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Block Paper Scissors

Learn three customizations for the Gabrielle dress, by Anna Aguirre.

Tutorials & Techniques

Block Paper Scissors

Learn three customizations for the Gabrielle dress, by Anna Aguirre.

Posted in: Tutorials & Techniques • April 30, 2017






Block Paper Scissors is a monthly column featuring patternmaking hacks that will help you give your Seamwork patterns a custom spin—all you need is paper, a ruler, and a pencil! Each month we walk you through three different pattern hacks so you can create a garment exactly to your preference.

This month we walk you through three different pattern hacks for the Gabrielle dress, which you can mix and match to create a unique garment. Learn how to create a smooth back yoke, a twist back yoke, or a petal cap sleeve.

Note: Be sure to make any fit adjustments before doing the pattern hack.

You'll Need:


  • The Gabrielle dress

  • Paper

  • Pencil

  • Scissors

  • Clear ruler

  • French curve


Smooth Back Yoke









Step | 01

Draw a line at the center back on the back yoke pattern piece (about 9 1/2” [24 cm] for misses sizes, about 10” [25 cm] for plus sizes). Cut along this line to trim off the tie.





Step | 02

Label the pattern piece “cut 2 on fold” along the center back.





Step | 03

Cut out the pattern pieces in fabric. With right sides together, match the two back yoke pieces at the neckline and bottom curved edge. Pin. Stitch.

Step | 04

Turn the back yoke right sides out.

Step | 05

Attach the back yoke to the dress according to the pattern instructions.

Twist Back Yoke









Step | 01

Follow steps 1 - 4 from the previous section to assemble the back yoke unit.














Step | 02

Twist the back yoke at the center back. Depending on the stretch and thickness of your fabric, you can make one or two twists.

Step | 03

Attach the back yoke to the dress according to the pattern instructions.

Petal Cap Sleeve













Step | 01

Using a French curve, draw two overlapping curved lines on the sleeve piece, from the hem to the sleeve cap.





Step | 02

Trace off the sleeve front and sleeve back pattern pieces. Label each “cut 2.”





Step | 03

Cut out the pattern pieces in fabric.

Step | 04

Hem the bottom curved edges of the sleeve pieces.





Step | 05

Match the front and back sleeve pieces together by aligning circles. The front sleeve should overlap the back sleeve.

Step | 06

Baste the sleeve caps together.

Step | 07

Attach the sleeve units to the dress according to the pattern instructions.

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