girls’ clothes

2 Jul

It’s no secret that I love making clothes for my kid. For kids in general. You got a baby coming? Expect a package from me…eventually. I love trips to the post office significantly less than I love sewing.
I have a massive stash of fabric from when I worked years ago as the manager of a fabric store. One of the only craft-related things that brings me more joy than finding a good bit of fabric to add to my stash is using up a bit that I’ve squirreled away for the perfect project. Week before last I finally found use for my very-most-beautiful find of the century and made myself Anna Maria Horner’s mariposa nursing tunic. I have since worn it like every other day. If you see me often you may get the impression that I wear the same thing all the time. That impression would be correct.
George has inherited this trait somewhat accidentally. As he’s grown out of all of the clothes we got him while I was pregnant (except for what can only be generously described as “character” pieces) and before I was pregnant — because yes, I am one of those women — I’ve sort of frantically started replenishing his drawers so he’s not stuck wearing green/blue plaid shorteralls and a brown/green homemade cardigan and black/red maple leaf legwarmers.* Because I wanted a gypsy baby, but not like this. NOT LIKE THIS! My chubby little guy who was so skinny when he was born is outgrowing his twelve month tshirts and wearing size 2T pants as we speak. The cloth diaper bum is mainly to blame, but let’s just say that ghetto booties may run in the family (thanks, Nonna). He’s growing faster than I can sew.
I never expected to have a son. I expected to have children, but in my mind, my destiny was a tribe of little girls with tangled hair and well-worn sundresses. My fabric collection reflects this — dainty little calicos, big florals, pinky-purples. Silk. My constant question when looking for something suitable for George’s next pair of pants or kimono is “is this too girly?” Why?
Let me be clear: I could not possibly care less if people mistake my son for a girl. I would put him in a skirt any day of the week, and not as a joke. If he gets older and asks me to make him a fancy dress I can safely say I will be stoked. I want him to be comfortable with his gender identity, whatever it turns out to be. But in the meantime, I admit that I’m a little self-conscious about people thinking I’m a weirdo and judging him as a result. (Incidentally, I don’t necessarily think that couple in Sweden did anything wrong and letting people develop their own gender free of outside influence is an interesting idea.) I also don’t want to dress him in stereotypically female clothes as some kind of counter-culture statement.
Is this something that anyone else struggles with and can’t pin down why?

* “This outfit? But it’s July!” You might be saying. Oh, dear reader, you must not live in the Pacific Northwest.

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