Making Maddie into Madeline: A Madeline Costume Tutorial!

It took me a minute this year to come up with a meaningful Halloween costume idea. As she is already an opinionated three year old, this year will likely be the last that I am able to choose what Maddie dresses up as. I knew I needed to make it count. When the idea to make Madeline (Mad-uh-lynn) into Madeline (Mad-uh-line) from the storybooks came to me, I flew to Amazon and started searching for a costume. Turns out there is NOTHING out there. The closest I came was a very pricey cape on Etsy. I took a deep breath and started searching Pinterest for Madeline costumes, figuring there would be a tutorial among them. Pinterest never disappoints. I found an amazing step-by-step plan for making a little girl’s cape, which I knew would be the perfect statement piece for her outfit. (For the actual instructions, I encourage you to visit Project Run and Play’s Audrey Cape Tutorial).

After a quick romp in Joann’s, I was armed with blue fleece, black lining fabric, black and red ribbons and was ready to sew.

Madeline Costume Tutorial - Pinning

Fleece folded, measured and marked with pins. I made a modified version of her “Little Girl Cape” with my neck hole measuring out two inches and the length measuring out 15.

Madeline Costume Tutorial - Cutting

Cut out and ready to unfold.

Madeline Costume Tutorial - Lining

Liner folded, measured and marked with pins.

Madeline Costume Tutorial - Cape

Fleece unfolded.

Madeline Costume Tutorial - Bib Collar

Canvas bib collar cut-out and laid out, ready to be sewn.

Madeline Costume Tutorial - Pinned Collar

Collar pinned in place. You can never use too many pins in my oPINion. See what I did there?

Madeline Costume Tutorial - Lined Cape

Lining pinned into place, right sides together, collar in the middle.

Madeline Costume Tutorial - Sewing Cape

And then I sewed my little heart out. I worked around the collar first, knowing it would take the most nerve and patience. Once I had successfully navigated that, the rest was gravy.

Madeline Costume Tutorial - Finished Cape

I even went so far as to top-stitch for a very polished look. I sewed a button and elastic fastener in place in the gap at the collar. And finally I tied a removable, red satin ribbon in the front, underneath the collar.

With the cape finished, I decided, “If I can do that in one day, SURELY I can make a dress.” It would be my first dress (and maybe my last). I didn’t use a pattern, deciding to just wing it (always a solid idea). I laid one of Madeline’s jumpers on top of scrap fabric, traced the shape and cut out a template. After I cut it out, I folded the template in half and trimmed a bit to make sure things were symmetrical. Then I laid it on top of my leftover fleece and cut the dress. I trimmed the collar on the front of a dress a little bit lower than the back, for aesthetics. Then I turned the fabric right side in (which doesn’t seem to matter with fleece) and sewed. **DON’T be silly like me and sew the arm holes shut. I knew to leave the collar open, but for some reason I just zipped those arms right up like a potato sack and had to seam rip after realizing my mistake.** (Insert a broken sewing machine, a friend over to try to fix it and ultimately a trip to the sew shop to have it looked at, plus a new bobbin case installation here…because it can’t ever just be easy. In my best Tim Gunn voice: Make it work!) I top stitched the collar and arm holes to make it look more finished, but left the bottom straight, since fleece won’t fray and it was easier.

I taped black satin ribbon onto Madeline’s old Easter bonnet and tied it in the back, letting the tails hang, for that fearless Madeline topper.

After coming up short on Amazon (they only sell her size in packs of 12), I searched 10 different stores in the mall for white knee socks. Payless was the ONLY store that carried them, but they didn’t have her size (they do online). So ultimately we settled on white cable knit tights from H&M — more practical in her wardrobe for reuse anyway. And she’ll wear her black Mary Janes to complete the look.

Madeline Halloween Costume
Madeline Halloween Costume Back

Time to get our tricks and treats on!

PS- Benjamin’s costume, while not homemade, is also literary and fantastically adorable. Can’t wait to show you!

Gotta Get That (Stitch) Fix

I had a new stylist this time around, which didn’t thrill me since I was hoping Erin would be back, knowing a bit more about my personal style, for round two. But Rebecca did well! Check out my latest fix…
Papermoon Holden Scoop Neck Blouse -- $381. Papermoon Holden Scoop Neck Blouse — $38
Pro: Loved the fit/sleeves; versatile (casual day or dressy night) in my capsule wardrobe
Con: Colors were a bit out of my comfort zone; I didn’t love material; when I saw a photo of myself in it I thought it made me look too wide
The Verdict: Return!

Sweet Rain Blarney Crochet Trim Top -- $382. Sweet Rain Blarney Crochet Trim Top — $38
Pro: None
Con: Not my style; too young/cheap for my taste; too short; not flattering to my arms
The Verdict: Return!

Kut From The Kloth Melissa Tencel Short -- $58 Kut From The Kloth Melissa Tencel Short Back-- $58

3. Kut From The Kloth Melissa Tencel Short — $58
Pro: Really liked the fit; great length and made my rear look good!; liked how clean and simple they were; brand-name
Con: The color (light jean) didn’t feel right/go with much in my capsule wardrobe; slightly mom-jeanish
The Verdict: Return!
Renee C Gabe Maxi Skirt -- $484. Renee C Gabe Maxi Skirt — $48
Pro: Very flowy; doesn’t make me look too short; love the color combo
Con: None
The Verdict: Treat yo self!

Just USA Anjuli Dark Wash Denim Jacket -- $58 Just USA Anjuli Dark Wash Denim Jacket Back -- $58

5. Just USA Anjuli Dark Wash Denim Jacket — $58
Pro: Dark jean; size/fit was spot on; style was good; great price point
Con: Coloring was off on the back (two-toned); way too distressed for my liking
The Verdict: Return!

My stylist delivered what I was hoping for- a dark denim jacket and some summer tops, while also taking me out of my comfort zone with the maxi skirt, bright colors and shorts! I was this close to keeping the shorts and the bright striped top! But again, my capsule wardrobe needs to remain versatile items that look great on that I absolutely love.

Ready to treat yo self? Visit Stitch Fix to fill out your own style profile. Go ahead. You deserve it!

*FYI: I have not been compensated by Stitch Fix for this review. These opinions are my own.

Treat Yo Self: Styled by Stitch Fix

Stich Fix PackageA wise comedic television show once taught me a very valuable lesson: Treat. Yo. Self.

Treat. Yo. Self

These sage words are not to be undervalued. There is great joy in the material splurge, and I am a person worthy of nice things. Naturally, that combination brought me to Stitch Fix, an awesome virtual service that pairs you up with your very own personal stylist.

How does it work? You create an account on the Stitch Fix website, fill in notes about yourself, link to your fashion Pinterest page (so they get an idea of your style), set your price points and then sit back and relax. Your stylist will then hand-select five items of clothing or accessories and ship them directly to you, either bi-weekly, monthly or on a date of your choosing (non-automatic shipments are available). In the privacy of your own home and with the rest of your wardrobe to match the garments up with (using their style cards as a reference), you try on the items and check yourself out. If you decide keep nothing, you send it all back in their prepaid envelope and are charged a $20 styling fee. If you decide to keep at least one item, that “fee” gets put toward the cost of your item. If you decide to really treat yo self and keep all five items, you get 25% off your fix!

My First Fix — I specifically requested summer tops, a jean jacket and a summer dress in my notes. I also told my stylist what my summer capsule wardrobe currently contains (i.e. the colors of my shorts, dresses, etc.).

Stitch Fix Unboxing

The note from my stylist!

The note from my stylist!

1. Loveapella Leana Knit Top – $48
Loveappella Leana Knit TopPro: Love the colors, nice thick fabric
Con: Panels hit me straight across bust, making me look boxy; panel sewn in the sides made me feel wide; too clingy for my 6-month post-baby bod
The Verdict: Return!

2. Market & Spruce Corinna Striped Dolman Top – $48
Market & Spruce Corinna Striped Dolman TopPro: I wouldn’t have picked this out for myself, but the fit was cute; liked the neckline and length
Con: The color(heather gray)/feel of the fabric cheapened the look way too much (especially up close)
The Verdict: Return!

3. Mavi Kalie Bleach Denim Jacket – $98
Mavi Kalie Bleached Denim JacketPro: Feel of material – soft and a little stretchy
Con: Don’t prefer a light wash; fit wasn’t great (arms too long, shorter than I’d like on torsoe and a tiny bit snug)
The Verdict: Return!

4. Dahlya Carmen Blouse – $48

Dahlya Carmen Blouse

Couldn’t get a decent photo of this top, so here is the styling card they sent.

Pro:Fit was okay and was forgiving of my mid-section; I like navy and white for summer
Con: Material felt cheap; see-through; didn’t seem like it would hold up past one season of wear
The Verdict: Return!

5. Zad Adrianna Circle Bib Necklace – $34
Zad Adrianna Circle Bib NecklacePro: This isn’t something I would have picked out myself; could instantly see it working with my wardrobe (paired with with my navy, collared blouse, my black strapless dress and even a plain white tee)
Con: None
The Verdict: Treat yo self!

Is it worth it? Only basing this on my first fix, for the money I felt like the quality could have been a bit higher. A couple of the tops looked and felt a little too Target. I know I could do better on sale at J. Crew or Boden. While I did like some of the options, since I didn’t love them (a few fit problems) I didn’t keep them. My goal is to keep my wardrobe capsule minimalist- things I love wearing, that look great on and are versatile. However, I really appreciated the care my stylist took with matching pieces to what I already have; her attention to detail was inspiring. Me? I’ll definitely be getting another fix. It made me feel super fancy, it was fun (even my neighbors were looking out for the postman for me) and for just $20 a fix (minimum) I want to see what my stylist picks out next (now that she knows me a little better)!

Ready to treat yo self? Visit Stitch Fix to fill out your own style profile. Go ahead. You deserve it!

*FYI: I have not been compensated by Stitch Fix for this review. These opinions are my own.