The other day, after a chilly first swimming lesson, Daniel sat shivering in his towel, eating his post-lesson snack, while Anya was warm and comfortable in a cover up. "Why can't I have a cover up?" he wanted to know. Why not indeed? I thought and promised him I'd have a look online for one when we got home.
Well, I looked. And looked. And came to the conclusion that manufacturers of children's swimwear and accessories apparently believe that only girls get cold in the water because they simply don't make cover ups for boys. A couple high-priced websites had cover ups for boy toddlers, but they stopped at size 4T, and Daniel is well past that size by now.
In all my ranting and raving about my issues with gender and children's clothing, this one truly baffles me. A cover up (in case you were wondering) is essentially a long sweatshirt made out of terrycloth meant to be worn at the pool or beach over a swimsuit to keep warm after spending time in the water. I just bought Anya's with her swimsuit when Lands End had a sale online, but you can get them for girls just about anywhere, and in a variety of styles. Some have hoods and some don't, some have long sleeves and some have short sleeves, some are pullovers and some zip up, but they are all made out of terrycloth, and are essentially like towels that stay on. So why not make these for boys? There is obviously a market out there, given that boys get in the water and need to warm up afterwards...it's not like you couldn't appliqué a football or the Incredible Hulk on there to make it more masculine for goodness' sake.
So, anyway, I couldn't find a cover up to purchase, and he didn't want one made for a girl, so I said I would make him one. I told him over and over I couldn't promise success. I didn't know if I would find the appropriate fabric and pattern, but I said I would do my best.
Happily, the nearby Joanns does have terrycloth in stock (not super-soft quality, but it is 100% cotton and available in several colors). I wasn't sure I could find a pattern, given the absolute dearth of patterns for boys' clothes (I'm actually not going to complain about this since there probably aren't a whole lot of boys who want homemade clothes...), but there was one Burda pattern for a fleece hooded sweatshirt that I figured would work.
And it did. I tell you what, I'm sold on Burda patterns now. The instructions are minimal at best, but the pieces fit together and if you have some previous sewing knowledge you'll do okay.
Here's the result:
Daniel is pretty pleased, I think!
I had a few modifications to the original pattern. I used terrycloth instead of fleece, I lengthened the body by 2" (for more coverage, given its purpose), and I put patch pockets on the front instead of in the side seam as called for. The side pockets just seemed like a pain, and Daniel really wanted a heart on one and star on the other.
Pockets closer up:
The important thing is that Daniel loves his new cover up and it will keep him warm!