Instructables

Making a Cutout Back Lined Dress with a Center Back Zipper

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Picture of Making a Cutout Back Lined Dress with a Center Back Zipper
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There are tutorials online for making back cutouts in dresses with side zippers, but I couldn't find any for dresses with center back zippers, so I thought it through and tried it. I wanted a diamond cutout to echo the shape of Superman's logo, since my dress was made with Superman fabric.

You can make this modification with any fairly fitted bodice pattern that has a center back zipper. I started with the McCall's 5845 pattern. These instructions assume that you are familiar with the basic steps of dressmaking and will not teach you to insert the zipper or make the dress; I'm only explaining how to modify your existing dress pattern for the cutout. 
 
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Step 1: Prep your bodice pattern.

Picture of Prep your bodice pattern.
First, I sewed up the neckhole and armholes of my bodice, right sides together. Then I used a washable fabric marker to sketch the shape I wanted on the lining of the dress using a washable fabric marker. Make sure that you account for seam allowance. Note that I had the point of the diamond end where my center back seam will eventually be, not where the fabric ends.

You may find it helpful to sketch a shape on another piece of paper first, then use it to trace the outline onto your lining fabric.

Step 2:

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I pinned around the cutout to hold the bodice and lining together, then sewed the outline of the cutout by following the lines I drew on the lining. Since my shape was all straight edges, it was pretty easy, just need to make sure to stop and pivot at the corners. If you are doing a shape with round edges, like a circle or heart, go slowly and rotate a little bit as you sew.

Step 3: Cut out the cutout!

Picture of Cut out the cutout!
I used pinking shears to cut out the diamond shape, leaving about 1/4 inch of seam allowance. I clipped the corners almost to the stitching line so that it would be a crisp corner once turned.
elimasmx12 months ago
Hi! Awesome dress! I tried finding the pattern but it seems to be a different dress :( You sure it's the 5845? Thanks!
Cation Designs (author)  elimasmx12 months ago
Yes, it's McCall's 5845, which is out of print. It doesn't really matter which pattern you use, though, as long as it has a fitted bodice.
elimasmx elimasmx12 months ago
Actually I think I found it.. is it this one? http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6754-products-46534.php?page_id=108
RubyR1 year ago
Awsome! Excelent idea the re-use of the bed sheet... Looks just amazing! Congrats, it's a really cool project.
anezinis1 year ago
very nice!good idea!
love this dress! :) Where did You find this amazing fabric?
The fabric is actually a children's bed sheet that I found in a thrift store. Old sheets are my favorite source of fabric -- so much yardage for very little cost, and it's recycling to boot!
wilgubeast2 years ago
Best use of children's sheets ever. This is awesome. To the point where I may need to learn to sew in order to give one of these to my girlfriend.

That hole in the back, deliberately or not, looks like it could easily contain a very super S.
Cation Designs (author)  wilgubeast2 years ago
Thanks! Yeah, I was trying to make the back cut-out look like the Superman logo.
Success! It looks super. I would go so far as to say super duper, even. Keep posting your sweet projects. (This one was one of the top ten projects for the month of December, according to the author newsletter.)
Cation Designs (author)  wilgubeast2 years ago
Wow, I had no idea! Thanks for letting me know!
Foge ...foge mulher maravilha...foge foge com Superman! ;D
jspears12 years ago
This is amazing! I love it. You did such a great job and that cutout back makes it so much better.
hsantiago12 years ago
do you sell these dresses? I would totally buy one! I am not a great sewer and I don't have a sewing machine :(
notalis19702 years ago
LOVE it, I might do something like this for the next ComicCon I attend, instead of a costume. Where'd you get the material? I'd have to look online because I live in Italy...oh, and I need to learn to sew -__-
Cation Designs (author)  notalis19702 years ago
Thank you! I found this as a kids sheet in a thrift store, but then that kind of thing is much more common in the US. That said, I'm pretty sure you could order character sheets for whatever character you want online at the original retailer or on eBay.
What a cute dress. I love this sort of thing... it's so nice to show your geek cred while looking fancy. :D
Cation Designs (author)  jessyratfink2 years ago
That was my thought exactly! I have another dress made from Batman sheets whose print is a little less...errr...obnoxious, and most people didn't even realize it was Batman until my husband pointed it out!

Thanks for looking and commenting!
Beautiful!
What an awesome idea! I love it and it is so cute!