Poncho pattern: how to make a poncho step by step

Keep cosy this winter by making your own warm poncho! Learn how to sew your own poncho pattern with Jennie Jones' step by step guide

Poncho pattern

Learn how to revamp a cable knit jumper into an on-trend roll-neck poncho for cosy layering with Jennie Jones! Ponchos are ideal for the colder months – you can throw them on for a winter walk or snuggle up in one around the house.

This poncho pattern uses a secondhand men’s jumper to make a warm outfit. It’s a great upcycling project and can give a new lease of life to a sweater that might otherwise be thrown away.

Look for a large jumper to make your poncho. We particularly like the cable-knit look that Jennie has used for her poncho. Sewing the poncho at a diagonal angle really helps to showcase the sweater pattern.

Designer Jennie says: “I love, love, love this refashion. It’s just the thing for wrapping up on winter walk! I’ve used an overlocker to keep on top of the fraying – if you don’t have one, you can use a wide zigzag stitch instead.“

This poncho sewing pattern was first published in Simply Sewing Magazine. Simply Sewing is a practical magazine for anyone who sews or wants to start. It’s full of beautiful patterns to sew and tips from sewing experts. Jennie Jones is a sewing designer who regularly appears in Simply Sewing.

Looking for more cosy winter sewing patterns? Learn how to sew a cape, how to make a pom pom blanket or sew our dressing gown pattern.

If you’re new to sewing, you might find it useful to check out our beginner’s guides. Read our sewing for beginners, how to use a sewing machine, best sewing machines for beginners and sewing kits for beginners guides.

Read on to learn how to make a poncho step by step…

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You Will Need

  • Men's jumper (XL), the bigger the better
  • Basic sewing kit

Total time:

Cutting off the sleeves

Step 1

Turn your jumper inside out and unpick or cut open one side up to the armhole.

Step 2

Cut the sleeve off straight as shown (not following the sleeve seam).

Poncho pattern – step 1

Step 3

Finish the edges with a machine zigzag stitch or using an overlocker to help stop them fraying.

Step 4

Remove the other sleeve, but this time following the diagonal sleeve seam where the sleeve joins the body. This becomes the new head hole.

Poncho pattern – step 2

Step 5

Finish the edges as before.

Creating the shoulder seam

Step 1

With wrong sides (WS) out, draw a diagonal line from the bottom of the armhole on the first sleeve you cut off to the top of the second sleeve you cut off and pin the two layers together along it.

Poncho pattern – step 3

Step 2

Try your poncho on. You can adjust the pinned seam if needs to be to alter it to your preferred fit.

Step 3

Stitch together along your pinned line to form one shoulder seam, then trim and finish the edges. The other shoulder seam is the already joined original jumper side.

Making the roll neck

Step 1

Make the sleeves into rectangles by trimming off the cuffs and trimming both ends to straighten them.

Poncho pattern – step 4

Step 2

Place the two sleeves right sides (RS) facing and pin down both short sides.

Poncho pattern – step 5

Step 3

This is the roll neck of your poncho and it needs to fit around the head hole gap between the two shoulder seams. Pin it around the opening and then adjust the pinned side seams so it fits exactly.

Step 4

Unpin and take the roll neck out then stitch up the pinned side seams.

Poncho pattern – step 6

Step 5

Fold the joined roll neck with WS facing then tack the raw edges together.

Step 6

Turn the jumper RS out and then pin the tacked raw edges of the roll neck RS together with the head hole.

Step 7

Stitch the roll neck into place then finish the edges.

Finishing off

Step 1

Turn under the open side of your poncho by 5mm (¼in) and topstitch down all the way around for a neat finish.

Step 2

Now, dig out your wellies for a walk!

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You’ve finished! We hope you enjoyed stitching this poncho pattern.

Poncho pattern