Ponchos again!

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No, not that I’ve ever posted ponchos, but I’m seeing them a lot again lately in stores and on people, and they could be a great doll project!

In some cultures, especially those with long wool-weaving traditions, ponchos are a traditional, necessary outer garment to deal with cold night temperatures and may even serve as blankets.  This week, we’re focusing on two types of ponchos common to South and Central America, the awayo (also spelled aguayo) and quechquemitl.  Both of these are traditionally handwoven on a backstrap loom, with the fiber and pattern changing based on location.  The awayo is a garment from the Andes, traditionally worn in Peru, Bolivia and northern Chile, but also produced on a more commercial scale and sold in other countries in the region as well.

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(background image with llamas from http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/)

The Nancy vote was overwhelmingly in favor of more for her!  One outfit I was excited to recreate for Nancy was called “Andes” and included an awayo-like garment made from commercial fabric with a bias-bound neckline and grommets to cinch in the waist – not very authentic!  The awayo you see her wearing below was handwoven by me, with the pattern done in a weaving structure called “pebble weave”.  It is traditional to that area, and the patterned part is hand-manipulated (as opposed to loom-controlled) by switching the necessary colors in every row to produce a design that appears in opposite colors on the underside.

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You can see some traditional weavers setting up a warp and some of their gorgeous colorways here.  If you have at least basic weaving knowledge, you can learn how to do this type of weave with only a 2-shaft loom here.   I think the pattern I used in Nancy’s awayo might actually be from her second ebook, also available in the patternfish link.

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In  Guatemala and parts of Mexico, the traditional poncho-type garment is called the quechquemitl and has a quite different structure that ends up looking a little more stylish, since its cut drapes the fabric in a different way.  For dolls, the difference is negligible, but it does drape a little better at human scale since it’s not being worn on the straight grain, like the awayo.

Get the tutorial for making both ponchos here

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11 responses »

  1. Yes, ponchos do seem to be back this year. I had heard earlier that they would be “in” for fall, so unearthed some old knitting patterns and made matching child and AG poncho/hat sets for Christmas. They were definitely a hit. I’m not sure I’m ready to try weaving, but may try to find a suitable fabric to sew a couple more.

  2. Those are great ideas for ponchos! You have so many talents! Not only can you sew and build things, but you can also weave beautifully! I think H4H Zelia and Consuelo would enjoy one of those!

  3. Love the poncho come back. I learned to crochet in college, and we all made ponchos. That was in the 70’s.
    Now I know what to do with the woven belts I brought back from Peru years ago. Poncho here we come. (Wouldn’t be destroying anything, because they are way long anyway and there would still be plenty left for a belt.)

  4. Happy New Year; hope your Christmas was awesome and that Santa was good to you! I’ve been seeing ponchos everywhere this year also. Thank you so much for this pattern so that our dolls can also be in fashion.

  5. Hi:
    I wanted to thank you for posting the bidy measurements for the Wellie Wisher dolls, I really appreciate it. I purchased your 4-Season bundle on Etsy and I’m really looking forward to sewing those pieces.

    I read somewhere that the feet are 54mm, (just over 2″), and I saw some shoe patterns for the 18″ dolls that were 2″ long. I wanted to crochet some shoes for my grandniece’s new Wellie and I’m curious if you know if the feet are essentially the same size (at least for a fitted, stretch slipper) on the 18″ AG and the 14.5″AG dolls, that is, slightly over 2″ long?

  6. I wanted to tell you that the Owl Cape for the Wellie Wishers (July 7th post) is the best pattern I’ve ever seen for a doll. Really excellent design, can’t wait to make it!

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