I spent the better part of a weekend in February sewing up this Lisette Portfolio dress. I had been searching for the pattern for awhile (it's out of print) and finally found one at a price I was willing to pay so I jumped in. Kind of. I actually made a muslin of the tunic length to make sure it would fit. It did so I started cutting the good stuff. (Side note: I traced the entire pattern using dressmakers carbon paper and a tracing wheel for the first time. Game changer! Post forthcoming…)

The fabric is a Robert Kaufman Union Chambray that has been in my stash for a few months. This fabric is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. It has lovely drape and its dark indigo color makes it casual and dressy at the same time, if you know what I mean. I made a size 16 of this simpliciy pattern (I wear a 12 in the other Liesl & Co patterns and off the rack) and didn't adjust it a bit. When I was finished, I wish I would have added length (always the story) as the hemline is a little shorter than I'd like, but live and learn.

Portfolio rip

The construction of this one is a lot of fun! It's not hard, but not the easiest, either. Like all of Liesl's patterns, it has good tips and thorough instructions the whole way through, making it a true joy to sew. My only issue is that I did catch a bit of the side seam in the serger (when will I learn?) which left two tiny holes towards the bottom of the dress. I cried. Big tears. I really did. But then I gathered my wits, took Kerry's suggestion of reinforcing them with a woven interfacing on the back side and darning them on the front. Not perfect, but Fatty assures me that it looks like a flaw in the fabric instead of an Erin-created flaw. That'll do.

Portfolio buttons

The closure on the back of the neck is two vintage buttons that I received from Julie many moons ago. I have been holding on to them, waiting for the right project, and this was it. I love how they add a little surprise detail, one you don't even see if I am wearing my hair down. It's like having a little secret. And they are green, which you all know I love. Happy, happy.


I haven't had a chance to wear it out in the real world yet – stupid, never-ending winter. And while I do think it would be super cute with tights, boots and a sweater, I am so over boots for this year. I'm holding out until I can be bare-legged, but maybe not so blindingly pale as above. Oy. I need spring.

And wouldn't you know that Liesl just released an updated version of this pattern? The Cappuccino Dress and Tunic has a slightly different neckline, but otherwise has the same slimming seam construction and the really cool pockets that make this dress. She also has lengthened the dress! Win for me! It's also a pdf download so you could start sewing it now. Or after you tape the pattern together. You know what I mean. Go! Sew!

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