WIP: Mad Men Dress

Hey guys, I have an issue I need help with.

For starters, I’m working on my Mad Men Dress.  Next week (I believe) is when the new season kicks off and I don’t think it’s a surprise that is next week’s Sew Weekly theme.  I was debating for a long time if I was going to do a shout-out to Betty’s late 50’s, floral puffy skirt style or if I was going to go early-60’s-working girl.  I was looking through my pattern stash when I just knew I had to make this dress:

Early 60’s working girl it is!  This pattern is from 1961 and it will be my first plunge into sewing from the 60’s.

I’m making version B, the blue A-line number.  I loved the baby blue version so much I coincidentally found just the same shade of blue wool fabric to make it in.  Normally I would have picked a fabric from my own stash, but I had a group-on coupon to use up at my local fabric store.

I have a bemberg underlining on this dress and was good today and hand-basted around all of the darts prior to sewing them together.  But something horrible happened!  I have a bubble boob issue aka the bubble dart dilemma:

Don’t worry, this isn’t me wearing this dress.  I have it laying in my hand for these photos.

I don’t know what happened.  I was so careful with my darts.  I’m wondering if the bubble is due to the double thickness of the fabric (the wool plus the bemberg).

Here is the inside:

Doesn’t look like it should have a bubble on the outside does it?

I really can’t get away with the dress as is, but what’s a girl to do????  Ladies, I need your help!

Since it’s wool, I tried to steam shrink the bubble but it would not yield to the iron.  The only thing I can think to do would be to get out my hand sewing needle and try to work the tip of the dart to try and smooth it out.  What do you guys think??  Are there any other solutions you can think of?

In: Sewing

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

Comments (11)

  1. Here’s what I do: At the tip of the dart, continue sewing right along the edge for four stitches and then knot the thread tails. It helps blend the dart into the rest of the fabric. Hope that helps! I love the pattern/fabric you chose btw :)

  2. Anthea March 13, 2012 — 8:36 AM

    what might help is to curve the dart a little, make it a little hollow. Now it’s stitched in a straight line.

    http://www.sew-fashion-doll-clothes.com/images/Dart1.jpg A bit like this but than without the corner at the end of the dart, but smoother.

    (I hope i explained it well, i’m not a native English speaker).

  3. Andrea March 13, 2012 — 9:06 AM

    It’s kind of hard to tell, but from the angle of your photo of the inside of the dress, it looks like your stitches curve in quickly at the end, like there’s a dip or groove right before the knotted tip of the dart. Hard to explain without being able to point at it. It seems like that groove is what’s causing the bubble on the outside. Maybe if you re-stitch the ends so there’s a straighter line to the tip, that’ll help?

  4. K-Line March 13, 2012 — 10:40 AM

    I concur with the curved dart idea – gently curve it towards the tip.

  5. Sherry March 13, 2012 — 1:19 PM

    Hi, Liz – if you baste up the central fold line of the dart first, to slightly beyond the dart point, it will hold the layers together correctly while you stitch the actual dart. I think the pucker has been caused by stitching around the dart first, causing the layers to bunch up a teeny amount when folded. Hope this helps! If you are not sure what I mean, check here: http://buzzybeesworld.blogspot.co.nz/2011/02/underlining-with-silk-organza.html

  6. Tina March 13, 2012 — 1:53 PM

    Would you be able to use steam to kinda press it into shape? If not, curved dart!

    I’m very jealous that you’ve started your MM dress. I suffered a bit a set back (didn’t jump and purchase fabric quick enough) so I’ve had to re-group. So we’ll see.

    By-the-by–I’ve “gifted” you the Versatile Blogger Award over at my blog Down the Retro Rabbit Hole. By no means are you obligated to play along.


    1. Liz April 30, 2012 — 10:28 AM

      Thanks Tina! Of course I’ll play along. :)

  7. Liz March 14, 2012 — 12:54 PM

    Hey everyone! Thanks so much for your helpful comments.

    I think I nearly solved the problem, on one of the darts at least.

    I have a hunch that Sherry hit the nail on the head. I believe I have a small pucker from the lining that is causing a bit of bunching.

    What I did was: I took my thread and needle and tried to sew right on the edge of the fabric to help smooth the tip of the dart for about 3/8 to 1/2 inch. On the right side of one of the darts, this fixed the problem. And interrestingly enough the dart didn’t appear extended since I was only catching the lining material. So I believe having a small pucker from the lining was causing the issue on one of the darts.

    I did the same thing to the second dart, but the issue has lessened, but is still there. I’m going to try and hand-stitch it once more to see if I can’t get the dart to smooth out better towards the tip. And my last resort I’ll unpick it and will stitch it again by machine.

    Thank you all so much for your help! I’ll try and post pictures soon of the finished bodice… once it’s finished.

  8. Ginger March 15, 2012 — 11:11 AM

    Oh wow, I have this problem all the time (my darts ALWAYS look sloppy)! I’m going to try out some of these tips. Hope you got this worked out, Liz! The pattern is super cute!

  9. Amy March 15, 2012 — 2:16 PM

    One other thing you can do is to shorten your stitch length near the point of the dart.

  10. […] last time I blogged about this dress was when I was encountering a bubble-dart issue  in which all you smarties gave me some good feedback on how to solve it.  […]

Leave a Comment