Introduction: Adult Madeline Costume

About: Community Manager for Instructables and Tinkercad.

I'm not sure why I decided to be Madeline, but that is what I am this Halloween. I, of course, didn't get working on it till the last minute, so I finished today (Halloween). It doesn't take that long to make. It takes the most time making the dress. Though you can always buy one that would work just as well. What really makes the costume is the white collar with red ribbon.

I actually checked out Madeline books to make sure I got the costume right. I had to check out three to find a picture I wanted to replicate because all of the images are painted differently.

Step 1: Supplies

So there are three main pieces to this costume. Some of the supplies overlap, but here is what you need.


  • Blue Fabric (2 and a half yards to be safe)
  • Zipper or some sort of closures
  • Sewing Machine
  • Pattern if you have one for a long sleeve, knee length dress


  • White Fabric (a yard should be plenty)
  • Interfacing (half a yard is enough)
  • Red Ribbon (2 pieces about 13 inches long)
  • Pattern (PDF in Collar step)
  • Needle and Thread
  • Sewing Machine


  • Yellow Felt (I think I had one yard and that was enough)
  • Interfacing (half a yard should be enough)
  • Black Ribbon (about 57 inches long)


  • Red wig, you can dye your hair Revlon 42 Medium Auburn, or just go as you are
  • Black Ribbon
  • Hair Binder
  • Video

Step 2: Dress

I did make my own dress and it was a pain. I planned on making the blue dress and then sewing a collar onto it, but that seemed like more work than I had time for so I ended up having them be separate pieces.

If you can find a pattern, use it. Mine was Very Easy Vogue Pattern V8145.

I didn't take pictures of the process since it was just me following a pattern and it was a lot of stitch ripping out and resewing

Step 3: Collar

The collar is important for this costume, because it makes it what it is. I looked up Peter Pan collars online and got an idea of what it should look like. I used different size buckets and popcorn tin covers to make the pattern. I taped two pieces of paper together to draw it out, but also made sure it was symmetrical I attached a pdf if you would like to use it. I actually cut it about half an inch to an inch bigger than the image for seams. Also, don't cut out two collar pieces, cut out four half collar pieces so you will have enough extra fabric where the front of the collar meets.

Cut out just one full collar pieces worth of interfacing. I sewed the pieces together so that I had two whole collars and then sewed them together with the interfacing. I left a bit un-sewn so I could flip it right side out and then hand sewed it shut.

You can sew the ribbon along with the collar, but I didn't think ahead and just hand sewed it on after. When I sewed the ribbon on, I just sewed it to the bottom collar piece. This ensures that the stitches don't show on top of the collar.

Step 4: Hat

I probably should have followed some pattern for this, but I just went for it. I kept cutting and cutting so I will give you the end approximate measurements all include seam allowance.

Top of Hat: 7.5 inches diameter
Crown of Hat: 24 inches around
Around Crown of Hat: 4 inches
Brim: 13 inches full diameter
Inner Hole of Brin: Just under 7 inches

I started with the top of the hat and just cut out a piece. I used that to determine the crown length. I cut out a piece of felt and interfacing for each. I sewed them together. I started out with a ticker crown piece and cut it down as I went. I figured you can always cut shorter, but you can't easily add on.

Then I cut two felt pieces for the brim and 1 interfacing piece. I sewed all three together with the interfacing on the outside so I could turn it right side out. Then I just cut the center and kept cutting it till the crown of the hat would fit on it. I sewed the top of the hat to the brim and then just tied on a bit of ribbon.

Step 5: Hair

If you don't want to do any or all of this, you can just purchase a shoulder length red wig.

I dyed my hair since I haven't done that in years and figured this was a good excuse to do it. I used Revlon 42, Medium Auburn. I used to dye my hair this same color in high school and college so I knew how it would look and the dye is really cheap. I had to use two boxes to get all of my hair.

To make my hair look shorter, I used this video for reference and did it just like her except I added a binder to try to keep control of my frizzy crazy hair. And hair spray.

The pictures speak for themselves.

Step 6: Put It All Together

To finish off the outfit, just find some Mary Jane style shoes and white socks. (I used thigh high because I'm partial to tall socks!)

Autodesk Employee Halloween Contest

Finalist in the
Autodesk Employee Halloween Contest

Halloween Easy Costumes Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Easy Costumes Contest