Dec 02 2009

Making a free, homemade baby poncho

baby poncho 1

baby poncho 2

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.

I used the Car Seat Poncho and these ponchos as my inspiration. I used the fleece-tying technique detailed here to finish it off.

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.



10 Responses to “Making a free, homemade baby poncho”

  1. OMG THE CUTE!! What a great idea, Kacie!

  2. OH.MY.GOSH – what an adorable little boy you have! He is SO cute and the poncho is fantastic. What a blessed woman you are :)
    .-= Becky@FamilyandFinances´s last blog ..Good News and More Good News! =-.

  3. Thank you! Yes, I am very blessed. :)

  4. Great idea! And the model is adorable too!
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..Handmade Christmas: Lip Gloss =-.

  5. That’s a great idea! You did a great job! Maybe tie the ties in triple knots? Or cut them skinnier or deeper so they’re easier to tie? I’ve seen so many fleece blankets tied together I’m sure there’s a way to keep them that way. Although I’m sure Johnny will eventually learn to (and learn to love) untying them, it won’t hurt anything.

  6. Adorable, Kacie. What an excellent idea!
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..And then there were five. =-.

  7. Thats cute Kacie!
    .-= Courtney´s last blog ..Fall Pictures =-.

  8. Oh my goodness…I love this idea. Just one more reason for me to stay home – more time to do things like this!
    .-= megscole64´s last blog ..Now I Remember =-.

  9. I LOVE this! What a fabulous idea! I’ll definitely be linking to it. Thanks a ton!
    .-= marybeth at http://www.babygoodbuys.com´s last blog ..Printable Coupon: Save $1 on Any Johnson’s Shampoo =-.

  10. Awesome, I was just thinking of how to do something like this. It’s insanely cold out now and the ski-body-jacket thingy is jut not cutting it. I think I’m going to experiment with something even longer to cover his legs since he’s not walking. I can always trim it down later.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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