You’ll have to forgive me for taking photos of a dress that I clearly have been wearing for a few hours–today was registration day for next school year, which involves some sitting and turn-taking and waiting (kinda like school), and it left me with wrinkles. Plus, my dress got mussed (ba-dump-dump-ching). Can you see that I’m still frowning? Thank goodness I have a pretty dress to take my mind off administrative requirements.
This is the Cappuccino Dress by Liesl + Co, from Liesl Gibson who also designs Oliver + S. It is absurdly comfortable and easy to wear, along with being quick to sew. I used a dotted chambray from Robert Kaufman (purchased from Pink Chalk Fabrics) along with a solid chambray for the neckband and the sleeve contrast.
There’s a center panel with side front seams that mask some sweet pockets. They’re just the right depth for a cell phone, and the way they’re hidden until you need them makes me love them all the more–I’ve even seen a few version sewn up with color-blocking, and then the pockets pop right out at you, but more as a part of the design than as pockets with a capital P, you know? It’s design details like those that I find super appealing.
The pocket lining is the same solid chambray that I used on the sleeve bands and neckband, mostly because the dotted chambray has a slightly textured surface, and I wanted my pockets to lie nice and flat against the interior of the dress. The seams are all serged on the inside, for simplicity, including the pocket seams.
The back is constructed with a center back seam, which allows that seamline to curve in just slightly and hug the waist when you’re wearing it. I love the fit, which has some ease without losing its shape. I tend to like my dresses to be more fitted–probably from trauma sustained during the early 90s when all of us were wearing XXXL everything and I was sure I was fat, even though I was ten pounds smaller then than I am now. So I might have been able to go up a size in this pattern and still have had an excellent fit without too much extra fabric–the cut of the side front and back pieces really makes for good room for error. After my bad experience with the Creamsicle Dress turning out too big (and making me look both older and bigger than I am), I think I made the right call with the size on this one, and will cheerfully wear it until it falls off, “tense” bustline and all.
I still have a little more tension at the bustline than I might like, even after the FBA, which is what makes me think I might have been able to go up a size. It’s not pulling, necessarily, just a little more stress on those side front seams than I would ordinarily like. Some other folks have wondered if the Portfolio Dress, which was the original version of this design before Liesl updated it to become the Cappuccino Dress, has similar lines with less pulling at the bust–I’m thinking I might pull my copy from my stash and sew up another version to compare? Is that obsessive? Don’t answer that.
The fabric was deliciously easy to work with, and really satisfying to sew. I will mention that it sheds quite a lot when trimming the seams–the fluff from my serger was extra fluffy–but that’s a small price to pay for such a soft, drapey fabric. It wrinkles with wear (clearly) but doesn’t look rumpled, and is just a really great casual spring and summer fabric.
I’ve already worn and washed this puppy twice since making it last week, and am wearing it to go to the tenth anniversary of Mean Girls tonight. I know, I know: today is Wednesday, and it isn’t pink. Sigh. I’ll go sit at that table over there.