Adaptive clothing patterns (wheelchair)

josalDecember 15, 2006

Does anyone know if there are patterns available for a wheelchair-bound person? I'm most interested in outerwear, like capes.

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noticed your post, I did a search on google and there are many sites that have clothing for the disabled, didn't find a pattern, but thinking a regular cape pattern there are several out with the "fleece thing" so popular, the pattern could be adapted, I am thinking of the back, by measuring the length of the torso seated would give you a length, and by cutting a pattern to adapt with that should be an easy flow. I guess I would try it out on a cotton first to see if it fits the needs, Hope this helps, Rene

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 10:31AM
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I have some interest in this, too, so I also did some research. I found a number of companies that sell capes and clothing that they manufacture, but no patterns for purchase. Sorry this is so long; perhaps this will help you find the info you need.

Free Patterns! Unfortunately, no cape patterns.

I was astonished and pleased to find the above site. Follow the links and youÂll find complete patterns (in multiple PDFs that you can download) and assembly instructions for clothing for men and women: Jackets, Pants, Skirts.


Discussions on how to adapt clothing:

From the above website, about capes:
"...Look for warm, waterproof designs that can bridge seasons, with the same design features  deep armholes or raglan sleeves, roominess  as indoor clothing.

A hooded poncho or cape is particularly suitable for protecting a wheelchair user from rain and cold, and can be purchased at camping supply stores. If you design your own, cut it just below waist level at the back to allow enough front length to drape over the knees. Taper the sides, so they wonÂt bunch and catch in the wheels. A zip-in insulated lining can make a rain cape into a cold-weather garment."


Following links: Web sites that sell capes; these sites show pictures of the type of cape you want to make:,11860,12047

The following site in particular has some good pictures of various capes. Click a cape type, then click "View Examples". Lots of good pictures.


Three are books about altering clothing for pysically handicapped persons. Simplicity put one out in 1990, called "Simplicity's Design Without Limits: Designing and Sewing for Special Needs" by M. Dolores Quinn and Renee Weiss Chase; ISBN 0925323004. You can pick up a used copy online at various online resellers for about $10 (just put the ISBN number in a Google search to find copies for sale). There's also a 2002 edition which, for reasons I can't fathom, sells for $50! I haven't used this book, so cannot tell you whether it would be helpful or not.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 5:34PM
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Thank you, dear people, for your helpful information. I will get sewing as soon as the holiday rush is over! Happy Holidays.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 11:51AM
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I've read the above info (which is a couple of years old now) and a few of the websites mentioned no longer exist. My mother is 94 and in a nursing home in a wheelchair. My sister and I are trying to find adaptive clothing patterns to make her clothing since the stuff on the market is very expensive and certainly not substantial.

If you know of any other sites to find adaptive clothing, particularly tops with back openings, dresses with crossover panels opening at the top back, and pants opening at the back - or any other places to find patterns, I'd love to hear about them.

Thanks for any help you can offer.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 1:57AM
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After my mother had a stroke! The nursing staff found it very difficult to redress her after changing her! I bought some in expensive sweat suits! Embroidered a design she would like on the top! I would slit the outside seam of the pants and sew velcro on both sides! So the staff had an easier time to dress her! I also embroidered the same design on the pants so she could see it! Hope this helps

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 11:03AM
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When my Mom ended up wheelchair bound in a home, I took a lot of her regular clothes and did as Janpaq did. The tops (she liked blouses best) I just split up the back to where the back of her bra went and sewed in a tiny hem so it wouldn't fray. The pants could be opened on both sides and velcro'd closed, or I slid a piece of ribbon in the waistband, and the staff loved them. Made things much easier when dressing and undressing her. Hope this helps. When she passed away, we asked if they wanted her clothes, since I didn't think they would be any good for good will bins. Funny, but they only wanted the ones that had been altered.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 2:56PM
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