A DIY Poncho You Can Sew in an Afternoon

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Fall weather can be so unpredictable in Oregon; warm one minute; cold the next. That’s why each Fall, I find myself drawn to add another poncho to my wardrobe. (previous makes here and here).  With very few seams and lots of fabric options, it’s the ideal quick and satisfying sewing project for a Saturday afternoon. It’s such a fun, easy project I can imagine making several of these to give as Christmas gifts.

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I’ve been collecting images of my favorite Fall Ponchos on Pinterest and was inspired by the many versions with button closures. When I saw this layered knit at the Mill End store, I knew it would be perfect for a cozy sweater poncho.

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This knit is extraordinary, a lucky find! It looks like lace but has the coziness of a knit, and, as an added bonus, the selvedge makes a cool-looking border.

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To make this poncho…

  • I used 1 5/8 yard of 58” wide fabric. I used the fabulous selvedges as a design detail. Probably any knit would work for this make. Come to think of it, you could probably use a woven too.
  • The button band is1 1/2 inches wide, and to make it, I just folded the long side of the fabric under. Before topstitching it in place,  I interfaced the band with a lightweight fusible interfacing. Because my knit has moderate stretch, I felt it would need the stability of the interfacing to support the buttons and button holes.
  • Before placing the buttons and buttonholes, I tried the poncho on to determine how big of a neck opening I wanted, then added the button holes accordingly, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart. For me, the opening was about 20 inches from the edge.
  • I finished the poncho’s edges with a narrow machine stitched hem.

I love this cozy poncho. If it’s chilly, I’ll keep the neck opening small by buttoning it all the way up. If it isn’t, I leave a few unbuttoned to give the neck opening a casual look. I’ve also worn it with the buttons down the front, like a cardigan. It would make a great Christmas gift, don’t you think?

IMG_8737l managed to squeeze in a quick outdoor photo before it started to rain. As you can see the fall colors are extraordinary right now. If only these days would last a bit longer!

Up next: I have a cardigan cut out from a nice sweater knit, and am shopping for a gabardine for a trench. I’ll likely sew up a plaid skirt too in the next month. What’s on your sewing list?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

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I love sewing, writing, baking and fashion design. Welcome to my blog!

12 thoughts on “A DIY Poncho You Can Sew in an Afternoon

  1. I live in the North West too (Victoria BC) and now own 3 ponchos and before moving here I didn’t own any 🙂 It’s the perfect outer garment for our weather because it can change so drastically from AM to PM – you don’t want to be overheated in the afternoon but you need something cozy to keep off the AM chill in the air. It’s just the perfect garment in spring & fall. I own several patterns but all my ponchos I’ve purchased. The Pollen Co (BC owned – from sheep to wool to garment) produces one of mine and my other 2 are rather simple designs made with a large rectangular piece of cashmere knit. It would be easy to copy and I keep thinking (and promising myself!) I’ll make more if I want more in my wardrobe.

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    1. That sounds like an enviable wardrobe! I’ve noticed cashmere knit versions in the store and would love to make one in black that’s a bit shorter perhaps that could transition into a nice top for going out. Hmmmm, you’ve started me thinking…I do think they manage weather transitions so perfectly!

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    1. It’s a good palate cleansing project, perfect after completing a challenge like you just did:) With your sewing skills, you could knock this out in an hour!

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