Leg Amputee Pants Modification for Big Pocket




Intro: Leg Amputee Pants Modification for Big Pocket

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.

Step 1: 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

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.

Step 3: Turn Leg

Turn the stitched leg right side out, only up to the second fold line. Make sure the bottom of the pant leg is laying smooth and flat inside the upper portion.

Step 4: Fold and Pin

Fold leg along third fold line. The ankle stitch line should line up with this fold. The bottom of the pocket should be right at the fold, not short of it, or long such that it curls up on the inside. If the ankle stitch line doesn't sit smoothly at the bottom, mark the top edge location and adjust the second and third fold lines until it's fixed.
Pin the top corners so they line up close to the side seams thru front layer only.
If the original leg was tapered, divide the excess and tuck towards the side seams. Pin the center back of the pocket "mouth" thru the front layer only of the main leg.
If needed this is a good point to have your customer test for fit. Be careful of the pins!

Step 5: Final Stitching

Stitching thru front layer only of main pant leg, tack the edges vertically at the top corners about 1/2 inch, backstitch to reinforce.
Stitching thru front layer only of main pant leg, stitch the center 3/4 of the back of the pocket mouth, backstitch start/finish as needed to reinforce.
Resist the desire to stitch all the way down the sides of the pocket. Resist the desire to lay the pocket perfectly flat and stitch all the way across the back of the pocket mouth. Both of those changes make the leg hang at a weird angle and/or make it look odd and stiff and have corners that stick straight up in the air when sitting. (The voice of experience.)

...on further review, my customer has no leg so the pocket tack points look best laying on the seams, pulls in the bulk and leaves a roomy pocket.  If your customer has a partial leg, you may need to adjust the tack points to make sure the thigh isn't too tight when the pocket is full.  Refer back to the previous step and have them test fit with pins.

Step 6: Enjoy!

Wear and enjoy. No more futzing around with a bag when lounging about the house with the crutches just because you want a bottle of soda. Keep the phone on you. Hide the remote, honey will never be able to find it. :-)
Warning! Trying to carry to many heavy objects at one time may cause your pants to come down.



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    8 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    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-----

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    4 years ago

    great idea! happy New year


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Will do, he's getting a real kick out of how many people are interested in his sweatpants. ;-)


    4 years ago

    Awesome instructable and thank your husband for his service.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you, I am amazed that my first attempt is getting so much wonderful attention from everyone.