Pattern Manipulation and Thinking Outside of the Box
You know what I love, love, love about patterns? They are marvelously versatile. You just have to look at them with a keen eye.
Take, for example, this Simplicity pattern:
Would you believe it could be used to create the child-sized alb picture above?* I kid not. That's versatility, my friends. I was able to take a girl's pattern for a coat and turn it into a boy's priest costume in a snap! All it took was a wee bit of pattern manipulation.
I am not a master pattern manipulator. In fact, I think I forgot everything I learned about it in fashion design school. However, I am usually successful at simple pattern changes and that was all it took to repurpose this pattern. The key was to look at the structure instead of the style.
I do so encourage you to attempt it, should you need a priest costume for a little boy in your life. (Tip: Use a 14" zipper and something that doesn't wrinkle as much as the 100% cotton sheet I used.)