Oliver + S

Lengthening the sleeves

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    Profile photo of cybele727cybele727 @cybele727

    Hi all,

    I have had an unusual request. And while I don’t normally sew for others, there are good reasons I am entertaining this.

    I have a friend whose daughter has sensory issues. (As my daughter has these, trying to accommodate them in dressing is a great challenge and arouses both my sympathy and empathy.)

    The cape would be a great solution to a child who simply cannot stand the restricted feelings that come with a winter coat.

    So a couple of issue:

    1) Can I lengthen the arms a bit while keeping the cape line? This would be a substitute for a winter coat. Not ideal, but is better than refusing a coat altogether.

    2) She needs weight. We joke about how if it were like an xray apron, she would be thrilled. Basically it can be heavy but needs to be loose and soft. I think the arm mobility is the issue.

    So what types of inner lining do you suggest that would give both extra warmth and weight?

    The outside can be wool. The inside fleece. But the inner layer? Something heavy for a bit of a compression type feel.

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    Profile photo of TamaraTamara @justsewit

    Hi there Cybele,

    In answer to the question could the sleeves be lengthened, I guess if you sat down and really nutted this out you could possibly find a way. From my understanding it looks to be laid out on the fabric in a similar fashion to that of the firefly jacket, so I am wondering if the firefly could be made cape like to take advantage of those wonderful and much needed sleeves?

    I have the patterns for both but as yet have made neither so as to construction I can’t help there.

    The first thought that came to mind regarding padding wise was of course the quilters wadding – warm and natural or warm and white, made of cotton and warm but not thick and heavy. I am wondering if adding weights in the inner lining could help on that score?

    Sorry, it probably sounds less than helpful, I am at a loss as to what could be suitable and weighted at the same time.

    Oh another though which is probably one you’ve already considered is that sizing up to accommodate for all the layers would be somewhat of a must.

    Hope this helps you

    xT

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    Profile photo of with love Heidiwith love Heidi @with love Heidi

    What about the Red Riding Hood Cape from LTTS? With a bit of extra length if needed?

    Have you got any of the old style heavy wool blankets? Would one of these work as an inner heavy layer, and it would also add warmth.

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    Profile photo of MaggieMaggie @Maggie

    There are weighted garments for kids with sensory issues. I made a weighted blanket for my daughter–6 pounds. I used poly pellets. They are used in doll making and are washable. I’m not sure if you would want to add them, but I thought I’d mention it as an option.

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    Profile photo of melelizameleliza @meleliza

    Perhaps sizing up would be a simpler way of getting more coverage? As for weight – and those X-ray things are in fact oddly comforting, as are the warm blankets they put on you in the hospital after you’ve given birth – a heavy yet drapy kind of twill might do it for the inner layer. Like soft denim or gabardine? Or maybe you could find a heavy ponte?

    My middle one is very sensitive and difficult. Lots of breakdowns in the toddler years about seams in so is and coats and mittens not be just right. Ugh, it was awful. And it’s so hard to know what the problem is when they can’t tell you. But after about 5′ it started to get better. He’s still sensitive and difficult but he’s better a coping with it and better at describing the problem. Also, we have gotten better at dealing with it! It’s very kind if you to try and help.

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    Profile photo of cybele727cybele727 @cybele727

    Thanks for your suggestions. I will look at the red riding hood cape. And see if they have an old army blanket around that I can cut and dice up!

    I don’t mind helping. With my 4 year old, we have seams and tags, and long sleeve issues. OMG the sleeves. “Push dem up mommy, up. Get it off mommy, up, off.” As she flaps her arms. It would be cute and funny, if it weren’t a source of distress and pain for her.

    I get a 3/4 on her. And there are many discussions in our now 30 degree F weather about needing coverage. I chant to her, “just for the car ride. You can take it off as soon as we get there.” That girl is stripping sweaters and coats before the door closes when we arrive.

    We also have the most beautiful coat she resists because it is too heavy and restricts her arms. It is a total meltdown if it goes on. That binding feeling under the arms and across the back is something she can’t stand. She’s the anti-touch child. (With the exception of mommy, who appears to be her own personal sensory compression vest.)

    So when a friend asked for help for her 11 year old with Tourette’s, I said sure. I can more easily solve the sensory clothing issues my daughter has compared to most people. I just make ’em! And watching a child have a completely preventable meltdown because of something so “easily” fixed. Well, now… Plus if I can help a pre-teen girl more easily navigate those treacherous waters by preventing an attack of tics due to a sensory overload, well that is just a bonus!

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    Profile photo of cybele727cybele727 @cybele727

    And, I would like to point out, that would make a series of interesting blog articles. How to construct clothes/what to keep in mind when constructing clothes/ how to customize or modify for the child with a sensory integration disorder.

    Many mothers who deal with children like this would gladly learn to sew if they knew it would help them make their child more comfortable.

    Think about it… How to choose a fabric. How to handle seams. The weight of the garment. Where/how to add ease if your child hates tightness. The Sensory Seamstress. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    Profile photo of needlewomanneedlewoman @needlewoman

    Good luck, Cybele – you are a truly splendid person to agree to do this for your friend especially given two kids and lawyer work!!

    Despite the fact that the stuff gives me the shivers, I know a lot of people (and children) love minki fabric. Recently on Flickr, somebody lined a CC Kestrel coat with minki – cosy and nice to feel. I guess it depends on the particular sensory issues involved. I know what you mean about the x-ray blanket. I wonder if an outdoor store might offer inspiration for material. Thinking about horse blankets for similar weight to x-ray blanket. And I think writing/blogging about the experience could be extremely valuable/useful to other parents. I must admit I’ve never heard of this particular disorder (except via your descriptions) but know from long experience about the wide variety of kids’ likes and dislikes – to the point of mania – in the business of actually “wearing” clothes. Most parents will tell you that it can does their heads in. Interesting, that most of us grow out of it, along with hating vegetables. I’m looking fwd to hearing about your problem solving.

    Fiona

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    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    I have been thinking about this and I was wondering about a chain mail type thing. I have no idea if you can purchase it but that would mould to the body…..

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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    A friend who teaches kids with autism says that weighted vests are generally made with ranks of pockets, interior or exterior, then little ‘bean bag’ type weighted small pillows/packets are slipped into the pockets to get the right amount of weight. The Firefly jacket has a kimono/batwing (don’t know the name) type of sleeve, right? I imagine that would both be less constricting and would eliminate a sleeve/body seam.

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    Profile photo of TamaraTamara @justsewit

    Oh ok! So now I am visualising little pockets to put beanbags filled with the doll pellets in and you remove them for washing right? Sounds like a brilliant idea.

    I have used the doll pellets Cybele back when I made porcelain dolls. They would certainly do the trick as far as weighting is concerned.

    Chainmail would be interesting too.

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    Profile photo of mcholley1mcholley1 @mcholley1

    Just a thought…

    My son has a favorite blanket/playmat that I made him before he was born that is outer layers of home dec twill and minkie with cotton flannel sandwiched in the middle. All were just joanne fabrics. It is quite heavy and he seems to find it soothing (to be honest we all do). Also what about velveteen for some weight?

    I often wonder how my three year old would fare if he didn’t have the option of a mommy made wardrobe and the luxury of nice quality shoes? I could fill a paragraph with his particulars when it comes to how things fit and feel. The thing is…I’m not sure if I have tamed or created a monster.

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    Profile photo of cybele727cybele727 @cybele727

    McholleyI, With my daughter’s problems, I too wonder are we enabling our children’s issues or accommodating them, so they can function. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    Cybele, would you mind if I changed the title of this thread to make it easier for somebody looking for ideas about weighted clothing to find it?

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    Profile photo of cybele727cybele727 @cybele727

    It has morphed! Go for it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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