I love that neckline so much and wanted to attempt to recreate it, but adding a swingy skirt to dance in. It turns out that it was much easier than I expected! Here's my final neckline result, which I was pleased looks almost exactly like Dita's:
To get this result, I modified the Strapless Sweetheart Bodice from my book Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book. You only need to change the center front piece, and it's pretty easy. Here's how I did it:
Make an inch-long horizontal mark at center front that is 1.5" below the sweetheart center front neckline. This line should be exactly perpendicular to the center front line. Here it is in orange pencil:
Next, make a little mark that is .25" to the right of the princess seam line.
Use a French curve to connect the two marks you've made.
That's the shape of your new neckline! Add a 5/8" seam allowance to the adjusted neckline.
Cut away the old lines.
As far as construction goes, I sewed it pretty much like any other strapless bodice, using an underlining, steel boning, and a waist stay. The outer fabric is cotton velvet, and then I underlined it in horsehair interfacing. (I usually use muslin for this purpose, but I wanted something a little stiffer for this dress.) The below photo is from my Instagram Stories, where I've been posting step-by-step photos of my sewing projects with caption. (If you're not familiar, Stories is the new Snapchat-like feature of Instragram. I've never understood what Snapchat is, so I'm thrilled to have an alternative on a platform I already understand!).
The skirt is the 3/4 circle skirt pattern, also from the book, and it has two layers: the taffeta and then a sparkle dot-flocked tulle. (The sparkles didn't really show up, sadly, but I am left with glitter everywhere.)
The tulle doesn't need a hem, it can just get a clean cut (I use a rotary cutter for this). Then make a narrow hem on the lining. Everything else is finished as usual, including hand stitching the bodice lining around the zipper and the waistline on the inside.
Add some sparkly vintage costume jewelry and some statement shoes and you're done!
I adore this neckline modification, and I'm thinking I might even use it for some summer dresses when the time comes. Hope you're all having a fabulous new year so far!