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Block Paper Scissors


Learn three pattern hacks for the Alice shirt, by Anna Aguirre.

Block Paper Scissors


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 Alice shirt. Learn how to create a tunic version, shorten the sleeves, and change the neckline.

Note: For best results, be sure to make any necessary fit adjustments before hacking your pattern.

You’ll Need:

  • Alice
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Clear ruler
  • French curve











Create a Tunic

Step | 01

Cut along the lengthen and shorten line on the front (A).


Step | 02

Add 10 – 12” of space between the top and bottom portion of the front (A). You can add more or less length depending on your style preference.

Step | 03

Draw a perpendicular line out from the center front. Extend the line 6 – 8” away from the side seam at the hem.



Step | 4

Re-draw the side seam from the armhole to the hem line. Add a slight curve near the waist area. Re-draw the center front line.

Step | 05

Trace off the new pattern piece and label cut on fold.

Step | 06

Repeat steps 1-5 for the back (B).

Step | 07

Sew the garment according to the pattern instructions.


Shorten the Sleeves


Step | 1

Measure from your shoulder cap down your bicep to the desired length of your sleeve.

Step | 2

On the sleeve (C) pattern piece, draw a line parallel to the grainline from the circle at the sleeve (C) cap down as long as the desired length.


Step | 3

Draw a line perpendicular to the previous line. This will be your hem line.

Step | 4

Draw another line 1” below the line in step 3. This will be your cut line and hem allowance.

Step | 5

Cut along this line.

Step | 6

Sew the garment according to the pattern instructions.


Change the Neckline




Step | 1

Repeat all steps in the previous section to create a 3/4-length sleeve. A 3/4-length sleeve should sit just above or below your elbow.


Step | 2

Measure down about 2 – 3” (or desired length) from the center front (A) neckline. Make a mark.

Step | 3

Draw a curved line from the shoulder to the mark, to create a new neckline shape.

Step | 4

Cut along this line.


Step | 5

Measure the length of the new front (A) and back (B) neckline. Draw a new neckband that is 2 1/2” shorter than this measurement.

Step | 6

Sew the garment according to the pattern instructions.


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Use the techniques and ideas featured in each month’s issue to create these and other quick & lovely projects.

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