Sunday, November 28, 2004

How to make a Poncho (3): Adding a Hood!

Hello everyone!
Well at long last I managed to dig into my "sewing folder" and to photograph my hood pattern for you!
I know some of you have been asking and waiting for this for quite a while... But lately there was absolutely no time for me to do that...

OK, I must confess I'm quite proud I managed to "digitize" my pattern with paint from a photograph that was necesary blurry (my pattern was pencilled onto sulfurize paper)... Then, thanks to Sébastien's help I could even get the lines stand out on plain white. So you can thank him for the clearness of the pattern!

So here's my little "bilingual" pattern:

(click on pic to see it bigger)

Unfortunately there was no way I could put it to scale, as I didn't scan it (don't have a scanner) but took a digital photo. Well, the size will all depend on your taste and on your neck opening anyway! So I suggest you enlarge the pattern to your liking and print it out (this will require several sheets of paper) twice, then tape the sheets together and try it out.

Please do make sure the size of the hood will be to your liking... make sure the sides will meet on the front of your poncho if you don't want a gap between them. Mine has a gap on the front middle but not everyone may like it...

Here are the sewing instructions for all the sewing newbies out there (well I can tell you I am a newbie!):
- Cut two hood pieces, adding a 1,5 cm seam allowance all around.
- Layer the two pieces, right sides together, and baste the middle seam. Stitch the middle seam.
- Press down seam allowances to one side; cut the seam allowance that is under the other (but don't cut the other seam allowance!) down to 5 mm. Fold over the other side allowance, 1 cm from the seam, baste and stitch very close to fold. This will give ou a very nice finish on the outside of your hood.
- Hem the sides of your hood (not the bottom). I did a rolled hem for a neat finish
- Mark the back middle of your poncho opening.
- Baste the hood onto the poncho opening, right sides together, making sure the seam line on the middle of your hood matches the mark on the back middle of the poncho. The hood should be over the poncho, bottom up. Baste carefully all around the opening. Don't forget the 1,5 cm seam allowance!
- Sew hood and poncho together.
- Press down both seams . Overcast the seam allowances together.
- If you opted for a gap at the front middle (which is what I did), turn the seam allowance under and topstitch.

Well that's it! Here you are with a poncho that has this special, comfy something that no ready-made poncho has!

I do hope this how-to is clear enough. Please don't hesitate to comment on this and to ask questions if necessary... I would love hearing some feedback, good or bad it shall be very much appreciated...

Happy Sewing! Just think what a nice present this could make for those end-of-year celebrations...

Friday, November 26, 2004

Poncho - Instructions for the hood coming next week

Hi everyone,
I'm sorry I haven't been able to post the instructions for the poncho hood yet. I've been so busy at work lately...

I promise I'll take a pic of the pattern next week and add the instructions... Right now I'm at my parents' in the North for the week-end, so I don't have the pattern with me.

Basically what I did was to trace a hood from the pattern of a hooded top I had already, and adapt it to fit the poncho opening.

Please be patient... the last few weeks have been hectic for me. Hopefully things will be a little better next week.

Hope everyone has a great week-end!

Sunday, November 14, 2004

How to make a Poncho (2)

Hello Everyone! Ready for the step-by-step instructions for the poncho?
You'll laugh when you'll see how simple this is... no sewing except if you want a hood!
N.B.: instructions are for a fleece poncho. If you use fleece, it won't need hemming as it won't ravel. If you use another kind of fabric, then add an inch to your measurements so that you can make a hem in the end.

~ How much fabric will you need?
If you don't want to make a hood, you'll need a square whose diagonal will be equal to the length between your two hands. So, measure the length (keeping your arms to your sides) from one hand to the neck to the other hand. See orange arrow on the drawing. I added a little to this measurement, to make sure my hands would be well covered.

To calculate the sides of your squares: divide your measurement by the square root of 2.
E.g.: my measurement was 65", so the sides of my square had to be 46".

~ Cutting the square of fabric:
If you use fleece, do be careful that is in on grain, as it is strechy. The best option to do that is to have yourself helped by someone else: each one holds a corner in one hand, and... pull! Don't be afraid to pull hard...
Then, take the time to measure carefully all around.

If you've managed to cut out your square acurately, then the hardest is done really!
Now let the fun begin...

~ Cutting the opening:
- Draw a 6" circle on a piece of paper. (note: 6" may be too small a circle in the end. But it doesn't matter: you can cut out more later... this is much better than cutting out too wide a circle - then there's not much you can do to make the circle smaller ). Then cut around it... to make your circle. Then fold it in half and then in half again.
- Fold your square of fabric in half, then in half again. Pin the folded circle onto the folded point of the square. Ready, steady... cut!
- Now you may want to round the bottom corners of your poncho. Use the folded paper circle again and pin it to the edges. See drawing:

Unfold your square and... voilà! Here is a cute, warm, comfy poncho!

Now, would you like to add a hood, or do you like your poncho as it is? Please tell me, so that I know if I need to make the how-to and draw the pattern for this...
And, please do feel free to make any comment about the instructions: are they clear enough? Do you need other information? Just tell me!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

How to make a Poncho (1)

OK, some of you asked how I made my poncho, so here you are!

First I'd like to give you an "overview" of various ways to make a poncho... There are plenty of options, and I tested some with templates I made out of newspaper, to decide which one would suit me best. Here goes:

~ This one is the "classic" one, it requires two rectangles. The template turned out way too bulky for a petite! You really need to be quite tall for this one to be "flattering".

~ This one is the trendiest type, I think it's really the one the Holywood stars wear... But it's better suited for light fabrics like mesh, which you would wear in summer over a tank top. Again, not for me, as my aim was to make a warm poncho out of fleece!

~ Another option is to cut your poncho out of a square, and simply cut an opening in the center. Then you've got the choice between 1. having the corners falling onto your wrists and the middle of your back and front, or 2. (this requires more fabric) having two corner fall to each side, like patttern 4783 in the middle of this page (but without the ruffles). This is quite comfy, but - again - turned out quite bulky. Not very practical as it may tend to hinder your movements...

I finally decided to make one out of a square (1.), but to add some softness to it, I also rounded the corners...

Coming up next, step-by-step directions.