Sew Paradise

Cashmere poncho

About three and a half years ago I bought this cashmere (from The Wool House in Toronto) at an American Sewing Guild conference in Chicago. I was with my friend Sue at the time, and at $140 for the 2 yard piece, she made me promise I would not let it languish in stash. I had envisioned a poncho, cape or wrap from the beginning. Here’s how it turned out:

Cashmere Poncho Ann Siegle Vogue Pattern
Vogue Pattern (now out of print)

The bag is from a local boutique, Grace, in Old Town, Lansing. Both are my happy-birthday-to-me projects. Sewing the poncho took about an hour and a half including mitered corners and hand sewing the inner collar. I’ll post a review at Pattern Review, even though it’s an OOP – I am sure others have this in their stash. The cashmere got even feltier as I sewed it. Luscious! The bag is roomy enough for my portfolio notepad and a few files (though as a rule, I don’t carry much in my purse otherwise, being a mom, I’ve learned to downsize so I can fit my stuff in the diaper bag on weekends.) It’s a great day for this outfit – sunny and 50s with still a bit of fall color on the trees, on this early November day.

If you want to make one similar to this, try these free instructions from It’s a very simple tute, they drew it on a napkin!

Although the free instructions doesn’t have the wide collar, you can omit that, or you can create one – you’ll need to create a wide tube of fabric the width of the open neck (measure the entire circumference of the neckline of the poncho) and twice the height of the collar standing up (in this case 18″, folds to 9″once sewn, and then folds down to 4.5 for wearing) plus seam allowances of 1/2″.  Be sure to stay stitch the open neckline before attaching the tube collar, to keep it from stretching. Sew the short ends of your large rectangle collar piece together, then fold, WRONG sides together and baste the open edges. Sew these edges right sides together, center seam at the back neck of the poncho, to the open neckline of the poncho. If you’re using a knit, you can just serge.

If you’re using a woven, skip the basting of the collar, place right sides of the opened up collar together with the poncho neckline and sew the collar single-layer to the neckline. If you find you have to ease, (pin fit first) then run a gathering stitch around the collar’s edge and ease to the neckline of the poncho.

Press the seam allowances up toward the collar.Then fold over the collar and the inner collar’s seam allowances, enclosing the raw edges you just sewed and hand-stitch the folded collar’s inner edge, sandwiching the raw edge layers inside.

Create a raw edge fabric flower and sew to the collar. You can use any contrast or matching fabric you like (bias cut plaid is fun).

By paradise

I'm Ann. I've been sewing since I was 9. My first project was a denim wrap skirt. Thrifting is a way of life for me - both eco-chic and financially savvy.

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