I’m dusting off the cobwebs and re-starting my blog. After a 2 year absence (during which time we’ve had another child!) I was keen to get things started again and when Kelly from Handmade Boy asked me to take part in her ‘Boys Can Wear Pink’ blog series, it was just the kick up the blogging behind I needed.
I have two wonderful boys, but I’ve never shied away from dressing them in pink. Charlie is still young enough to be unaware of what he’s wearing, but Jack sometimes asks for pink. And when he asks, I oblige. However, Jack has been blessed with beautiful, blonde, curly hair, which is perhaps a little longer than average for a boy. Combine that with his gigantic brown eyes and he does sometimes get mistaken for a girl. He doesn’t really like it when that happens so I’ve taken to making slogan t-shirts that loudly declare that YES this is pink, and YES this is a boy!
So when it came to picking something to sew for this challenge I wanted to do something a little different. I dragged the boys off to Fine Fabrics of Harrogate and while Jack was entertained by the toy shelf (every good fabric shop needs one!) I wandered around waiting for inspiration to hit. I picked some beautiful pale peach-pink wool that I thought would make fabulous trousers, and some pink seersucker, just because I liked it.
When I got it home the seersucker was just screaming out to be made into a shirt. I’ve been wanting to create a shirt pattern for a while so figured now was as good a time as any.
I made it fasten at the crotch because otherwise Charlie seems to spend the whole time flashing his belly. He’s a tall baby to begin with, and wears cloth nappies so the pattern needed to be extra long.
It has an enclosed yoke and a pleat at the back. I chose to make it short sleeved since the fabric has a summery vibe and I’m hoping Charlie will get more wear out of it as the weather warms up. I used snaps rather than buttons because, quite frankly, buttons on a baby drive me crackers! Charlie hates getting dressed and undressed so I go for speed over style at times.
I was so pleased with how it turned out that Charlie wore it to a wedding a few days later. Being on maternity leave and having two demanding boys I ran out of time to make trousers for them. I bought them instead and then suffered terrible sewing-mum guilt. I needn’t have worried though, as the reception was so hot that Charlie spent the whole time trouser-less!
So what are my thoughts on boys in pink? Well, when Kelly first asked me to take part I psyched myself up for a ‘pink is just a colour boys can wear what they want’ style rant. I have occasionally come up against minor opposition to the fact my boys sometimes wear pink, sometimes play with dolls and sometimes choose a sparkly frozen sticker book rather than a dinosaur one. But to be honest not much. Perhaps it’s just the circles I move in (or the facebook groups I belong to) but some people seem to becoming almost too concerned with making sure their children don’t subscribe to gender stereotypes. I’m all for encouraging boys to play with tea sets and ponies, and girls to play with trains and tools if that’s what they’d like. And obviously, girls should wear blue and boys pink whenever they want! But I’ve seen people refuse to disclose their child’s gender, referring to them simply as ‘humanlet’ or ‘small human’. They go to extreme lengths to make sure they don’t impose gender stereotypes on their humanlets. To me that’s a step too far. Boys and girls are absolutely equal, but they are different.
In these gender-neutral/gender-absent online circles I’ve been made to feel bad about the fact I do often choose blue for my boys. Blue is my favourite colour and almost all my own clothes are blue! And I have to confess, the next thing I’m sewing for Jack is blue, not pink.
He has asked for a blue Elsa dress.