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Goober Pea Pod – size adjustable car seat cape, with 3 sizes of snap on hoods

As a mom of small kids in a cold climate, car seat safety is a big issue. The first time I saw a fleece poncho designed for the car seat, it was like a light bulb going off – what a great idea! A way to keep my child warm while buckling and unbuckling them, and eliminating the need to take jackets on and off out in the cold air.

But after trying a free tutorial, there were things that I didn’t like about the standard circle-with-a-hood-in-the-middle style. For one, in order to make the neck hole big enough to pull it over the head, it left an awful lot of gaping once it was on, letting in cold air and looking rather sloppy.

Next I graduated to a design of my own with snaps down one arm, which allowed the neck to snap shut and stay nice and snug.

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Fleece car seat poncho with snaps down one arm

However, my limited budget and love of expensive fabrics like minky, got me thinking – what if I could create a size adjustable poncho, so that I didn’t have to make new ones for my kids every winter? A few prototypes and some tinkering later, enter the Goober Pea Pod!

The Goober Pea Pod PDF sewing pattern comes with the following options:

-the cape comes in regular or extra tall lengths. Regular would fit a petite child from newborn right up through 5 yrs. Extra tall would be a bit long for most walking 12 month olds, but would give better leg coverage for most 2-5yr olds

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My 4.5 yr old in the regular length – it covers his bum when standing and most of his legs when sitting, but he is fairly petite.

-undo one of the snaps along the arm to create a “sleeve” for arms to come through

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Undo a snap to create a “sleeve” opening!

-the generous fitting snap on hoods come in sizes 0-12m, 2T-3T, and 4T-5T. The two smaller hoods can be adjusted (in how they attach to the cape) for a smaller or bigger neck hole depending on preference

-It can be made in warm and economical fleece, or luxurious minky/chenille.

-It can be made with 2 layers (outer and inner), or with a 3rd hidden layer of fleece in between.

-adorable bear ears can be added to the hoods

-snap covers can be made, to cover the snap studs along the back of neck, in order to wear the cape without a hood.

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The cape has a size adjustable neck hole and can be worn without a hood, with the snap covers (instructions provided).

Please note, the number of snaps to install on this project can seem overwhelming at first. However, the benefits of versatility and functionality are well worth it. It may take some playing around to figure out the right combination to achieve the best fit for your child. But, once you have the right combo, you can leave most of the snaps together, and only undo a few on one side of the hood in order to slip it over the child’s head. There are detailed instructions and photos included in the pattern for not only the snap installation, but also which snaps to match together for each sizing combination.

You can find the pattern for purchase on the Shop page!