Finished Object: Pinkie Pants; Or- “Crack Is Whack”

I don’t usually double-post my projects on Sew Weekly, but I’m seriously in love with these pants.  Trousers.  Whatever.  I basically haven’t taken them off since I made them.  And I put a lot of time into them…

In fact, after a week of wearing basted on pockets, I think I’ll leave them too- though I didn’t like their look at first.  But they’re useful.  My phone doesn’t fall out, and I have somewhere to stash my bus pass and coins- so they stay.

Despite all the tweaking I did on the pants, the seams still matched up.  I wish I’d been able to flat fell them, but the double-top-stitched seams help the design stand out.  And it feels pretty durable.

I took quite some time to fiddle around with the fit, more to improve the Pants Block service than because I thought of it on my own.  But now- wow.  I have to say, I can see the appeal of skinny-bootcut-stretch pants.  Thanks, Blockers, for pushing me a little.

My major criteria for “fit” involves mobility.  I don’t like clothes the restrict my movement- where’s the point in that?  I have a little kid (which involves lots of running around and up-and-down-from-the-floor activity) and I’m probably not the world’s most ladylike person either.  I don’t stand still with perfect makeup and unwrinkled clothes.  I make big messes.  I like to climb, I even go fishing sometimes.  But I hate constantly hitching up my back waistband to cover my crack and muffin tops.

Really hate it.  Which is why I love waistbands at my natural waist.  To be sure, they used to feel constricting, like I was suffocating.  I eased into it with Mad Men style pencil skirts and then that was all she wrote.  I realized I could actually wear separates that stayed in place, even if I moved around.  No cracks, no muffin tops.

I guess high waistbands have been more on my mind since Mickhaela’s post on “In Defense of Mom Jeans, Granny Panties + High Waists”  Did you see it?  She did a great roundup of changing waistbands through the decades and her own thoughts on high waists.  The comments section is pure gold.

Where do you prefer your waistbands?  Why?

(This post is also a requiem for the Lacewing Top, I’m absolutely inconsolable because something dreadful happened to her.  I can’t face it now, I’ll write about what happened tomorrow.  I think it’s some kind of voodoo.)



  1. I so agree with you. I have a much bigger waist than you but struggle to find trousers that fit well as they swamp my bottom if they fit in the waist…these look stunning on you and you are clearly able to move around in them without them sliding down!

  2. Definitely no crack for me. According to my jeans, I like pants with a midrise. At the end of the day, I pants that are close to my waistline, but just a smidge below rather then above. Hipsters with a 3″ zip are definitely not my style. I had pants horror this morning when I was trying to find something that was not denim and not a pair of tracksuit pants to wear to athletics carnival at school. Shocking is all I can say and I shall have to sew if I’m going to comply with the dress code!

  3. Oh, sorry about the demise of the lacewing top! Sob.
    If I wear pants at all these days I prefer a low-ish waist but I think that’s mainly because I have such a short torso. I have cut about 5 inches out of the centre of a dress pattern more than once.
    Mind you, I definitely have a mum-tum and muffin top, and I’m not thrilled about flashing any of that. Tricky.
    We watched Edward Scissorhands recently and I was amazed at the height of Winona Ryder’s jeans: definitely natural waist. I’d forgotten that was probably pretty normal then.

    • Well.. She’s not dead exactly. Just transformed. Sigh. You’ll see.

      Wow! 5″! I’m maybe 1″ shortwaisted from the standard, but 5″ must be challenging…

      I should go watch E.S… I miss Wynona Ryder. Why did she go away, again? Shoplifting or something? Pff.

  4. I work in a nursing home and we have an intergenerational program. Moms from the neighborhood bring their toddlers in for a gym and play program and our seniors watch. I’m am weekly in a state of horror as these moms squat down and moon my seniors. shheeeesshh. Where are these mother’s mothers? Maybe, I should shove some pencils in all those pencil holders.

  5. I’m torn on the waistband thing. I have a very small waist:hip ratio, and have always preferred the more classic style of pant. That said, I’ve recently ditched two pairs of pants whose waistbands sat at my natural waist – I just really hated the silhouette. And I am all for boot cuts – it balances me out.

      • A traditionally tailored set of trousers is what I mean by “classic”. Never trendy – always just “trousers”. Usually straight legged, flat-front, natural-waist type trousers.

  6. As far as high-waistedness goes, I’ve found that one of the kinds of clothes that don’t fit me off-the-rack is almost anything fitted through both the waist and the hip. And I am still on the “Young and slender” side of things, as well as being long-waisted, so even though I’d like to incorporate a little more vintage into my style I prefer pants that end at the low waist (a few inches higher than my teenage pants that only went up to the high hip). However, these pants off-the-rack need a belt and unless I’ve gained a little weight often fall down an inch to settle at the high hip.

    . . . I really need to start sewing my own pants, don’t I? I don’t have time for any more projects though.

  7. I like that waistbands at my natural waist stay put, but I’m still in the stage of them feeling restricting. But there’s also another issue with me, especially on pants – I wear a lot of t-shirts and hate tucking knit tops in, but then I also don’t like the look of seeing the waistband line through my t-shirt.

    • Yes- I hate show through waistbands too.. On this pair, I used a trouser hook and bar instead of a button, and it seems to have done the trick. On my next pair (there will be at least two more in this series!) I’ll use an invisible zipper down one side or the back, for absolute minimum show-through-age… ;)

  8. I have finally found some jeans that fit at my waist AND hip, with a straight leg and sit at my natural waist after about a year of trying on some horrendous denim in variety of high street shops. Good old M&S ‘classics’, I would love to find out when everyone elses waist moved 6 inches below mine! I just love your pink cords, they fit you soooooo well!

  9. I’m fairly short-waisted and always in need of a significant FBA, so high-waisted pants/skirts are usually a no-no. (Just picture it). Also, I find that high waists ride up even further–so I’m usually not a fan (although I might try high-ish waist with stays/boning for a more formal skirt look some day). So, for me, both comfort and style, the “mid-rise” is best. I’ve also found that the pant legs, especially the inseam/croch and thigh area, fit better and smoother on me when the waist is either mid-rise or no waistband.

    P.S. Nice yoke detail and seaming on the pants and the stretch looks well managed too.

    • I’m the same, actually… I was just talking to mom about this, how I learned to play down my full bust and short waist to appear more proportionate… really more like 1″/1.5″ shortwaisted if I use a normal pattern…

      No waistband fits better? That’s really interesting. Do you make your pants or buy them? <— very curious.

      Thanks! :) I'm a sucker for unnecessary detailing!

  10. Pinkies turned out alright in the end – they look super and the fact that you can move and bend and stretch and fish – what’s not to like? This is where fashion and style diverge – what looks good and right is not always what’s in and fashionable. What great backdrops you have to your photos! I’m stuck in a suburban garden.

    • Thanks, Ruth!

      We took those while we were still down the coast, up in the hills… It’s so gorgeous up there, such a shock to come home to dismal Brisbane suburbia!

  11. They look great! So glad all that tweaking worked out. And the pale pink does look great with the lacewing top—so sorry to hear about the tragedy.

    As for the rise—well, my position has been stated :D. Enjoy yours! :)

    • I’m feeling terribly dramatic about the tragedy. It boggles explanation.

      Hehehe. I’m more than happy to agree to disagree…. No, it’s not that… I’m happy to agree to never trade trousers with you. :)

  12. These are wonderful – they are just right for you and your lifestyle – I’m so glad to see how you have made cord work for you – a little comfy and a little sassy. Hard to think cord was capable of that.

    • Well… It’s only *barely* a cord, if that helps… Seriously though, this fabric is amazing. I need to go back and get more.

      And thanks for that. :) I’m such a fan of your work.

  13. I’m not one for showing the ‘tradie’s crack’ either. I like waistbands to be 1″ under the natural waist. It feels comfortable, not constricting and stays in place.
    p.s I can’t stand still perfectly styled and manicured for photos either (though I have a sneaking admiration for those that do).

    • Aw, standing still for photos is ok (if a bit boring) but in general I’m too twitchy to stand still and not get wrinkled… ;)

      Heheh… Tradie’s Crack…

  14. It was you who got me back to wearing high waists some time ago now after one of your posts. I love a lower rise pair of jeans in warm weather (and when I’m feeling thin) but as I have big Italian child bearing hips, a higher waist is way more comfortable and way more flattering. I’ve now adjusted a pants pattern to give me a waist band just below my navel and cover my butt. I have found that for skirts I like a bandless finish and for pants I like a very wide band that comes down on my hips, if that makes sense.

  15. it looks like you can do whatever pleases you with these pants! I also prefer it when the personnal parts of my anatomy really stay personnal :) my preferences for trousers is exactly as the commenter above! below the navel with a huge yoke to sit on my hips.
    I’m going to have a look at the link, I love this kind of post.

  16. These are fab!!

    I just about died and went to heaven when “high-waist” jeans came back in style a couple years ago–just because for a long time the ONLY jeans or casual pants I could find, that didn’t fall dangerously low, were Levi’s 501s. (Still like those.) I have a very high waist so even mid-cut pants look low-cut. So I definitely prefer trousers at my natural waist, I always have. I’m working on my own block this summer–hopefully I can get something close to your great fit!

  17. Pants/slacks/trousers/jeans … skirts, culottes, ditto … at my natural waistline, please. HATED and despised low-rise pants in the 1970s. Refused to wear them ever again, leading to a 20-year gap in buying rtw pants except at thrift stores. Main reason to hate them: I have a long waist AND a high rise AND short legs, so the proportion looks completely whacky. Other reason to hate them: I need to hang the waistband of my clothes somewhere narrower than my hips, so that I can move without walking out of my pants/skirt. Because nobody wants to see that!

  18. About 7 years ago my then teenage daughters gave me hell about wearing granny undies and jeans. “People will never wear those ever again” they said. Guess who are wearing them now! As a teen of the 80s I remember the really high waisted jeans and found those slightly uncomfortable. Today we seem to have a great mix of high enough to hide the unviewable, but still attractive and comfortable. I think we are in a winning time of fashion.

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