Do you ever see so much hype over a pattern or designer, that you become immediately wary of the product? I call it the "over-sell" and I'm totally guilty of this behavior myself. (Yesterday, I gave a glowing review of my all-time-favorite-peanut-butter-ever-ever-EVER to my father in law. Sincere? Totally. But ... it's still just peanut butter.)
That is how I felt about Sis Boom. The masses sung their praises! Which only made me skeptical. Sure the designs are darling, but life changing??
I had to do some investigating myself.
I started small. No zippers, buttons, or complicated lines. First up, the Judy Pants. I tested the pattern and was immediately blown away by the level of detail covered throughout the tutorial. SB and I were off to a good start!
Then I promoted the Easy Fits for the first Bundle Up. 2-for-2, because THESE are adorable!
Then I woke up one morning, put on my big girl pants and decided to tackle a dress.
I went off the beaten path a bit and chose the Rebecca for my formal pattern review. Between the zipper and the princess seams, this dress is an exemplary pattern to put Carla's drafting, assembly, and tutorial writing to the test. Let's do it!!
Pattern Piece Assembly
Since I only sew women's wear for myself, I appreciate that each size is separate in the pattern. No wasted paper or confusing lines, hurrah! Going by my measurements, I made the 0 and was pumped to find I could squeeze an entire dress (and match up stripes!) using... wait for it...
ONE YARD OF FABRIC. Whaaaaaaaaaat?? High five, somebody, anybody, don't leave me hangin'!
...Sadly, my fabric choice was sort of see-through, so I used another yard to fully line the dress. Oh well, I choose not to dwell on such things ;)
I'll be honest, I had a little trouble with the princess seams. Mostly because I was sewing 4 layers (2 outer and 2 lining) instead of just the 2 layers the original pattern only calls for. The added bulk ended up pinching a bit around the steepest curve. Bummer :P
The zipper installation was actually surprisingly simple! I definitely recommend basting it in place until you're satisfied with the installation and fit. I got lucky and nailed both on the first go!
Speaking of fit, I LOVE it. I think it's really flattering! And there's a reason for that: the pattern is FULL of customization options - Petite, Tall, Regular bodice lengths, and a handful of skirt lengths. (Every SisBoom pattern I've encountered is this way, actually!) It was easy to get the perfect fit.
I made the size 0 per my measurements and the resulting dress has a slightly relaxed fit. I appreciate the extra room to move comfortably in, but those wanting a tighter fit might consider sizing down.
This little number screams "Summer!!", but with the right fabric choices (and a slightly longer skirt) I'll have a great dress to layer for Fall, too.
The Bottom Line
Will this dress (and designer) change your life? Probably not. But it WILL change your sewing. You'll have an arsenal of classic designs, each complete with thorough instructions, prepared to expand your sewing skills one advanced technique at a time. If you haven't sewn SisBoom yet - give it a whirl. You'll be surprised to learn what you're capable of under Carla's expert instruction!