These are instructions for making a rain poncho for hiking and backpacking, which can also be used with two hiking poles as a tarp-tent.
4 yards of 1.1 oz silicone-impregnated nylon. The roll is about 64 inches wide, so you can make a cape of this width without seams.
2 feet of ¾-inch nylon webbing for corners.
3 inches of 1-1/2-inch nylon webbing for grommets, in center of long sides.
3 feet of shock cord, bootlace, or similar for hood drawstring.
1 Cord Lock for drawstring.
3 feet of ¾-inch Velcro tape.
1 tube of silicone seam sealer. Use only silicone seam sealer on silicone-impregnated nylon. Other seam sealers may not stick.
One source of material is Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics: (www.owfinc.com)
This lightweight silnylon is completely waterproof and strong, but is kind of hard to work with because it is slippery. Use a needle and thread intended for lightweight synthetics.
This fabric has no "right" or "wrong" side, so you don't have to worry about which side is going to end up on the outside or inside of the poncho when sewing it together. For clarity, (or if you are using a coated fabric) I have shaded the "out" side of the material in the drawings.
___ Cut out hood, visor and cape pieces. (See Illustrations #1 and #2.) Right and left hood pieces, and two visor pieces are required. The visor pattern shows one-half of one visor piece.
___ Sew the hood halves together, front and back. (Illustration #3.)
___ Sew the two visor pieces together along the front edge only. (#4.)
___ Unfold the two visor halves and hem the ends. (#5.)
___ Attach one edge only of visor to hood. (#6.)
___ Fold the visor so it is a double thickness of material, and stitch to form ¾" wide laceway. (#7. 1.) Insert lace and then double stitch outer side of visor to hood. (#7. 2.) Finally, stitch around the outside of the visor, near the edge. (#7. 3.)
___ Attach the hood to the cape. (#8.)
___ Cut ¾" webbing into 4 six-inch lengths, melt the ends in a candle flame to prevent unraveling, and attach loops at each corner of the cape. (#10.) Attach as shown to make a strong loop that won't pull out in a wind.
___ Make two 1-1/2" square grommets from the 1-1/2" webbing. Melt a hole in the center of each grommet, large enough to fit the tip of your hiking pole. (About ¾" diameter.) Use a nail that has been heated with a torch. Sew these grommets to the center of each long side of the cape. (#11.)
After the grommets are sewn in, use the hot nail to melt out the silnylon from the grommet holes. DO NOT GET ANY FLAME NEAR THE SILNYLON. IT IS NOT FLAME PROOF.
___ Cut five 1-1/2 inch strips of Velcro and sew the hook-pieces at intervals across the rear hem of the cape, on the inside. Sew the matching felt-pieces across the inside of the cape to match the hook-pieces, about 48" up from the hem, so the rear of the cape can be folded up under in the rear when you aren't carrying a large pack.
___ Put the poncho on and have someone help you mark the position for a Velcro fastener on the edge of each side, under the arms. They should be positioned about waist-high. Cut two Velcro strips about 2" long and sew the hook-pieces of each to the inside edges of the front part of the cape. Sew the two felt-pieces on the outside of the rear hem of the cape to match. Cut two ADDITIONAL 2" felt-pieces of Velcro and sew them 24 inches below (toward the rear) of the cape from the first ones, again on the outside hem. These allow you to close the sides of the cape when you have the rear extended to cover a large backpack.
___ Seal the hood seams with silicon seam sealer, following the instructions on the tube, and YOU'RE DONE!
Roy Robinson - 2/22/01