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Leg Amputee Pants Modification for Big Pocket

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My husband is a disabled vet who's been fighting a bad leg for 40 years. Finally had to amputate at the hip in October as they found a big cancer blob in it. He won't get a prosthetic until spring, so he's in a chair, or walker, or crutches for now. This pants modification lets him carry stuff around without an extra bag and looks way better than safety pins, or a big knot.
This should work for any amputation at knee or above. Not sure there's enough pant leg left for lower amputations.
Warning - This project requires sewing with a machine or by hand. Sewing uses sharp pointy things like pins, needles, and scissors. The writer is not responsible for any damage you do to yourself or your customer or your customer's pants.
 
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Step 1: Test Pin for Fit

Picture of Test Pin for Fit
Fold pant leg up with 3 folds and pin at top outer edges. The bottom/ankle level fold should be fairly short. Work with your customer to get a comfortable overall length and crotch to top edge length. To long and it will flop around and get in the way while moving. To short and it will be to constricting and the pocket will be to little. Measure/mark lengths, pin points, and fold lines.
For my customer, we already had all his sweats pinned at his preferred length, so I just went with that. If your customer hasn't done that, pin the pants and have them wear them around for a couple of days to make sure they are right. Folded pant legs do weird things when in a wheelchair and transferring.
MAKE SURE YOU ARE WORKING ON THE CORRECT LEG! (Yes, I did the wrong leg the first time. He had pinned them himself and was wearing them backwards. Sweatpants do weird things when there's only one leg in them.)

Step 2: Stitch the Ankle Fold

Picture of Stitch the Ankle Fold
Take out the test pins. Turn the bottom of the leg inside out, lay flat and stitch across at the ankle fold line. Back stitch the start/finish to reinforce. This stitch line forms the bottom of the pocket.
valkgurl3 months ago
Thanks for this----as a lower leg amp I know that carrying your stuff around is NOT all that easy! IF he is using a walker look into getting him a cup holder that clamps onto the upper bar---I have one and even when we fold the walker and strap it onto the back of our motorcycle it stays ON. I am pretty sure there are some like what I have on ebay---contact me if you would like me to find one for you. (There are various kinds and not all of them are useful!!!) Not only useful for round things like cups and bottles but I shove other stuff in there all the time and hang bags off of it---endless uses to make my (and my families!!!) life easier. And not spendy either. This might be able to go on a wheelchair or even crutches but I haven't tried this. I have seen people use PVC (plumbing parts) for crutch use and I adapted one of those "designs" for the saddle bags of our bike for cup holders!

Something I need to do another one of and post here-----
lucindalee (author)  valkgurl3 months ago
Thanks,
Yes, I do need to get him a cup holder. If you can atleast send a link to a picture of one that works, that would be a help.
Do you wear a prosthetic on the motorcycle? We have old style mopeds and he is figuring out what mods he needs to keep riding.
:)
I found one very similar to the one I use---and I have several!!!---on eBay---Item Number 251337797404 OR search ADJUSTABLE CLAMP ON MOTORCYCLE HANDLEBAR CUP HOLDER---this is a USA seller as near as I can see and the cost is $13.99 plus shipping---which is less than I pay for them at the bike show I get mine at! Actually we have been using the same ones for several years I did get a few more this spring just in case!

And this one I think does a few more adjustments than ours. We have one on the handlebars of our Honda Valkyrie and you should SEE the looks at drive thrus!
I also use a TRAVEL WALKER---this not only folds in three the same as a regular walker but THEN it folds UP from the legs--to make a small and compact bundle that with a bungie cord we can strap on the back of our tail bags. I have not ever seen one in stores but on ebay they are only about $20 ---worth their weight in gold! I take the front legs off and replace them with the wheeled walker legs---you can almost always find these at rescue squads etc or buy them. And I replace the rear "feet" with a set of Walker Ball Feet I have only so far found at Rite Aid---these I might need to get you an actual pic of!!!---these are a rubber foot that has a ball looking thing in the center. This has a spring in the inside and when you push DOWN on the walker it acts as a brake---great on ramps and slippery surfaces. Also last longer and looks less--well you know!!!!---than those tennis balls on there!

I can't tell you how many people come up to us and ask about this system we have worked out--I am also pretty short and have some other bone and muscle issues so I use a small Rubbermaid step stool to mount up. We keep that stashed in our tail bag too---the walker goes on the outside as it is small but not THAT small when folded! So many people have told us that their friends etc would be able to ride if they thought to do this---makes you wonder why this is not better known!

I am not sure what mods you would need---depends in part of course--which leg! My husband and my Leg Guy Dave might be helpful here--I know there are things you can add to change the shift from a foot operated one to a hand operated one---and the brakes etc. Contact me at jmloebel (at) gmail (dot) com if you want to chat about this--or any other part of this journey.
hank3fan3 months ago
great idea! happy New year
muddog153 months ago
Definitely thank him for his service.
lucindalee (author)  muddog153 months ago
Will do, he's getting a real kick out of how many people are interested in his sweatpants. ;-)
gkuhlman3 months ago
Awesome instructable and thank your husband for his service.
lucindalee (author)  gkuhlman3 months ago
Thank you, I am amazed that my first attempt is getting so much wonderful attention from everyone.
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