adj -tier, -tiest
Smart in appearance or dress; spruce; dapper. “a natty outfit”
the Spanish word for boy or child
As if updating one two three blogs wasn’t enough, I present to you my latest project—Natty Niño.
I’m just going to come out and say it—Samson gets a crazy amount of compliments on his snappy outfits. I’m convinced half the people who say he’s cute wouldn’t think so if he weren’t dressed so well. Moms (and not moms, and sales associates, and MEN) often ask me where I get his clothes. And the truth is—same place as they do, probably. But I guess being the son of a costume designer, it just gets all put together differently. That, and, I’m a bit obsessed with the whole process.
When I was pregnant with Samson, I agonized over what I would dress a boy in. Do I *have* to dress him in blue? Is something like *this* gonna look too girly? I hate that (and this extends to decor too) boys wear blue, girls wear pink, and if you’re unsure of the sex or are going for something neutral, the kid wears yellow, green, or brown. And not bright, vibrant variations of these colours. No, something more akin to poo. Or, you know, something you more reasonable types would call beige. Whatever happened to orange, and red and bright FUN colours? What happened to clothes without cartoon characters on them? Why can girls be pretty, but boys have to be comfortable (in the most horrible cargo-pant definition of the word)? Good girl clothes are abundant (not to mention easier to sew yourself). Boy clothes, however, are emblazoned with trucks or soccer balls or stupid messages about being Mom’s something-or-other. I mean my kid loves trucks as much as the next boy, but does he have to announce that on his shirts? (He does. Sometimes. But I digress.) Why would I buy my boy a faded surfing or volleyball t-shirt if neither myself nor my husband have ever surfed and the last time we touched a volleyball was in Grade 9 gym? Hubby doesn’t dress like a frat boy, so why should our son? Sure, you can find lovely expensive clothes for boys. But kids grow out of things so quickly, get things so dirty, there’s no way I’m paying more than 10 bucks for a t-shirt unless it’s really special. But walk into a Joe Fresh and it’s like the male/female walk-in-closet division: ALL THIS SPACE FROM HERE TO HERE is for girls. And that little corner is for boys. It’s behind the pillar. Craft shows have nothing for boys, save some ironic t-shirts. And walk in to a Children’s Place or Old Navy or Walmart or Zellers or Winners or Gymboree or OshKosh (etc) and it’s like I describe above.
But there is hope. It can be done.
And so, on the advice of a friend, here we are. Natty Niño is a collection of (mostly) iPhone shots of Mr. S’ (almost) daily outfits. All purchased at affordable prices in the stores I mention above, with a few splurges along the way.
Clothes make the man toddler. They’ve made Samson who y’all know and love. And I want your boy to be snazzy too. Your boy can look fabulous. He too can be a Natty Niño. And here’s how.
I’m generally not an Ikea Hacker, but the Koja tent Buddy-O got for Christmas just begs to be embellished. We’ve already added some soft padding, a homemade quilt, and even some hanging stars (that were promptly ripped down). And now–the tent has a door!
Please overlook the wonky placement. Though the door itself was very easy to make, the attachment to the tent was harder than I expected. I basted, I sewed, I ripped, I sewed again, but still the door is pulling to the left. I suspect it has something to do with how the fabric is stretched once the tent is up. Now that I have a walking foot for my machine, I may take it down and reattach, but really I think I can live with it.
The door is just a rectangle of fabric finished with some double-fold bias tape. I hand-stitched it on because that was the look I was going for, but you could easily bind it by machine and save yourself some time. The ties are extra pieces of bias tape. Remember when attaching the door to put one side of the tie on the outside of the fabric and one on the inside or you won’t be able to tie the fabric up once its rolled. (You should have a tent, tie, door/fabric, tie sandwich before attaching.)