I don’t know about you, but my output seems to be really slowing down lately. In one sense, that’s a good thing as I don’t want to make unnecessary garments… but there are always gifts to sew at this time of year! In another sense, it’s annoying as there are a few things I’d really like to make for myself now, but don’t seem to find the right combination of time and motivation. It seems I can have one without the other at the moment, but rarely both!
Anyway, in a rare moment I seized this old shower curtain I had lying about (It had already been earmarked as a potential rain poncho for my short cycle-commute to and from my new hairdressing job) and I set to creating.
The curtain has a map of the world on it. Also a white border which I wanted to use along the ‘sleeves’ and down the front. This is what I was aiming for…
I didn’t make a pattern (I thought it’d be a waste of paper) but I’ll try to explain how I did it here. In retrospect, an easy way would be to find a hood pattern you like from something you already own, measure the neckline then draft a ‘circle skirt’ to the measurement using any one of the free online calculators (search ‘full circle skirt formula’). Maybe I’ll do that if/when I make another one, but for now I’m happy with my maverick approach as opposed to the scientific one!
I started by cutting the curtain in half, horizontally, through the middle of the map. The top half would become the front and the bottom half, the back. I cut the mouldy bit off the bottom of the bottom half then stitched the white band I had left to the top of the back section.
(… All of this would have been a lot simpler if the curtain were plain or non-directional…!)
Next I cut the front in half (down the centre front) and used the right side on the left and vice versa (this gave me the white strip down the centre front that I wanted – and meant that the CF was conveniently already hemmed for me)
After joining the front to the back I folded it in half to find the true shoulder line. As luck would have it, the size of the panels offset the shoulder line from the actual centre – so hopefully I won’t be too vulnerable to leaks there once I’m in the rain. I loosely measured round my neck and folded the ‘poncho’ into quarters to find the centre. I marked this and drew out a neckline: slightly deeper at the front than the back.
To get the length measurement I measured from my neck to the edge of my cuff, added a bit for seam allowance and, using a tape measure and a Frixion pen I marked in an arc from collar to hem on the fabric. Once this was drawn in I carefully cut my way around the world.
I used the off cuts to create a three panelled hood. I knew it needed to be 50cms at the neck, so I freehand drew side panels that were 20cm wide and a centre strip of 10cms (adding seam allowance, of course). Here, you could add 2-3cms to the front of the hood pattern to make a facing and encase the cord, but I wanted the white contrast around mine so I removed 3cm from the pattern and used the last strip of plain fabric to make the band.
I installed eyelets (mercifully) big enough to pass my ‘threader’ through. I like how they mimic the original curtain attachments. Sadly, I could not reuse the original ones. Then I applied poppers to close the front.
All the seams were sewn, then stitched down before trimming the excess off with pinking shears. I finished the neck line with some cotton tape (also adding a hanging loop) to keep it a little tidier. And would you believe, suddenly, that was it…!
I’ve been lucky enough to not get caught in the rain on my short commute… so far… So my new poncho hasn’t had a chance to prove itself yet. Still, that didn’t stop me from having a mini photo shoot in the courtyard…!
I’ve waited to hem it as I wasn’t sure if it was too short and would need some kind of extension, but now I’ve seen these photos, I think it’s the perfect length for cycling. Bring on the rain… I’m ready!
Until next time, stay dry! and Happy Sewing!
Notes to self;
- How about sewing (a shirt and) a couple of Christmas presents next…?!