I made this dress using Vogue 1137, a reissue of an original design from 1950. I also used this pattern to make a dress last year in a stripey dark blue fabric, but last year's version was according to the pattern and this year's includes some changes.
The original is a mid-calf length dress with side vent openings and a demure v-neckline. Since I only had 2 metres of a narrow fabric, this one is above knee length, which means no need for side vents. And the neckline on this one is completely different looking now...
I tried to make this as a quick (ie no muslin, minimal adjustments) dress, but when I tried it on and showed Mr UpSewLate he said something like "what's wrong with the neckline?". The neckline was loose, front and back and the shoulder seams were too wide for my shoulders. I took inspiration from the pleated necklines I've seen at Veronika Maine and pinned away at myself until the fit seemed good enough. Below you can see an inside out view of the bodice against the light - pleats in front and back necklines, angled towards the fullest part of the bodice (well, that's what I tried to do).
I also took the opportunity to add in a bit of a swayback adjustment but looks like I could have taken out more! The upper back is not super tight but sits better than this when I'm not trying to hold my shoulders back for the photo. I quite like the effect of those new pleats...
Do you want a side view too? The bodice was lengthened in this version by about 1.5cm, and the bust darts lowered by about the same amount.
And because the thought of machine stitching hems now makes me feel guilty (Sherry!), there ended up being hand stitching involved:
Although I'm really slow at hand stitching, the slowest part of the dress ended up being this little feature... which does such a fine job of drawing attention to my lack of waist (maybe a sheath dress wasn't a clever idea!):
The belt strap was fun - made with the buckram from a second hand belt kit - as was choosing the buckle from my small vintage collection. I got stuck on the belt holes though! Mr UpSewLate and I experimented with hammer and nails, the thing that you use to bang nailheads into the floor, and even a hole punch - he even pulled out a rivet gun (que? well he was going to repair rivets on the lawn mower), but it looked a bit too dangerous. In the end I sewed eyelets on the sewing machine, hacked out the little centres with a quik-unpik, then sewed over them by hand with embroidery floss.
Ah, a gratuitous "kicking up the legs to celebrate small sewing successes and the sunshine that comes after heavy rain" photo...