introducing the cappuccino dress and tunic

Every once in a while a sewing pattern can be a bit of a sleeper that gains a following over time. That was the case with our Lisette Portfolio Dress + Tunic. We released it with Simplicity as Simplicity 2245 three years ago. The pattern sold well at the start, then sales tapered off, and then (thanks primarily to Pinterest, I think) the pattern became enormously popular–just as it was being taken out of print.

You begged and pleaded with us to bring it back. Many, many of you begged and pleaded. So many of you begged and pleaded that we knew something had to be done. So we begged and pleaded with Simplicity to bring it back. The answer was no.

So. Here’s a brand new, improved, and completely re-drafted version of the much-loved Portfolio Dress + Tunic. We’ve called it the Cappuccino Dress + Tunic.


Cappuccino Dress + Tunic Sewing Pattern


We’ve redesigned the style after I noticed that some of you felt that the neckline was a bit high. Now it has a flattering V-neck that I think is also a little easier to sew than the original design. And we won’t run out of these because they’re digital patterns. (If there’s enough interest, we may also release it in paper this fall–if you can wait that long.)



As with the original Portfolio pattern, the Cappuccino pattern has kimono sleeves and a slightly relaxed fit but with gentle shaping at the sides. Which means that it skims the body but still flatters your curves. And of course the dress version has those cool almost-hidden inseam pockets that everyone loves (and that I think caused this to take off on Pinterest). You might notice that we lengthened the dress a bit, and I think the tunic is a really great length and shape. In fact, I could wear the tunic every day. It’s just the sort of thing I love to wear.






Cappuccino Dress

The pattern works really well with quilting cotton, chambray, lawn, shirting, poplin, broadcloth, sateen, voile, and linen. I think you could also sew it from fine-wale corduroy or wool crepe if you’re wanting something for cool weather. But why not dress it up a bit too? And I think it would be really cute in a stable knit. We sewed the versions for these photos from washed silk (tunic) and rayon (dress), and I’m thrilled with the results.

We hope you enjoy this pattern! Thanks for your patience as we re-developed it. You can get your copy now in the Oliver + S shop.




  1. kitty

    Awesome. I never bought the Portfolio (despite being in love with the pockets) because the neckline did not seem flattering for larger busts. This version? Just perfect. Can’t wait to sew it up for the summer!

  2. I’m so glad you like it, Kitty! Yes, I think this is more flattering for a fuller bust. Cheers!

  3. Rebecca

    Oh- I love the new neckline! I tried to make the original for myself, but never managed to make one that I liked- and now that you have changed the neckline, I think that is why! I tend to wear more scoop or v-necks. I kind of want the exact tunic pictured in this post- I love the fabric!

  4. Heidi

    I love the changes! Especially the new neckline )

  5. Ann-Maree

    I love the tunic! It looks like it will be great to skim over a post-partum tummy.

  6. Sarah

    I made I think 3 versions of the Portfolio and loved each one. But I am so excited for an updated Portfolio. The design looks lovely. And I do love sewing with rayon. So flattering. Thank you! Sewing this one up is going to have to wait till after I have the baby though! 🙂

  7. Jennifer

    Oh, I love it. I am so exited about something new for me to sew!

  8. Caroline

    Have you considered making this in plus?

  9. Liesl, my blog post on the How to sew the Portfolio Pockets gets 50 hits a day! And my linen Portfolio is constantly repined.

    I cannot tell you how excited I am about this being re-released.

  10. Jenny

    Ok, I am ignorant of the Portfolio, maybe because, after doing a Google search and seeing it, I can now say there is no way I would have purchased it. Not because it wasn’t cute, but because it looks like not enough ease and drape for the bust. The new neckline? Changes everything!

    And can you tell me what is that fabulous fabric that you made the dress in? Wow is that beautiful.

    Nicole, I am going to go stalk your blog to see what the pockets are all about!

  11. Theresa Davies

    Very cute, I have the original pattern. Just curious about measurements, the finished bust measurement (size 16) is actually smaller than the size guide measurement? No ease???
    I too would love to see a few patterns drafted closer to the plus range, this one in particular. 🙂

    1. Thanks for catching that Theresa. There was a little typo in the finished measurement chart. It’s fixed now.

  12. Gayatri

    This looks amazing! Thanks so much for re-releasing it!

  13. Ladies who are inquiring about bigger sizes. I have biggish boobs (C-D cup) even when I am not carrying extra weight.
    It is very easy to add some width to the centre panel which gives you more tummy room and extra boobage!

    Jenny, you are very welcome!

  14. Marcy

    This is timely since I’ve been trying to track down the original pattern for less than $50!!! But I actually prefer the round neckline of the original. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I’m super petite and small busted? On the other end of the plus size requests, I would like to see tops in one size smaller than those offered.

  15. Amy F

    I’ve had the Portfolio pattern for years and never got around to sewing it. LOVE this version so much better! The neckline!!!

  16. Really love the new neckline – I found the yoke too high for me, and so despite owing the original Portfolio in both size ranges, think I may need to purchase this one anyway!

  17. Jacqui

    Oooo lovely! I managed to find a copy of the original a couple years ago and have really enjoyed the tunic I made, despite the higher neck and not quite enough room across the chest – can’t wait to try this new version with the better neckline Nicole’s suggestion of a slightly wider centre piece to stop the pulling across the bust. Thank you!

  18. Jess

    Marcy, if you see this, I have a copy of the pattern that I bought last week for $5 and it is the smaller size range. You are welcome to it if you’d like. Email me!

    Super happy this has been re released – I love the new neckline and can’t wait to make it up!

  19. Jen

    I haven’t ever commented on the blog posts before, but I felt compelled to tell you that this pattern looks fantastic! The shaping, styling, sleeve options, and the loose fit all appeal to me so I will definitely be making some of these. I can see how easy this would be to make in a really dressy fabric or as a more casual top or dress. So versatile. Who doesn’t want that?!?

  20. Tanya

    Oh, I love this! I’m pregnant now, so I can’t sew it up yet, but It’s going on my sewing wishlist for after the baby is born!!

  21. Laura

    This is fabulous! And I LOVE your model.

  22. bec

    I didnt realise it was out of print, as I was lucky enough to buy one early on! I’ve made a few and always get compliments. But I like the changes too, so now feel I want to buy this pattern as well! Cant the neckline change be added to the original pattern? Otherwise, i’ll add it to the ‘want’ list!

  23. Sarvi

    Ditto on the gorgeous model — there’s just something about an olive complexion with dark eyes and curls, wouldn’t you say? Haha (lest I sound like an awful creeper, the joke behind this is that I have similar coloring).

    I’d also love the option of a rounded neckline as a ‘view C’ to mix it up, though looking at the line drawing, I think making the alteration might be a bit above my skill level. I bet one of the clever ladies here will figure it out and blog it, though. Actually, I have the Simplicity pattern as well, wonder if I could blend them ….

  24. Melanie

    I also find this neckline much more flattering. It opens up the face and gives a vertical line that I think is slimming. I love it in rayon and the washed silk! The drape over the shoulders in those fabrics makes a beautiful fit. I wish I had more rayon in my stash, but I think a soft linen would also make a good casual dress for summer.

  25. I love this, Liesl!

  26. Victoria


    Im very tempted to buy this pattern as it looks lovely but I am concerned that it will be tricky! I am a good sewer but not much experience with clothes…. can you advise me?


  27. Aless

    I’ve just checked out the original Portfolio on Pinterest- I never would have made it as the neckline would not suit my size or my lifestyle (I’m an early babyboomer).
    However…..I absolutely LOVE the new neckline, and as I wear tunics a lot, this is definitely going to be on my list of patterns to buy. Well done!!

  28. Sheela

    Amy F or anyone else who has old copies of the Portfolio pattern… if you are willing to part with them, I would still love to have one! I’ve been hunting for the Portfolio pattern for such a long time now. I had heard that there would be a new version and have been waiting to see it, but unfortunately I am not as fond of this one. I would really prefer the round neck to the V. If anyone no longer needs their Portfolio pattern, please consider letting me know (sss139 at hotmail dot com)! Thanks!!

  29. Loving this so much!

  30. I love this pattern in both forms but I really would love the old version with the higher neckline. If any of you are ditching your old pattern to make the new one I’d love to purchase one of the older printed copies from you! Please email me at plasticmallrat at gmail (dot) com !

  31. Phyllis Lake

    How do I modify the pattern for a petite figure? I’m 5’2″, and this pattern looks like it’s designed for tall ladies.

  32. I didn’t think I would need to buy the new version, but after seeing it, I am seduced!
    Love the neckline and the dress in the last photo is gorgeous.

  33. Perfect! I can’t wait to give it a try 😉

  34. Tracy

    Oh yes, please, please Liesl can you do a tutorial explaining now to make the original round neck instead using this pattern? V necks and me are not best friends 🙁 but I love the pattern so much x

  35. Lindy

    I love this. I made the Portfolio dress a couple months ago and while I’m very pleased with it, I like this neckline even more (and that it doesn’t have the buttons at the back of the neck). Typically I shy away from the fabrics used on models, but the main fabric for the dress I want and would wear in a heartbeat! Any information on this available?
    This is my first comment here and I just have to say that after being afraid of sewing clothing for years, I delved in with dresses for my twin girls with the oliver + s patterns and they are so well-written (and dang cute!) that I can’t say enough good things.

  36. The Cappuccino looks lovely. I do still like the rounded neckline and small square front panel look of the Lisette Portfolio (which I too only discovered via Pinterest after it had been discontinued) but this dress also looks great, very Japanese. Have ordered the download, will top up on printing ink and hope to make a start on this this weekend. Can’t wait!

  37. Ingrid

    Hi, have to chime in as well. I saw this dress made up in a local shop a couple of weeks ago and loved it so much, was very disappointed it was discontinued. I prefer the round neck as well as I have a small bust and a flat chest so the V neck is not flattering on me; I would also love it if there could be a tutorial on how to alter for a round neckline, thanks. I have purchased this one anyway as I love the style.

  38. i am thrilled that you have this pattern available!!! 🙂 i also discovered the original portfolio on pinterest and had searched and searched for the pattern. the version i pinned had a widened round neck that i liked (many repinned it as well). i do like the v-neck, but i am a fan of round necks. i will definitely try to sew this version up…but would love the possibility of a tutorial or “add on” pack or a round neck.

    thanks so much for making this pattern available!!!!!! 🙂

  39. Cindy

    I made the portfolio dress and love it, even the higher neck. Can’t wait to make this new version.

  40. Donna

    What is the fabric on the tunic? I absolutely LOVE it!

  41. Donna

    Can the cute pockets from the dress be easily adapted to the tunic? I’m not a dress girl, but really like those pockets!

  42. Lynn

    I am looking for the Portfolio dress pattern if anyone has a copy for the smallest size range – I much prefer the round neckline for my small bust size,sigh…why Simplicity won’t rerelease is a mystery to me.

  43. I love my Cappuccino dress! Finished making it this weekend and would like to reassure fellow small-busted sewers that the V neckline looks lovely and I think it’s flattering. Have blogged my effort here Am so happy with it, thank you Liesl + Co! 🙂

  44. Amy

    Nice looking dress but I so want the old neckline. Not into the V-neck. Been hunting for the portfolio pattern for awhile. I just thought it was super popular not that it was discontinued.

  45. Ruth Meek

    I would buy this if someone would post a tutorial on the original round neckline. Maybe I will give it a whirl!! I love the original & have been searching for it….unsuccessfully.

  46. Lynn


  47. Sharon

    Too bad you stopped at size 16

  48. shannon

    like donna said, i’m wondering if the pockets on the dress are adaptable to the tunic? that’s what i love about this pattern…but i love tunics myself. 🙂

  49. Thanks for all your comments and questions. Regarding the neckline, the higher neckline isn’t really a simple change that could be explained in a tutorial. But I can assure you that the new neckline is very flattering. And you can certainly lengthen or shorten the dress as desired, but keep the position of the pockets in mind. The tunic is short and the pocket bags would stick out below the hem.

  50. Ronica

    I love this! AnD Seriously still love the portfolio, had a chance but passed it up and am kicking myself! Anybody looking to sell theirs on the larger end??? 🙂

  51. Lynn

    Sewing this up now and it’s looking lovely. Just wanted to mention that on p. 8 of the instructions where you attach the neckband, the written instructions are clear to clip on the center front only, but the illustration shows the opposite. As a visual person, this had me confused for a bit. Might want to have that illustration re-done for future downloads. I think this might be my new uniform – so excited to finish and start the next variation!

    1. Lynn, thanks for taking the time to comment and call this to our attention. You are right, there is a slightly misleading wording there. We’ve updated the pattern to clarify and make this step more accurate. You can download a new copy with your original download link now if you would like the updated version.

  52. any chance you are able to offer the original neckline too or something very similar? there was something about that block on top that really clicked with me. do like this pattern too 🙂

  53. Rose

    I really liked the neckline of the original pattern as well. If anyone has one they are no longer using, I too would love to purchase it. I found one on ebay that was way past my budget. My email is beezers4811 at sbcglobal dot net. Thank you so much!

  54. Julie

    If anyone h&s the original version, Lisette 2245, I, also would love to purchase the pattern.


  55. Maili

    I would also buy this pattern in a heartbeat if there was an “add-on” download for the rounded neckline. The v-neck looks a bit busier. In some of the finished results online the bust area seemed to be pulling, even after the sewer claimed to have made a FBA.

    The original neckline had such beautiful, clean lines. The rounded collar, little square patch, then gentle curves gliding into graceful, soft pockets. Absolute perfection. The length seemed a bit younger, too. I wrote Simplicity and asked them to (please) reprint it. Maybe one more letter will tip the scales…

  56. Ruthy

    Ladies who own the original pattern, pleeeeeeeeease sell it to me!!! The new version is lovely, but I still hanker after the original neckline 🙂 Getting slightly desperate – they come up on eBay sooo rarely. Thank you!! xx

  57. Lynn

    What size do you need? I understand your desperation 🙂

  58. Ruth Meek

    I’ve been searching everywhere! They are way too expensive on EBay.

  59. Lindy

    Ruthy or whoever contacts me fastest – I have an original 2245 pattern I’ll part with. Sizes 14-22. I did make the dress, love it, but am more of a “Cappuccino Neckline” gal! (misperfect at msn dot com)
    For others hoping to find the original version, ask friends/families that’d be willing to check their JoAnn’s. I live in a somewhat rural area and our JoAnn’s had 4 copies of the pattern. I bought them all during a pattern sale and then redistributed them at cost via classifieds on patternreview. No profit – as I figured others should only pay what I did.

  60. Ruth Meek

    Oh I would love it! I’m looking for the smaller, but I think I could modify it easily enough!

  61. Julie

    Would love to purchase the original version as well…. If anyone has it available to sell !

  62. Ruthy

    Lindy, yes please!!!! x I’m going to try you now! THANK YOU 🙂

  63. Ruthy

    Hi Lynn,
    Ideally it’s a UK 18 (which I think is US22?) – the larger the better, but I can easily adapt 🙂 I’ve emailed Lindy, but not sure if I’m first in the queue yet 🙂 You ladies are brilliant – thank you so much for getting back to me and responding to the post! (ruthyspiller at hotmail dot co dot you kay) xx

  64. Ruthy

    Lynn, I missed the other one!! Please, please let me know if you are able to help me out (thank you for understanding the desperation hahaha! x) – I really, really would like it 🙂

  65. Ruthy

    Hope these comments pass moderation 🙂

  66. Ruthy

    Hi Lynn, I don’t know if my comments are being stopped as I’ve tried to reply a few times, but absolutely desperate for your pattern if you still have it – thank you so much for replying to the post! 🙂 xxx

  67. Judy

    I also would love to buy a copy of the original portfolio dress pattern, any size. Please let me know if you have one available. I had emailed Simplicity and their response was that they were only resellers and did not control the pattern! Sounds very strange to me.

  68. Basia

    I also prefer the original neckline and details. Please let me know if/when that becomes available again.

  69. Dee T.

    I, too, love the re-designed pattern. However, since I am a full-figured gal (bust is DDD), I would LOVE to have this in a plus size pattern. Do you think you will release it in larger sizes? Thank you!

  70. Kathy

    do you do this pattern in larger sizes? I need a uk size 20 (which the original pattern went up to) the V neckline of this will be much more flattering.

  71. Elisa B

    Any chance the original Portfolio dress will be reprinted? I love the rounded neckline and small square front panel look of the original. Anybody willing to sell me a copy? Pretty please?! 🙂

    1. Elisa, no sorry. Simplicity chose to take it out of print, and it won’t ever be available again.

  72. Veronica C.

    I myself am looking for the pattern in the larger size if anyone has to sell or trade. Please contact me at queenqueenie2 at aol dot com.

  73. Gwen Grimm

    Humm, must just be me, but I really dislike the v neck, but alas, with the old pattern going for $50 a pop guess I’ll just have to keep looking for that prefect shirt pattern.

  74. Vikki B.

    I would like a copy of the original pattern. Anyone have one they want to get rid of?

  75. Nan

    I like the little block at the neckline of the original pattern. I saw one online that was made without using the neck band, too, and it was so cute. I think that block at the neckline is just wishing for some embellishment. I thought it would be cute to cover it with buttons, or embroidery, or even a pieces of lace. I would like to make it in white with an old printed hanky corner in that block. I wish I had the pattern!

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