Friday, April 8, 2016

DIY Anti-strip Back Zip Jumpsuit

A few days ago Alexander was suffering from a rash and he was taking off all his clothes so he could scratch and wipe off all the prescription cream we'd put on him. An online search for an adaptive clothing solution didn't yield the options I was hoping for. I looked at onesies, but I really wanted something with shorts to it; something that came further down his leg to really circumvent the scratching. I didn't want anything really "long johns-y" or heavy though, because we live in Georgia and it's already getting warm here in April. Finally, I hit on a search term combination that brought me to The Adaptive Clothing Showroom and their "Children's Back Zipper One-Piece Onesies-Like Underwear"

It's got all the right features for my situation - except - the price. Now, I realize $20 isn't terribly bad for a utility garment like this, but add in the shipping cost AND the time I was going to have to wait for it to get here if I didn't ante up another $25 for Priority Mail, and it just wasn't for me. I started looking really closely at the design, to see if I could find a way to sew something like this with what I had on hand at home. I had fabric, I even had snaps and zippers (which would be a pain to install, but hey). Then it hit me.

The Christmas Footsie Pajamas! I could cut up the Christmas Footsie Pajamas!

My two oldest kids don't usually wear footsie pajamas, but I get them fun new PJ's every Christmas and last year was a footsie pajama year. I racked my brain and realized I'd put the kids' winter clothes in Christopher's (the 8 month old) closet. He was already in bed for the night, but I snuck into his room with my iPhone flashlight and dug those PJ's out! 

Upon closer inspection, Alexander's PJ's wouldn't work because fleece is not the best warm weather wear, and the zipper went all the way down to the ankle. But Jacob's! 

Jacob's PJ's were perfect. A beautiful cotton jersey material. Zipper only half way down the leg. Covered in Santa Clauses and Christmas Trees but who cares about that?? I chopped those arms and legs off and had Alexander step into it with the zipper in the back. Zipped that baby up and Bam! An Anti-strip/Anti-scratch jumpsuit better than anything I found online! 

And guess what else? He LOVES the thing. I was worried that the neckline would bother him since I put it on backwards, but it hasn't fazed him a bit. He also seems to really enjoy the Christmas pattern on it. His rash is almost totally better and the past two nights, he's brought me the jumpsuit to put on him when it's time for bed.

So! If you're on the hunt for a Back Zipper One-Piece "Onesies-Like" anti-strip garment, and you'd maybe like to save a little money, here's what you need. 

1 or more pairs of 

I recommend the cotton (jersey knit type) material and the Leveret brand item for the following reasons -

- Cotton is cool and light and sensory friendly

- Jersey knit won't really fray or unravel, so you don't have to hem anything. You just cut the arms off at the length you want, and cut the legs off about half an inch (or more if you want) under the end of the zipper.

- The knit allows for give and stretch. Jacob's PJs were a 4T and they fit Alexander (who is 43 lbs) with room to grow. He could probably even wear a size 3T since the legs are cut off and length isn't as important.

- Another perk of the knit giving and stretching is the collar. I mentioned above that I was worried the neckline would bother him because being on backwards makes it extra high. The knit has allowed the neckline to naturally shift forward and away from his throat (where it would definitely bug the heck
out of him.)

- The zipper on the particular item I linked to above only goes part way down the leg. I cut the leg off about half an inch under the end of the zipper and it worked great. Most other brands I've looked at in toddler sizes have the zipper all the way down to the ankle. You could use something like that, but you'd have to know how to shorten and reinforce a zipper (which I do know how to do, but it's a pain).

- I've spent a lot of time hunting for sleep n play's (another name for footsie PJs) for Christopher lately so I can tell you that Leveret is the 2nd least expensive option for sizes larger than 6-9 months.

- If you have an Amazon Prime membership, this item qualifies for Free 2-day shipping. (Free and quick is my favorite!)

Hopefully this idea helps other families in similar situations. Gotta keep our kids comfy! 
Luck and Love,