How to make a Child Cape or Car Seat Poncho {free pattern}

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This adorable cape is made from cuddle fleece – it’s like wearing a cuddle blanket!  This cape is so cute! I love the cloth too. Free pdf sewing pattern - I so want to make one for a sweet little someone I know. Such a great sewing DIY idea.With the soft hood that has the option of adding bear ears, cat ears or horns, this cape is so cute on little ones.  The design of the cape also works well with car seats, allowing restrains to sit beneath the cape, keeping the bulk out of the way for child’s comfort.  Please be aware that this tutorial is 3 pages long – be sure to look for navigation to the next page at the bottom of the page.

For this project you will need:

1.5 yards (1 2/3 yards for 6 – 9 size) cuddle fleece 

In the example below I used Mar Bella Ibiza Fresa with the pocket in Barcelona Cuddle Fresa by Shannon Fabrics.

1.5 yards satin (1 2/3 yards for 6 – 9 size)



Jersey ballpoint needle

walking foot

Sewing Essentials (scissors, pins, etc.)

Disclaimer:  Fabric was provided to me free of charge by Shannon Fabrics to write about.  I will be honest that you working with cuddle fabric can be difficult if you are a beginner. I recommend getting a few other projects under your belt before working with cuddle fabric.

Download the free pattern, tutorial below!

You can get a free copy of Adobe reader here– it is the ONLY reader I recommend. By downloading  you are agreeing to pattern terms of use. Click the picture of the pattern envelope to download the .pdf !  Fleece Fun’s patterns are free and this site will never ask for your credit card information.

child size 3 to 5child cape feature 6 to 9child cape 1 to 3 featurebaby 0 to 3

Step 1a – Assemble the pattern and cut out pieces – body

child cape0031 child cape0036child cape0033child cape0034child cape0035child cape0046child cape0047child cape0048child cape0049You will need to assemble the pattern. For instructions on how to assemble the pattern click here.  First you will need to cut two squares of fabric for a child sizes6- 9 you will need two 28 by 28 inch squares,  3 – 5 you will need two 25 by 25 inch (63.5 cm by 63.5 cm) squares out of cuddle fleece.  For a Baby 0-3 months you will want two 16 by 16 inch (40.5 cm by 40.5cm).  For 1- 3 years cut two 20 by 20 inches squares.  Make sure they are perfectly square by checking the square by taking it corner to corner.  Next  place the Poncho back curve Negative in on one of the squares ( this should be placed where you want the top of the cape to be).  Line up the pattern piece as seen in the picture and cut out.  Now it’s time to take the 2nd square and place the Poncho front V Negative on the top corner and cut it out (see picture).  Then with the front piece we’re going to take one more additional step of taking out ruler and rotary blade cut the square in half using the bottom of the V and bottom corner to line up your ruler, making two triangles.

Step 1b – continue to cut out pattern – hood

child cape0039child cape0041 child cape0050child cape0053Now it’s time to cut out the hood and pocket pieces.  The hood has a couple of design options for you.  You can make it so it is can have ears, or it can be more simple and not have the ear/horn option.   In the example I cut 4 of the hood front from cuddle fabric, and 2 of the hood back from cuddle fabric, and 2 of the hood back from the lining material ( this was to make it so the lining wasn’t visible when the hood was on, but kept it from getting too bulky).   I am adding bear ears to this cape so I am going cut out 2 of the inner ear and two of the outer ear. Note:   You have the option to cut out the hood in only two pieces – Just cut two of the full hood from the cuddle and 2 from the lining, or you can cut the exterior (cuddle)  with 2 for the front 2 of the back and cute 2 of the full hood for the lining.  Any of these combinations will work.  If this is confusing to you, disregard this paragraph and just follow along with what I do. =)

Step 1c – continue to cut out pattern – pockets

child cape0052The last thing to cut out are the front pockets.  While these aren’t essential to the garment – they are really cute and not hard to make so i think it’s worth the time.  On folded fabric cut out 2 of the pockets.

Step 2 – Sew and mount the pockets on to the cape

child cape0063child cape0064child cape0065child cape0066child cape0067child cape0014child cape0016pocketWe’re going to pin the pockets to finish the edges and then mount them to the cape.  with Right side facing down, turn under the tabs all the way around the pocket.  Sew down using a .25 inch (.75 cm)  top-stitch . Then taking the two front pieces of the cape, place halfway down the cape.  Pin on.  Then sew on using a zig zag stitch along the edge of the pocket.  Be sure not to sew down the diagonal section as this is where hands go in.  Do not bother sewing the section along the edge as it will be taken care of when we sew on the lining. I used a walking foot for the pocket and mounting it.   Set front  pieces aside.  Click on images in gallery to see steps.

Continue on to  Page 2>>

Angel Hickman Peterson

Angel Hickman Peterson

Creator, Editor and Author at Fleece Fun
Angel has a bachelor’s degree in Film Studies from the University of Utah, with a professional background is in film, television, radio and ad production. Angel currently divides her time between her small production company Angel Dawn Productions, her online sewing and crafting blog, her two little girls, baby boy, husband and on very good days also manages to get the dishes done.
Angel Hickman Peterson
Angel Hickman Peterson

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  1. Is it alright to make a few of these ponchos to send to a charity in the Applachian mountains. I made dresses and would like to add a poncho to keep them warm on their way to schoo.l.

      • Thank you so much, we are going into winter here in SA, I have two big kids and 2 little ones 4 and 7, and cant make 1 for one and not the other. I look forward to your patterns. and cant wait to make on this weekend,( i will say its for me neice) so thank you again.

  2. I love your patterns!! Although, I am having a little problem with the cape
    for baby or child. Is the hood a whole separate entity?
    I don’t see any instructions for attachment to the cape itself.
    Thank you.

  3. Any chance you will be putting up a pattern for a 1 year old soon? I need to make one for my almost 1 year old very soon!

  4. I made one of these for my two year old niece, its a lil big but it looks great and she can grow into it! My other niece however is in tears because she does not have one of her own. I need a pattern for a childs ten/twelve. Can you help?

  5. Hello this pattern is so beautiful I really want to make one for my daughter, if I don’t use cuddle fabric and just regular fleece is the walking foot necessary? I’m fairly new to sewing so I have a very basic machine hopefully I can still make this for my daughter

  6. I looked at the pattern and the instructions, see you put pockets but I don’t see openings forr the arms to come out am I missing something? Or is it not supposed to have openings for arms?

  7. Hi Angel,
    I absolutely love your site and have made several gifts using your patterns and they are always hits. When will you have the child’s size 6/7 up? My daughter’s birthday is December 16th and she’s been begging me for this cape since you first put up the pattern. Please help me make her birthday perfect.

  8. Oh I love this! I would absolutely LOVE to see an adult size too so I can make our daughter and granddaughter a set and possibly even one for me, imagine how cute it would be for all three of us wearing them! 🙂

  9. I too would love to see adult sizes. Is that something you are considering doing? It would be a great girlfriend gift for Christmas.

  10. Hi Angel,

    Thanks so much for the great pattern! For the child size 1-3, how big should the square be for the body of the poncho?



  12. I left two comment but i have not seen them posted. I do not know if I’m doing something wrong. I would like to know the size of the square to cut, for the 1-3 years old size. Thank you. Vera

  13. Ohhhh…. Me too. I am waiting anxiously for a bigger-than-five size. We get -40 here, and I am a fanatic about using carseats safely. I’m not quite smart enough to adjust the pattern myself. Any chance it will be available in the next few weeks??

  14. Hi… in the pattern instructions, what size square do I need for the body of the poncho in the 1 – 3 years size? I am going to make three for my triplet grandchildren. I will use a fleece for the one side, and a fleece-backed nylon for the lining. We’re figuring that the nylon will help cut the wind… But I can’t start them unless I have the square size for the 1-3 year size. Thank you

  15. WHat size square of fleece do I need for the body of the size 1 – 3 car seat poncho? It is not listed in the instructions. Thank You

  16. Hi Angel I love love love your site I was wondering about the size 3-5 when I click it it takes me to the 1 -3 thanks so much is advance

  17. Hi & thanks very much for posting your wonderful patterns! I clicked on the 3-5 year but got the pattern for 1-3 years, when you have a moment, will you check? thanks!

  18. any plan for a 6 to 9 month 🙂 its all i need I might can cute down the 1-3 years if i have to 🙂 your patterents are great keep up the good work

  19. Thank you for this! I was going to get something from a big box store for our princess but this way, I can customize it. I may do a trial run with some leftover fleece and some old T-shirts I got from the Salvation Army. I’ve been looking for something that I can have her wear in the car so we don’t have to bundle her up in her car seat. Good luck with your other uploads!

  20. i am making the age 1-3 size for my grand-daughter with the cat ears. i don’t understand the part of the directions where it says turn in the edges of the ear and baste down the middle. i believe in the pictures you show a bears ear as an example. can you help explain this more clearly for me?

    • Basically you’re making the cat ear appear like it’s curling in. Take the two bottom ends and have them come in in the middle. For a better visual of how to make the cat ears you can watch a different video tutorial that uses the same ears on this page – . If you look at the video starting at 2:20 it shows in detail how to make the cat ears ( I think this will be easier than me trying to explain it to you.)

  21. Love your detailed directions & patterns. Looking forward to making this for our granddaughter. Plan to use if for a Beach Cover-up, as well. Have you ever made it without a lining or using Terry Cloth rather than fleece?

  22. Thanks for posting all of this! I am going to try and make a giraffe one for my son! Thanks again I really appreciate it

  23. I’m making the car seat poncho. Since fleece stretches one direction and not the other is there a certain way you need to cut the pieces? For the pattern pieces I was going to arrange like it is on the printout/pattern, but what about the 2 squares you cut out first? Should they stretch side to side so you can kind of wrap it around the child??? Thanks so much!

  24. Thank you so much! I cannot imagine how much time you have spent on the patterns in all the different sizes and how helpful you are responding to comments! Your a rock star!

  25. I just LOVE this cape. Every thing about it is just beautiful. I have searched for months for a cute cape pattern and this exceeds what I have been looking for. You have the best detailed tutorials that are very helpful to some one with little experience in sewing (ME). I been wanting to make a “dragon” cape also for the little guy so with some tweaking this pattern is perfect for that also ! Thanks so much for the hard work you put into your tutorials & videos, they really give the frustrated beginner hope

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