Input Junkie - Pants problem
I dress for comfort and convenience, and I want pants with deep pockets. Buying online makes me happy, and trying on one item of clothing after another is more irritating than fun for me. I'll do it when I must.
For years, I've been wearing XL sweat pants from Land's End, but I've lost a little weight, and now the XLs are too loose, but L is still too small. So is 16W.
You'd think it wouldn't be so hard to find drawstring pants with pockets in an XL, but I haven't succeeded. Failing that, recommendations for pants with belt loops? Pants that run large or small so that I'm not between sizes?
I've thought about adding velcro tabs to the waistbands of the XLs. I realize this would create lumps, but there are already lumps from the stuff in my pockets. Any thoughts about modifying the XL pants?
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It's not difficult to add a drawstring to most elastic-waist pants, unless they're very cheaply made. You need a "drawstring puller", available at any sewing store; it's a long plastic handle that makes it easy to pull an elastic, ribbon, drawstring, or anything similar through a hem or "casing" on a garment. While you're there, also buy at least three yards of an appropriate kind of cord. Open part of the center front seam with a razor blade or seam ripper, then follow the instructions that come with the drawstring puller, and you've got drawstring pants.
Just before last October's festival, I set out to get myself some pants with pockets, because it's always been ridiculously hard to get women's pants with pockets, and I tend to prefer stretchy things like leggings or sweatpants. I found some "cargo" sweatpants (with a drawstring!) at one of the fat broads' clothing sites, which made me very, very happy. I also bought a pair of "scrubs" pants, which look a little more like real pants, but have pockets and an elasticized waist. (I wore both styles that weekend.) My go-to fat broads' store is One Stop Plus, because they include a whole range of different store names under one catalog.
" it's a long plastic handle that makes it easy to pull an elastic, ribbon, drawstring, or anything similar through a hem or "casing" on a garment."
Or take an ordinary large safety pin, pin the cord with it, close the pin, and work it through the hem. That's the old-fashioned method.
Pockets are very easy to add to skirts and loose pants - here's a tutorial
that shows just how to do it. When I was a student, I used to sew big strong pockets into the lining of my coats so I didn't have to carry a bag: much safer in the city, and leaves the hands free.
Using a safety pin takes a long time and makes my hand hurt a lot. The plastic gizmo is so much easier!
Most of my pants-without-pockets are plain stretchy leggings - some of them don't even have a side seam. There's no way to add pockets to leggings without it looking all lumpy, and my body is lumpy enough as it is. But when I find my stash of Round Tuits, I'm going to put patch pockets on a lot of my plain t-shirts.
I will have to check them out; I've never seen one. Thanks!
Maybe you would like pouches
that attach to a belt or belt-loop. One of my friends makes pretty little flat pouches to be worn like a necklace, just big enough for ID and keys, small enough to tuck inside one's blouse. I use mine a lot in the summer, because I hate having lumps too, but I don't want to drag a purse along to carry a mere pocket's-worth of stuff.
Jo-Ann's sells them. (Ignore the reviews. The drawstring threader can break - it's just plastic, after all - but if you don't treat it harshly, it'll last fairly well. And if it does break, a new one is only $2.99.)
None of my pants have belt loops or belts, and something that can be worn around the neck is uncomfortable, too big to tuck into my shirt but too small to be useful, and swings from side to side in an annoying way when I walk. (I've made them for myself, trying to improve the design, but it's still awkward.)
I carry a purse - in fact, I carry a rather large purse, to keep all my necessities close at hand and still have room for a paperback. But if I keep my cell phone in my purse, there's a chance I won't hear it ring if I'm in a noisy environment (e.g., a shopping mall at 8 PM on December 23rd). If my phone is in a pocket, I'll feel it vibrating even if I don't hear it. Anything else I might put in a pocket is temporary, like a shopping list or a ticket for a parking garage. The cell phone, however, is vital.
Cell-phone-sized patch pockets do sound like the best option, then. I hear ya about the annoying swinging-side-to-side - a cell-phone would be too heavy for a necklace-type pouch.
Speaking of drawstrings, I've got this awesome duffle-backpack - I didn't make it, but it would be extremely easy to make one, because it's just an ordinary round-bottomed cylindrical drawstring duffle-bag. The drawstring is a single long, flat sash of fabric which emerges from a slit in the back center of the top casing, the ends of which are sewn in to the bottom circle-seam, about eight inches apart. Most of the drawstring backpacks I've seen have two cords, but one works just fine. Can be worn as a backpack or as a courier bag; very good for not putting too much strain on the shoulders.
I buy the smallest purses I can, because I know my junk will expand to fill whatever size of purse I carry, and soon I'll be dragging around a 12-lb. combination library, snack bar, beauty parlor and all-purpose emergency kit. I do still drag all that stuff around, but it's got its own bags, so at least I don't have to carry it all the time. Heh, "my other purse is a car".
I've always carried the largest purses I can get, ever since I was old enough to carry a purse. I like to be prepared for almost anything, so I have a first-aid kit, a Leatherman multi-tool, a butane lighter (I don't smoke, but you never can tell when you might need to set something on fire), an umbrella that folds up very small, a miniature Tarot deck, and a purple kazoo. Then there are the more "normal" things usually found in a purse: personal grooming items (comb, small mirror, lip balm, hand lotion - I am not a "girly" girl at all), pens and pencils, an assortment of OTC drugs for every occasion, checkbook, sunglasses, tissues. No, I can't eliminate any of them - I recently had to get rid of quite a bit of the stuff I was carrying because the weight of the bag on my shoulder was causing back pain and making me walk off-balance, and I still curse when I find myself needing one of the things I don't carry around with me any more.
Even a little purse hurts me if I carry it on one shoulder very long. I can go longer with the strap slung across my chest, but a backpack or belt pouch is really best.
In my purse I have: wallet, checkbook, keys, pens, phone and charger, blood-pressure pills, comb, earplugs, eye-drops, and lip balm. That's the maximum that will fit; if I need to carry more, I have to bring another bag.
Edited at 2014-03-11 12:10 pm (UTC)
I don't sling my purse across my chest as often as I ought to, because it's awkward to put it on and take it off that way - mostly because I have very long, straight hair, and it gets tangled in the strap. Carrying two bags would be a complete pain in the ass; I'd have to carry one of them in my hand, which kind of destroys the purpose of carrying things in a purse to begin with. And a backpack is no use at all - I'd have to take it off and set it down somewhere in order to get anything out. With a shoulder bag, I can just reach my hand down into it and grab what I need. (I've arranged it so that I can identify things by touch.)
Hair tangling in the strap, for sure - mine's long and curly, it tangles in anything that gets near enough. Pockets are really best; it can't reach those. ;D
Thanks. This looks like the solution. Should I assume that the slit for the drawstring doesn't need to be finished because the fabric will hold together on its own?
Here's the gizmo in question - they sell them in Jo-Ann's or any other sewing store.
You only open the front part of the waistband's center-front seam. Both ends of the drawstring will wind up coming through that opening. Once you've finished inserting the string, take the little bit of seam allowance on one side of the opening, tuck it inside, and tag it down with a bit of hand-stitching, making a hem on that side; repeat on other side. Put a few extra stitches at the top and bottom of the opening as well, for reinforcement.
I am always on the search for drawstring pants with pockets. For me, finding them long enough is the problem. (I loathe capri length.)
If you don't sew yourself, my main recommendation would be that you find a seamstress - look in the newspaper work-wanted ads or ask around; there are lots of clever ladies who do alterations and custom sewing.. They'll add pockets for you, and either drawstrings or elastic, or take in seams so your things fit properly again, cheaper than buying new. Or they'll make you new, in whatever fabrics and styles you like, custom-fit and designed to be easily alterable as you continue to shrink.