BurdaStyle 12-2016 Cape Poncho 

Sew Paradise | December 30, 2016 | By

This looks nothing like the cape in the magazine but it’s totally awesome! Let me start by saying this project was fraught with problems from the beginning.

This is the BurdaStyle Cape Poncho in the magazine (12/2016).  And here’s mine!

Exactly what happened to make this so awesome? Simple. I screwed up. Big time. I pulled this organic sweatshirting out of stash. I’d made some baby diaper inserts for cloth diapering out of this fabric a long time ago (six years ago). We’d layer up the fancy cloth diapers with these inserts (fuzzy side out) and call them ‘nighty-night’ diapers, so my son would stay dry and happy at night. My son is almost 7 😉 So it ‘s been around a while. I laid out the pattern, looking at the diagram (picture!) in BurdaStyle’s instructions at least 487 times while trying to get the pattern pieces out of this small remnant of fabric. One of the pieces said “attach piece ‘A’ to the bottom of piece 1” in no less than four places. Did I do that? Nope. Didn’t even cut out piece A (which you can see as the gray part here).

Plus, I was trying to eek out this pattern from this fabric and didn’t have enough to do a fold-over collar, let alone piece ‘A’, so I ended up piecing the collar and stitching the pieces at the top of the fold over collar. It looks pretty cool though. The front of the poncho is pieced like you see here, but that triangle piece…well….

I may have used some words. Some bad words. And maybe I sang them into a little song so they sounded better, to which my husband (who came upstairs after working on HIS project to hear me sing this song) said “you probably shouldn’t say that in front of the kids.” Ah, no. Probably not.

So immediately I thought, hey, that looks like an interesting shape and maybe I can stick something in that spot that looks cool since I totally screwed this up. I brought up mint green sweatshirting but the mint is a cool tone and this was very warm toned cream. It didn’t look right, so I brought up this really old piece of fleece. I used this for at least fifteen years, maybe more, as a “portfolio backdrop” for our graphic designed print pieces that I and my business partners designed for our clients. Voila! Insta-cool, and I didn’t even plan it.

It’s pretty generously sized – this is the 38-40 size. I’m normally a 40 in BurdaStyle, but honestly I could have gone down to a 36 to get more of the shape the model has on. And I entirely omitted the separate waistband, choosing to simply turn and make a casing and put elastic in it. I’d made everything else so hard, this waistband was easy.

I really like it! I do have other oversized, geometric ponchos like this (most notably my HotPatterns version here) But I would like to make one of these again, as it is shown, out of a sweater-ish knit, and probably will go down to a 34/36 size in this, as it’s roomy.

On Clarabelle (who’s at least six inches taller than me), it looks smashing. Those ARE my jeans, and that IS my top, but Clarabelle is all angles, and I’m not ;D

Here’s the BurdaStyle version. On the mannequin, they look pretty close, right?

But on the model, she looks like she’s wearing a top and I (and Clarabelle, my mannequin) look like I’m wearing a poncho. Part of that is the separate waistband (which I omitted as this was very oversized) and part is the choice in size and knit fabric. (photos BurdaStyle magazine 12/2016)

I am very happy with how mine turned out. Sewing is often happy accidents and solving problems that you both made and are encountering (isn’t that life?) It teaches me that things can come out well when I mess them up, and they can afford me the opportunity to find creative solutions (which I thought of almost immediately) to challenges. I can’t wait to sport this new poncho with some dressy track style pants (the model has on dressy pants) or jeans.

From my blog, you’d think all I do is sew jackets and ponchos (and you’d be right, kidding!) I do sew other things; I’ll get around to posting more of them soon (such as that top you can see under the poncho.)  Happy Sewing! BurdaStyle sells this pattern on their web site.






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