US20110191945A1 - Clothing Accessory - Google Patents

Clothing Accessory Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110191945A1
US20110191945A1 US12/703,110 US70311010A US2011191945A1 US 20110191945 A1 US20110191945 A1 US 20110191945A1 US 70311010 A US70311010 A US 70311010A US 2011191945 A1 US2011191945 A1 US 2011191945A1
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Prior art keywords
strip
accessory
garment
sheet
attachment
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Abandoned
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US12/703,110
Inventor
Pablo P. Rodriguez
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Rodriguez Pablo P
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Priority to US12/703,110 priority Critical patent/US20110191945A1/en
Publication of US20110191945A1 publication Critical patent/US20110191945A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A41WEARING APPAREL
    • A41FGARMENT FASTENINGS; SUSPENDERS
    • A41F17/00Means for holding-down garments
    • A41F17/04Straps on the lower end of legs of trousers
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A41WEARING APPAREL
    • A41FGARMENT FASTENINGS; SUSPENDERS
    • A41F17/00Means for holding-down garments
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A41WEARING APPAREL
    • A41FGARMENT FASTENINGS; SUSPENDERS
    • A41F19/00Garment suspenders not otherwise provided for
    • A41F19/005Means for adjusting the length of sleeves

Abstract

Accessory for attaching to a garment includes an elongate, flexible strip and attachment elements each arranged at a longitudinal end of the strip and partially within the strip. Each attachment element adjustably engages with the sheet or sheets of material at respective locations. Upon engagement of attachment elements at the respective locations on the garment, the strip connects the locations together, maintaining them in a stable, spaced apart relationship. In order to hem a pant or temporarily shorten a sleeve, the accessory's strip is attached via one of the attachment elements at a first location, and then the other attachment element is attached at a second distal location. The strip is positioned within the pant hems, temporarily reducing the circumference thereof. To do so, it should be wrapped over the front area of the ankle to maintain the back hem, or inside the sleeve linings on the seams adjustably placed.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates generally to the field of clothing accessories and more particularly to a versatile clothing accessory for use with clothing, or sheets of cloth or fabric, in order to perform one of a variety of different functions including making a temporary hem or cuff in an article of clothing, stabilizing a hem or cuff, maintaining spaced apart parts of an article of clothing in fixed relationship to one another, enabling the clothing or sheet of fabric to be handled, suspended or hung for dyeing, washing or storage, and other functions that arise from an apparatus that engages with the article of clothing or sheet of fabric at spaced apart locations.
  • The present invention relates even more generally to an accessory that can be used with fabric or other woven fabric sheet materials to maintain spaced apart locations on the fabric or other sheet material in a fixed relationship to one another. The use of the accessory for fabric and other sheet materials is thus not limited to clothing or garments.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • In the clothing art, there is often a need to adjust the length of a garment. A typical way that the length of a garment has been adjusted is through the use of a hem or cuff. A hem in the clothing art is often formed by folding under or over the edge of a garment and then sewing down the edge to a remaining part of the garment to thereby shorten the garment. For example, in addition to the legs of pants, shirts and jacket are also often hemmed to fit the wearer. However, there is a major drawback in the aforementioned hemming technique, such that is not suitable if one desires to make a temporary hem.
  • Making a hem secure also generally requires the use of a sewing machine, which many households do not possess. One could hire a tailor to hem pants legs, but the cost of doing so is often prohibitive for a relatively cheap garment that might only be worn for a limited time. This cost is increased because, at least for children's pants, the stitching holding the cuff must be periodically, continually moved in order to readjust the length of the pants once the child has outgrown the hemmed pants.
  • One way of temporarily satisfying this need for a temporary hem is to use different types of exposed pins, such as straight pins. However, use of these pins on garments is not safe and should be avoided.
  • Moreover, the use of straight pins alone does not enable the formation of a stable temporary hem, i.e., one that is not likely shift or to come apart during normal use.
  • Another way of temporarily satisfying this need is to use clips known in the art, such as paper clips, to form a temporary hem. The use of such clips is not effective, however. Most such clips are designed to secure materials with generally thin, flat surfaces. The clips known in the art are not adapted to clip thick material with uneven surfaces such as seamed fabrics. When thick material such as a pants leg is placed between the arms of a conventional clip, the clip generally becomes distorted into a V-shape and fails to exert sufficient force to secure a pant cuff.
  • Another problem that arises with pants legs is that for reasons of safety (when riding a bicycle or scooter), comfort (in the wind), fashion (to keep a slack properly draped when sitting or after rising from a seated position) and especially for keeping the pant cuff clean and dry (holding the cuff above the level of the shoe bottom), a person may wish to restrict the movement of a pant leg and more particularly a cuff portion of a trouser. A boy riding a bicycle might tie an elastic band around his pant leg or stuff his pant legs into his socks. However, these approaches might not meet an adult's preference for refinement. It would therefore be helpful if the pant cuff could conveniently and discreetly be held away from the bicycle and the ground.
  • Furthermore, another problem with garments and specifically garments worn on the torso, such as shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts and jackets, is that the sleeves may be too long for the wearer or the wearer simply wants to wear the garment with shorter sleeves. It is impractical for the wearer to form a permanent hem and therefore it would be beneficial if a simple device is provided that can reduce the length of the sleeves and securely maintain the sleeves in their reduced length state.
  • Yet another issue with other types of hems, such as the hems of cuffs on sweaters, shirts and light weight jackets, is that a person sometimes likes to hold the cuffs of their sleeves up when working outdoors, or for warmer climates. They tend to slip down often because there is nothing to hold them in place. Lightweight blazers in the spring are pushed up for fashion and comfort. Sweaters especially tend to stretch at the cuffs, which makes them even more difficult by days end to keep pushed up. It would therefore be helpful if the sleeve cuffs could conveniently and discreetly be held up away from the person's wrists.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is directed to hemming, cuffing or gathering accessories or devices which are safe to be used on garments, clothing and generally any sheet of material. The term “hemming” referenced herein encompasses cuffing or other processes in which the length of a fabric on a garment is adjusted.
  • A general embodiment of an accessory for attaching to a sheet of material, which may be formed into a garment or article of clothing, in accordance with the invention includes an elongate, flexible strip having first and second longitudinal ends and two attachment elements each arranged at longitudinal ends of the strip and partially within the strip. Each attachment element removably engages with the sheet of material at a respective location. In use, upon engagement of the attachment elements at the respective locations on the sheet of material, the strip connects the locations together and maintains them in a stable, spaced apart relationship.
  • As such, in order to hem a garment or shorten a sleeve of a garment using the accessory, the strip is attached via one of the attachment elements at a first location to the garment, then the strip is positioned within the garment so that the strip is not visible when viewing the garment from its exterior; and then the other attachment element is attached at a second location to the garment. The strip is therefore secured between two spaced apart locations on the garment and either causes the formation of the hem or the sleeve to maintain a shortened state. The reduced circumference created by the strap over the front of the ankle on the inside of the garment is what enables the pant cuff to stay above ground, or by the position in the sleeve in a higher position on the wearer's arm and the shortening of the sleeve length maintained during wear of the garment. The extensional distance of the strap between attachment elements acts as hidden ‘suspender’ on the inside of the pant's legs or sleeves.
  • In one embodiment, clips, snaps or other similar attachment elements are attached to the attachment elements arranged at the ends of the strip. The clips or snaps are designed to engage with each other to either enable the strip to be formed into a closed loop, e.g., for handy storage around a person's arm, or enable multiple accessories to be combined together to form a chain of accessories. In the latter case with the snaps, the attachment elements may be both attached to a garment and also attached to one another to thereby enable several parts of the garment to be maintained in fixed relationship to one another.
  • In another embodiment, the snap ends and the safety pins are replaced with Pin Backings so that decorative and removable decorative Lapel or Badge pins can be used and displayed on the outside of the garment, yet still keep the longitudinal strip hidden inside of the garment to perform its function as described above.
  • In another embodiment, the ends can be removable from the strip, so as to have separate components to allow for diversity or interchangeability in the strip material, such as a thick tape or leather strip.
  • In another embodiment, the strip element can have a hidden, thin bendable wire to help it retain the shape of the curve that the wearer desires when attaching it to the two respective locations as well as helping to keep it's shape when formed into a loop and worn on the wrist as a bracelet when the attachment elements are temporarily affixed to each other.
  • In another embodiment, the strip element is simplified to a single strip, with embedded clasps at each end for attaching lapel or badge pins. This embodiment works the same as the previous embodiments but doesn't have the ability to close into a loop to form a bracelet.
  • In any of the previous embodiments, a thin wire could be incorporated inside of the strap to give the flexible strip a moldable capability. This could be used as well, if someone were to fix two shorter strips to the inside of the hem, and connect the strips together to form one strip. The thin wire could serve to maintain the strip in a secure position within the bottom of a pant leg hem, when not attached to each other.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The invention, together with the further objects and advantages thereof, may be best understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in the figures in which like reference numerals identify like elements, and in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective side view of a first embodiment of an accessory in accordance with the invention shown in use at the inside of the bottom hem of a leg of a pair of pants;
  • FIG. 2 is a front view of the accessory, without snap at ends shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a sectional view of a first embodiment taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
  • FIG. 5 is a perspective end view of the accessory shown in FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 6 is a side view of a second, shorter embodiment of an accessory in accordance with the invention;
  • FIG. 7 is a front view of third and fourth smaller (single-ended) embodiment of an accessory in accordance with the invention;
  • FIG. 8 is a side view depiction of cooperating attachments elements of multiple accessories shown in FIG. 7;
  • FIG. 9 is a side view showing how the accessory shown in FIG. 1 should lie inside of the hem, over the front of the ankle when the pants are worn, reducing the circumference of the actual hem, thereby creating a hidden internal hem;
  • FIG. 10 shows how the accessory, when attached to the inside of a sleeve of a sweater, light jacket, shirt or similar article of clothing, will elevate and securely maintain the hem of the sleeve;
  • FIG. 11 shows the interior of the sleeve, and an optional additional accessory with attachment elements;
  • FIG. 12 shows a plurality of the accessories used to hold front left and right side panels of a jacket together;
  • FIG. 13 shows an accessory used as a band with decorative features, closed into a loop, utilizing the cooperating attachment elements in FIG. 8;
  • FIG. 14 shows an embodiment of an accessory that can be formed into a loop, with ends of molded hard rubber that act as pin backings for cooperating attachment elements, such as common removable lapel/badge pins;
  • FIG. 15 shows the accessory utilizing removable end elements and having an extended point element with an opposing recessed cavity to receive and form a loop. Likewise, it has a pin backing embedded with a receiving hole for a lapel pin; and
  • FIG. 16 shows alternative embedded cooperating attachment elements that are similar to those used in FIG. 15.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • Referring to the accompanying drawings wherein the same reference numerals refer to the same or similar elements, FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a first embodiment of a clothing accessory 10 in accordance with the invention shown in use at the bottom hem of a leg of a pair of pants. The clothing accessory 10 may be used to shorten the length of a sleeve as well as for other uses, described below. The description below relating to the use of the accessory 10 to form a hem is therefore only an exemplifying use and does not limit the scope of the invention. One skilled in the art would understand from the disclosure herein the manner in which the accessory 10 is used to shorten a sleeve and for the other uses described herein without undue experimentation.
  • Clothing accessory 10 generally includes an elongate strip of flexible material 12 and attachment elements 14, 16 at respective longitudinal ends 18, 20 of the flexible strip 12.
  • Attachment elements 14, 16 may be attached to an area near a bottom hem 6 of a leg 8 of a pair of pants as shown. Since the location on the pants leg 8 at which the attachment elements 14, 16 are attached is selected by the user and thus adjustable, the clothing accessory 10 allows the circumference of the hem 6 to be reduced as needed or desired. In this manner, the hem 6 may be prevented from dragging at the heel on the floor as the user walks, provided the user selects a sufficiently small circumference of the hem 6 via selection of the attachment locations of the attachment elements 14, 16 to the pants leg 8.
  • The flexible strip 12 may be made of various materials, such as a flexible rubbery or foam material. In one particular embodiment, the flexible strip 12 is made of silicone. Another embodiment contains a hidden embedded wire suitable for bending and retaining into whatever shape the wearer desires, allowing for more precise management of the device when worn. Other specific materials from which the flexible strip 12 may be made are, but not limited to E.V.A. or LATEX, for more industrial usages. Since the flexible strip 12 is highly likely to come into contact with a wearer's skin during use, the material from which the flexible strip 12 is made is ideally a hypoallergenic material. The general types of materials from which the flexible strip 12 may be manufactured include thermoplastic elastomers, thermoplastic urethanes or thermoplastic rubbers.
  • The length of the flexible strip 12 is variable, and has no practical minimum or maximum length. However, in preferred embodiments of the clothing accessory, the flexible strip 12 has a length of about 2 inches or greater to a length of about 7 inches. Of course, if the accessory is used for holding a relatively large garment or sheet of material during a dyeing or washing process, the accessory might be constructed with a longer flexible strip.
  • The flexible strip 12 is substantially planar, i.e., its upper and lower surfaces that extend in the longitudinal direction are flat when the clothing accessory 10 is in an unstressed, natural state.
  • The cross-sectional shape of the flexible strip 12 is almost uniform from one end to the other, i.e., a generally solid rectangular cross-sectional form. However, at the ends 18, 20, the flexible strip is formed with the attachment elements 14, 16 partially arranged therein. For example, in preferred embodiments, a head portion 22 of the attachment elements 14, 16 may be embedded in the flexible strip 12 during a manufacturing process. This embedding process may be achieved using any type of plastic manufacturing technique wherein a head or clasp end 22 of a safety pin 24 or other similar attachment element is covered by plastic material and secured to a remaining elongate portion of plastic material of the flexible strip 12. When embedding the head 22 of the safety pin 24, there will be at least a thin covering of plastic over the metal parts of the safety pin 24 situated within the strip 12 (see FIGS. 2-4).
  • The safety pin 24 is a preferred attachment element of the accessory 10 herein because it is the one that can be hidden entirely within the hem, and may have any conventional form, with one major difference mentioned below. As shown in FIG. 2, the safety pin 24 comprise a first wire limb, back shank or leg 26 and a second wire limb, front shank or leg 28, the first leg 26 having the head 22 at one end and being connected at the other end through an integral loop or coil 30 to the second leg 28. An end portion of the second leg 28 remote from the connection with the first leg 26 is pointed and releasably engaged with the head 22 when the pin 24 is in its closed state and free from the head 22 when the pin 24 is in its open state. The pointed, remote end portion of the second leg 28, when engaged with the head 22, is disposed and retained in a recess in the head 22 towards the first leg 26.
  • Pushing the fixed and pointed legs 26, 28 toward one another and then laterally displacing one relative to the other enables the pointed leg 28 to be removed from or brought into engagement with the head 22. In contrast to conventional safety pins, the inside flap, tongue or extending part that is usually present at the head 22 of the safety pin 24 is not present to better facilitate access of the pointed leg 28 into the head 22. Note that the pointed leg 28 does not come into contact with the head 22 of the safety pin 24 in view of the presence of a covering of the embedding plastic material on the inner surface of the head 22 (see FIG. 3).
  • The depth to which the head 22 of the safety pin 24 is inserted into the ends 18, 20 of the flexible strip 12 depends on several factors. Most importantly, the depth of insertion is selected to enable the pointed leg 28 to be easily removed from and engaged with the embedded head 22. Moreover, the depth of insertion may be determined only after the length of the flexible strip 12 is determined. This depth may be determined by one skilled in the art in view of the disclosure herein without undue experimentation.
  • The ends 18, 20 of the flexible strip 12 are provided with a slot 32 extending inward from a lateral face 34 to enable the pointed leg 28 to be inserted into the embedded head 22 of the safety pin 24. The slot 32 communicates with a channel 36. A flap 38 is formed between the slot 32 and channel 36 and is designed to securely retain the pointed leg 28 in the channel 36 and prevent unwanted removal of the pointed leg 28 from the channel 36 (as may arise during movement of the clothing to which the accessory 10 is attached). The flap 38 may be provided with a variable thickness, e.g., thicker at the end faces 40 of the flexible strip 12 (area A in FIG. 5), and also it may decrease in the longitudinal direction of the flexible strip 12, e.g., a gradual reduction in thickness.
  • More specifically, a step 42 may be provided in the flap 38 to provide a thickness reduction in the longitudinal direction. The step may be spaced from the end faces 40 by a distance of about 5 mm to that there is a thicker strip of about 5 mm from the end faces 40, which thicker strip provides a soft locking feature (see FIG. 5).
  • FIG. 6 shows side view of a variation of an accessory 10A wherein the flexible strip 12A is provided with a bend 44 extending in a direction transverse to the longitudinal direction. Such a bend 44 may, in certain circumstances, enhance the use of the clothing accessory 10A. The bend 44 may be situated, for example, at an approximate middle of the flexible strip 12A in the longitudinal direction. The angle formed by the bend 44 is variable. There is virtually no limit to the angle formed by the bend 44, except for the obvious physical angle limitations, and thus the angle may be from about 10° to about 350°. Also, the possible length of the flexible strip 12A in an accessory having a bend 44 may be as small as about 1 inch.
  • Although the accessory 10 may be used as described above, in a preferred embodiment, there are additional attachment elements attached to the ends 14 and 16.
  • In an embodiment attached to coil loop 30, FIG. 2 of safety pin 24, of which attachment elements 46 may be snaps, magnetic closures and the like as discussed below (see FIGS. 7 and 8). These attachment elements 46 are designed to enable attachment of the safety pins 24 of a single clothing accessory 10 to one another to form a closed loop, or one clothing accessory 10 to another similar clothing accessory 10. In the former case, the clothing accessory 10 may be formed into a closed loop that can be worn around a person's wrist when in the attached condition and then when needed for use to be attached to a garment, can be separated and then be immediately ready for use (see FIG. 13). In the latter case, shown in FIG. 8, the clothing accessories 10 can be attached to one another and to one or more garments and therefore provide a desired shape of the garment(s).
  • This ability of the clothing accessories 10 to attach to one or more garments and/or to each other provides tremendous advantages when handling and wearing clothing. For example, there are generally no limitations on the locations on a single garment that can be easily and temporarily attached together via one or more of the clothing accessories 10 so that different aesthetic appearances of the garment can be created. Different looks on a single garment can be quickly created using the clothing accessories 10. Moreover, multiple garments or sheets of fabric can be quickly and temporarily attached together using the clothing accessories 10.
  • The attachment elements 46 may be snaps that are attached through the circular opening defined by the integral coil or loop 30 of the safety pins 24. The snaps 46 may be suitably selected as a male snap at the safety pin 24 at one end of the flexible strip 12 and a female snap at the safety pin 24 at the other end of the flexible strip 12 (which cooperate as depicted in FIG. 8). Alternately, the attachment elements may be a simple prongs 98 or a clip 110 type method where the ends are held together to form a loop by means of an extended element 100 going into a recessed cavity 104 in a separate component 90 at the end of the strip 12. Flat ends 102 connect with each other to form the loop.
  • In order to hem a garment using the accessory 10, of which a pant leg 8 shown in FIG. 1 is an example, the accessory 10 is attached via one of the safety pins 24 at a first location at which the hem 6 is to be controlled. This attachment involves releasing the pointed leg 28 from the head 22 of the safety pin 24, then inserting the point of the pointed leg 28 through the pant leg 8 and then inserting the pointed leg 28 back into engagement with the head 22. Then the strip 12 is positioned within the pant hem 6 so that the strip 12 is immediately above the bottom edge of hem 6 and not visible when viewing the pant leg 8 from its exterior. Then, the other attachment element 16 is attached to the hem 6 facing of pant leg 8, i.e., by releasing the pointed leg 28 from the head of the safety pin 24, then inserting the point of the pointed leg 28 through the pant leg 8 and then inserting the pointed leg 28 back into engagement with the head 22, which is embedded around the internal cavity 36. The strip 12 is therefore secured between two spaced apart locations on the inside of the pant leg 8 and at the hem 6. The length of the strip 12, relative to the circumference of the inside hem of the pant leg 8, enables the hem 6 to be adjusted and maintained during wear of the pants. In essence, the strip 12, being bent into a curved form against the front of the ankle, creates a hidden inner circumference of a smaller dimension than the opening of leg 8 and maintains the hem 6 in a very stable and secure manner. The ends of the strip 12 are secured to the pant leg 8 via the safety pins 24, with the pointed legs 28.
  • FIG. 9 shows the accessory 10 resting against the upper part 58 of the foot of the wearer of the pants and shows that the hem 6 is now elevated above the bottom 60 of the foot. As such, when the user walks, the hem 6 will not be dragging on the floor or ground and thus will not be damaged.
  • With the accessory 10, a temporary internal hem may be provided in the pant leg 8. This temporary hem can be easily moved, e.g., as the child grows, by opening the attachment elements 14 and 16, and removing it from engagement with the pant leg 8, and re-positioning them at a lower position on the pant leg 8. A device that provides a highly effective temporary pant hem that enables easy adjustment of a hem by reducing the circumference hidden within the pant leg 8 is therefore provided by the invention.
  • Variations to the basic embodiment of the accessory 10 are envisioned. For example, using a badge pin in combination with a locking clasp 92 in FIG. 15 that is embedded within the ends 90 or as in FIG. 16 set into the back of the strip 12, it further reduces the chances that a child will be able to remove the accessory 10 from the pant leg. This will reduce the chances that the child's mouth will be cut or the child's teeth will be damaged.
  • Decorative embellishments may be added to the accessory 10 to increase the attractiveness of the accessory 10 or its marketing ability, especially when the accessory 10 is closed into a loop and used as a bracelet, wristband or ankle bracelet without connection to clothing but rather only with a connection of attachment elements 46 to one another.
  • FIG. 13 shows exemplifying decorations for such a bracelet including a removable faceplate 80 for graphics or other applications, an embossing or printed logo 82 on the backside of the strip 12 of the accessory 10, and decorations 84 on the attachments elements 46 or snaps. FIG. 13 also shows embossed circles with a small perforation 86 formed on the strip 12 and which enable attachments 88 to be attached to the strip 12. Each attachment 88 may include a ring at the end of a chain that removably or permanently mates with the embossed circle with a small perforation 86.
  • The accessory in accordance with the invention therefore solves the problem of temporary hemming or cuffing of garments in a quick, safe and aesthetically appealing manner, e.g., cuffing pant legs or sleeves of sweaters, sweatshirts, shirts and jackets. It also is capable for forming a temporary hem that is easily adjustable. The invention also allows for uniquely configured and aesthetically pleasing ornamental designs to be included with each hemming device. The invention also constitutes a pant cuff protector for use with long pants for holding a cuff of a pant leg away from the ground, and thereby preventing the cuff from being damaged as it scrapes against the ground.
  • In addition to enabling the formation of temporary pant hems, the present invention can be used to perform other functions that are needed when handling fabrics and other sheet materials. For example, the accessory 10 may be used to maintain the length a shirt cuff, gather a t-shirt under the bust, gather a dress at the back for fitting the waist, etc. The device provides, among other things, a function of a safety pin, but has the additional ability of holding two distanced or spaced-apart parts of a garment where a single safety pin cannot reach.
  • Moreover, the accessory 10 may be used when garments or sheets of fabric are washed and/or dyed, and treated during industrial production.
  • Even further, when the accessory 10 is used to retain a pant cuff elevated above the ground, it is an advantage of the present invention that it prevents the rear portion of the pant cuff from draping to the level of the shoe bottom. Especially when the pant leg is cut long so as to break heavily over the shoes of the person wearing it (see FIG. 9), holding the cuff away from the ground prevents the pant cuff from being dragged through dirt and water and from being trod upon by the foot or shoe heel. At the same time, the accessory 10 may also help keep the pant leg from interfering with such things as a chain and sprocket of a bicycle when placed on the outside of the ankle, rather than the front. It is an additional advantage of the accessory 10 that it does not require any rigid structure in order to exert clamping pressure to grasp the pant cuff, i.e., the imposed curvature of the flexible strip 12 and its retention at opposite ends by the attachment elements 14, 16, i.e., the safety pins 24, creates sufficient control over the circumferential length of the accessory 10 relative to the length of the pant cuff between the attachment locations. Thus, there is no rigid clamp arm structure which could be broken off by mechanical impact.
  • FIGS. 10 and 11 show the accessory when used to elevate the hem 62 of a sleeve 64 of a sweater 66 or similar article of clothing above the wrist 68 of the wearer.
  • The accessory 10 is attached to two spaced apart locations, wherein the distance between these locations is greater than the length of the accessory 10. As such, the sleeve 64 is bunched up as shown in FIG. 10, causing the hem 62 to be further spaced apart from the wrist 68.
  • FIG. 11 shows that an additional accessory 70 may be used in combination with accessory 10, accessory 70 being a single ended accessory 70 which can function as half of accessory 10. The additional accessory may simply be a safety pin with an attachment element 46 that mates with an attachment element on the accessory, such as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. By attaching accessory 70 and the upper attachment element 14, 16 of accessory 10 to the sleeve 64 at locations spaced apart a distance greater than the total distance of the accessories 10, when mated together, the sleeve 64 will again be bunched up.
  • FIG. 12 shows a plurality of the accessories 10 used to hold the front left and right inside panels 72, 74 of a jacket 76 together, yet maintaining a space therebetween. By enabling the formation of the open front area, dyes or finishing materials being used to dye or finish the jacket 76 can better circulate through the panels forming the jacket, and also in and out of the jacket 78.
  • FIG. 14 depicts an end attachment 110 intended for use as a backing for cooperating attachments elements such as lapel pins, or what are also commonly known as badge pins. There are various types of standard backings, such as metal military clutch backing, plastic or rubber common clasp backings or similar all intended to receive a pointed pin to hold decorative badges onto a garment.
  • FIG. 14 also shows a custom-designed adaption of a rubbery plastic molded backing that has additional elements for attaching to accessory 10. There is a flat element 112 that attaches to accessory 10 in a different way than described for previous embodiments, in that there is no safety pin 24, so it can attach to a multitude of flexible materials, such that are formed into a elongate strip shape as accessory 10 has been described. On the outside ends, there are elements that protrude 110 to be inserted into recessed cavities 18 and 20, of the molded ends 118 for use when joining one end to the other 46 to form a bracelet or attaching to the end of another device of the same design. There is also the possibility of forming the end shape with embedded magnets on the very ends, thereby removing the need for the prongs 98 and cavities 104, to perform the same function as the protruding prongs and recesses previously described. Prongs 98 may be simple extended points that are slightly larger than the matching cavities or holes 104 on the receiver side so they can be inserted and stay attached to the opposing end part. Magnets could also serve the same purpose, but may be more expensive, or not the best choice due to the magnetic element on the wrists coming in contact with electronic devices.
  • As described above, there are numerous uses for the invention. Yet an additional use is for altering the length of garments for children, specifically pants for toddlers. Since children grow at a relatively fast rate, parents typically tend to buy larger size pants for the children to grow into. The pants legs are initially too long and require hemming to prevent the children from tripping over the ends of the pants and possibly injuring themselves. However, use of a permanent hem requires the hem to be removed as the child grows and may lead to the formation of a crease in the pants legs. Therefore, the invention enables the formation of a temporary hem and allows the hem to be adjusted as the child grows. The embodiments in FIGS. 15 and 16 are better suited for use with children in that there is no flexible leg point and a clasp can be used that is with a locking mechanism built in. As well it allows for exposed decorative badges, emblems and other elements to be attached and exposed on the outside of the garment. The end part in the embodiment shown in FIG. 16 can also be made with a bulkier end as in the embodiment shown in FIG. 15, where as the various clasps with internal locking mechanism are safely embedded 50 within the ends 90 to make it difficult for small children to remove the device without the aid of a parent. Butterfly or military clasps for badges generally have such an internal locking mechanism.
  • FIG. 16 The embodiment shown has a very simple method of manufacture, utilizing the strap and embedded clasp. The illustrated clasp is a butterfly clasp to allow locking, but a simpler hard rubber or plastic clasp could also be embedded to replace the illustrated metal clasp. Backside of band 10 has a pin backing known as a butterfly clasp 92 embedded slightly 50 at the ends, functioning as in FIG. 1 without the use of safety pins as in FIG. 2. The pin entry side 94 of Butterfly Clasp is on the opposite side of the Band. On the plain flat side, the clasp face doesn't need to be visible, just have a hole (94) to receive the Badge. The badge pin is engaged with the backing through the pant leg, then pins into the front side 94 of the Butterfly Clasp on the inside of the pant hem. The flat sides of strip 12 can also be embellished as described in FIG. 13. Decorative elements can also be applied 82 and 86 to this embodiment as described in FIG. 13
  • The invention disclosed herein is, of course, susceptible of being embodied or conducted in many different manners, such as permanently fixing one or both distal ends of said strap to the fabric inside the garments. For example, it is envisioned that a garment manufacturer can, in accordance with the invention, construct the hem of a garment with the means to reduce the circumference with a tab or strap in the same way as the invention functions. A cotton tape fixed at one side or the other can be tied together like a shoe lace, thereby creating the bridge over the front ankle to provide a device in accordance with the invention herein, and is contemplated to be within the scope and spirit of the invention. Additionally, the invention may entail making the strap as two parts with a means of reconnecting separate parts so as to form the strap necessary in the preferred embodiments, e.g., two straps or tabs with an adjustable connector could form a single strip 10 and achieve the same effect of reducing the circumference of the hem, and therefore is also contemplated to be within the scope and spirit of the invention. Shown in the drawings and described herein below in detail are preferred embodiments of the invention. It is to be understood, however, that the present disclosure is an exemplification of the principles of the invention and does not limit the invention to the illustrated embodiments.
  • Preferred embodiments of this invention are described herein, including the best mode known to the inventors for carrying out the invention. Variations of those preferred embodiments may become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. The inventors expect skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventors intend for the invention to be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described elements in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the invention unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.

Claims (20)

1. An accessory for attaching to a sheet or sheets of materials, comprising:
an elongate, flexible strip having first and second longitudinal ends,
a first attachment element arranged at said first end of said strip, said first attachment element being arranged to engage with the sheet of material at a first location on the sheet of material; and
a second attachment element arranged at said second end of said strip, said second attachment element being arranged to engage with the sheet of material at a second location on the sheet of material spaced apart from the first location and at a distance on the sheet of material from the first location that is longer than a distance between engagement locations defined by said first and second attachment elements,
whereby upon engagement of said first and second attachment elements at the first and second locations on the sheet of material, respectively, said strip connects the first and second locations and reduces a distance between the first and second locations on the sheet of material while maintaining them connected to one another.
2. The accessory of claim 1, wherein said first and second attachment elements comprise removable decorative pins exposed on the outside of the sheet of material.
3. The accessory of claim 2, wherein said first and second attachment elements further comprise backing clasp pieces that engage with said pins to retain the sheet of material therebetween.
4. The accessory of claim 3, wherein said backing clasp pieces are attached to said strip.
5. The accessory of claim 2, wherein said pins are attached to said strip.
6. The accessory of claim 1, wherein said first and second attachment elements have extended clip-type elements that engage with each other to enable formation of a closed loop of said strip.
7. The accessory of claim 1, wherein said strip comprises at least two parts separable at an intermediate location between ends of said strip and a mechanism for enabling selective attachment of said at least two parts.
8. The accessory of claim 1, wherein said first and second attachment elements are partially embedded in said strip at said first and second ends of said strip.
9. The accessory of claim 1, wherein said strip is made of a flexible rubbery or foam material or silicone.
10. The accessory of claim 1, wherein said strip is made of a flexible rubbery or foam material or silicone, with an embedded wire enabling the strip to be formed or shaped into a wearer preferred shape for comfort or taste.
11. The accessory of claim 1, wherein
said first attachment element has a means of attachment to a pointed leg, engaging into a closed position to which said pointed leg is retained in a portion of said first attachment element within said strip and an open position in which a point of said pointed leg is separated from said strip and enables said pointed leg to be inserted through the sheet of material at the first location,
said second attachment element has a means of attachment with a pointed leg in a closed position to which said pointed leg is retained in a portion of said second attachment element within said strip and an open position in which a point of said pointed leg is separated from said strip and enables said pointed leg to be inserted through the sheet of material at the second location,
each of said first and second attachment elements further comprises a head arranged entirely within said strip and an additional leg connected at one end to said head and at an opposite end to an integral loop or coil that connects to said flexible pointed leg,
each of said first and second ends of said strip includes a channel opening to an end face and a slot extending inward from a lateral face into communication with said channel, said slot and said channel being arranged to enable said flexible pointed leg to be inserted through said slot into said channel to thereby be retained within said strip, and
said strip further comprises a flap at each of said first and second ends formed between said slot and said channel, said flap having a first portion that extends a larger distance from said lateral face into said channel proximate said end face than a second portion adjacent an interior end of said slot.
12. The accessory of claim 1, further comprising additional attachment elements arranged on portions of said first and second attachment elements outside of said strip and that enable the accessory to be attached to another identically constructed accessory.
13. The accessory of claim 12, wherein said additional attachment elements comprises snaps arranged at or proximate ends of said first and second attachment elements outside of said strip.
14. The accessory of claim 1, wherein said strip is provided with a bend in a middle region.
15. The accessory of claim 1, further comprising a removable, decorative faceplate attached to said strip.
16. The accessory of claim 1, further comprising at least one embossed circle perforation formed on said strip and a decorative attachment including a mating structure that mates with said embossed circle perforation.
17. A method for hemming a garment, comprising:
providing the accessory of claim 1;
determining a first location on the garment at which the hem is to be formed;
attaching the first attachment element to the garment at the first location;
positioning the strip within the garment so that the strip is immediately above the hem over the front of the ankle, or around the outside of the ankle and not visible when viewing the garment from its exterior; and then
attaching the second attachment element to the garment at the second location at an opposing side of the inside of the hem which is spaced from the first location a distance larger than a distance on the strip between locations at which the first and second attachment elements attach to the garment.
18. A method for shortening a sleeve of a garment, comprising:
providing the accessory of claim 1;
attaching the first attachment element to the sleeve at a first longitudinal location;
positioning the strip within the sleeve so that the strip is not visible when viewing the sleeve from its exterior; and then
attaching the second attachment element to the sleeve at a second longitudinal location spaced apart from the first longitudinal location a distance larger than a length of a distance between locations at which the first and second attachment elements attach to the sleeve.
19. A method for enabling a garment or sheet of fabric to be dyed while suspended, comprising:
providing the accessory of claim 1;
determining a first location on the garment or sheet of fabric from which the garment or sheet of fabric is to be suspended during the dyeing process;
attaching the first attachment element to the garment or sheet of fabric at the first location;
positioning the strip above a suspension structure from which the garment or sheet of fabric will be suspended during the dyeing process; and then
attaching the second attachment element to the garment or sheet of fabric.
20. A method for enabling a garment or sheet of fabric to be washed while suspended, comprising:
providing the accessory of claim 1;
determining a first location on the garment or sheet of fabric from which the garment or sheet of fabric is to be suspended during the washing process;
attaching the first attachment element to the garment or sheet of fabric at the first location;
positioning the strip above a suspension structure from which the garment or sheet of fabric will be suspended during the washing process; and then
attaching the second attachment element to the garment or sheet of fabric.
US12/703,110 2010-02-09 2010-02-09 Clothing Accessory Abandoned US20110191945A1 (en)

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DE202013005828U1 (en) 2013-06-28 2013-09-03 Kentaur A/S Adjustment system for sleeves and trouser legs
US20140000009A1 (en) * 2012-05-31 2014-01-02 Laurie Marvald Garment Accessories and Methods
US20140360418A1 (en) * 2013-06-07 2014-12-11 James Thomas Holmes Hem Hook Bustlers
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US7721571B2 (en) * 2005-10-26 2010-05-25 Rose Gary E Clothing jewelry
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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
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US20140000009A1 (en) * 2012-05-31 2014-01-02 Laurie Marvald Garment Accessories and Methods
US20140360418A1 (en) * 2013-06-07 2014-12-11 James Thomas Holmes Hem Hook Bustlers
DE202013005828U1 (en) 2013-06-28 2013-09-03 Kentaur A/S Adjustment system for sleeves and trouser legs
US20180192722A1 (en) * 2017-01-09 2018-07-12 Philip Tompkins Garment hold-down apparatus

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