post surgery stretchy pants

An actual sewing project!

So: last summer I made myself these shorts:

Then I adapted them for Echo, and made them a few pairs.

Good thing, because we’ve really needed that pattern this fall and winter. When we got the surgery dates, I reached out to the Occupational and Physical Therapists to ask them what kinds of pants we should be getting for after surgery. I mean–how do you put on pants when you can’t put weight on your feet? You must need help, right? And so what kinds of pants are the best for other people to help you put on?

The first suggestion was a link to an online store that sells pants for after hip surgeries, but those sites are all meant for average sized adults, not teenagers with dwarfism, and I knew there was not a chance they would fit without major alterations that I didn’t want to have to monkey around with for very expensive short-term pants. So I pressed them for the characteristics of good pants, and was told that they should be stretchy and easy to pull on and off.

After looking through patterns for a while, I thought I’d just lengthen the shorts I’d already adjusted for them and make a few pairs out of inexpensive poly jersey to start with. I got these from Fabricland for less than $5/m, so they were $10 pants once you figure in the elastic, and it’s a brushed poly so they’re snuggly and soft.

This grey cotton knit from Needlework was a good neutral, and also soft and easy to wear and wash. And then a purple fleece pair from the deep stash (I made Echo some pjs out of this when they were, I think, seven or so, and there was enough left over for these).

I have a tan (or ‘fawn’) ecovera jersey from Needlework for one more pair to round out a week between laundry loads. Lighter weight but a good neutral again.

For all of them, I left the bottom unhemmed and a bit long. A) pants tend to ride up in wheelchairs, and I knew they’d be in a chair for months, and B) I wasn’t sure where to hem them when I knew their legs were going to be lengthened but couldn’t be sure exactly how much. So they all have raw hems for now, and when Echo can stand comfortably again, I’ll figure it out. I also made them all a bit looser in the waist because Echo’s sitting down almost all the time right now, and this expands your waist.

These pants have been great. It’s easy for other people to get on and off quickly, they’ve been comfortable to wear lying down and in the chair, they wash well–I’m just pleased with them all around. In the summer we can always shorten them if we no longer need them as pants.

In recovery news:

  1. Pain medications are down about 85% from where they were when they were discharged. Echo should be off them all together in a few more weeks.
  2. Standing is going well. They’re up to just over 50% body weight for about 30 seconds at a time, which is much farther ahead than we thought we would be at this point.
  3. Echo’s now able to spend most of the day in their wheelchair, which means being more active and independent.
  4. We no longer need a second adult around for getting onto and off the commode, and are getting there with the wheelchair, as their leg mobility is almost back to normal.
  5. They’re doing online classes again, which is just great news. Only two this semester as a full load in addition to physio & rehab seems too much to commit to, but that’s still great progress. Not that we have any idea what physio and rehab are going to look like, since we still haven’t heard about the referral.
  6. And I am still working just one day a week. Sigh/lol. But I think at this rate I should be able to get up to two soon.

We’re now two months post-surgery on the first hip. I’m grateful and so relieved that recovery is going well.

6 thoughts on “post surgery stretchy pants

  1. It sounds like things are going really well, all things considered. I’m happy to read this update and (as always) I’m dazzled by your ability to turn clothing ideas into actual garments. (The purple flannel pants look wonderfully soft and cozy.) Much love to you and Echo.

  2. I’m so happy to hear such a wonderful update. You brought me back in time to 2012 when A had hip surgery and he was in a spica hip cast for 6 weeks. I remember my dilemna on how to dress him. What I ended up doing was buying extra large gym shorts, cutting the sides open and sewing velcro to the sides. I might have done this to a pair of pants so we could go outside.

  3. Brilliant, Mom. I had to do something similar for knee surgery, as the knee was grossly swollen. Not as good a fabric choice as yours. As an aside, my daughter in Pakistan had her tailor working on tights for the grandkid, but they ended up too tight in the thigh. No one in the eastern world seems to believe in the size of North American females. So glad to hear the news about the painkillers and weight-bearing. Tell them I’m proud of them, really and a lot.

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