Months ago, in the dead of summer, I had the idea to make Lila a Minki house coat this winter. Minki is sofffffft like kitten fur and tends to wash well, so I let Lila choose from the huge selection of Minki at work. She’s obsessed with tigers and insists this is tiger print. Ok, kid. The spots and color variation will help hide toddler messes, right?
She recently received an invitation to her cousins’ jungle-themed birthday party. Prizes for costumes. Personally, I’d rather be hung by my thumbs than make a cutesy leopard sort of costume, so I thought I could kill two birds with one stone- a cute little minki housecoat with a button-in tail and an ears headband. My daughter won’t be a pariah at the party and I won’t have to make one of those costumes. It’s win-win, right? (How does that kid pee in that costume?) I drafted most of the housecoat pattern, borrowing a Peter Pan collar and the sleeves from two Oliver + S patterns I have on hand. The sleeves stop at the elbow, and the hem stops at her knee. She’s precious, but little kids aren’t very neat or graceful and I don’t want to impede her physical activity with overlong skirts or sleeves.
I didn’t question the choice of fabric for a little girl’s coat until I’d set in the collar and the sleeves. All of a sudden I thought I might just be walking a fine line between creative interpretation of a theme (jungle for a toddler party) and dressing my baby like a tiny tart.
Once I added the lower part of the coat, I thought it might be decent. After all, it’s a cross between a utility at-home garment and a costume for a kiddie party.