I have been doing quite a bit of sewing for other people recently, since sewing for myself is a bit of a challenge right now. Right after Christmas my sewing room turned into a Popover Poncho making factory. When April Rhodes released this pattern a few months ago I thought it was really cute but I wasn’t sure if it was something I wanted to buy. Recently she had a blog hop and a lot of the bloggers that were part of the hop had a copy of the printed pattern to give away. I entered almost all of the giveaways and to my surprise I ended up winning one of them!
I posted a picture on Instagram and Facebook of the pattern and a note that April Rhodes included in my package. Right away my cousin and a friend expressed interest in having me make them ponchos. Both settled on flannel versions. One was a geometric flannel from Joann Fabrics with a navy Kona cotton cowl and the other was a pumpkin colored Shetland Flannel from Robert Kaufman. We settled on a really fun jacquard chambray for the cowl. (Both fabrics were purchased from Purl Soho.)
After I finished the first two, I had another cousin and another friend request ponchos. I recommended the Shetland flannel to both of them. I really fell in love with this fabric. It’s so soft and cozy. Rachael from Imagine Gnats was having a sale in her shop when it was time to order fabric for the last two ponchos. I made one with the pumpkin flannel again and the second with navy flannel. The cowls were both made with herringbone chambray.
The construction on these is really simple. I used french seams on the main body since the fabrics weren’t too bulky. I installed my first eyelets but ran into trouble installing the drawstring on the first poncho when I realized I didn’t have a safety pin small enough to fit through the eyelets. I ended up using a long skinny doll making needle, which worked, but really wasn’t ideal. It kept poking through the fabric and getting hung up on the side seams. I finally got the drawstring in but knew I needed to come up with a different plan for the next poncho.
I decided to thread the drawstring though the eyelets and pin it in place before I sewed the drawstring casing. I pinned it to the cowl lining, then flipped the cowl exterior over and pinned again so the drawstring wouldn’t shift and get sewn over when I made the casing. It worked out really well and I used this method on the next three ponchos I sewed.
I made bias tape from the cowl fabrics and used the bias tape to hem the ponchos. I love how there is a little peek of contrast at the hem from the bias tape. My only deviation from the pattern instructions was that I machine sewed the lining of the cowl to attach it at the neck instead of hand sewing it. I stitched in the ditch and the machine sewing isn’t visible since the cowl is worn folded down over the neck seam.
After sewing four of these ponchos I am sure that I want one for myself. I wanted to make a gray Shetland flannel version for myself but once I decided on that color it was sold out everywhere. I will be stalking my favorite online fabric shops in hopes that I can get fabric to make myself a poncho for Spring.