Friday, July 31, 2009

Pressure Vest for Katie

I sewed up this pressure vest for Katie. Super simple. Cost about $30. I had to spend $60 but had tons of neoprene left over. Enough to make another vest (hence I said it only cost $30) I will make a pair of pressure shorts instead of another vest, but that'll have to wait a bit. The neck and underarms are bound in fold over elastic (FOE). The front is 3mm neoprene. The back is 3mm neoprene U-Loop. And I used 1.5" Aplix for the fasteners. Neoprene is a little tricky to sew on a home machine, but 3mm was not too difficult. I bought specialty thread but my machine would not sew with it. So I had to use regular thread, which they say can cut into the neoprene, but I'm hoping it'll be ok.

A pressure vest is used with kids who have sensory issues and muscle tone issues. It gives a "hug" and helps sturdy up the trunk muslcles.


Sew Lind said...

What a pretty 'hugger' :-)

Current Projects said...

That is such a great idea. I am a special edu teacher, specifically autism and those vests can get EXPENSIVE!!! I sew also, so perhaps I could look in to making a couple for my class. Thanks for the great idea

Candace said...


I really like the pressure vest you made for Katie! I am currently a student conducting some research on reducing tone in spastic cerebral palsy, and one of the things I would like to try is a pressure vest. Did you happen to make a pattern, or if you were able to buy one, would you be able to tell me where you got it?
As I am just a student researcher, funds are limited, so I like the idea of being able to make my own pressure vest instead of having to purchase one for the sake of my research.
If you want to ask me any questions, or if you have the pattern handy, would you mind emailing me at

Thanks so much for sharing!

Candace Shirkie

Micky said...

There isn't a pattern, I just made it to fit my daughter. They cost $30-$40 (just for materials to make a small one) to make yourself and you can find ready made vests online starting around $50 (on up to over $100 of course).

Christine said...

This is great! My son (sensory integration) needs a vest, and I've been considering making one. If you don't mind me asking, where did you buy the neoprene? Is there anything else special to know?
Hope you don't mind the questions. I've been looking everywhere for vests and can't afford what they're charging for the style I want.

Micky said...

I bought the neoprene from

I bought special thread for neoprene from there too, but it wouldn't work in my machine. I ended up using regular serger thread and it's worked fine.Using a fresh new needle helped as well.

Roslyn said...

I need to make a pressure vest for my grandson, did you use a commercial pattern & if so which one?

Micky said...

Our therapist let me trace hers, but realistically you could just use a slim fit tshirt for a pattern, since it's meant to be snug and the neoprene stretches, it is quite adjustable. Just leave off the sleeves and collar and don't sew the front and back together. Add extended areas on the sides and shoulders of the front side, so they can wrap over and velcro. Cut the collar deeper than you would for a tshirt.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if I can use a thick spandex and add a tutu for my 2 year old. I am pretty sure we won't have any trouble wearing it if it's "pretty"!

~GG~ said...

Great idea! I hadn't thought of neoprene for this purpose, but it's perfect. Especially if it allows a little kid to play and be free.

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