DIY Wheelchair Coat with an Open Back
Finding adaptive clothing for wheelchairs can be difficult. Especially for an almost teenage boy who needs lots of options to choose from! Today I am sharing a tutorial for how I created an easy open back wheelchair coat that is not hard at all to sew. This will let you pick any coat off the rack at any store and turn it into a DIY wheelchair coat.
What does adaptive clothing mean?
Adaptive clothing is clothing that has been adapted in some way to meet the needs of differently abled people. This can be clothing that is easy to remove that has extra zippers, magnets, velcro, or snaps. It takes into account the needs of people who have limited use of their extremities and people who are in wheelchairs.
Adaptive clothing is meant to help differently abled individuals have more independence to dress themselves. Magnetic closures are frequently used because they are much easier to close than a traditional button.
Adaptive clothing may also worn by people with sensory issues. An adaptive shirt or coat for someone with a sensory issue might be weighted to better meet their needs. There are a wide variety of people who may benefit from this type of clothing and a wide variety of ways to adapt clothing.
Supplies for the wheelchair winter coat:
Coat – You can use almost any coat that you find at the store or online. If you use a down coat you will lose some of the down and it will be a bit messy, but it is still doable.
Coordinating binding fabric – I used a soft fleece fabric that blends almost exactly with the coat. You However this would be a good place to play with color, you could pick a contrasting color.
How to make a wheelchair coat
- Open the coat and lie it flat. Use your measuring tape or ruler to find the middle of the back of the coat.
- Mark along the middle line using pins or chalk. Cut a straight line along your marked middle line. This cut should go from the very bottom all the way to the top and through the collar.
- Measure the length of the cut edge. Cut two strips of your coordinating fabric that measures 2″ by the edge measurement plus 1″. For example, if your cut edge measures 30″, you will cut two strips of coordinating fabric that measure 31″ x 2″.
- Fold the short edge of the coordinating fabric up 1/2″ on the top and on the bottom. You can stitch this 1/2″ in place, press it, or just pin it. If you’re using cotton, fold the strip in half longways, press the folded edge. If you’re using fleece, as I have done, do not fold the fabric in half long ways.
- Lie the cotton fabric strip raw edges facing the raw edge of the coat, on the right side of the cut edge of the coat. Sew in place using a scant 1/4″ straight stitch. For fleece (or non fraying fabric,) place one raw edge along the raw edge of the coat and sew in place.
- Fold the strip over to cover the raw edge of the coat. Stitch in place on the back side using a zig zag stitch to catch the edge of the fabric strip.
VIDEO adaptive coat for wheelchair users
Pin DIY Wheelchair Coat
DIY Wheelchair Coat
- Sewing Machine
- Rotary Cutter
- Straight Edge Ruler
- 1 package Magnets
- 1/2 yard Coordinating Fabric
- 1 Store bought Coat or Jacket
- Cut the back of your coat apart down the middle.
- Cut a strip of fabric the length of the coat back plus 1".
- Fold the short edges of the fabric up 1/2".
- Fold the strip in half longways. Press.
- Lie the fabric strip on the right side of the coat. The raw edges of the strip should meet the raw edge of the coat. Sew in place using a scant 1/4" straight stitch.
- Fold the strip over the raw edge of the coat. Sew in place along the folded edge.
- Attach the magnet by creating a pocket or just sewing the magnets to the two top sides of the coat.