I have to be honest and say other than dress-ups I have never been a big poncho fan. They always have that slightly hobo vibe and I don’t mean the chic kind! That was till I saw a semi sleeved poncho…
My Oma (Grandma) sent Hannah a semi sleeved poncho in one of her parcels this year. I looked at it and thought…hmmm a poncho…yay! Then I had Hannah try it on and I loved it!
Poor kid is covered in mosquito bites after our second camping trip this year. I think we had a wee visitor in the tent on the last night! This poncho is a little different to the one Oma sent but the idea is the same. A poncho with two additional seams up the sides to create a semi kind of sleeve. This front fabric is a satin (I believe) and the back in lightweight knit. These are both gifts from friends de-stashing so I’m not exactly sure what they are!
What You’ll Need
Fabric – At least one needs to be a stretchy knit. You can have both front and back knit, or font woven and back knit. As a square the pattern piece measures 53.5cm (21”) high by 66cm (26”) wide so your fabric will need to be at least these dimensions.
Knit Bias – I cut strips of the knit fabric I used for the back for this as I didn’t have any stretchy bias. Instructions below!
Sewing Machine (You can use an overlocker in a few places but I didn’t)
Pattern – You can download my PDF Pattern for a Girls Size 7. If you need a different size you can use the pattern as a shape guide and go from there. The design is very simple so you could easily make your own pattern using a top you already have as a size guide.
Step 1 – Cutting Fabric
Excuse the join in the table it is school holidays here and I have to work around a stack of colouring in the kids were doing! You will need to cut a front and a back piece.
For the back piece fold your fabric and line up the edge of the pattern on the fold. Your pattern will look a little different as I am using my original hand drawn draft. Pin or use weight to hold in place and cut around the pattern.
Now repeat for the front piece with one little alteration. Place a piece of tape over the ‘front’ neckline right at the fold edge, then cut down the curve of the front neckline to the edge of the tape.
This allows you to fold it under and out of the way without having to cut and print to seperate pattern pieces! Saving paper and loads of time!
The last pieces to cut are the knit strips for the edging. I use a regular ruler for this which is 4cm wide.
You will need roughly about 3 meters (118”). It is ok to have joins, I will show you how I did those below!
Step 2 – Add Front Neckline
I seems like an odd way to start but it really is easier this way! Pin your knit strip onto the right side of the fabric (Update: stretch the knit fabric a little as you go for the front too, this will make it sit flatter at the end). Leave a little bit of the knit strip overhanging at both sides. With the right sides facing and the raw edge lining up. Carry on till the whole front neckline is pinned.
Sew in place using straight stitch, unless you are using a knit fabric for the front too then use a small zigzag stitch (see the next step). I used a 1/4” seam allowance but I would recommend a little larger like 3/8”. Which is what I’ll be doing next time!
It should look like above.
And from the right side.
Step 3 – Add Back Neckline
You pin the back neckline just the same as the front and again stretch the knit strip slightly as you go.
Sew using a small zigzag stitch so that it retains the stretch. This will allow the neckline to stretch over the head.
Step 4 – Joining the Knit Strips
You may need to join the knit strips together to make them long enough to go right round the bottom and sides. To do this you take the two knit strips and lay them right sides facing one on top of the other with the end lining up. Sew with a straight stitch using a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance.
Then trim off the excess.
When turned the right way up it will look like above. You don’t need to join at the usual 45° angle as the knit strip is stretchy unlike regular bias binding.
Step 5 – Add Edge Every Where Else!
Pin and sew the binding all the way around the sides and bottom of the front and back in the same way as the neckline. The only places that don’t need edging are the shoulder seams.
When you get to a join it is best if it is sewn folded open like obove. It reduces the bulk of the seam, but if yours pulled over during sewing don’t panic it will still work fine!
Step 6 – Sew Shoulder Seams
Lay your two pieces with the right sides facing each other with the shoulder seam together. Making sure you line up the seams of the knit strips at each end.
Fold the seams over outwards on top of the knit strip rather than the fabric. This is important otherwise folding the knit strip over will not work and you will be able to see the raw edge on the inside.
Sew using a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance, and carry on the seam in the same line over the knit strip.
Trim off any excess.
Now you could use your overlocker to finish the shoulder seam but I have chosen to zigzag the raw edge to prevent fraying. The main reason for this is that my overlocker still has black thread in it and I couldn’t be bothered changing it for such a small job. Another plus side people who don’t have an overlocker will not feel left out! Note how I didn’t sew the knit strip, it will be folded over so doesn’t need edging.
Repeat for the other shoulder.
Step 7 – Finish Edging
I started with the neckline. Fold over the knit strip and pin in place. I like to do this inside out and pin on the right side. But do whatever works for you! The main fabric should remain flat and the knit strip should fold around to encase it.
Here it is all pinned and still inside out.
Time to dig out that double needle. If you don’t have one you can use a wide zigzag but it won’t look quite the same. Mine is quite wide at 4mm you can use any width you like.
Starting at a shoulder seam lockstitch (or sew a few stitches and reverse over them). Then sew the whole way around the neckline, and lockstitch again at the end. Line up the left hand needle so that it sews on the folded knit strip.
It should look like this!
Now you just need to trim off the excess knit strip. I use very small scissors for this to reduce the risk of cutting the wrond fabric. BE CAREFULL! You really don’t want to cut the wrong layer now or cut the stitching either.
There you have a finished neckline. It is not sitting perfectly yet but I havent pressed it yet either!
Time to getting pinning and so the bottom/sides in the same way. I just about used all my pins only 4 to spare! Then carry on and sew just like you did the neckline, all the way around in one big go.
Step 8 – Sew Semi Sleeves
Last but not least is the semi sleeves of this poncho. Well I suppose it is optional if you wanted a regular poncho! Lay you poncho right side facing up and make sure the edges line up.
On your pattern cut the side seam dotted line. Lay your pattern piece on top lining up the shoulder seam and neckline. Fold the ‘sleeve’ section out of the way and mark the seam line with a pencil or marker.
The line is hard to see in the photo but I have pinned along the line, making sure the bottom seams line up.
Here is the view from the back, make sure you catch both layers with the pins!
Now you are ready to sew! Start at the bottom seam making sure they are still lined up, lock stitch and sew following the line right to the end. Then at the end lockstitch very thoroughly as this point is the most likely to come undone.
Repeat for the second side seam using the same pattern upside down.
It wouldn’t be Hannah without a barrage of silly faces!
You could even colour block this with a centre seam…might be more of these coming!