Madeline by Halla Patterns

Pattern Review
Madeline by Halla Patterns

The Madeline is a pattern I had been scared to try for the longest time! 

I haven't always been the biggest fan of cowl necks in the past so sort of overlooked this pattern. Thankfully I'm on the Halla patterns Facebook group, which has a lot of people posting their sews. Obviously the "advertising" worked because over time I convinced myself I NEEDED a cowl neck pattern. This was especially so after seeing it recommend on maternity and nursing sewing Facebook group. While at that stage I want sure if I would breastfeed I figured having a cowl neck top couldn't hurt.

The Madeline actually wasn't the first cowl neck pattern I tried. I purchased one from another pattern designer which was disastrous (we'll talk about that later)- I do attribute that to both the pattern and my poor fabric choice.

Since I had such little success with my first attempt (not the Madeline) I went out on a bit of a limb (and a 40% off sale) and bought myself the Madeline pattern from Halla.

I will say I am not disappointed! For something that looks so beautiful it's a surprisingly simple garment to sew (a few skills to master along the way).

The Madeline offers top and dress length options with the option to add rouching (gathering) down the sides. It also allows for a number of sleeve lengths and a easy hack to make it sleeveless.

Now I'm the kind of person who can't fully launch into something untested, and I had such little success last time remember, so I decided to make a tester with some very cheap light weight fabric from spotlight. 

The pattern was easy to follow and drapes beautiful with this fabric. This is a somewhat wearable muslin (tester) as it's slightly see through and I did end up sizing down for my final sews.
Next up I wanted to make a Madeline dress in double brushed poly to showcase my beautiful baby bump. I chose dbp for this dress as I knew it would provide the necessary drape required. It did not disappoint! 
Here are photos of me in the dress for an eagerly anticipated date night with hubby (child free wahoo!) 

My plan for this dress was to add elastic to rouch the sides once baby arrived to cover my lumpy stomach (my least favorite feature) but I'm six weeks in and this is one of my most comfortable and convenient dresses so I've been wearing it a lot as is! 
I've had great success with nursing my baby, so with that came a need to expand my wardrobe with more nursing friendly options. 
Given my love for my dbp Madeline and my own personal preference of some form of covering while feeding I decided to create a matching crop top that could be lifted up when the neck of the dress is pulled down to feed. 
To do this I used the layering tank pattern from Rad patterns and just cut it off slightly under my bust (more on this in another post).

I love the final look!
My overall thoughts on Madeline
Great fit for me once I found the correct size (in general I find Halla fits me well with little to no grading required between sizes)
The original cowl was a tiny bit high for my liking so I added to that piece (more on that in another post)
Easy to follow instructions and lots of help in the Facebook group
In terms of construction:
 I opted to use my sewing machine to do a gathering stitch instead of pleats, as I found this a lot easier and quicker and means I don't need to be as precise with marking the pattern pieces.
I added extra fabric to the neck to make a deeper cowl
I didn't hem the cowl to allow more draping and dbp doesn't fray
Would I recommend? Yes!!! Even for and enthusiastic beginner (who had sewn with knit before)
Here's my most recent Madeleine in light weight Merino. Plain front, top length, long sleeve, with a nursing crop underneath.