Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sewing Saturday - Adapting a Coat for a Special Needs Child

   Every little girl, whether she's standing or sitting in an adaptive stroller, needs a pretty church coat.  Up until now, my granddaughter Lilly, has been wearing a regular coat which we could put on her after picking her up out of her carseat and then, let her wear, while we carried her into the church building.

   But now, even though we are glad she's finally putting on some weight and growing, we've found it's difficult to take her out of the car, put her into her chair, and then put a coat on her. 

   I looked online for an adaptable coat for special needs children, only to find that most of them were made in other countries and consisted of a tent-like cape that would slip over the child's head and drape over the child and chair.  Not very attractive for a cute little three year old!

   I decided to try making one, so I purchased McCall's pattern #5968 and some black fleece and made the little coat I have pictured above.  I put velcro closures on the front, so that it's easily opened, if necessary.

   Then, when the coat was completely finished, I turned it over and cut it all the way open up the back. I then contoured the back so that it's more of a jacket length and there's no bulk that has to be tucked under Lilly. I edged the opening with a fleece, double-fold bias tape that I found at Joanns Fabrics. I put a velcro tab at the neckline and now we can sit Lilly in her chair, slide the coat on like a "snuggie" and velcro it at the neck.  From the front, it looks just like any other little girl's coat!  We can do the same thing once she's fastened in her carseat.

   Of course, when I took it to her, she was sound asleep and I didn't get to take a picture of her wearing it...

Merry Christmas, sweet Lilly Grace!


  1. What a great idea!! Love the coat. Lilly will look beautiful!

  2. What a wonderful idea! A pretty coat for a pretty girl.

  3. You might not be interested in starting a new business, but there is DEFINITELY a niche market for these types of clothing items. The British call it "bespoke" - made just for someone. A beautiful job for a beautiful little lady!

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  5. Thanks, Laura, Texascrow and Cheri!
    Cheri, there is definitely a niche market, but the new baby is due in about 8 weeks so I think this grandmother is going to be too busy to think about a new business!

  6. Oh she will just love it. She is beautiful. You are so smart to make this and it is gorgeous. What a good Grandmother you are!!!

  7. This coat is absolutly beautiful and so little girlish! I adore it.



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