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.