Friday, April 18, 2014

Cappuccino Time

Now you know Liesl+Co released the Cappuccino dress and tunic, the replacement for the much sort after Portfolio?
Well, I sewed it up.
And it is lovely!
I did add an extra inch to the centre fold of the centre panel, as I do with my Portfolio dresses.
I took my upper bust measurement and then did a FBA, it was super easy and meant I could make the size10.
I slightly shaped the front downwards so it would work as a maternity top for me.
This gave me a lovely fit without lots of fabric gathering around my back.
The fabric is a stunning wool/modal I purchased from eBay, it is super stretchy and a bit of a cow to sew but the drape is unbelievable and it feels so nice on.
I did take some photos for a tutorial, not that I think you will need it, but here we go!
Stay-stitch the necklines from the shoulder to the front.
Don't skip this step, it will be helpful to stabilise the neck line whilst it is sewn.
  Interface one of the back neck facings and two of the four front neck facings.
Add any sizing labels now.
Pin two front necks to a back neck and do the seam with the facings, right sides together.
Sew and trim the seams and then press them open.
Matching the notches and seams, pin the neck facings to the neck pieces, right sides together.
Sew, reversing over the shoulders seams to re-enforce. 
Trim the seam and clip the curves.
Press the seam allowance to the facing (the interfaced side)
Edge stitch the seam to the facing.
Pin the neck band to the facing, right sides together, matching notches and shoulders seams.
Stitch together with a narrow seam.
Trim any uneven edges.
Overlap the bottom edges of the neck band and baste in place.
Baste and press well, let cool.
I added a good 2 inches to the centre front panel, this was plenty, anymore and it would have caused issues gathering to fit.
I also added some length  to the front and shaped it down to allow for my bump.
I can easily shorten it later.

Bump length!
Gather the top of the centre panel.
Gather the front section to fit the collar. Knot the thread ends to keep it tight.
You can see I was pushing it with my added width but this was a reasonably thick fabric.
Pin the bottom the neck band to the top of the centre panel, right sides together.

Sew, neaten and press the seam up, for now.

Sew the centre back seam, right sides together 
As I was sewing a knit I overlocked the seam and pressed it to one side. If I had used woven, I would have pressed the seam open.
Pin the shoulder seams, right sides together.
I used a thin strip of interfacing to stabilise the seam.
Sew, neaten and press the seam.
Pin the centre front panel to the side front panel up to the transferred notch.
Sew the other side but don't neaten yet!

Carefully clip into the notch.
Press the centre front seam down again.
Pin the neckband to the top neck starting at the notch.
Match the shoulder seams and notches.
Start pinning from here
Pinning lengthwise will help with the easing in.
Sew and check for tucks.

Neaten the raw edge starting at one hem edge and finishing up at the other.
Press well.
Remove any visible gathering stitches.
I had a wee gap here so I hand sewed the seams together, just to keep it nice and neat!
Press well!
Pin the sleeve to the bodice matching notches.
Sew, press and neaten the seam. Press again.
Pin the side seams matching the underarms.
Sew, press and neaten.
Stitch a turning guide at the hem.
Press up.
Turn and press the hem again.
As I am sewing a knit I can ease the front curve.
Pin and sew.
Prepare the sleeve cuffs.
Press one edge back by a cm and apply interfacing to the other side of the cuff.
Unfold the pressed edge and pin the ends of the cuff together 
Sew the seam and press it open 
A piece of dowel is very handy for this, thanks Liesl!
Re-fold and press the edge.
Pin the unfolded edge of the cuff right side to the sleeve wrong side matching seams.
Sew and press the seam towards the cuff.
Because of the bulky knit I graded rather then trimmed the seam allowance.
Fold the cuff over the seam and pin and top stitch in place.
Press well.
And you are done!
One Cappuccino.
With a terrific drape.
And a lovely shape.

 With room for my bump!

xx N


  1. Congratulations!! You look fabulous!
    Does that mean you'll be renaming your blog soon? (six and counting...)
    Best wishes, Carola

    1. Thank you Carola, that is so sweet of you!
      More likely Six and Out!
      xx N

  2. You look radiantly beautiful! I am so very happy for you! The shirt looks lovely on you, too.

  3. Thank you Karen, what a lovely compliment.
    We are super pleased and excited to have a little one around the house again.
    xx N

  4. Nicole, I did not know you were pregnant! Congratulations! The top is lovely on you.

  5. Thank you Masha.
    Its a lovely top to sew, especially in a drapey knit.
    xx N

  6. Nicole, I love your new top! Very pretty.:)

    1. Thank you Cindy, I am sure your remember how fed up you get with wearing the same old maternity things.
      xx N

  7. You know what I would love to see, is a visual of your FBA on this pattern. I plan to make this tunic, but I was trying to envision how to do an FBA with such an unusual cut across the chest. Can you help me?

    P.S. Great tute and you look gorgeous!

    1. I can absolutely take some photos for you Inder. I didn't as I always over blog! I should have.
      I will take some tomorrow.
      Thank you!
      xx N

    2. I feel like I missed the FBA too. Were you able to post something regarding the changes you made? Does the center 2" to the front panel accomplish the FBA? Thanks!!

    3. Whitney, I will get onto this ASAP!
      xx N

  8. You look amazing! What a wonderful glow you have! The fabric looks heavenly and I really think the puddling drape is the way to go with this pattern. I used a silk cotton voile which was just enough, but more silk and less cotton would have been better. Funny, though, mine was similar in color. :)

    1. Thank you Melanie, that is so kind of you.
      I agree, I think a draping fabric (although a little trickier to sew) is the key to success with this garment.
      As to a similar colour, we both must have good taste.(He he)
      xx N

  9. Congratulations ! You are a brave woman. I have half the number of kids you (will soon) have, and even though I love them dearly , some days I feel like running far far away !

  10. Thank you Deepa, my older ones are a big help and our farm is good and large.
    xx N

  11. Dear Nicole, I follow you for some time even if I did not comment until now. So first of all congratulations on your pregnancy.Such wonderful news!!
    Having made the portfolio several times I also wanted to ask you something: is it as easy as redrafting the neckline and adding the square to go back from the capuccino to the portfolio? I love how it looks on you, but I never seem to feel good in V-neck tops. Thanks a lot!!

  12. Thank you Tantemele, I am very pleased to 'meet' you!

    The neck line on this is quite different to the Portfolio, I think it would not be easy to redraft.

    I am so sorry not to be more help.
    xx N

  13. I just found your blog as I was looking for patterns to use for maternity wear. This top is beautiful, I hope I can create something half as nice! Have you made the dress version also? Do you think it would work for maternity?

  14. Hi Christine.
    I think the dress would work equally as well. The bonus being you can wear it after wards.
    I have not made this as the dress but I have made half a dozen Portfolio's which was the inspiration for this pattern.

    I have since snipped the shaped hem away and still wear it.
    xx N

    1. Thank you ... I've purchased the fabric and I'm going to give it a go.

    2. Good luck, with the sewing and your pregnancy.
      xx N

  15. I am contemplating this after seeing a sew along on oliver+s and then seeing your tute, as I might need to make some FBA adjustments too. So wish I had seen this last year when I was pregnant. Your looks lovely, and the tute seems clear and straigtforward.