I Can’t Be Stopped: Matching Family Easter

family easter 2015

I am over the edge.  It’s official.  After many holidays and events where I insisted on dressing all the children in matching outfits, we have now celebrated our second? third? Easter where I made the entire FAMILY dress in matching outfits.  I am a monster.

Two dresses, two tops, two bow ties, one headband, one hair bow, one pair of shorts and a skirt.  Seven fabrics, nine patterns.  And a heavenly morning was had by all.  Read on for details and links!

gingham and a handmade bow tie

It all started with this fella.  Well, OK, the crazy didn’t start with him–I probably would have made everyone match regardless.  But he set the tone for the fabric selection and colors.  He already had this gingham shirt in his closet, never worn, and about to be out-grown.  I wanted something bright to contrast it, and as I was searching for fabrics in this particular shade of blue (most of the fabrics in this post were purchased from Pink Castle Fabrics), ran across some small cuts of two Lotta Jansdotter prints.  Along with the perfect crosshatch from Carolyn Friedlander in cadet blue, we had the basis for an epic Easter wardrobe.

linen shorts with tuxedo stripe

For the boy, his gingham shirt plus a bow tie and a pair of linen shorts–complete with tuxedo stripe.  The shorts pattern is my own, but the tuxedo stripe was inspired by Rae; you can make a similar pair with her Parsley Pants pattern.  The bow tie is from this free pattern.

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Fabric for the bow tie is Violet Craft; linen for the shorts is Robert Kaufman; fabric for the tuxedo stripe is Carolyn Friedlander.

father son matching bow ties

He and his father had matching bow ties.  I had wild and grand plans to finish my husband’s navy linen sport coat in time for Easter services, but once again failed to meet that goal.  Argh!!  When will you release me from your torment, sport coat?!?

tween easter outfit

For his older sister, a new shirt and a sweet headband.  She already had the skirt and leggings (purchased for back to school), as well as the shoes.  I wanted to sew her something substantial, and this Music Class blouse was just the ticket.  Pattern available from Oliver + S.  The headband is my pattern (free tutorial tomorrow!).

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Fabric for the blouse is from MODA.  Fabric for the headband is the same Violet Craft print as the bow ties.  Buttons are the small shirt style that come a dollar a card from Hancock.

father daughter matching outfits for easter

See?  I’m NOT crazy.  The matching is charming!!  I love a family that coordinates for major holidays.

flip flop dress and pinafore with side pockets

The youngest had the largest handmade garments: both a Flip Flop dress and a Pinafore.  She specifically requested HUGE pockets on the Pinafore: “big enough for three or FOUR eggs, Mommy!”  I aim to please.  I added them with the print perpendicular to the rest of the dress so she’d be able to find the eggs later.  A mother has to plan ahead.

easter hair bow and pinafore

She also had a matching hair bow, because the Violet Craft print PERFECTLY matched the Lotta print of her Pinafore.  The cross hatch of the Flip Flop dress she’s wearing under the Pinafore is the same Carolyn Friedlander as her brother’s tuxedo stripe on his shorts.

the pinafore sewing pattern

Both the Flip Flop dress and the Pinafore are my patterns; they’re heading out for testing in the next few days and should be available for sale sooon!!  The hair bow was a little ad hoc the night before Easter–tutorial next week!

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Its not easter until someone tries to ride the dog

It’s not a holiday until someone tries to ride the dog.  Poor sweet dog.  (She’s fine, by the way, and escaped to snacks and safety soon after this photo was taken.)

skirt and top for easter

For me, a Sailor Top and a skirt.  The Sailor Top was a HUGE success and one of my new favorite garments for this coming summer.  Ugh, I love it SO much.

Easter sailor top

Great shape, great fit, great fabric.  (This is another Lotta print.)  It’s a perfect storm of summer casual.  Jubilee!

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I liked that while we all matched, we didn’t quite MATCH match, if you get my meaning.  I liked that we had coordinating prints, but the individual outfits could stand on their own; and that even when we were all together, it wasn’t any one print so often that it was overwhelming.  We’ll actually wear all these clothes again (in fact, nothing I made for Easter has gone UNworn at least once more since, with the exception of the bow ties).

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I was vastly less satisfied with the skirt, unfortunately.  The only exception to the statement above that all these garments have been worn again.  It was very ad hoc and last-minute, no pattern, just quick chalk lines to sketch in measurements.  I didn’t calculate darts, and that’s going to be the death knell for this skirt.  It’s just too square, and while I don’t have much ba-donk-a-donk to be concerned about, the fit isn’t great.

ad hoc skirt for easter

And honestly–this was my larger concern–the shape wasn’t very good with this top.  I was vastly more comfortable in the Sailor Top with skinny jeans for the egg hunt later that day than I was Easter morning in the skirt.  C’est la vie.

matching family easter 2015

All this sewing represents somewhere in the neighborhood of about 18 hours of sewing spread out over five or six days.  It wasn’t burdensome, although I admit that on the Saturday before Easter I spent the bulk of the day (gloriously, gleefully) at my sewing machine–and bless my sweet husband’s heart for driving the kids to activities that day so I could do it!  I don’t know if 18 hours sounds like an oppressive amount of time, but I loved every second of it, and am really tickled with the result.

How about you?  Were you tortured as a child with matching outfits?  Do you torture your own family?  Or does matching outfits sound like your love language?  I think I’m all three!

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  • Laura J.
    April 14, 2015 at 9:48 am

    We barely did family pictures, let alone matching (or shall I say “coordinating”– yours are NOT matchy matching) outfits, so I really love seeing them. I wish I could get my husband to willingly participate though. He is generally the photographer though. My daughter and I often (probably too often) wear coordinating outfits, though her independent streak (pajama tops with everything) is getting a little too far out for me.

    • Deborah
      April 14, 2015 at 11:11 am

      Haha! This makes me laugh–because what I DIDN’T say is that I took most of the photos and was so cranky by the end that even though my husband tried to help, I bit his head off and asked him to go away. Which explains the petulant expression on my face in all the photos of me! Not much Easter spirit in those, I’m afraid. But the matching is fun, and the cranky memories fade faster (thankfully) than the good ones, so I hope the children remember the fun of the day (and my husband, too!) more than the temper tantrum Mommy (mostly silently) pitched. D’oh! 🙂

      I love hearing that you and your daughter match your outfits–there is NO too often!!

  • Samina
    April 14, 2015 at 10:24 am

    You are whacked, but you’re all adorable in your coordinating Easter wear. I do like the coordinated-without-being-overly-matchy look you came up with. It’s sweet & subtle without being saccharine.

    • Deborah
      April 14, 2015 at 11:13 am

      “Whacked” is EXACTLY the word!! What sane person does this to the people she loves most in the world?? 🙂 My mother made matching outfits for her and me and my sister, and honestly, we loved them when we wore them and I love them when I see them in photos now. I hope my kids sense that this is an act of family solidarity, and that it binds us all more tightly together!

  • Mary Ann
    April 14, 2015 at 10:56 am

    So fun! I bought the Sailor pattern last week but haven’t settled on fabric yet. And will look forward to the new little girl dress patterns. With 7 granddaughters, 3′ still little, I can see a plethora of cousin missy match coming! And it works right into my sewing bucket list for 2015. As the only girl I did occasionally have matching dresses with my Mom, the most wonderful seamstress. My girls are 10 yrs apart and I never managed to sew for them both at the same time, wonder if they’d be up for it now.

    • Deborah
      April 14, 2015 at 11:15 am

      You’ll LOVE the Sailor Top! My first one was made from double gauze, which I can’t recommend highly enough (Cotton + Steel have some lovely ones)–it’s SO soft and the drape is nice, but without being clingy. Very tasteful but breezy and cool for summer. And so comfortable!

      I love the idea of matching cousins–I don’t think my cousins and I ever did that, but my mother’s sister passed away when we were still young, so maybe we didn’t have the chance as little girls. At least one of them would TOTALLY be up for it now as adults, though, I have zero doubt, so I bet it’s not too late for your girls! Headbands, at the very least? 🙂

  • Melissa Irvin
    April 14, 2015 at 11:07 am

    You are amazing! I would love to have 1/20 of your talent!

    • Deborah
      April 14, 2015 at 11:16 am

      How sweet are you!! Of course, you’d have mild brain damage to go along with the sewing, just to come up with hare brained ideas like this. Is that a fair tradeoff?? 🙂 I’m so glad you liked these–they were really fun to plan and sew!!

  • Lemon Drop Love: Small World Fabric | Whipstitch
    September 8, 2015 at 9:50 am

    […] The dress is the Flip Flop Dress, my next pattern after the Pinafore–in fact, since they’re designed to be used either together or separately, they’ll probably release on the same day.  (The two patterns together are the same outfit I made for our girl for Easter.) […]