Fit and type of jackets/sweaters to look for
When adapting garments it is generally important to understand that the quality and fit of the garment pre-adaptation is vital for the result. Ill fitting clothes will not miraculously fit well after an adaptation. Note however that a slightly loser fit often will give you a better result. Try on the jacket/sweater both while sitting still as well as when moving about in your usual manner.
Wheelchair users can have body width in partly different places. Below you can see examples of three different body types. We called them NORMAL, WIDE and ROUND when we did the adaptations for pants. Depending on your body type you will have to find a garment with a design that suits you as good as possible before adaptation.
The fit of jackets and sweaters are often a problem for wheelchair users who sit with a bent back. This is especially problematic if you are also using a hand propelled chair. One of the few ways to get a jacket/sweater to stay down along the back in this case, is probably to attach its hem line to the pants waist band or such. Try a slightly big size. It might help.
Your jacket or sweater is part of who you are so try not to think exclusively about function. Find some details you like, a design curt that that you fancy or other features. When sitting in a wheelchair you are often very visible (even if the surroundings sometimes pretend they’re blind). Why not grab the opportunity and be seen!
You will need scissors, and unpicking tool, cheap white non stretch cotton or calico (available from fabric stores or Ikea) A tape measure, a ruler, marking pens, chalk fabric markers, pins, hand sewing needles and thread, suitable fabric and a sewing machine. For some adaptations you might need a “hook and eye”, elastic, safety pin or other things. It depends on what your doing to do.