One of the things I’d like to do on my blog is give a shout out to quality small shops I do business with. I love handmade goods and anything done with excellence and passion. Plus, I know I don’t have the time or skill to make some of the stuff that’s out there, so the people that do, deserve a little pat on the back.
Originally, I planned to write a review about this poncho next winter, since it’s a seasonal item. The other night a woman approached me and asked where I purchased it, so I decided to write a post about this poncho now. I have gotten SO many compliments on this poncho. Maybe I’ll repost this blog next winter just to remind you, and any new readers, of all this poncho’s awesomeness.
As you probably know, one of the rules about car seats is that you cannot put a child in a car seat with his coat on. The problem is coats are so puffy that strapping a kid in a car seat with a coat on leaves a lot of extra slack in the straps. So, if you were in a car accident, the straps wouldn’t properly restrain your child. Obviously, that’s bad news.
I don’t know where you live, but I live in Michigan, where it’s freezing cold for about eight months out of the year. That means a plethora of coats, hats, mittens, blankets, and scarves. If I could just lasso down the sun and carry it in my pocket during the winter, I’d be okay with that. Most northern mothers put coats on their kids in the house, walk the kids to the bitter cold car, remove the coat they just put on, strap the kids in their car seats, and then do their best to use the coats like a blanket in hopes that their kids don’t freeze to death. Even in the car is running and warm, you stand there with the door open letting in all the cold air while trying to strap in your child. In the end, putting their coats on feels pretty pointless. I hate pointless tasks. I also hate having cold children. I needed a solution.
Enter the amazing, versatile, car seat poncho!
I actually saw this idea from a friend a couple of years ago, and it’s brilliant. The idea of the car seat poncho is that kids can wear the poncho while safely buckled in their car seats. Since it’s almost like a blanket, you can pop it over the child’s head, put him in the car seat, and then buckle the car seat underneath the poncho. You never have to take it off, and the kid stays warm!
The problem is I don’t have a sewing machine or sewing skills to make myself a poncho. That’s when I turn to Etsy to save the day! I seriously LOVE Etsy. It’s an online shop made up of handmade goods, small shops, and people ready to make you something just the way you like it! How great is that?
I was researching car seat ponchos on Etsy and came across a car seat poncho from My Grandma Sews. I chose this shop because My Grandma Sews added several details to her ponchos that a lot of other shops left out. Elaine (that’s her name) was such a dream to work with. I had several questions for her, and she responded right away. To pick the fabric, Elaine let me choose from a selection of patterns she already had or select a pattern online from Joann Fabric. I also made a couple unusual requests, but she was so accommodating and still finished my order quickly. My custom order was completed, shipped, and arrived on my doorstep in a week and a half. Elaine even included a couple business cards and a sweet little note thanking me for my business. The quality of her work is amazing. You can tell that My Grandma Sews is great at what she does!
There are so many great little details about this poncho. First, it’s a poncho, so Desirae can easily wear it when I transfer her to a car seat or stroller, and I never have to take it off. I love the little hood attached to keep her head warm. The hood is roomy, so it actually covers her whole head. Elaine also puts a set of snaps on each side of the poncho so they can be used like sleeves when the kid is out and about. The poncho also includes two slits for arm holes in the front. This allows your child to have his arms out while in the car seat. There is also a small flap that covers and secures the top of the front zipper. Desirae is a year old, but I bought her a size 2T. It’s made in such a way that it’s okay if the poncho is too big so your kids can wear the same poncho for a couple years.
If you are looking for a poncho just like mine, there are two unusual requests I made. First, I requested a faux swirl fur on the inside of the poncho. My Grandma Sews typically uses two layers of fleece. I wanted something that felt more cozy and didn’t cause all that extra hair static. Second, I requested a two-way zipper on the front. Having the two way zipper allows me better access to the car seat buckles without putting the poncho in Desirae’s face or totally unzipping the thing. Also, the zipper allows me to use the poncho while wearing Desirae in the baby carrier. I can put the poncho on her, and leave the bottom half of the poncho unzipped so that it falls nicely over the carrier and out of Desirae’s face.
If you live somewhere cold, I’m telling you, you need a car seat poncho. Go check out My Grandma Sews, and I’m sure she can make you one as awesome as mine! You can find My Grandma Sews on Etsy, Facebook, or her personal website!
Have a great weekend, and happy shopping!