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Girls Poncho Tutorial (sz 3 to 16)

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How to make a poncho: You’ll love this Summer Boho Girls Poncho tutorial because it is so easy to make!  Your little missy will love the flowy fun poncho because it is trendy and fun to wear.

Learn how to make a poncho: Girl's Poncho Tutorial (sizes 3 to 16)

I can’t believe we only have 3 weeks left until school starts!  I won’t say 3 weeks till the end of summer, because for us, summer temperatures last well into October and often into November as well.

Learn how to make a poncho: This Girl's Poncho Tutorial (sizes 3 to 16) is the perfect easy sewing project for summer!

This Girl’s Poncho project is really more of a tutorial than a pattern.  I am giving you the basic measurements for the poncho, but you will use a well-fitting top (or pattern you already have) to create your own neckline.

Free ponch pattern

This little poncho top is perfect for summer and will take you through the fall (and spring) for school since it covers enough to pass the majority of school dress codes.

Now… I’d like your opinion on pdf patterns.  Do you prefer full printable patterns (depending on the project these can run 5 to 12 pages that need to be aligned and taped together) or just the basics that don’t require any printing (or minimal printing – with you still having to draw out much of the pattern onto the fabric.)


how to make a summer poncho

I have to say, my missy really loves this top!  She chose this fairly thick/not see-through gauze fabric (from Joann’s) and it looks just like the poncho-style tops I love to wear.

For best results, I definitely recommend using only flowy fabrics, like rayon, knit, gauze, etc.  No quilting cotton as I imagine that fabric will not be flowy at all.  The fluttery flowy sleeves are what my daughter loves most about the top!

how to make a poncho

I hope your missy loves it too!

Other free tween size sewing patterns you might enjoy:


Learn how to make a poncho: This Girl's Poncho Tutorial (sizes 3 to 16) is the perfect easy sewing project for summer!

Sewing Instructions for the Girls Poncho Pattern (sz 3 to 16)

Fit Chart (inches and lbs.):

Size Height (up to) Weight (up to)


Girls Poncho Fabric cutting guide (inches):

Size Width Length

Materials Needed to Make the Poncho:

  • Fabric (figure amount needed from the chart above.)
  • trim (optional)
  • Chalk/disappearing ink fabric marker
  • well fitting top or pattern (with a neckline that doesn’t need stretch to get over their head)
  • basic sewing supplies

Products used and Recommended:

  1. My favorite fabric shop for knits:  Funkalicious Fabrics and Girl Charlee. My favorite shop for cottons and other fabrics: Fabric.com
  2. My Sewing Machine: SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist, my coverstitch: Janome Cover Pro 1000cpx
  3. My Serger: Brother 1034D 3 or 4 Thread Serger or you can just use Pinking Shears
  4. Rotary Cutter
  5. I love my large ruler and large cutting mat, but you may prefer to start off with a smaller Cutting set
  6. Dritz Dual Purpose Marking Pen and Fray Check
  7. Wonder clips (I didn’t use these in the post, but they are just awesome!

Sewing Instructions:

Cut out fabric according to fit chart above. (I find it easier to fold the length in half for cutting.)

Step 2: Trace and cut neckline.

Fold fabric in half side to side.

Fold the shirt you are tracing in half and line the fold of the shirt up with the fold of the poncho fabric.  Shoulder seams should line up with the top of the fabric.

Trace the neckline with chalk or disappearing ink marker.

Flip the fabric around so you are looking at the back and fold in half again.

Flip the shirt that you are tracing around so you see the back neckline.  Line up the neckline as before, matching the front fold and shoulder seams.  Trace the neckline out onto the fabric.

Tip: if you are using chalk, don’t do this step on carpet – carpet is too soft and it was ridiculously hard to trace, lol!

When you open up the fabric long ways, it will look like this:

Cut the neckline out 1/4 inch away from your drawn line.  It is very important to cut the neckline out in one piece as we will use this piece to create the neckline facing.

I added a quick little private video to youtube that I shot from my phone, to better explain this step.  See it here.

Step 3: Create Facing Pattern and cut out.

Line up the folded neckline scrap piece up along the fold of fabric.

Trace the cut-out piece from the neckline onto the fabric.  Draw around the tracing of the neckline about 2 inches out.  Cut out this piece to create the facing.  Watch the video clip for better explanation here.

Step 4: Attach facing to poncho.

Finish the outer edge of the facing with a serger, zig zag stitch or pinking shears.

how to make a facing

Right sides together, line up the facing with the poncho neckline.  Pin in place and sew along the neckline, 1/4 inch from the edge.

how to make a poncho the easy way

Flip the facing to the inside of the poncho and press.

how to make a facing without a pattern

Topstich around the neckline.

Here is another little video explaining this step.

how to make a facing

Step 5: Hem Edges and add trim. (optional)

Hem all sides of the poncho with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Add trim along the bottom if desired.

Step 6: Create sleeves.

Find the midpoint from neckline to sleeve edge, mark about 1 inch toward the sleeve.  Measure from shoulder to hem and divide into thirds.  Mark these points.  Sew a straight line between the 2 markings at the should point you marked earlier.

easy poncho tutorial


That’s it you’re done, have your missy try on her new poncho and pose for a few photos!  Please be sure to come back and share a picture of your finished project on my facebook page or tag me on Instagram using #scatteredmompatterns.

Girl's Poncho Tutorial

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  1. Joann Allen says:

    Would love to make one of these for myself. I wear a size 12 in ladies sizes. Please let me know when that would be available. Thanks, Jo

  2. I am having trouble understanding about the neck facing. So, you have already cut out the circle that you marked from the child’s shirt. Is the 2 inch facing cut from the neck hole that you have already made? Therefore, making the neck opening 2 inches larger than your original cut out?

    1. no, take the “cut out” of the neck line, line it up on the fold of an additional piece of fabric. Trace the cut out and then trace another 2 inches around the cut out. When you cut out this shape, you will have almost a donut-type shape. I did include a link to a little video I made to try to explain this. It is under step 3. If you are still having trouble, try googling “how to make a facing” There are probably better tutorials out there to explain the process.

  3. Janet Keown says:

    Would this pattern work for winter fabrics such as, wool?

    1. Sure, just make sure your neckline is large enough and the side seams leave enough ease.

  4. I love this…I’m going to make one for each of my daughters. You asked our opinions about pdfs…I do like them when needed, but giving us the measurements is really a great way to do this. Thank you! You always have such cute things on your site:)

  5. Oh! If you DO want to make a printable, putting the fit guide, fabric requirements and basic steps on a one page sheet is nice. We put together a “look book” of our pdf patterns so it’s easier to find stuff these days, lol. It would just save me the work.

    1. I have thought about doing an e-book style option, but that is something I would charge $$ for…

  6. Nice! My little just “designed” her kimono off of your earlier pattern…I have a feeling she’ll want this one as well!
    For this kind of pattern, I’m fine with just measurements. The neck piece would be nice, but not necessary. So….do you have exact measurements for grownups yet, or should I win it? 😉

    1. I love that kimono pattern too. I could give you the measurements of a small/med, but I have not worked out other sizes yet.

  7. This top is so cute! In answer to your question, I love your patterns because you have the easy to assemble and cut out pieces. I have the worst luck if I have to trace clothing my girls already own.

  8. Thank you, it looks very nice. I will definitely make my granddaughter a pink one. As to the pattern, I would prefer full printable pieces.

  9. Oh, great and easy tutorial … I will make mommy daughter outfits for sure:)

    1. I love mommy-daughter outfits! I actually bought the same fabric in coral and am planning an adult/v-neck version for myself.

  10. judy marvin says:

    this is soooo cute.. will be trying it… children are beautiful too…

  11. Sandy Harms says:

    Do you sew on the line down the sides where you divided it into 3 sections? Do you sew across the whole shoulder?

  12. Marilyn Beck says:

    This little poncho is beautiful and I would love to make it for my 13 year-old granddaughter. Her favorite color is turquoise. Did you get the matching braid at Jo-Ann’s also?
    Could you please help me understand, “Sew a straight line between the two markings at the shoulder point you marked earlier.” ?

    Thank you.

      1. Sarah McDonnell says:

        mark a line all the way down. Only the middle part is stitched. The bottom part is sewed but not seamed to leave a, lovely fluttery, open slash at the hemline. Space at the top will become the armscye ( is that what it’s called? Really trying to sound like I know something, here! )