Gifts for little guys

* * * UPDATE: I have decided not to post the baby pants pattern after all. After scanning in the pattern I realized it represented a huge time-sink. I’m really sorry to leave some of you hanging, but it’s just not going to happen anytime soon. * * *

A few weeks ago my friend Bri brought her 4 y.o. Ethan over for lunch. As I was showing her this little wristlet, Ethan pronounced it perfect for holding markers and proved it by demonstrating that it did, indeed, fit his markers perfectly. I loved that he was willing to overlook the fact that it was covered in flowers. In fact I almost made him one just like it but I had this other fabric that I thought he might like more (and would probably stand the test of time better as he inevitably gets brainwashed by gender stereotypes in school). So here’s Ethan’s marker case:


The fabric was purchased from Superbuzzy awhile back (see left bar for the link). I appliqued the felt “E” on by first gluing it with craft glue and then blanket stitching it by machine. It’s not lined but that’s probably better as the main function is holding markers.

Have you read this post on Sweet Juniper? It makes me sad when kids reach a point where they reject certain things because they are too “boy” or too “girl”. But it also amazes me how uncomfortable we get if they stray too far outside their gender roles. I am fully aware that I am responsible for the gender socialization of my own baby. I just can’t bring myself to put him in a dress or pink pants with ruffles. If you’d ask me, I’d tell you that boys can wear pink, yet the only pink clothing items my one year old wears are diapers.

A friend of ours has a hilarious story about sending her son to kindergarten in a dress as he threw a fit when she tried to get him to wear pants. When I’ve retold that story some people are horrified. Why is that? Then I ask myself what on earth would I do in that situation, and I’m just thankful we’re not there yet. What would you do? Does anyone have any stories? As a new parent I’m REALLY interested in this topic.

Another recent sewing project was a couple of pairs of big butt baby pants for Loki and Leif, two babies who Elliot hangs out with who also turned one a few weeks ago:


Both of these boys wear cloth diapers like Elliot. I discovered that the classic baby pants patterns out there are not quite big enough to accommodate the cloth diaper butt, so I made up my own pattern with longer legs for my tall baby and an extra panel in the back for cloth diapers.

These pairs have pockets on the side and bias tape in contrasting colors. The size is 18 months, so hopefully they’ll fit this summer or fall. I’ve actually scanned in the pattern, but it needs some modification (it’s 7 pages long) before I’ll post it. So stay tuned (as usual)!

15 thoughts on “Gifts for little guys

  1. I volunteered for many years with Drag Bingo. It’s a huge monthly fundraiser for our local AIDS Service Organization. There is a very regular crowd and a few kids in the audience. It’s basically just a 4 hour bingo game hosted by drag queens. Each month there’s a theme, and some of the regulars dress for the theme. Last year, during the Halloween event, a woman was with her kids, one of them dressed as a Duke cheerleader. The hair was done up in pig tails. The kid looked so cute, maybe three years old. Turns out, it was a boy who insisted on wearing that. And continued to wear it for the next few events.

    As open and liberal I am, I was a little weirded out by it. I thought about it, and I don’t know. I think in that situation, where gender is so obviously ambiguous, there’s a fine line between letting the kid express himself and it feeling like there’s a possibility he’s being pushed. Then again, is it because he is being raised by a single mom and sisters? Who can really say?

    I have heard mothers talk about not pushing their kids to the pink and blue stereotypes, but they gravitate that way naturally. I have another friend with an 11 year old. He has a friend in school who is pretty punk rock and he gets picked on all the time. This kid thinks he’s cool (and he is awesome) and tries to emulate him. The kid and I were talking the other day. I was explaining to him how when I was in middle school, I was constantly picked on and I know what it’s like. My advice to him was that while it’s important to be yourself, sometimes not everyone gets that, and sometimes you don’t necessarily want to make things harder on yourself because that can make you really miserable too.

    I don’t have kids, so who knows what I’d do! I guess you make the best decision you can and hope for the best.

  2. I always thought it was cool when people thought I was a boy. But then that’s generally more socially acceptable.

    p.s. I would like a wristlet for my markers

  3. When I was about 7, we moved to Canada in the middle of the winter (and schoolyear). My mom and I rushed to the local department store to buy me a snow outfit, but because it was so late in the season, there was only one left in my size, a grey/blue jacket and snow overalls.
    So I arrived for my first day in this new school all clad in grey, with the short-ish hairdo I wore at the time. The teacher was about to introduce me to the class, when I heard a couple of kids nearby whispering “is it a boy or a girl?”… Needless to say, I burst into tears right on the spot, at which point this boy in the front row yelled “It’s a girl!!!”

  4. Um, I’m delurking to say…

    I think it is very normal for boys and girls to be different (and wear different clothing etc.)and very good when they are taught to be different. God made males and females very different and with different purposes and we do well to keep it that way.

    As your child gets older you will see that a boy is just different than a girl, they communicate differently (ie: playfighting is normal for a little boy, playing ‘house’ is very normal for a girl – though there is obviously some mixture there too.)

    Boys and girls SHOULD be raised differently, because they are different.

  5. Nice marker case, and I heart the pants. My kid’s favorite color is pink. For a while, it was the only color he could pick out when offered a rainbow. We just let him go with it. I think he accepts that “boys wear pants and girls wear dresses” because that is what they teach at school, but he likes pink. He asked for a pink polo shirt and we said no, not so much because of the color, but it looked too “the Hamptons” to us. If he asks again, we will fold though. We want him to be able to think for himself.

  6. I gasped as soon as I saw the pants. They are so cute!

    It drove me nuts that when I was pregnant and shopping for the baby, most of the time, the choice of color was pink or blue. I don’t really care for pink. I recently bought 2 pajama outfits and one was purple and the other was brown with cream. The brown with cream was suppose to be for boys becasue the snaps was in a different direction. DH and I didn’t care and bought it anyways.

  7. Meg: Love the story. And I SO agree that kids should be individuals without opening themselves up to needless anguish.

    Elli: Marker pouch request..NOTED!

    Julia: Thanks! There’s so many great fabrics out there to choose from right now.

    Frogginette: That is such a funny story! Love it. I would have burst out into tears too.

    Alisa: Totally agree about the differences b/w boys and girls being a normal thing, and I’m all about celebrating that.

    Nova: I LOVE that Little Sir’s fav color is pink! That is totally awesome.

    Oiyi: I would have sprung for the cream/brown too. And I swear I never knew about that snap-direction thing. BTW, I would love an invite to your blog but totally understand if it’s fam/friends only. I love seeing all the knitting and your darling daughter. Let me know.

  8. Hello, just discovered your blog and am in awe of all your gorgeous creations. Very inspiring – thank you! I have an 18mth old who goes to a coed childcare centre three days a week, but he doesn’t seem to care about gender dressing yet, thank goodness!

  9. that pants are awesome! and cute too.

    My 5year old son’s favorite colour is also pink! I searched everywhere for pink boys clothes and finally found a pink t-shirt. He likes it a lot that he may were pink also. When he comes home from school ( we don’t have school uniforms overhere) he often says my friends don’t like pink! I try to encourage that his own opinion counts by saying : as long as you like it is ok’. He agrees and still wants to wear pink. I guess it will be over in a few years orso…. I think it’s better to do it this way as opposed to forbid him to wear pink and then he maybe wants to wear it when he is an adult…

  10. i love these pants, the fabric combo is gorgeous! i’m going to add you to my blogroll so everyone can see these cool pants!

  11. My son is three, with a four year old sister that he adores. To give you an opposite view, I'll mention my daughter. I am NOT a girly-girl, and have done my best to avoid the pink and everything, to the point of dressing her in boy clothes as an infant/toddler. Despite this, she is as princess/pink/sparkly as you can get. Therefore, my son's favorite color is pink. We don't worry about it too much, and he plays dress ups with the tutu's as well as the batman costumes, but I think when he gets older, it'll just naturally be forgotten. I do feel that boys and girls ARE inately different, in how they play, develop, learn and everything else. I think everything's a phase, and especially at this age, I don't worry.

    I really like Meg's point about, "important to be yourself, but you don't want to be making things harder for yourself".

    Also, love the pants, I've definitely noticed the same problem with our giant diaper bums of cloth diapers. My kids have really short legs, and somehow because of that, if I throw them in a size bigger pants, it works. When we potty trained the 3 year old, he had to go back down a size or two since he was wearing undies. :-D Such a cute way to make pants that fit.

    And as a random side note, my dad looks GREAT in pink dress shirts, it's perfect for his skin color, and my mom prefers it. Pink does not have to be feminine.

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