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Clothing hints for the wheelchair bound ladies

Clothing hints for the wheelchair bound ladies

by Dean Bathalter

Instead of wearing the jackets/sweater, try a cape. I make mine from a Butterick pattern. Would give you the number, but I can’t find it. Been looking all morning.

It’s simple pattern with a collar. I cut it off hip length. Now, when I’m shopping, if I want to remove heavy top wear, I don’t have to go through the turning and squirming process. I just lift if off, and place it behind me. And I don’t hear the "Honey, can I help you? Please don’t take me wrong. I greatly appreciate help when I need it, but I’d rather do things for myself, if I possible can.

Anyway, capes look much better on a person sitting in a chair. Have a better fall than does a jacket. I’m getting ready to make me another winter one–if I can find the pattern. You can wear these in cold weather if you wear heavy layers under them. And while riding in a car, you can take it off without having the driver offering to help you. On the winter ones, I place two or three extra buttons, at closure.

And for raincoats, you can’t beat this idea. I found a feather weight, rain-repellant fabric. Made the rain coat, leaving the front long enough to cover my knees. On the inside of the front, right side, I sewed a pocket large enough to hold a rain hat. Don’t EVER want to get caught without that. Now, if it’s raining when I want to go, I go anyway. I just put that rain cape on. But as I’m getting in/out of the car, I look like something from mars. The front of the cape is long. The back is short. (We don’t want too much fabric back there to be aggravated with while we’re positioning our butts–trying to get them in the most comfortable sitting position.) And the protrusion of the rain hat is questionable, to onlookers. But I don’t want to take the time to shake the water from a hat and then sit there wondering where I’m going to put it. So I quickly put it in that little pocket…water can’t come through and get my other clothes wet. I get more compliments on the capes than I EVER did on coats, jackets and sweaters. But the most compliments come when I wear a matching hat. I worked until I came up with a hat pattern that does wonders for the profile and face. And if made with the right fabric, it can be stuffed into a purse, without becoming wrinkled.


If you find your tummy/hips too big, compared to your legs (this shows up well while sitting in the chair), you might want to try maternity slacks–if you can’t make your slacks (altering them) them or have someone make them for you. With maternity slacks you’ll of course have to wear long shirts, but how many of us still have the tiny waist line to show off? And, if you have to show too much fabric SOMEWHERE, it’s more fashionable to show it at the top. You know, loose top, tighter slacks. And, make sure you have them hemmed the right length. Don’t call attention to yourself by having too much leg show between the hemline of the slacks and your shoes. I experienced this problem back when I was on my feet as much as in the chair. EX: In a pair LONGER slacks, I’d GO to a beauty shop in the chair, then use my foldable canes (which I always kept with me) and WALK around the shop. There I was, with my slacks dragging the floor.


On many of my shirts, I put pockets all over them. Different sizes, different fabrics. So, I can have in arms reach, any time of the day, almost anything I would need.

Saturday, September 8th, 2012