Block Paper Scissors is a monthly column that teaches three pattern hacks. These hacks help you give your Seamwork patterns a custom spin—all you need is paper, a ruler, and a pencil!
This month, we walk you through three different pattern hacks for the Laura skirt. Learn how to create a button placket, box pleats, and angled hem.
Note: For best results, be sure to make any necessary fit adjustments before hacking your pattern.
- Clear ruler
- French curve
1. Cut along the lengthen and shorten line on the front skirt piece.
2. Lengthen the front skirt by 5-6 inches, or your desired preference.
3. Redraw the side seams of the front skirt.
4. Repeat steps 2-3 on the back pattern piece.
5. On the right front skirt, measure in 2 5/8” from the left side seam. Trim this section away from the front skirt. The section cut away from the skirt will become the right front skirt button placket. Transfer the grainline to the right front skirt button placket.
6. Add 5/8” seam allowance to the cut line on the right front skirt and button placket.
7. Add 8 buttonhole markings approximately 1” wide to the button placket. Space them evenly and in the center of the right front skirt button placket. Adjust the number of buttonholes if necessary, according to the size of your desired button or style. Label this piece “cut 2 self on grain, cut 1 interfacing.”
8. On the left front skirt, add 8 button markings to the left side seam portion of the skirt. If you adjusted the number of buttonholes in the previous step, adjust the number of button markings accordingly.
9. Add a buttonhole and button marking on the front waistband at the left side seam.
10. Cut all pattern pieces, and interface the waistband.
11. Assemble the skirt and attach the button placket to the front right skirt.
12. Attach the waistband. Finish by sewing all buttonholes and buttons.
1. Cut the front skirt piece in half. Label the center front with a fold line.
2. Divide the waistline into three equal lengths. Divide the hem line into three equal lengths.
3. Draw lines connecting the waist to the hem at these markings.
4. Cut along these lines.
5. Add 2-4” inches of space between the cut lines to create pleats. Mark the center of these lines.
6. Redraw the waist and hem lines. Depending on how wide your pattern becomes once the box pleats are added, you can change one or both of the center lines to seam lines, so that the pattern piece will fit onto your fabric. Make sure to add seam allowance if you add seam lines.
7. Clearly label the box pleats.
8. Label the pattern piece “cut 2 on fold, on grain.”
9. Cut all pattern pieces. Baste the box pleats in place.
10. Finish the garment according to the pattern instructions.
1. Draw a marking 5-6” up from the left side seam.
2. Draw a curved edge from the right side seam hem up to the marking you just created at the left side seam.
3. Draw 5/8” hem allowance along this curved edge.
4. Cut along the hem allowance edge to remove the bottom left corner of the front skirt. This piece will become your right front skirt piece.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 for the left front skirt piece on the right side seam.
6. Finish the garment according to the pattern instructions.