For safety reasons, children shouldn’t wear their winter coats while buckled into their car seats. You won’t be able to tighten the straps as you should.
But it’s really a pain to stand outside and take off your baby’s coat before popping them in their seat, or sitting in the backseat with them, closing the door, and removing their coat at that time.
If the car is frosty inside, they’ll be cold and will certainly let you know they don’t like it.
And then once you arrive at your destination, you have to wedge them back into their winter coats and dash indoors.
What a pain!
I saw a toddler wearing a fleece poncho, and thought it would be a great idea to make one for Johnny.
The poncho just pops over the little guy’s head, and if it’s big and thick enough, it’ll keep him warm from going inside to the car. Plus, he can still wear it while in the car. The car seat buckles can go underneath the poncho, keeping him safe and snug.
Since it’s over his head, it isn’t as likely to fall off while I’m making the mad dash through the parking lot.
Step 1: Select your fleece. A thick, heavy weight fleece will obviously be warmer than something thinner. I wanted the poncho to be really warm, so I opted to use three layers.
We have lots of throw blankets, so I picked two thick ones that we don’t really use — a grey one and a blue one. Johnny’s winter hat happens to be a grey and blue fleece one, so yay for coordinating.
Step 2: Determine the size.
I took some of Johnny’s pajamas and set it over a corner of the blanket to get an idea of how low I wanted the poncho to be on his body. I chose something that would approximately hit at his knees, since he’s sure to keep on growing.
I folded one of the corners of the fabric up, making a triangle. Unfolded, the triangle-turned-square was 41″ long diagonally. (Ya with me on this?)
Step 3: Cut the fleece
I made my line with some scotch tape so that I would have a straight edge to follow as I made my cuts.
Since I wanted to do three layers, I repeated the process two more times.
Step 4: Get it together
I chose to do the no-sew fleece tying method, as I don’t have a sewing machine. Since fleece doesn’t fray, it was a simple option. I can also remove a layer if it seems the poncho is too bulky. My ties are starting to come undone, though. Perhaps I didn’t knot them tight enough. I might just untie all of it.
You could stitch the layers together, or you could leave the layers separate and add or remove them as you need them.
Step 5: Cut an opening for the head
I cut a straight line for Johnny’s head. I just did a little bit of cutting at a time until I found the right size. I wanted it to be big enough to get over his big ol’ noggin and not be too tight around his neck, but small enough that it wouldn’t fall off of his shoulders.
You could also cut a circle. Perhaps use a bowl as your template.
In all, the project took me about two hours. Most of the time was spent trying to figure out how I would do this, and then a lot of time was spent cutting the fabric and tying it together.
So far, Johnny doesn’t seem to mind it. It hasn’t been really cold yet, but those days are coming. With the leftover fabric, I’ll make a little scarf. (I won’t leave the scarf on him in the car, since he could pull on it and hurt himself and I might not be able to get to him right away if I’m driving).
I’m not the craftiest person, but this was still an easy project to do.