How to Make a Madeline Costume

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Whether you are looking for a clever costume for Halloween or you need to dress up as a character from literature for a school event, you can impress everyone with a homemade Madeline costume. Since this is project with little to no sewing involved, it is appropriate for any skill level. Tweak a dress you may already have to add a few easy details, and make the hat yourself.

Make the Dress

Madeline's dress looks like a navy blue coat, so a button-down coat dress would work perfectly. However, any blue dress or blue skirt and top will do because the white peter pan collar and red ribbon will make the costume recognizable as Madeline.

Things You'll Need

  • Navy blue dress
  • Scrap paper for drafting collar pattern
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Cellophane tape
  • Fabric marking pen with disappearing ink
  • Extra large sheet of white felt, 36-by-36-inch
  • 18-inch length red ribbon, 1-inch 
  • White thread
  • Hand sewing needle

Step 1

Lay the dress face up on your work surface.

Step 2

Insert a piece of paper into the dress through the collar. Put your pencil at the left shoulder seam. Trace the neck line down around the front, stopping at the center front of the dress.

Step 3

Remove the piece of paper from the dress. Draw the front of the peter pan collar. Put your pencil at the top of the neck line you traced. Draw a 2-inch horizontal line to the left. Now draw the bottom edge of the collar. Draw a line that follows the curve of the collar, keeping the width approximately 2 inches. As you approach the center front, bring the curve up to the neckline to close the curve.

Step 4

Cut out this pattern piece. Trace the shape onto another piece of paper and cut it out. You should now have two identical front pattern pieces.

Step 5

Lay your dress face down on your work surface on top of another piece of paper. Trace the back neckline onto the paper.

Step 6

Draw the pattern for the back of the collar on the paper. Following the curve of the neck line, draw a line 2 inches away from the neck line from shoulder to shoulder.

Step 7

Cut out the back pattern piece.

Step 8

Tape the pattern pieces together to make a mock-up of the peter pan collar. Test the fit and make any necessary adjustments.

Step 9

Lay the pattern on the felt. Trace the pattern onto the felt with a fabric marking pen.

Step 10

Cut out the collar from the felt.

Step 11

Cut the length of red ribbon in half to make two 9-inch pieces.

Step 12

Hand stitch the ribbon to the front pieces of the collar.

Make the Hat

Things You'll Need

  • Straw hat with a wide brim
  • Yellow craft paint
  • Paint brush
  • 2 yards black grosgrain ribbon, 3-inch
  • Hot glue gun

Step 1

Paint the entire hat with yellow paint.

Tip

  • You may need several coats of paint to get complete coverage, depending on the original color of the hat. Apply several thin coats instead of one thick coat. Allow paint to dry completely between coats.

Step 2

When the paint has dried, tie the black ribbon around the crown of the hat. Make a large bow and allow the tails to trail behind the hat.

Tip

  • If the ribbon won't stay put, secure it with a few drops of hot glue.

Assemble the Costume

Lay the white peter pan collar around the neck and tie the red ribbon in the front. Wear white tights and black shoes. Carry a stuffed brown dog as an accessory.

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