In my very first blog-post I said I was going to write about Shingo Sato’s TR Masterclass later. That was almost 4 months ago… So I believe it’s time!

In case you’re not familiar with Shingo Sato, he’s a Japanese designer and patternmaking-instructor who travels around the world to teach his method called TR cutting (=transformational reconstruction) at different fashion schools. You can see the list of the schools at his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/trcuttingschool/

TR Masterclass

In case a workshop is not an option for you, Shingo Sato also organizes online classes. Among those, there’s the Masterclass, which is kind of a summary of everything. During 5 months it goes from the basic techniques to the more advanced ones. You’ll learn all kinds of cool things. I checked the latest information and it says there are 40 topics.

So how does an online course work? You’ll learn from videos you can either watch online or download for yourself. In each video Shingo Sato demonstrates clearly a technique for you to learn and then you’ll make your version of the task. It’s often a copy-task but sometimes you can improvise. When finished, you take pictures of your outcome and send them to Mr Sato to see if he’ll approve.

Every week there’s a new video or two. You’re encouraged to keep pace with the tasks, but you can also make them whenever you have time. I think you get a couple of extra months at the end of the course to finish them all.

You must have some basic sewing- and patternmaking skills for sure. And you’ll need a dressform.

There’s a technical assessment -task to complete before you can take the course, but it’s nothing too complicated. This also gives you an opportunity to see how it is to work with the videos.

My experience

I did TR Masterclass in 2015-16, so some of the tasks might have changed now. But I’ll share a few of my favorites, starting from the beginning. I think that’s the best way to have an idea about the course.

The starting point is a basic bodice-pattern, which you’ll obtain by draping on the stand. It’s perfectly fitted to your dressform. Actually, this was my technical-assessment -task!

The style-lines have an important role in TR cutting. The darts always become something else. Mostly, you’ll be working on the dressform, as it helps you see the results more easily.

But instead of draping directly, you’ll first sew the bodice normally with the darts and put it on the dressform. Then you’ll start to transform the piece by drawing stylelines (on the muslin-bodice), cutting, adding flare or other kinds of volumes, etc..

Sometimes you’ll work on a skirt. Here’s the ribbon-skirt. Originally there were darts and godet-seams but they have been replaced by stylelines.


There are a few tasks where you add volume which you’ll then gather. As an example, there’s another skirt. Also: notice the pocket. Pockets are a recurring theme!

gathered skirt

Several tasks are about adding another layer of fabric, which you drape in different ways:

draped hearts

draped flowers

draped bodice

sleeve drape

I quite enjoyed these more geometric shapes that were added on the bodice. You just build it on top of your basic bodice using paper and tape, and then find a way to flatten it by cutting in a certain way.

box integration


These two tasks aimed at integrating the sleeve to the bodice-pattern.

sleeve integration

sleeve and boxes

I also have to mention the necktie-integration. It was part of the trompe l’oeil -group, together with some collar-integration -tasks.

necktie integration

collar integration

The origami is not so well represented in this course, as there’s a separate course for them, but there were a few tasks. Here’s one:

origami bodice

To finish the tour, here’s a close-up of the accordion-collar, which was an extra-task:

accordion collar

I hope you got some kind of idea about the course. Did you notice what went on with the darts? There are lots of more pictures and all the info you need at the FB-page I mentioned before. Check out also Shingo Sato’s YouTube-channel https://www.youtube.com/user/trpattern/videos

If these are the kind of techniques that would be useful for you, then you should definitely look into it. Personally I’m glad I decided to enroll. It was a great experience for me. I think it’s pretty obvious that I have been massively influenced by the TR cutting-method. But more on that next time!

Has anybody else done TR workshops or online courses? How was it?

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