Pattern Review - Marissa Dress by Sis Boom

Melissa here again, from Ms Midge!  Today I'm reviewing the Marissa Dress by Sis Boom.  I fell in love with this pattern as soon as I saw the photo at Patterns Only.  You can buy the pattern HERE.  I'm setting myself a challenge of NOT buying any dresses for my two girls this Summer, just making them. I thought this dress would be perfect as it goes from size 6months - 14 years.  Amazing!
As per usual, I didn't read much about the pattern before purchasing.  I'm what you would call an impulse buyer.  So when the PDF pattern arrived in my inbox and I opened it up, I reeled in horror to realise I would have to sew in a ZIPPER!  I have only made one garment with a zipper since circa 1992, so I took some deep breaths and continued reading.
The best piece of advice I can give you in regards to this pattern is READ the instructions - multiple times.  I've said before that I usually read as I make, but I had this cut out for many days before I could wrap my head around the instructions and get started.  But once I did - it really did make perfect sense.
One of the great things about this pattern is the detail in the instructions, pictures and photos.  The other brilliant fact is that each size is printed individually - so no tracing lines, just print and cut it out!  Love.  So off to my stash I went and chose a beautiful lightweight print that I bought earlier this year and had been waiting to use.  I'm not sure how well fabric with more weight would work, as with this poplin it is light with lots of movement.  So maybe stick with something similar.
Cutting out the pattern pieces was super easy.  Make sure to mark the notches from the pattern pieces on to your fabric, as you will need them.  Instructions were very straight forward, up until the part where you have to sew the bodice front to the bodice back.  But after reading it for the fourth time, I got it!  And I was super pleased with the finished result.
Another part I had trouble processing, was when it came to sewing the bodice and the skirt together.  The drawings in the tutorial did not make sense to me, so I basically went back to what I know, which is putting right sides together upside down and pinning.  Like this: 

Now because your skirt is so super gathered, it is important to take an extra few minutes making sure that when you're sewing it together your edges are truly matching.  Next time I make this I will sew with the gathering facing upwards to me, so I can ensure this.  If your edges aren't matching, you risk having some of them open and sticking out of your front seam.  (Yes, this was me).  I fixed it by then sewing another seam a little further in to catch the edges.
Next came the zipper insertion (gasp!).  But I must say, I surprised myself by not having any trouble whatsoever.  The instructions calls for the use of a glue stick to glue the zip on to the fabric.  I had no glue stick so instead just used plenty of pins.  This is how it turned out:
I was pretty pleased with myself!
Last but not least was adding the little straps.  This again was very straight forward and easy.  Make sure you have a decent sized needle in your machine, as the elastic and fabric get quite bulky.
One thing to note is this pattern uses 1/4 inch seam allowances.  I get a bit nervous with such narrow allowances, so made sure I did lots of back stitching and took my time.  Even then - the whole dress from start to finish took me approximately three hours.  Not bad!
The pleated waistband calls for it to be randomly pleated - perfect!

Finished product

Little Miss 4 was VERY happy with her new dress and wanted to wear it all day!
But it is Melbourne, so it will have to wait!

Back View.
So - my verdict?  Beautiful pattern with lots of instructions and tips.  Sizing is spot on - this is a size 3/4 and Chloe is wearing size 4 at present.  I would recommend this for an Intermediate skilled sewer.  But as always - if you're keen to test yourself, then go for it!
Thanks for reading - I hope it was helpful!
Melissa x


  1. Ohh love the fabric - I have made this dress twice for both my girls and the instructions are so easy follow. Love Sis boom! There is a similiar one in her book that is on my list for this summer, slightly different top just need to find the perfect fabric for it.

  2. Cute pattern, thanks for the review!