It must be the Scottish heritage in me, but I love all things plaid, it’s my favorite print. Our Campbell Clan has our own tartan print known as the "Campbell plaid" (green, white, with a thin yellow stripe). Every year my Grandma use to make us ponchos for winter. She’d use wool blankets or scarves and simply cut a circle in center and sew bias tape to finish the edges. It was always my favorite gift. I wanted to keep the tradition alive so I made a few of my own, but wanted to add a turtleneck in the center. This is a versatile garment that works for many occasions to lounging around at home or a causal evening out. It’s also an easy beginner project that you can make up for just about everyone. I made these for my sisters Christmas gifts and as you see above, my son is sporting a scarf in the Campbell plaid version. Get the details below to make your own.
- Blanket scarf
- Brother SE1900
- Brother 1034DX Serger
- Fold-Over Elastic or Bias Tape (1/4” or ½”)
Note: I’m using a Blanket Scarf that measures 55” x 55” You will want the scarf to be large enough to fit a 42” x 42” square and 10” x 22+” for the turtle neck (this was the measurement I used for my poncho).
Step 1Cut the square out from one of the corners of the scarf. You will want to have the frayed edges of the scarf as the edges for the poncho. This was the measurement I used for my poncho. You can make this larger or smaller. I felt mine was not too big but a good medium length and width. If you want the scarf larger widen the dimensions and vice versa for smaller.
Step 2To get the center of the scarf you can measure or I just folded the scarf bottom left corner to upper right corner. Then folded the right corner up to the left corner. This will give you a nice center point and easy to cut the center circle out evenly.
Step 3For the center circle: Measure your head circumference and subtract 2”. Keep in mind the stretch of your fabric. Blanket scarfs are natural stretchy and because the ease of the woven threads, when you cut a hole, it will stretch a bit wider. Therefore, I subtract 2” from my head circumference. For example: my head circumference was 22” but I’ll use 20” for the below measurement. Now to get the dimension for the arc to cut the center circle I took the 20” and subtract 1” (19). Now divide 19 by 6 = 3.1 (So I made mine 3”). This will be the measurement you use for the arc. Now if this is confusing just start with a 3” arc. *always start smaller when in doubt. From the folded corner mark out that measurement. I use a tape measure and pivot from one side to the other. You can mark with a fabric marking tool (I used tailors chalk but it’s hard to see the marks) or pins. Then cut along your marking.
Step 4This should form a circle in the center fit to your measurement. *If you don’t care about precision then just use a small plate to place in the center of the scarf, trace, and cut.
Step 5For the turtleneck: Use the measurement you got above for this (head circumference minus 2”). Mine was 20” but I added ½” for the seams allowance. I wanted the scarf fringe to be the bottom when folded over (on the right side). My width was 10”, so 10” x 20.5” Keep in mind the nature of this fabric is to fray. If you don’t have a serger you will want to either do a French seam, zigzag stitch, or use a ¼” bias tape to sew over the raw edges. Adjust your seam allowance accordingly (may need to add up to 1” or so).
Step 6Fold right sides together and sew or serge. I serged mine.
Step 7Pin the right side of the poncho to the wrong side of the turtleneck (Remember it folds over).
Step 8Sew all the way around.
Step 9Time to Serge! Again, you will deal with fraying on the seam allowance so it’s a good idea to serge or sew ½” bias tape of Fold-Over elastic over the seam allowance.
Step 10Last but not least we need to pull the cut edges of the poncho strings out to create fringe like the other sides. Simply do this by pulling out the string until you get the desired length. I made a couple of these and just love them. I like that you can wear it centered or diagonal. Find some scarves that have alternate prints on the sides like I did with the black grid scarf.
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