Style Arc Madeleine Ponte Top



Style Arc Madeleine Ponte Top


The Madeleine top from Style Arc is meant for ponte/doubleknit or stretch wovens. It has front drape detailing, extended shoulder line, and center back zip closure. This pattern is available as a download from Style Arc’s Etsy shop as well as a regular paper pattern from their web shop.

For my Madeleine top I used this RPL double-knit from Gorgeous Fabrics:


I used a YKK invisible zipper from Cleaner’s Supply for the back zip, and stabilized the back zip opening as well as the facings with Pro-Sheer Elegance from Fashion Sewing Supply.

I started on this top last month, but set it aside after encountering a couple of fitting issues. I took yesterday off from work, so I decided to pick it up and work on it again.

The major fit issue, besides needing to take in the entire center back seam, was that the armholes and neck were gaping. I need to add a back shoulder dart to any fitted top due to my prominent shoulder blades, but didn’t know how to make it work with the design lines. Yesterday it dawned on me the way to do it was to take in that back shoulder design line seam near the neck – basically taking a dart that would be at the shoulder and rotating it to the neck. I took in each seam a total of 3/4″, tapering to nothing where the notch is. This acted as a rotated shoulder dart, and suddenly the armhole gaping was gone! This meant I had to lower the front neckline about 3/8″ to match. I highlighted in blue where I took it in, and about how far I extended it downward.


The downside of this alteration was that it made the neckline smaller. I decided I could live with this and trudged ahead instead of widening it (and having to block fuse and recut the facings again!)

Other fitting adjustments were:

  • Took in the center back seam 1.5″ everywhere except between the middle of my shoulder blades. I took it in an additional 2″ where the small of my back is, and 1″ at the bottom hem.
  • 1/2″ swayback alteration
  • 3/8″ rounded back alteration
  • Scooped out the front armholes 1/4″. I found this a bit broad across the upper chest, which is unusual for Style Arc.
  • I wish I had lengthened it 1″ between bust and waist – this is a little on the short waisted side.
  • I had considered taking in the hips, but as I was pinning away the excess it seemed like it was creating all sorts of new wrinkles and starting to get overfitted. So I decided to just leave well enough alone.

The only style alteration I made was not topstitching the facings in place. I understitched them instead since I like the clean look it gives. If they don’t behave after washing I’ll topstitch them in place.

When you create the front wrap you fold the raw edges to the inside and press. I was concerned about the durability of this during washing, so I very quickly and loosely slipstitched the raw edges together.

27 thoughts on “Style Arc Madeleine Ponte Top

  1. I really like this on you! I imagine that this would be a challenging fit for me and after hearing about your fit challenges, I sense I’m not up to it at the moment! 🙂


    1. I have no idea why it didn’t dawn on me before to just rotate out the excess to the design line. Sometimes it does help to put something aside for a while. My back is kind of a nightmare to fit.


  2. ha, I just finished this yesterday, also in navy! I love the sleeve / shoulder design on this pattern. I found I didn’t need to alter there, but the fit at the waist and the way the band hangs could be better on mine. I’ll post it soon! Your fit alterations worked really well for you, it looks great.


    1. I saw your post today – looks great on you! I do think the body and stretch of the fabric used has a significant effect on how that front drape sits.


  3. Hi! Love this top! I have never seen with Style Arc, but have been looking at their website a lot.
    Have you used the PDFS patterns, and if so, did I you like them. Also, when ordering if you are I between do you recommend ordering up? I have never ordered when you just get one size. Thank you.


    1. I bought this as a PDF from their Etsy shop. The downloads include three sizes (not nested) and if you ask them they will create a PDF for you that has your suggested size (according to their size chart) along with one size up and one size down.


    1. Thanks Wendy. When Chloe mentioned in the newsletter that the Madeleine was good for those of us looking for waist emphasis she definitely got my attention!


    1. Depends on what it is. Muslins aren’t good for me mentally – I find I get overly fussy and critical, and it kills my desire and productivity. Just too much pressure to get it “perfect.” So I avoid them unless it is something more complicated, labor-intensive, and expensive to make, like a lined jacket or a dress with complicated seaming. I mostly do a lot of flat pattern measurements with a tape measure, and sometimes compare the pattern pieces to something I know fits well. There’s so much variation in fabrics that I find I almost always need to tweak on the fly, even if I do a muslin first.


  4. Your Madeleine looks great. I was planning to make it out of a beefy cotton lycra jersey – do you think that would work? I have compared it to ponte that I have it my stash, and the weight is similar but the jersey definitely has more stretch compared to the ponte. It’s a really nice fabric so if it’s going to flop with this pattern then I’d rather save it for something else.


    1. The main thing is that it should have structure and not too much stretch. That’s why the fabric recommendations are for ponte and stretch wovens and not jersey. I think you’ll be swimming in this top if you make it out of a jersey, not to mention the fabric probably won’t hold the front drape correctly.


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