Introduction: 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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