I didn't expect this little sewing project to take quite as much time as it did. If I'd been told it would take as much time as making three or four princess dresses I wouldn't have believed it. But it ended up being quite the undertaking, although I couldn't be happier with the result and Mae loves it more than she's ever loved princess dress... but first here's an explanation for why I made it.
The vest pictured below is a weighted vest. It has about three pounds of rice in it. It's comfy and squishy and because there's a strip of stretchy fabric in the back it feels like it's wrapping Mae in a hug. When she sees it she quickly takes of whatever cardigan she's wearing (which is akin to removing her boots in that normally it just doesn't happen) and puts up her arms to put it on. When she's had enough she comes over and lets us know she's ready to take it off.
She will likely get one when she starts OT too, but when that will happen is still up in the air.
One of these days we will get in to have an OT (occupational therapy) and ST (speech therapy) evaluation. The autism center that it's supposed to be happening at was supposed to open in November (actually it was apparently supposed to open in July), but then the open date was moved back to January and now it's been pushed again to March. The OT seems to be what everyone is worried about, because she really could have benefited from being in it like two months (or two years) ago...
I'm meeting with our case worker on Friday morning to talk about options (it's a typically busy week altogether with 3 meetings and 6 days of therapy), one of which is that her pediatrician has said she'll write a prescription for it if the center doesn't work out. Every time I hear the words occupational and speech therapy though, they're accompanies by the words "waiting list" so I have no idea when the evaluations or subsequent therapies will actually happen.
So I made her a vest out of the fabric that was left over when Nani made her a dress:
One of the therapist said she was certain that there were a lot of parents that would want to buy these (locally) but I'll have to figure out a way to seriously cut down production time if I'm going to consider it. Because the 20 plus hours it took to make this definitely wouldn't work if it took that long to make every single vest.
Next on my list is a weighted blanket! I have a feeling that won't take nearly as long to complete!
It's beautiful, so much prettier than the generic ones I've seen online!! Well done!!ReplyDelete
You could try weighted ankle bracelets, especially if she likes the feel of her boots so much. A little boy with specially needs I nannied loved wearing them, especially when he had to sit at a table to eat or do schoolwork.ReplyDelete
I hadn't thought of ankle bracelets but I bet your right! I have a feeling she would love them. And maybe it could prevent melt downs like yesterday when a great therapy session became a battle when she started obsessing over her shoes...Delete
I have heard of some people using poly pellets for these since they are washable. Your vest looks great! :-)ReplyDelete
Thanks Elicia! I'd definitely going to look into ordering some poly pellets for my next Mae related project! Washable would be so much better!Delete
Cam, you are such a sweet and good mother putting all that work into the vest! It looks great, and as a fellow seamstress I can well imagine the labor involved.ReplyDelete
Thanks Angela! I was amazed at how long it ended up taking because when it started I was thinking it would be a two night project at the most! But pouring the rice in, even with a funnel, took a long time!Delete
When my son was little I made a vest with a pocket all the way around at the bottom on the inside and sewed together bags that I put pennies in. Then i put the "penny bags" in the pocket. It worked nicely.ReplyDelete
I love this idea too! I'd thought about washers but I hadn't considered pennies!Delete
Love the vest! I saw this: http://www.qualitypolypellets.com/2013/01/04/a-warm-night-in-the-diy-guide-to-a-weighted-blanket/ and am going to start making one for my son too. I've purchased some fleece for one side and some cotton for the other. That way he can use it for all seasons. I'm not a seamstress, but I'm learning. I thought it looked simple enough for this beginner - we'll see!ReplyDelete
Blankets are such a great place to start! And I definitely want to get some poly pellets to try with my next project so that it's washable!Delete
I'm so curious about this---ReplyDelete
Why 3 lbs? How did you decide on a weight?
Rice is a good idea. But what about sand---too messy? Can't be washed easily?
Does she like the tightness of it too?
Does she want to sleep with it on?
Does it calm her down?
Is there some web site to find out about these?
I hope you could make some kind of business out of this. I think the vest is adorable, but I wonder if, to make if faster, you could make "patchwork" type squares filled with the weighted stuff, then add those to a flat made vest. Or maybe even make pockets all around the vest that weighted squares (made separately) could be put into (and removed if need be, for washing or to change the weight). I'm just brainstorming here, since I don't know the challenges of a making this kind of vest for a kid whose fingers open everything! But I really like this. God bless. Bonnie
It was actually supposed to be four pounds, because I found a page that had body weight and weighted vest weight and the relationship, but they just wouldn't fit. And I went with rice because it did seem cleaner than sand but had a better texture for her than beans (I have a bunch of beans in bags next to the sewing machine though, so apparently I was considering it at the time!). She definitely likes the tightness of it, and she lets us know when she wants it on (she puts up her arms to get in it) and off (she walks over and tugs on the zipper). It does seem to calm her down a lot. I'm thinking about making them with some plastic pellets next time so that they'll be washable!Delete
Here's the best explanation I could find! http://autism.lovetoknow.com/Autism_Weighted_Vest
It's so interesting to me and from that particular article which sights a few studies it definitely seems like different kids have different reactions!