How to Sew a Poncho Without a Pattern

    by Anne Kinsey

    About the Author

    Anne Kinsey has been a writer for 10 years, with her writing published in print newsletters, as well as websites including eHow and LIVESTRONG. She is also a minister and violinist holding a B.A. in religion and African American studies, and a M.Div. in pastoral counseling.


    Ponchos are garments that are part coat and part blanket. They can be as easily worn on a cold evening at the football stadium as they can be used as a picnic blanket at the park in the summer. While patterns are available for more complex ponchos with hoods or armholes, it is relatively easy to create a basic patternless poncho using a fleece blanket. The finished poncho is a square piece of fleece with a centered head opening and corners hanging on the front, back and arms of the wearer. It can be used as a blanket by laying it flat on the ground so the head opening is closed.

    Things You'll Need

    • Double-sided fleece blanket
    • Seam ripper
    • Fabric scissors
    • Tailor's chalk
    • Sewing machine
    • Coordinating thread

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    Choose the proper-size blanket for the person who is going to be wearing the poncho. Most toddlers can use a fleece baby blanket, while adults need something around the size of a standard couch throw.

    Remove any seams along the edges of your fleece blanket. If your blanket does not have seams, go to Step 3.

    Unfold your blanket so it is flat on a clean floor or a large table. Press out any wrinkles or folds as necessary.

    Fold the bottom-right corner up to the opposing straight edge of the blanket, creating a two-layered triangle on the right side of your blanket. This is the same method used to cut a square out of a rectangular piece of paper. Cut off the remaining single-layer of fabric to the left of the triangle, leaving you with a square piece of fabric. Leave the remaining fabric folded as a triangle.

    Mark the center of the fold on your two-layered fleece triangle and then mark a 6- to 18-inch line so it is centered and on the fold. This line creates your head opening. The size of your head opening is determined by who is going to be wearing the poncho. Children need smaller openings than adults.

    Cut a slit along the marked line in the fold of your fleece blanket. Test the opening size to be sure it is big enough to go over the head of the person who will be wearing the poncho. Fold the raw edges of the opening towards the inside of the poncho, pin them and then sew them on your sewing machine using a zigzag stitch. Finish your poncho by hemming the four unfinished edges or using fabric scissors to create 1/2-inch fringe all the way around the poncho.