FLEECE-LINED HOODED CAR SEAT PONCHO

Before you comment or email me to ask if I sell these, the answer is no… BUT! Since making this poncho 3 years ago, there are a ton available on Amazon now. Check them out HEREIf you want to make your own with our simple tutorial, read on!

Make your own DIY Fleece-lined Hooded Carseat Poncho or 'Cape Wrap' for toddlers {Reality Daydream}

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This fleece car seat poncho for toddlers will fit ages 12m to 3T. You can easily adjust the dimensions slightly to fit a baby or bigger kid by measuring from their neck to wrist and modifying accordingly. Heck you could make one for yourself if you feel so inclined. They arepretty darn cute!

I had a tough time deciding on fabric for this little poncho, but ultimately decided to go with a solid neutral linen fabric in ‘Mushroom’, with a fun/colorful fleece for the cozy liner and accent colors. I liked the idea of the majority being a neutral color, with a fun colorful fleece print as the border and hood. You could use anything though! You could even use two layers of fleece to make it warmer, and tie the ends like those ‘fleece knot blankets’ to make a no-sew version!

The two fabrics I used for this car seat poncho. The blue fabric is fleece for the lining.

SUPPLIES FOR CAR SEAT PONCHO FOR TODDLERS:

  • 1 yard Formenti Linen fabric in ‘Mushroom’
  • 1 yard fleece fabric (plus 18” x 18” extra for the hood)
  • Sewing machine (I have this one)
  • Thread to match your fabrics
  • Sewing scissors
  • Super cute child model

CAR SEAT PONCHO INSTRUCTIONS

I started by cutting my fleece to a 36” x 36” square.  Fold in half twice… and and then corner to corner, like so:

How to fold the fabric for your car seat poncho.

Using your super sharp sewing scissors (that you NEVER let your kids use to cut plastic milk cartons) cut through all the layers at a slight circular curve.

Cutting the fabric pattern for a fleece-lined car seat poncho.

UPDATE! A lot of you were having a hard time knowing which edge to cut to make a circle, so I whipped up this little video for you using a piece of paper to demonstrate!

I’m using a piece of paper to demonstrate how to fold your fabric and where to cut to get the perfect circle for your poncho!

 

Open that sucker up and you’ve got a near-perfect circle! If it’s not a perfect circle, it’s ok. You’ll see why later!

Once you cut the fabric, you should have (close to) a perfect circle.

Lay out your solid color ‘linen’ fabric (after ironing if necessary), and lay the fleece circle on top. Cut around the edges so you have two identical-sized circles.

use your fleece circle as a guide and cut the linen fabric for the top layer of the poncho.

I needed to cut a hole for the head, but I wanted to be really careful not to make it too big… because that can’t be fixed! You can always make a hole bigger later, but smaller? #notsomuch …So I used one of Cypress’ shirts and found an item that was a similar-sized circle as the head hole of her shirt. It happened to be a plate from the girls’ play kitchen, but you could use a lid or a saucer (which I call a ‘dessert plate’… but Nick corrected me and says it’s a saucer). #eyeroll

UPDATE: I’m getting lots of emails saying that you’ve cut the head-hole way too big for this car seat poncho for toddlers. I know that little saucer looks like a TINY hole that would be far too small for your little one, but it’s deceiving! When in doubt, use your child’s shirt hole as a template.

Find the center of the circle and pin it so you don’t lose it. Then place your circular item over it, trace with a marker, and cut out your circle!

Find something that is roughly the circumference of your toddler's head as a template to make the head hole for the poncho. Trace and cut the hole.

Use the linen fabric as a guide to replicate the head hole in the fleece fabric.

Hem the outer circle under 2-3 inches or so. This part is tricky because you’re hemming a CIRCLE… not a straight line. So feel free to take some little ‘tucks’ along the way to stay on track. It will look like this on the under side.

Hem the edges of the linen - it should look a little tucked in when you're done because it's not a perfect circle.

Hem around the circle for the head hole too. Then lay it over the fleece circle and try to get it as centered as possible. This is a good time to think about whether there’s an ‘up or down’ to the print. Pin it down along the seem every 4-5 inches, then sew the two layers together right over the existing seam. I used a zigzag stitch so it would be a little forgiving  just in case I didn’t follow the line perfectly.

Sew the linen and fleece together around the edges of the hemmed linen.

This is what we have now!

Here is what your almost-finished poncho should look like once you've sewed the two fabrics together.

Now we’re going to get to work on the hood.

Cut an 18” x 18” square out of your fleece fabric. Fold the edges over and hem them (about an inch). Then fold the hemmed edges in toward each other with the pretty side of the fabric on the inside. Then sew across the folded edge.

Measurements for the hood of the car seat poncho. Fold and hemming guide for a hooded fleece-lined car seat poncho. Sewing the hood for the car seat poncho. This is how the hemmed fleece should look for the hood of the poncho!

My girl was napping, so I couldn’t try it on her head to make sure it would sufficiently cover her noggin, so I blew up a balloon approx the same size as her melon head, draped my circle poncho over a little trash can, and put the hood on. I crack myself up!

My toddler was napping so I had to improvise to test out the sizing of the poncho! I used a balloon and garbage can for her stand-in.

I measured my hood to be extra long so I would have some wiggle room. Stick the hood down between the fleece and linen material, and decide where you want to sew it on. I realized that I had about 3 extra inches of fabric that I didn’t want to bulk things up unnecessarily, so I whacked them off. Then pin the hood to the linen (outer) fabric, and stitch it up! I used the zigzag stitch again for this part,

Measuring and sewing on the hood of this car seat poncho.

NOW it’s finally time to cut out the circle of fleece! cut it slightly smaller than the existing hole, because I’m going to hem them over too.

The almost-complete fleece-lined hooded car seat poncho!

Fold the edge of the fleece over about 1/2” and pin every couple inches all the way around. When you stitch this up, TAKE IT SLOW! And just do an inch or so at a time, feeling as you go to make sure everything is staying in place just so. (sorry I forgot to turn the light off on my sewing machine for this pic)

Hemming the edges of the hooded fleece car seat poncho.

When I went to try this sucker on Cypress for a test run, it wouldn’t fit over her off-the-charts giant head. It was sooooo close! But since there’s no stretch in this material, it just wasn’t happening. But at least it wasn’t too big. I can totally fix too small…

Fold the car seat poncho in half to find the center of the front, then cut a slit (I cut about an inch and a half). Sew around it close to the edge just to keep it from fraying. It doesn’t have to be pretty because it will be covered! Then cut a diamond shape out of your fleece material the same width of the opening between the two edges of the hood.

Now we're adding extra little detail to the hood of the car seat poncho. Cut out a diamond shape of fleece fabric.

Tuck that diamond shape long-ways in behind the slit you cut, and fold it over in the front so that it’s folded exactly in half. Pin it down!

Fold the diamond shape fleece over the front of the poncho collar.

No folding or hemming on this one. Just stitch about a half inch from the edge! I took a scissors to it and added a little fringe on the point of the triangle. And I fringed the entire perimeter of fleece sticking out the bottom.

Adding fringe detail to the fleece-lined car seat poncho.Here is the finished hooded fleece-lined car seat poncho!

This darling hooded car seat poncho for toddlers turned out SO ADORABLE. I’m so glad I stepped outside of my sewing comfort zone on this!

Make this darling carseat poncho for your little boy or girl. It's fleece-lined and has a hood! Can be made to be reversible too {Reality Daydream}

I just can’t stand the cuteness!

Hooded Carseat Poncho or 'wrap' to keep littles warm in the car... and just generally look CUTE {Reality Daydream}

One of my favorite parts about this design is that our girl can wear this in her carseat while still being securely buckled underneath. It’s the ‘law’ for kids to not wear coats in their carseat because they can’t be buckled tight enough. But with this poncho jacket, she can be buckled and still have a warm fuzzy BASICALLY BLANKET all around her.

Fleece Carseat Poncho to keep littles warm in the car! Can be made to be reversible too! {Reality Daydream}

Ok… ONE LAST PICTURE of my super cute Cypress:

Hooded fleece-lined carseat poncho for girls OR boys! Can be made to be reversible too! {Reality Daydream}

I have a feeling a LOT of you are going to be making one of these car seat poncho for toddlers for your little one, so be sure to send me pics or tag me on social media! (@RealityDaydream) …I can’t wait to see how yours turns out!

~Bethany

 

Thanks for pinning!

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