Sew a soft and cozy poncho wrap! This free sewing tutorial shows you how to make one using a lightweight throw blanket OR 2 yards of fabric.
I’m mainly a quilter - not really a big fashion sewer, but when I started seeing cozy poncho wraps like this one all over the place, I had to figure out how they were made so I could sew my own.
After all, it’s adorable, it’s cozy, and with some leggings, boots, and a tee shirt you have the perfect outfit for fall and winter!
After some research (i.e.: scrutinizing the store bought ones), I solved the mystery!
It’s a rectangle of fabric, folded diagonally to make 2 cute points in the back.
But what about the collar?
Well, there is a casing on the back (at the level of your shoulder blades) that holds a strip of 1’’ elastic - slightly gathered. This pulls the fabric together just enough to form that cute fold-over collar.
Here’s a view of the elastic casing from the back.
When I went to the big box fabric store to find fabric for this project, I walked right past these ready made throw blanket and pillow gift sets. The buffalo plaid set was calling my name and I couldn’t resist.
Then it turned out to be the perfect size for a cozy poncho wrap - with fringe too!
If you want to make one exactly like mine, you might find the same blanket and pillow sets on sale, plus the Sew on Toggles that I used (2 for each wrap).
Of course, you can also use fabric and I’ll show you how to make your own fringe if you like.
How to Make a DIY Cozy Poncho Wrap:
You will need:
a lightweight throw blanket approximately 60’’ x 50’’ (with or without fringe) OR 2 yards of cozy fabric that’s at least 50’’ wide (I chose the fabric above because it was soft with wonderful drape - and it was already starting to fray into fringe at the store)
a piece of elastic 10’’ long x 1’’ wide
yardstick, ruler, and tailors chalk
a safety pin or bodkin for pulling the elastic through the casing
(Skip this step if you are using a lightweight throw blanket that is already approximately 50’’ x 60’’.)
1. Cut your fabric into a rectangle 60’’ x 50’’.
If you want fringe, and you aren’t using a blanket that already has it, it’s easy to DIY. Note: if you don’t want fringe, simply sew a 1/2’’ hem all the way around the rectangle of fabric.
1. Sew all the way around the fabric rectangle 1 - 1 1/2’’ from the edge.
2. Using a pin, stiletto tool, or your fingernails, start pull threads away from the edge until you start to see the fringe appear. It’s easiest to pull the threads just a few at a time.
If it is taking too long, you can make clips into the fabric just to the stitching line (careful not to clip the stitching line), which will help the threads pull away easier.
Pull threads away until your fringe is the desired length. The stitching around the fabric will stop the fringe from continuing to fray.
Make the Elastic Casing:
1. Fold the fabric rectangle diagonally - the points will not be even, see above diagram.
2. Turn the poncho around so that the fold is closest to you. Place the yardstick vertically at the center of the poncho. Use a ruler and chalk to draw a 12’’ horizontal line that is 8’’ away from the fold (see above photo and diagram).
3. Then draw a second 12’’ line that is 1 1/4’’ above the second line.
4. Place pins through both layers of fabric along the chalk lines.
Note: I didn’t draw the second line - I just eyeballed it. But if you want to be precise it is easy to draw it now.
5. Using matching thread, sew a 12’’ long line of stitching over both chalk lines (or eyeballing the second line 1 1/4’’ away as I did).
These lines make an open-ended casing.
Insert the Elastic:
1. Attach the safety pin or bodkin to one end of the 10’’ piece of 1’’ wide elastic.
Peel back the top layer of the shawl and insert the elastic into the open-ended casing.
2. Push the elastic through the casing until only 1’’ of the end is showing.
Then, working from the outside of the wrap, pin the end of the elastic so it won’t move.
3. Continue pushing the elastic through the casing until the starting end is sticking out of the casing by 1’’ also (between the layers).
Pin the starting end of the elastic on the outside of the shawl too.
4. Sew the ends of the casing shut - making a rectangle of stitching and securing the ends of the elastic.
Peel back the top layer of the shawl again on both sides and trim the elastic that sticks out to 1/2’’.
Add the Toggles:
1. Now fold the shawl in half again, placing the bottom points together and the long folded edge on top of itself.
Use the yardstick to measure 20’’ from the corner (where the back of your neck will be).
2. Each toggle has 2 pieces. Place one half of the first toggle 20’’ from the corner. The end of the toggle ‘loop’ should be at the edge of the fabric folds.
3. Place one half of the second toggle 5’’ away from the first toggle, measuring from the center of one to the center of the other.
4. Hand baste the toggles in place through 2 layers (on one side of the shawl only) using long stitches that you can easily remove later.
5. Turn the shawl over (or fold the edges over like I did) and baste the second halves of the toggles in matching spots on the other side.
Remember to baste through only 2 layers!
Tip: try on the shawl now to make sure the toggles are in the right location for you. Adjust if needed.
6. Now you could hand sew the toggle on securely (like the package says).
I set my sewing machine stitch to 3.5, which was pretty close to the distance between the holes. Then I sewed around the fake leather part of the toggle. Since it wasn’t real leather, I used the same needle as before with no problems. I didn’t hit all of the holes exactly, but it was close enough. :)
After sewing the toggle securely, remove the hand basting stitches.
Go out and have fun in your Cozy Poncho Wrap!
Be sure to show me what you sew by tagging me on Instagram @sewcanshe!