Navy

Just when I think I’ve got my head above water with this mothering gig, and might be able to steal a few minutes to do something sewing related (like unpack my machine from its annual oil and check-up), Munchkin senses this and changes her routine.

No sewing news to report here, other than I’ve purchased a paper slicer and glue sticks so that when I do find some time for myself, I may actually assemble a couple of PDF patterns I bought last year.

Right now, though, a rant about baby clothes. Munchkin is a long, lean baby with very large feet. At four months. Her feet are filling the footies on her 3-6 month onesies. Since we are on the downside of winter here in Portlandia, she needs a jacket that isn’t quite so warm as her full monkey suit. I finally resigned myself and went baby clothes shopping for the first time. (Everything she had before this was gifted to her, or made for her. Girl has a bigger wardrobe than I do.).

Anyway, I’m not a clothes shopper, not even for me. I see it as a necessary evil that must be done from time to time. The hope is eventually I will have enough TNT patterns and sources of good fabric (please, oh please, find me a knits selection like that of Tomato in Tokyo!) that I won’t need to shop for clothes for me anymore. Having a fussy baby on hand, I decided to have a strategic strike at Target. I found the tiny kids section and the even smaller infants section. I was surprised by a couple of things:

1. There are no coats for the under 12 month age group. The girl sets have sweaters and the boy sets have zippered, lightweight jackets. Granted, I could probably go to baby Columbia and find something, but I’m not spending what they would charge on something she’ll outgrow in a couple of months.

2. The girls’ sweaters are all frilly, pastel/pink, fasten with buttons (?! on a squirming baby, buttons?), or are cropped. Definitely someone’s notion of cute, but not practical. Not for us, thank you. The “boys” section is much more practical, and, to be honest, much cuter. A pinstriped onesie with a monkey playing baseball, a zip-front navy hoodie, and navy pull on pants? Yes, please! An adorable striped zip-front jacket with a bear pirate on it, along with a pirate onesie and navy pants? On sale? Yes!!

(Granted, I am a little biased. I don’t like pink. I never have. I have pale skin and auburn hair, so pink looks dreadful on me. Munchkin has the same coloring, so she looks much better in navy, army green, and dark brown than in any shade of pink.)

Later, at a neighborhood kids resale shop, I encountered the same thing: pink and impractical for girls, navy and practical for boys. Just higher-end boutique clothing instead of big box store offerings. That didn’t stop me from buying a boys’ zip-front navy sweater for my little girl. From France. The tag read, “petit boy.”

I guess I’m surprised and disappointed that the clothing industry continues this stereotyping.

I’m looking forward to time at the sewing machine, when I can make Munchkin whatever I want, out of whatever fabric I want. Stereotypes be damned,

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