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You’ll never believe what fashion’s got lined up this season! Come on, take a guess? It’s definitely the season for warm toppers and layering. Ponchos anyone? In fact, every fashionable soul has been clamoring for its big comeback since we can’t even remember. How about this 2021? Most definitely a big check for your wardrobe. If you don’t have any idea what kind to put on, find out how to make a Clint Eastwood poncho right here.
Two Easy Guides on How to Make a Clint Eastwood Poncho
One of the most iconic celebrity memorabilias ever worn by a celebrity on the silver screen is Clint Eastwood’s poncho from the “Dollars Trilogy”. You probably wouldn’t believe that nobody even knows where it came from or who designed it.
As a matter of fact, it was just a replacement for the poncho that Clint Eastwood was supposed to wear for the movie. And then, you know what they say, the rest is history.
As you may have guessed, nobody could even describe it in detail — size, measurement, design, or any other. What we do know is that it’s made with 100% wool.
Needless to say, there isn’t any guide on how to make a Clint Eastwood poncho that can describe in detail what was done to make the costume for The Man With No Name. This guide right here is a decent one that you can follow to get the poncho you want at the style and size that’s ideal for you.
There are two ways you can get it done. Let’s start with the easier version.
The easiest way to get the look is to raid your closet or that of any of your family members (friends?). When you find a poncho, lucky for you! Just keep in mind that you’ll likely find ponchos cut into different shapes. Ideally, you’ll find a poncho with a square-cut design if you’re going all out Clint on this.
Once you have that on hand, prepare to work those hands of yours because there’s plenty of measuring and cutting and sewing to do. Now, get to work and follow these steps:
Step 1: Get a poncho you can find and put it on. Decide if it fits you well or, if you want longer arms or longer length. Write down how many inches or so you prefer your poncho to be from all sides.
If you don’t want to look like a square-shaped mascot whenever you put it on, we strongly suggest that you carve out a little bit of bodice around the chest and hips. For this, we hope you’ve got one on hand that’s ideally shaped like this.
Step 2: Get the fabric of your choice. Again, if you’re trying to imitate Clint Eastwoood’s poncho, you need 100% wool fabric in army green shade. It’ll probably be too difficult to find the exact same print as his so just getting the correct fabric and shade should make you happy.
Of course, you can always choose any other fabric or shade to make this project work for you. Just an important note on fabrics to keep in mind: fabrics behave a bit differently when you work on them.
Some may require more care because they might rip at the slightest pull. Some fabrics will work well with certain sewing machines only, while others might behave better when hand-sewn. Moral of the story, make sure you have some familiarity or at least some idea about the fabric you choose to work on.
Step 3: Start measuring. Spread your fabric on the table. Flatten the poncho you found and set it on top of your fabric.
Using a textile pencil or fabric chalk, trace around against your fabric. If you’re making a couple of size adjustments, this is where you should take the notes that you jotted down in Step 1 and add in your own measurements to the traced outline. Don’t forget to redraw the lines after you’ve marked the adjusted measurements.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to fold along the edges so it’s always best to add about 3 cm or so from the line you’re tracing to make sure there’s enough room for you to make those folds without making the poncho tighter around you. Again, you’ll have to consider your own preference and body measurements against the poncho you are using as a reference.
Step 4: Start cutting. Cut around the trace you made. Make sure that the fringe, if you chose such fabric, are on either side of your fabric cutout.
If you want to make sure you’re making the right cuts, it’s always best to use tracing paper first. That way, you’ll not just be able to create a pattern but also test out how your ideas are likely going to work on your fabric.
Step 5: Start sewing. Refer back to the made poncho. Stitch where you see the stitches. Sew together the front and back at the seams up to below the armpits. Add edging all around your cutout except the top part where you intend the neck hole to be.
Step 6: Measure, draw, and cut out the neck hole. Depending on your preference, you might want that really tight or slightly loose around your neck. You might also choose for it to be round neck, v-cut, or square cut. It really depends on how you see your vision for this poncho coming together.
Don’t forget to fold and add edging around the neck as well to keep the fibers of your fabric from coming apart.
In this version, you start with nothing. Only go for this option if you absolutely can’t find any made poncho around your home.
Step 1: Take your measurements. Don’t be afraid to start from scratch. All you really need is to cut out a square or rectangle from the fabric of your choice.
So, simply measure how long you want your poncho to be from the center of your body. The end point should be by your neck. Drag the measuring tape vertically down to your desired length.
Next, take a horizontal measurement, that is, from your right arm to your left arm. Decide how low you want it hanging from your shoulders. This will become the width of your square poncho.
All the measurements you have to double so it covers your front and your back. You may have to work on one pattern for the front then trace the same to create a symmetrical shape for the back.
Step 2: Carve out your neck hole. Measure from the edge of both shoulders towards the center of your neck. Assign measures for and trace your neck hole. Just a reminder, Clint Eastwood’s poncho is v-neck. Follow the same if you prefer your neck cut the same way.
Step 3: Trace and cutout. For this step, it’s ideal to have a tracing paper or manila paper. Lay the paper flat on the table. Start marking the measurements you’ve taken of your body.
Start connecting the dots to create the edges. We strongly suggest leaving an allowance of about 3 cm outside your measure before you trace. This is to add an allowance for folding and sewing the edges.
Once done, cut along the frame. Keep in mind that you’re doing this for the front and back.
Step 4: Cut the fabric. Take your paper cutout and place it on top of your choice of fabric. Use your fabric pencil or tailor’s chalk to trace around.
Once done, start cutting. If you’re not familiar with your fabric or if it’s your first time to work on this kind of fabric, you better observe how it behaves when cut. In which case, it will be best to make small cuts than big ones, and work slower. We advise you to pay close attention once you start cutting the neck area.
Step 5 (Optional): Draw up a fabric design. If you’re all good with the fabric you used, skip this step and go straight to Step 6.
The best way to get the very same print on Clint Eastwood’s poncho on yours is to draw it on your fabric. This technique will only work on plain fabric.
Draw the pattern on Clint Eastwood’s poncho on your fabric. Get yourself a fabric paint and use it to trace and fill in the pattern you just drew.
A good alternative would be to print out the pattern on your printer using transfer paper. With the aid of a heat press machine, you can imprint the design from the transfer paper onto your fabric.
It might not be the smartest way to get it done, obviously, because of the considerable cost involved. But, if you can find a shop that can customize this for you, that would definitely be the next best thing. If you do decide to take this route however, make sure to check if the heat press will work on your chosen fabric.
Step 6: Fold and sew. Fold the fabric twice along the edges. Use ball headed pins to hold the folds in place before you start sewing.
Do the same for the neck area. Add a few layers of visible stitching around the neck area if you want. Make sure to trace using your chalk or pencil first before you do.
If you can’t find it online, you better get those hands working! This guide on how to make a Clint Eastwood poncho is the next best thing.
It’s almost a reflection of what Clint Eastwood said on screen, “You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.” (from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”).
Want to be the one holding a loaded gun? You better start sewing that poncho first!