Make your own Poncho/Cape

IMG_1125I posted about this here yesterday. After I wore my make all day, I thought why not spread the love….it was so easy to draft. All you will need is a t-shirt pattern that you have and like…fit isn’t really an issue here. Of course you’ll need a large sheet of some sort of paper, a longish ruler and a pencil.  You will also need some type of fabric when your all done drafting your pattern…I used a sweater knit with about 50% stretch from selvage to selvage. I would imagine you can use any fabric you want but just make sure there is enough circumference in the hem to loosely go around your hips if you choose a woven without stretch.

I use tracing paper I get off of Amazon, my 2″ x 18″ flex ruler and a 24″ quilting ruler.  It’s nice to have the extra length for long continuous lines.

Ready? Let’s get goin’.

  1. Tape your pattern (back t-shirt) to the table. If your paper is not see through, then just tape it on top of your paper.
  2. place your paper over your taped pattern making sure you have at least 18″ to the side of your pattern. Like this…EnoughPapertoStartDraft
  3. Trace the center back, neck line, and shoulder. Extend this line out the length you want on your arm.  Mine was done at 18″ which could easily have been 16″…it’s a little long, but works for now.18inShoulder Line
  4. Figure out how long you want your cape.  Measure from your shoulder point down to your hip or lower. I liked mine down just below my crotch. (Isn’t that such a horrid word for this area?) mine measured 28″, so I added 1″ for a hem. Mark this point and square a line from center back 1/4 of the circumference measurement you want.  I wanted 48″, so I drew a line that was 12″.

    i forgot to take a picture to show my 29″ length measurement…here it is on the finished draft :/
  5. Square a line perpendicular to that line…up 3″, then another line squared from there 6″ (toward the side seam).  Like this…
    3″ side seam

    6″ under arm seam
  6. Connect the shoulder to the 6″ line you just drew from #5, this is your sleeve opening.
  7. Now you have your back pattern. This can be used for the front as well, but you’ll have to scoop out the neckline before sewing it up.  I prefer to have a separate pattern piece.
  8. To make the front pattern if you too like a separate pattern for each piece, trace off your back, and find a curve you like for the neckline (this may be off of your front tshirt pattern. My tshirt has a low scoop that hits mid chest and measures down from CB about 5 5/8″.  It won’t work with a standard high jewel neckline.  You want your total neckline to measure about 26″.  Like this…Front Neck Draft
  9. Once it’s all traced off, you need to draft your collar piece….oooh we’re almost done!  Your measured total neckline will be the back measurement twice plus the front neckline measurement twice.  My Example:  4 1/4″ x 2= 8 1/2″ (back neckline) + 8 1/2″ x 2= 17″ (front neckline) for a total of 25 1/2″.  see…IMG_20151122_080926
  10. Now draft your collar…here is the finished draft…click the picture to be able to zoom in if you want to see details.  Of note is that the outer collar edge is about 1 1/2″ longer than the neckline edge.CollarDraft

You’re all done!

Full Back Draft

Congratulations.  Now go sew it up.  I used 3/8″ seam allowances on all seams. The hem is 1″ or whatever you choose and the sleeve openings are hemmed at 1/2″.  When attaching the collar, I sewed the right side of collar to the wrong side of the cape so that when you flip it up and over itself you will see the pretty side of the fabric and the seam allowance will be hidden under the flipped over collar. 🙂  I hope that makes sense.  I am sure whatever you come up with will be perfect!

Finished Poncho-Cape
All Done!

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE…..share your self drafted cape with me!  I would love to see what other sewists come up with as it inspires me so much.

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