Project: Apres Surf Poncho

Surfing is a big sport in Northern California, but, unlike Southern California, it can be cold up here. Surfing is done in a wetsuit. Then, when you get back to your car, you need to get the wetsuit off and get something dry and warm on to drive home. To that end, I was commissioned by a good friend to make a “surf poncho”.
By the old surf mobile

Apres Surf Poncho


  • 3 yards of terry cloth
  • coordinating thread
  • thin strip of coordinating fabric, or bias tape
  • scissors
  • sewing machine

1. Wash the fabric first. I am not sure what they put on towels when they make them, but I think there is some sort of wax or oil or something that sits on the surface. New towels are never absorbent or yummy until after their first wash. And that is my two cents on that.
2. Check the cut edges, and straighten/level them if need be. (I have been in fabric stores where they cut the fabric carefully, like Britex Fabrics. In some other stores, it looks like they were texting while cutting.)
3. On the short edges, fold over 1/2 inch, then 1 inch, pin, and sew hem. This will be the bottom hem of the front and back of your poncho.
4. Fold the poncho in half (you are matching up the two ends you just hemmed at the bottom and you will have a fold at the top) and sew the sides. Leave 15 inches open at the top near the fold for easy arm access. Sew down 11 inches.  This leaves 25 inches open at the “skirt” portion on the bottom. In the arm hole and the bottom (from the knee to the ankle) you will want to “finish the edge”. Just take the selvedge, and turn it down, and make that the hem. (see above picture for hem detail and selvedge turn down.)
surf poncho
So you have arm hole (hemmed), seam, leg slit (hemmed)

Create the neck hole:
5. Fold the terry in half and mark the center on the folded edge.  Cut a hole 6″ across, using your mark as the center. The cut should be a shallow curve in the back and a little deeper curve in the front. Then fold again and mark the center of the front of the hole you just made to make a straight cut down to open the neck up further.
6. At this point, you could just turn the terry down and hem the neckline, but I took it a step further.  I used some fabric that said “water” to me, and made a little double fold binding.

I did the binding in two pieces, one around the neck hole itself, and a second piece down the front opening cut.

This is a big poncho. It does not have “hanger appeal”, but it is a great, functional, soft, fun cover-up. It is the Northern California answer to the Snuggie!
I may make another one for me, and just wear it around the house!
Have fun.
And Hang Ten!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at justcraftyenough AT yahoo DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2012 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish
12 years ago by in Needlecraft , Projects , Sewing , Sewing Projects | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
4 Comments to Project: Apres Surf Poncho
    • Lori.
    • I have been wanting something exactly like this. Thank you so much! I am going to make one for the beach and one for a bathrobe/mozy ’round the house robe. Wahoo.

  1. Pingback: Tutorial: Long towel poncho cover-up · Sewing |

Leave A Response

* Required