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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Tips for Coordinating Outfits

Hello from Yellowstone!  I'm on vacation with my little family and we're having a blast so far. As you can see, I made some fun coordinating shirts for us before we left, and they have been a hit! I don't always make matching stuff for the whole family of course, but for special occasions it can be super fun. (And for the younger kids, every day IS a special occasion, right?)
 And that's what we're going to talk about today!  How to coordinate outfits.  There aren't any set rules for making sibling sets, parent/child sets, or family sets of course. But there are some helpful tips that we have put together for you, to make it a little easier to plan for your next matchy matchy project.
Technique 1: Exact same outfit in different sizes.
I think this is the most common way to make matching outfits, and it's pretty easy to do with our wide variety of sizing in many CKC patterns. What little girl wouldn't want to match her doll and sister and mom?  And of course those little dudes like to match their dads too.  This technique does tend to become less exciting for kids as they get a little older, so embrace it while you can! Here are some fun examples from our fans:

Sandra Smith
Dana Goodman
Technique 2: Same pattern and same fabric combos, but put together differently. 
 If you know you have a certain style you're going for and want your kids to be coordinating but not exactly matching, this will be a great option for you!  I suggest you start out with a great set of coordinating fabrics and write down a plan of which ones you'll use for which parts of the outfits. If you want some helpful tips for choosing good fabric combos, click here for that blog post. It's one of my favorites! 
Don't be afraid to mix up the fabrics in fun ways. Use the main print as the bodice on one dress and as the skirt on the other.  Use coordinates for the different pieces such as sashes, sleeves, etc.  Or you could even use one fabric design for one dress and its coordinate for the second dress. So many options! Here are some examples from our fans:
Megan Wachowski
Rachel Zhang
 Technique 3: Same fabric combos with different patterns.
This is definitely my method of choice when I'm doing boy/girl sibling sets. If both outfits are for girls, go ahead and girly it up all you want. But if one of the outfits is for a boy, I try to use coordinates that will look boyish on a boy. This is really easy to do with solids or geometrics, and a lot of fabric designers are coming out with super fun sets.  Here are some examples from our fans of using same fabrics but different patterns:
Alicia Bunting
Jenny Kyle
Tiff Coleman
Technique 4: Different patterns and different fabrics that look great together.
This technique is similar to the previous one, except that now you aren't using "matching" fabrics. Rather, you are using styles and fabrics that just look nice together. You can choose your main prints of one outfit and then choose other fabrics that look great with them. Pay attention to local trends, styles on Pinterest, other sewing mamas in our patterns group, and best of all -- ask somebody what they think. My husband is always a good source of unbiased opinions. Just be sure that you really want their opinion when you ask for it. You are likely to get it. :) It's not fair to ask for an opinion and then get upset if theirs is different than yours!  (This has been a hot topic in the past; can you tell?) Anyway, here are some examples from our fans:  
Klarissa Dimmick
Marcie Shea
Technique 5: Choose a character theme and go all out.
I think this technique is used most often for special occasions and holidays, but there's no reason to limit yourself if you're in the mood. Do your kiddos share a favorite movie or character? Dress them up! The littles LOVE these sets, as do the other mamas you'll see around town. Here are a few examples:
Stephanie Baker
Viki Muncy
Stephanie Baker
Now that we have covered some of the basic techniques, let's take a look at a bunch more of our fan examples.  I love seeing the sets that you make!  As you look through these, try to pick out some of the techniques we discussed.
Suze Vinton
Abigail Rivera
Danielle Scarbough
Gretchen Swadley
Kaitlin Limmer
Chrissy Grubovsky
Jestina Inman
Merav Ruthman
Gina Hannel
Chanel Richard
Krystal Moses
Rachel Cantrell
Kristen Bowers
Kristen Bowers
Aren't these amazing?! I hope it has been helpful and can inspire you in your future sewing.  Thank you so much to all of our fans who contributed photos of your creations to help us out today! So much cuteness in one blog post.
Do you have any suggestions we didn't mention here?  Feel free to comment here on the blog or come post in our patterns group on Facebook!  We love hearing from you.
Time for me to get back to these guys!  After all, they're the ones we really do it for, right?
Let's Create! ~ Kristen


  1. There is nothing cuter than to see a youthful youngster strolling along the walkway on a lovely day with his or her Mommy, wearing the same dress. Obviously, coordinating grown-up/tyke apparel has dependably been an incredible path for a guardian to associate with a youthful youngster.

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