The first round of this years TR masters’ challenge finished at the end of August. This is the first time the Challenge has been divided in two parts. We had a month to complete 5 tasks and we’ll continue in December. Total of 22 TR masters from around the world managed to pass the first round and I’m lucky to be among them.

This is my third time to participate. The reason why it’s called a challenge, is that we don’t really get instructions on how to draft the patterns. So here’s how a task looks like. The picture is from TR cutting school’s FB page.

As you can see, it’s a bunch of pictures of the outcome from different angles.

The tasks are based on the skills you learn during the TR Masterclass. For example, this time it was origami-techniques.

Mission 1

Let’s have a closer look at the first task, which was an origami-sleeve.

origami sleeve

In my original version here (which got accepted) I had a smaller sleeve-cap, so I took this opportunity to re-make it with a bit of added puff. I took quite a few pictures along the way to share with you.

How to make the sleeve

To add some puff to any sleeve, a simple way is to lift the sleeve-cap a few cm like this.

adding puff

Usually you would then just gather the extra volume, but in this case it’s used to create darts. I took measurements from the bodice front and -back to see exactly how much extra do I have. It was 7 cm, which I divided in 3 little darts like in the picture.

The other lines are my planned origami-design. Notice how 3 of them end at the points of the little darts.

At this point I started adding volume to create the origami folds. You can refer to the bamboo-bodice -tutorial, to get an idea.

It’s just that this is origami-petal -folds, so it’s folded differently. Here you can see the first fold ready:

first fold

The next fold will be placed on top of the first one. I just simply cut through it like this. Keep the first fold closed the whole time though.


Here we have the second fold ready.

second fold

I freed the first fold by cutting the edges of the second one.

cutting first fold free

Remember how in the bamboo-bodice you cut in the middle of the dart? Well, in this case you cut the side.

Here you can see a third fold. Notice how the cut finishes at the same point as the new folded volume. I trimmed off extra paper at that line.

Third fold

Just to be clear, here’s the same thing with all the folds open.

folds open

An example of using the sleeve-cap volume to create an origami-fold.

closing mini-dart

Now you should be able to finish the pattern. This is how it looks like when it’s done.

pattern ready

And here’s the same in fabric. Remember to snip all the reference points you need.

fabric version

The sleeve is starting to take shape.

sewing sleeve

Here you can see the sleeve-cap curving.

folds ready

Finished sleeve.

sleeve readysleeve ready 2

Mission 2

The second task was a skirt with lots of origami-petals. I think this was quite difficult to sew because all the petals were under other petals and I didn’t even know where to start! It was quite a mess, but in the end I finished.

origami skirt

Check out this video by trpattern. It’s a bodice, but it gives you a good starting point on how you could make the skirt.

Mission 3

Let’s talk about the third task! In my opinion, this was the most difficult of all.

origami bodice

It took me so much time to figure out the pattern. The basic technique is the same as before, the origami-petals. But there were so many of them, and there were interwoven areas, too. It would’ve been easier if it didn’t have to be a one pattern-piece.

I kept changing the positioning of the petals, cutting and taping. The pattern just seemed impossible. I also sewed it twice. After about a week of trial and error I finally managed to get it done.

Mission 4

Task number 4 was a beautiful dress with a braided motif in the centre. My favorite.

braided dress

Even though it has a different look, it’s still a version of the bamboo-bodice. More volume you add, more little folds you can do with them. I think I added more than 20cm per cut. The darts get absorbed in the design. Well, I made box-pleats, rather than petals, so that I had to fold both ends. The folds that finish at the hemline create extra flare. Here’s what my final pattern looked like.


Mission 5

The final task was similar to the previous one. The braided motif was on the shoulder, absorbing the sleeve with the bodice front and -back, becoming a one pattern-piece (+a small triangle separated under the arm).

braided shoulder

I must include this picture I took from above where you can see the braid better.

braid detail

There it was, all 5 missions. I’m looking forward to the second round! Apparently there will be 15 tasks waiting for us. We’ll see how that goes. Can’t wait!

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  1. WOW!! It’s a great way to stretch one’s mind and you certainly get better at it. Great job, I look forward to reading about the next phase. Well-done

    • shapesoffabric Reply

      Definitely! 🙂 It’s good to know alternative ways to draft patterns.

  2. Hi amazing where can i learn origami online i would appreciate your referral.your instagram page is also amazing than/ for dedmystifying origami a little i loved it

    • shapesoffabric Reply

      Thank you! 🙂 It’s just a fabric remnant I had. I think it’s a cotton-polyester mix.

  3. I love the dress and would like to try making it, would it be possible for you to some more details on how you created it. I just started learning how to make clothes. Love from Nigeria

    • shapesoffabric Reply

      Thank you! 🙂 that was one of my favorites too. I’ll see if I can add some passages to the pattern.

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