again, this is not a shape that would do me many favours (smocks are too maternity wear for me, not enough waist definition) but as we know, there are horses for courses in this world! I'm surprised you don't think the colours in that pretty print would suit you - I feel sure they would flatter your colouring beautifully. I do look forward to seeing a smaller version on you, Virginia, I think it would look lovely layered up for colder weather as you describe! xxx

  2. I'm one of those people who got on the Portfolio bandwagon way too late, and I don't like the V-neck either. It's so annoying they won't reprint it but your round neck version looks pretty spot on.

  3. Well, at least you have a great nightgown. I always like to find a positive use for everything :)

  4. Woo, thanks for this! I've wanted to do just this, but would probably never have got round to it. But now...!

  5. I made the Portfolio dress muslin but need to size it down. It looks a bit hospital gownish on me. I do love the pockets and will probably make it a bit longer. I like it in linen so much! Beautiful job!

  6. Do you sell this pattern, it looks great!

  7. i like this pattern. Is this it for sale?

  8. I love this pattern and every thing you did to it! I hope you still get these messages. I would gladly pay you for the pattern if you have it cut or not. Please email me. Barb Kuhlmann.

  9. I too, would love a pattern, I like both necklines... you rock babe ;-)

  10. I noticed this dress on Pinterest, which led me here. I LOVE the pattern. Yes, it looks kind of frumpy, my dad would have hated it, but I care not a whit. I'm not proficient at making garments without a pattern, but I might try this one. I really want one made of linen. Perhaps I'll try a muslin first. Thanks for posting this. -Doris McI.

    1. So ridiculous this pattern won't be reprinted since there is great demand. Want it!

  11. Won't someone share theirs at maybe $10 a pop?

  12. thank you for your photos as I think I can recreate using them. Love the look of this dress. Loraine