Thanks for all your comments welcoming the prodigal sewer back into your midst. I value your encouragement.
I'm surprised Vogue 1351 has been overlooked by sewers. What's not to like about it? It is easy to fit, falls nicely on the body and the construction techniques are excellent.
I've posted a photo of the inside of the cowl neckline, which is machine sewn into lining. This is much better than a facing which can flap up when you least expect it.
I understand why the DKNY team made the dress in a block colour. The entire garment, except the upper back is cut on the bias, and finding fabric that works on the diagonal can be quite a challenge. In the end I choose a silk twill purchased in Rome a few years ago. I just love the result and am sure it will be a high rotation frock for summer.