Tuesday, March 17, 2015

DIY Twister Hooded Poncho Using McCalls 6209

My Twister poncho  from my last post has been well received. So much so that I have been asked to make one for a friend. 

Some of you have mentioned that you are inspired to make your own. This post will outline in greater detail how to do so using the modern Mccalls 6209 pattern. I will assume you know basic sewing techniques and will not explain every detail.
For this, you will need one and a half Twister mats :-). Maybe make it with a friend and together you only need 3 :-). If your mat has been in a box for the last decade or two, it may be super wrinkly. Throw it into the dryer on low heat with a wet washcloth and let it dry for about 10 minutes. Immediately, take it out while its still warm and lay it on a flat surface to cool so no additional wrinkles form. There will be some residual wrinkles in it but, you will iron them out during the construction process. As you stitch your seams, press on low using a press cloth.

Fold your mat evenly in half horizontally. Cut along the fold.

Decide which graphic you want for the front and which for the back, the "ties in knots" or "stockin' feet" side.

Cut the pattern back on the fold. 

Put the pattern on the Twister mat fold and at the topmost part of your "fabric". You can see that the pattern extends past the width of the mat on the right. Additionally, the length of the mat extends past the length of the pattern. This is okay. We are using the pattern mainly to get an accurate neckline and the is the only part we cut. If you want a rounded edge, cut that now.

Now, we cut the front. Did you know the original 1966 Twister mat is different from the 2002 reproduction (don't get me started on the most recent version). 

2002 top. 1966 bottom
If you have been here before, you can probably guess that I prefer the bolder 1966 version. For the front, your fold will be sightly off center to avoid cutting through the letters. For the 1966 version, cut between the "t" and the "e".
1966 version.
For the 2002 reproduction, you will want to cut along the "e". The right fold line is perfectly center, but it crosses the "r" and "e" giving one more (narrow) point to match up later. Save yourself the trouble and shift it over a smidge to the left fold line only cutting the "e". 
2002 version
Fold along that line and cut using the pattern.

Now the hood
Fold the Twister logo portion of your other mat centering the fold through the "s" on the 2002 version and through the "i" on the 1966 version. Shift the edge of the mat to front of the hood pattern marked "fold line". It is the 1-inch pattern overhang you see to the right. Because we are lining it, we do not need that part.

(Peep my cutting table. It is decoupaged with vintage patterns and instructions.)
Begin cutting above the curve leaving the lower part connected. 

Hood cut
Cut another hood from the Twister mat that will be used as the lining. With right sides together, stitch it like a dart ending with a point to the fold. 
Stitch hood to a dart point. (Peep my sewing table. It is decoupaged with vintage patterns and envelope covers.)
Exterior Hood
Using the pieces you cut for front and back of your pattern, cut your lining. Treat the mat and lining separately. Stitch front to back at the shoulders and then add the hood. Repeat for the lining. After the seams are stitched, stitch them down on top of the seam. This adds stability to the seam, it also is protection against rain getting into the seam. With right sides together, stitch lining to Twister mat leaving an opening in the bottom back edge to turn.   

Install your separating zipper behind the lining using a zipper foot.
After the poncho is constructed top-stitch around the entire outer edge securing the layers together. 

Now the armholes.
Lay out your poncho and mark 13 inches down from the shoulder seam. Fold back over front and stitch down about a inch, pivot and stitch the other direction making a small rectangle.  On my version, I used a snap. I fear damage to the mat with opening and closing so I did not on this one for my friend.

All done! Making this is time-consuming with the stitching and stitching again. The weight and size is cumbersome to work with, but it is worth the effort. Please come back and let me know if you make one yourself.

Here is Susie in her new poncho/raincoat! She is very happy in it and I am so pleased! It is supposed to rain tomorrow and she cannot wait! 

Happy Sewing,