Of all the tasks a new mother has to learn, dressing your little one is surely one of the easier and least requiring of Parenting Books or urgent Google searches late at night. Sure, for the slave to fashion, dressing your child may have a weight to it that others don't carry but, for most of us, finding something that is clean and that doesn't clash too wildly with the furniture feels generally like a step in the right direction when preparing your child for the day's activities. And so it is with Tiny and me.
Except that I have a small aversion to almost all boys clothes commercially available.
I know, I know; I always have to make everything so difficult. It's just that they are either boring, obsessed with sports, armies, trucks or dogs, or come in navy blue and red. Or brown and orange. Whatever the colours, the general message seems to be that little boys are really just Little Men and therefore should be dressed accordingly. I'll save my gender analysis of this for another day (you lucky, lucky people) but suffice it to say, I've long looked for alternatives to these clothes for Tiny, but to little avail.
So, I have secretly been harbouring a desire to make his clothes. I dream of the time when I am Very Organised and take a little time in each day to craft him somethings wonderful; little somethings that could assuage my frayed, boy-clothes-shopping spirits. In my imaginings, I come up with fun and funky outfits that are neither too Manly nor too cutesy, and that are neither too fussy nor too conservatively boring. What these outfits look like in reality, though, I can never quite get to. It seems my programming in what boys should wear is as strong as everyone else's.
However, today I have taken up the challenge to at least have a wee stab at it. I'll be joining Elsie Marley and 300-odd other makers/sewists/crafters in the Kids Clothes Week Challenge. The challenge is to take an hour a day for a week to make things for your kids (and then blog about it if you feel so inclined). I think I can manage that.
I am easing myself into such a challenge gently today. I am hoping that this does not disqualify me at the outset but today I began by finishing a piece that has been waiting a while for its final touches - the Grandpa Vest. As previously discussed, it needed a little something to finish it off and today I decided that little something would be a wee pocket. For putting his pipe in. Or rocks, as the case may be. He is only 18-months-old after all.
Next cab off the rank is a pair of matching pants. Let's see how productive tomorrow's hour will be.
PS: Yes, I am aware that making a "grandpa vest" and putting a pocket with stripes of charcoal grey, blue and red on it hardly subverts the Manly boys clothing I poo-pooed in previous paragraphs. I am nothing if not inconsistent, it seems. Sometimes.