Sunday, January 20, 2013

Poncho/ Cape/ Zarape (or whatever you want to call it) Tutorial

Anyone who knows me locally knows I am a big stickler on car seat safety.  I have had a few scary car experiences in my life, and I just don't think its something you should play around with. My three year old Rozie is still rear facing, and my 6 year old Dovie is still in a five point harness. I'm not trying to be fanatic, it is just shown in study after study that rear facing is safer, and a 5 point harness is safer.  I don't feel the need to rush them up to the next level, when they are safer right where they are. Both are happy to be in their seats and have never complained. I actually have never given either one of them any other option so they don't know there is something to complain about.
 Anyways with the cold winter months now upon us there is another car seat safety issue that plagues me: the coat in the car seat. It just isn't safe to have all that bulk between your little one and the straps. So we were doing the coat dance. Coat on to the car, coat off in the car seat, coat back on to go in the store for a minute. We dance this dance all winter long and I'm often tempted just to put them in the car seat with the coat on and end this routine once and for all. Dovie is easier because he dances his own dance and does the coat routine all by himself, but Rozie is another story.
I decided there had to be a solution to this, besides losing my mind. I went to Facebook for the answers and discovered the idea of wearing a poncho instead of a coat, because you can just lift the poncho up and buckle the straps under it. This was an inspiration for me and I went straight to the fabric store.
 Here is how I made our poncho:
  • One yard of pill-free fleece
  • One yard of contrasting color pill-free fleece
  • Decorative buttons ( if you want)
  • Thread and a sewing machine
1.  The first thing I did was measure Rozie and decide how long I wanted the poncho to be. I measured from shoulder down with a bit of fabric for seam allowance.
2.  Next I folded the fabric in half and cut a circle. I did this with both pieces of fleece.
3.  Now its time to sew. If you don't have a machine this could be done by hand, but I'm a machine kind of gal. I sewed the two pieces of fleece inside out all along the bottom of the circle. I now had a huge circle pillow.
4.  Next you cut a small hole in the middle for the head and turn the circle right side in.
5.  At this point you can either turn the neck edges in and sew a hem for the neck line, or add a hood. The hood was a bit complicated and it takes a little bit more skill.
 6.  Hood : Trace a hood from a sweatshirt leaving about an inch for seam allowance.  I cut it in two pieces and sewed a seam down the middle for better shape.
7.  Now attach the hood to the neckline. I wish I had some tips here, but I kind of just did it, and threw it across the room a couple of times out of frustration. This was by far the hardest part and honestly, if I made another one, I might scratch the hood because she never wears it anyway.
8.  Lastly, add any sort of decorative item. I liked the buttons but you can add a flower or anything else.
We love our poncho it makes these winter months a bit more bearable.

*Just a side note:  I do pack her down coat in her back pack for outside time at school. This poncho is great for in and out of the car but for long periods of time in the cold its not warm enough.
Let me know if any of you attempt one. I would love to see pics.
If you would like to learn more about car seat safety please visit my favorite site The Car Seat Lady here.

1 comment :

lovemy3 said...

Love this! You have solved my winter coat when running errands dilemma! I have a friend making Hailey one now! Thanks!