Tailoring A Coat For A One-Hander

December 20, 2012 — 16 Comments

Until this year, I’ve never had any of my winter coats tailored because of my arm.

It’s always been like Taylor Swift sings, “We are never, ever, ever…gonna get it tailored.”

I think that’s how it goes, anyway.

So, why after all these years did I decide to get this one tailored?  The truth is, I just really liked the coat and thought, “Why not?”  And honestly, it’s good for the blog.

I contacted my friend Rebekah and asked if she’d be interested in helping me out.  Rebekah owns a bridal shop in downtown Madison and designs incredible dresses, so I figured she’d probably be able to do something.  She agreed and soon enough I was in so she could take measurements and work her magic.  And work her magic she did!  Here’s Rebekah explaining what she did for me:

When I went to pick-up my coat, I was excited to see what she did.  When I saw it and tried it on for the first time, I kind of flipped out.  I was blown away by her work.  I even apologized a couple times saying, “I hope you’re not offended by how pleasantly surprised I am…I just think it’s so awesome!”

Here are a few better looks at the coat, with me in it:

left winter coat sleeve amputee

Doesn’t that look awesome?!

amputee winter coat

Lookin’ snazzy.

I’m occasionally asked for my thoughts on having clothes tailored.  Personally, I’ve only had two items tailored in my entire life (my suit coat and now my winter coat).  It’s not that I’m against it at all; I just never considered it.  I’m fine just rolling or pushing up my sleeves.  It doesn’t bother me at all.  That said, I really like how my coat feels and wouldn’t be surprised if I chose to try tailoring some other items in the near future.  We’ll see.

So, what do you think of my coat?  And what’s your experience with having clothes tailored?

(Don’t forget to checkout Rebekah’s site and “like” her Facebook page!  Thanks, Rebekah!)



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16 responses to Tailoring A Coat For A One-Hander

  1. So what is your preferred weather protection device (glove, mitten, nothing?) for your left arm? Sam usually goes for a mitten on his little hand (and a glove for the other).

    • For most of my life I’ve just gone with nothing on my left arm. But, the daughter of a co-worker crocheted me a little mitten for it this year and that’s been working wonderfully. Glove on my right hand, always.

  2. My daughter wears a mitten on her nuby when it gets cold. What do you do about hoodies and sweaters? I roll up my daughter’s sleeves but I feel bad about the bulk of sweaters and such.

  3. That looks awesome!! Tate doesn’t mind having stuff rolled up either, but there’s something to be said for having a special piece that is made JUST FOR YOU! I think I’m going to knit Tate a custom sweater this year. 🙂

  4. We roll everything in our house, but I always think of how well a sleeve on a coat will roll before purchasing it. I am the mom standing in the boys’ clothing department rolling up sleeves before putting them in my cart. My son will be a ring bearer in his sister’s wedding in March, however. I went into the tuxedo rental store to see how they would do his jacket, and completely flustered the clerk. He said, “all we can really do is shorten the sleeve length a bit for people,” and I said, “great! you just need to shorten his A LOT more than you regularly do!” He still was flustered though and told me to come back when the manager is there. : )

    • Seriously?? I’ve never had a problem getting my suit coat sleeve shortened. So funny. And I can see you standing there with the coats for your boys! That’s awesome. 🙂

  5. I altered Rosie’s winter coat this year (2 1/2 years old, size 5T coat). It wasn’t quite as hard as I feared. I cut off the cuff, then sewed the 3 layers together, just a straight stick around to hold the inner layer of fabric, the stuffing, and the outer layer of fabric together. I didn’t want it to all come apart before I could finish the project. Then I made another cut pretty high up, sewing around that end too. I threw away the big section of arm that was in the middle. I found that I also had to “take in” some of the remaining upper arm section to narrow it up enough to put the cuff on. It was rough on my sewing machine to sew through it all to put it back together! Hopefully she’ll fit this coat again next winter – I tried to keep the little arm sleeve long enough for her.

    The tailor here wanted $15 just to put in a zipper for a pair of pants (we have special needs for pants for Rosie – they need a side-closure all the way from hip to hem), so I can’t even imagine what they’d charge to do her coat.

    Rosie doesn’t like things rolled up as much as she likes having them cut just for her. But then, she’s two… there’s a lot of things she does or does not like that might be about being 1.5-armed or might be about being a toddler. Who knows!

  6. So cool!!! I never considered tailoring my sleeves to fit either, I just roll them up. I have down to my wrist though so it is not too bad but it does look a little silly sometimes. Such a great idea!! Your coat looks so good I can’t wait to try it out. Also I love your blog! I never knew foundations and websites were out there that focus on having one hand, but I’m really stoked that I found it!! I appreciate all the links you provided and that kids out there living one handed have sites and programs like that to help and encourage them, wish I would have had that kind of support as a kid. If there is anything I could do to help or volunteer in anyway, let me know…Who knows maybe you have inspired me to start a blog. 😉

  7. The coat looks so great (and comfy!) I never had anything altered until 8th grade…. cotillion! White gloves were mandatory, and my mother altered a right-hand glove for me so that there was room for my thumb and pinky, and the three middle finger-spaces were sewn shut. It was actually pretty awesome and comfortable. When it comes to winter gear, I prefer gloves and don’t mind the floppy fingers on one hand. In recent years, I’ve discovered a deep love of fingerless gloves 🙂

  8. Thanks for sharing!! I think we may need to have Drew’s coat altered this year too because it gets bulky rolled up he fusses (Jessica I feel your pain about the being 2 part…phew!) We roll most shirts, and I stocked up on the fake “layered look” t shirts this year and just cut off the right long sleeve part…works like a charm 🙂

  9. Thanks so much for sharing! I sew and have been planning on altering my son’s winter bulky stuff ( just as soon as he sleeps thru the night, cause I’m exhausted! ). I was trying to think about how to do it and here’s your blog! Love this. Thanks so much, a community of support is amazing!

  10. Dress shirts are awesome, once tailored.

  11. We’ve actually been trying to figure this out. My daughter is getting her letterman jacket but sadly said she’ll never wear it because of how the arm hangs. and too thick to fold. so maybe this is the obvious answer-just tailor it.

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