Redesign Africa 2019

My dream as a dressmaker is to tell authentic African stories that exports our local culture, tradition and more importantly, our clothing and fashion to the world.

A Nigerian couple wearing the traditional ‘Tiv’ fabric called ‘Ukara’

I desire to do this by having a bit of every African culture embeded in my products, be it my dresses, accessories, homeware, basically every fashion piece I create.

Africa has some of the most beautiful fabrics and unique materials found here exclusively, and I believe we can harness our uniqueness into exportable fashion products.

As a dressmaker and creative director of my womenswear label ‘Dresses By Aloli’, my 5 year plan for my Pret-a-Porter line is to have my custom clothing and accessories made in fabrics and materials sourced in different African cities. I desire to sell authentic Pan African fashion products simply because I truly desire to curate and export our beauty to the world.

I want people including Africans to see the beauty in our local fabrics, to appreciate what we have and use what we have in growing our continent.

Woven fabrics from Ghana

Adire’, A popular Nigerian dyed cotton fabric.

Ukara’ is a Nigerian woven fabric that has unique symbols drawn on them.

To understand my why is to look through straggering negative statistics of poverty among women, malnutrition, low education among the girl child and gender inequality.

A woman weaving ‘Akwete’ fabric

I do believe we can grow our nation by looking inwards to develop what comes naturally to us.

Most low income earning women make a living mostly in the creative industry as tailors, beader, traditional weavers, dyers etc and so I believe technology can be used to redefine and revolutionise our creative industries, build modern machinery to produce our fabrics and empower our women to create profitable and scalable businesses.

Great things happen when women are empowered financially, they can break the cycle of poverty and provide for their families.

The most important effect of employment on women is the education they provide for their children.

Just like Deola Sagoe, an internationally celebrated Nigerian dressmaker, who has taken a traditional Nigerian woven fabric called ‘Aso Oke’ and transformed it into a stunning and gorgeous premium fabric used majorly for wedding. As she famously said in an interview “My inspiration flows from the desire to get people to buy Nigerian all the way… The way to the better lives we seek is to give our economy the boost it needs by making buying and selling locally created products and services. I got tired of seemingly calling always, something from somewhere else; the highest quality. I could see local things here and there that to me were the highest quality,true some need refinement, but the best results often arise when you just polish and present that which you see naturally occuring around you”.

Deoala Sagoe’s ‘Komole Kandid’ collection.

Deola Sagoe redesigned using technology the popular ‘Aso Oke; fabric and has made it so silky in beautiful laser cut motifs that give each piece of clothing an intrinsic meaning.

My vision is a desire to enroll and start a diploma or a masters in womenswear design or Fashion design. I have 2 schooling options.

The first is a 10 months Masters Program in womenwear design from Instituto Moda Burgo in Milan while the second option is a 7 months certificate course in Fashion Design at New York school of design. I have done a few short courses in Flat pattern cutting and garment construction here in Nigeria but I want to have an intensive fashion education that would equip me with 4 important skill sets which are Textile design and technology, advance pattern cutting, garment construction and digital fashion illustration.

Completing these courses at these prestigious schools will not only equip me with high quality fashion education that will help me create a sustainable business but would also enable me equip more local craftsmen with quality skills that they can use to create a sustainable source of income for themselves and also build high quality products.

My fashion label currently offers Made To Measure clothing services to clients but my goal is to start a Ready To Wear line that I can eventually add more product lines like accessories and leatherwear using African sourced materials.

My desire is to create fashion forward workwear, casuals and cocktail outfits using locally produced fabrics sourced and created by our local craftsmen and weavers.

I intend to have an Atelier that houses all the craftsmen who create our fabrics which we eventually will use in producing our clothing and accessories. Eventually as we grow, we will introduce more product lines and expand to more countries replicating ateliers there and using local materials. My overall vision is to empower Africans through employment.

The Nigerian fashion industry is booming with loads of job opportunities, so creating a textile revolution will increase the job opportunities in the industry and solve the high unemployment rate which is presently at 18%.

The resources I need to enable me achieve my dreams are mentors in business and in the fashion industry.

I would love to also win the $10,000 Toptal scholarship to enable my dreams come to pass.

Know your size range!! Part 1

Help!! I don’t know my dress size.


It’s a known fact that size charts help women in choosing clothing and undergarments that would fit them well, but most African women usually have problems getting clothing that fits them properly.
This post will give you insights on howto use your personal measurements in selecting a size that would fit you well.
You may have noticed that you don’t fit the same size for different clothing brands, e.g if you are a US size 8 and your ‘Asos’ size 8 trousers doesn’t fit as much as your supposedly size 8 “Fashion Nova” trousers.
This is because there is no true standard size and each designer/ clothing label creates their different sizes to fit their target market. So a designer/ clothing label with a young market will have tight fitting clothing to cater to their young target market with small and slim bodies.
There are some rules that still have to be followed and they are below;Screenshot_20180813-085750.png

1. Petite – You usually see this sizes come labelled this way.  2P – 14P

⦁ They are women with a small frame
⦁ Their bust and hip is smaller than the ‘Junior’ range.
⦁ They are well proportioned women with a height of 4′ 11″ to 5′ 4″
⦁ The women have shorter arms, legs and overall garment length.

A typical example is Emilia Clarke, an actress who plays the role of “Daenerys Targaryen” in Game of Thrones.


2. Junior – Their sizes are odd numbers like Size 5, 7, 9, 11, 13,15,17.

⦁ Young women with high bust, small waist, narrow bottom and slender figures
⦁ Their height is from 5′ 2″ – 5′ 6

3. Misses – They are even numbered sizes from Size 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18

⦁ Misses is the average proportionate body type
⦁ Most designers make collections in this size
⦁ Height is 5′ 5″ to 5′ 8″

4. Misses Tall – This is a size guide for a taller misses size

⦁ Even numbered sizes 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18
⦁ Height is from 5′ 8″ to 6′ 1″

5. Women – They are women with a fuller tummy, lower bustlines

⦁ Size guide is from 16 W to 32 W
⦁ Women have extra weight in their upper arms and upper back
⦁ Height is from 5′ 5″ to 5′ 9″
⦁ 16W or 18W has a broader fit than Misses 16 or 18
⦁ Essentially, this is a mature woman’s size.

6. Half size – Any size with 1/2 is for older and shorter women with a heavier body type.

⦁ A half size is somewhat shorter, a bit fuller and rounder than the misses size
⦁ Height is under 5′ 5″

7. Plus size – This size range is for larger and full figured women. Plus size clothing is fuller through the waist, back, thighs and arms.

⦁ size guide is from 16 to 34
⦁ Height is from 5′ 5″ to 5′ 9″
A great example is actress Melissa McCarthy who has wowed us with her comedic gift in the movies ‘Spy’ and ‘The bridesmaid’.


Next post would look at how you can use your own body measurements in determinining your sizes either using the Australian, Uk or Us charts.

Till then, stay fashionable and sociable.

See yah!

Pattern hacks

Welcome to FashionCity! Today, I would like to do a short pattern hack on how to create these skirts. Using flat patterns, you will need to have drafted a full skirt sloper( both front and back). The idea of the front design lies in the concept of asymmetry. If your skirt length is e.g 25 jnches, you might want to go up by 2 or 3 inches. You should note that the higher you go on the center front, the more exposed the skirt will be, so you might want to stick to 1.5 or 2. From the center front, take a curve to the hem.

Notice I joined the front side seam together with the back side seam, and then I continued drawing the styleline to the center back..

To finish the hems, I made facings so that I could do an invisible finishing. I will use hemming gum after sewing the facing to the hem to finish the hems

Flounces and all dresses flared.

Hello everyone. So I have eventually gotten on the flounce train. This style has been in vogue for a year now and ladies are still loving it. I have made 2 different outfits and incorporated different versions of this style. Its really easy to make and if you keep reading, you will see an easy way to make numerous flounce designs. So I had this green dress I hadn’t completed because the wrap in front was too open and I told myself I was going to add a flounce to cover it up, but I never got around to it until last week Friday. The dress looked absolutely beautiful after I was done with it.

For this particular design, these are the steps you should follow. Step 1 1) Measure the length of the flounce you want to create. Now, because there was a band in the dress, I measured from the waist or the ending of the band to the hem of the skirt . You can have it this way too. If you check the picture very well, you will notice the skirt is a wrap skirt with the slit beginning below my knees. So what you can do is to measure from the waist to the knee instead of going down to the hem. Let’s assume my length is 30 inches. 2) I double the amount to get 60 inches and then I measured the length on a fabric( I used satin because I love its silky feel. I’m doubling or multiplying by 2 simply because I would gather the strip to create the folds seen in the middle. 3) For the width, you can use any figure but I used 6 inches so that when I folded into 2, I got a 3 inches width which is just what i wanted.. 4) The final measurement should be 60 by 6 inches. If you fold it into 2 width wise, you will have 60 by 3 inches. The length remains the same because you are folding widthwise. 5) Now, stitch the ends ‘ A’ and B’ and leave C open. Then push A inside to turn the whole fabric in. This looks a lil weird but this is how it looks. The shinning part is the right side we want to pull out while the dull part is the wrong side we want to push inside. Once you get all the wrong sides inside, iron it properly and it would look like this below. Now just stitch close the open side and then run 2 or 3 straight lines of gathered thread in the middle of the fabric. To form the gathered effect, locate the thread endings and pull carefully on each side not together but differently. You will notice that the gathers form tightly, you can vary the tightness at both ends of the fabric if you like. 6) Place the already gathered flounce on your dress, skirt or blouse and sew on to the outfit the flounce ALONG THE ALREADY EXISTING LINE OF GATHERS. Once you are done, remove the gathered stitches carefully and trim off any straying thread. Viola! You are done… That’s me wearing my gorgeous dress to church. By the way, I offer extremely affordable One On One trainings on WhatsApp. It’s as affordable as 2000 for 2 days (5pm to 7pm). Click here I will be teaching how to make 3 different turbans complete with embroidery. Have a great day.

First lady blues: Melanie Trump’s edgy style

Most people got introduced to the First Lady of the United States of America; Melania Trump when her husband, Donald Trump became president in 2016. But she has always been in the limelight as a former model with a unique style. She seemed to like low cut dresses with plunging necklines.

But her style slowly evolved into a more sofisticated one. Here, she is seen in a classy fur suit holding her son, Barron. Ever since she assumed the office of the first lady of America, she has dazzled us with her more classy, and stylish looks as her style is more polished and elegant. Here are a few of my favourite outfits worn by First Lady Melania Trump. She wore this powder blue gown by Ralph Lauren to the inauguration ceremony. This white Roksanda Ilincic sheath dress with puffy sleeves is a delightful sight to behold. Melania rocks this outfit like a diva. This is giving outfit is giving us major lemonade energy. I love this turquoise army inspired dress. If I wore something similar, i would wear strappy brown heels like this shoes below with these brown/ gold accessories. More pictures of the teal army dress i love. So when I saw Melania in this Givenchy cape coat, my heart almost dropped. One word! STUNNING!!!! Funny enough, she just wore this 3 days ago to a tree planting ceremony held at the white house. A different way with Peplums. She seems to love uncommon peplum dresses. ‘uncommon’ in the sense that the peplum does not come round and symetrical like most we are used to, but with varying lengths in different places.

‘Coats and ‘Aahhhs’

Melania Trump sure loves to wear gorgeous coats but these are spectacular. This yellow coat is beautiful. I love the way she drapped the coat around her She wore this deep burgundy coat in South Korea last November. This multicoloured embellished Fendi coat is all shades of ‘Amaze balls’ and ‘ Gor geous’! She wore this while visting Japan.

In other news, the print skirt the Japanese first lady is sporting is beautiful. Dressed to perfection

Melania seems to wear very classy dresses. A Roland Mouret piece. 😘 This beautiful piece with yellow and nude godets is 😍. This looks a little simple, ‘sound of music’ ish or ‘ love finds you in charm’, but its a lovely look. I know this is the dress section and she is wearing a jumpsuit but I couldn’t help but stare at the Canadian first lady’s gorgeous dress. So I say its right where it should be. 😎 Red valentino for China 👌👍 Skirt rules! So we have come to the end of this article. Until, next time, lemme leave you with this amazing photo ops. 🎶🎶🎶🎶🎤🎤🎤Isn’t she lovely? By the way, this Dolce and Gabbana coat is $51,000 , can you believe it?

Streetwear flavours from Paris Fashion Week

Hello everyone,

Fashion week has come and gone and we are going to be the fashion police to criticize all the outfits.

It was a cold and rainy day hence the reason why most of them were wrapped in large coats.

Here are some of my favourite pieces:

Loads of beautiful designer outfits here. Do let me know your favourite in the comment section.

See you next time.

How to series:My dropped shoulder monostrap gown

Hello lovelies, I hope you are doing great today? Let me start by encouraging you, so if you are feeling depressed or down, know that you have all it takes to succeed. In life, you will go through challenges but its only because you are a diamond in the rough, if you keep at whatever you are doing, you will get through to the other side unscathed. 🤗😘 Now I hope that puts a smile on your face, let’s get started. So I just drafted this design and I want to show you the step by step process of drafting the bodice. Remember a bodice is any design that start from the neck of a women and ends at the waist line. I started by tracing out a full bodice block from the master pattern. The master pattern is the original pattern that you make but don’t use. It is used as the template. All you do is trace the master pattern on plain paper so you can use. 1st picture is the back bodice while the second is the full bodice both front and back. The first step is to add more paper to the front because the style is a monostrap with dropped sleeves. These pictures above show the inspiration for my dress : a dropped shoulder monostrap sheath gown with tied sleeve. For a monostrap, you need a full bodice pattern, so add more paper to the center front line and fold the center front line so the added paper can go under the draft and then you can trace out the draft on the folded paper to get a full bodice pattern. Remember there is a joining at the waistline because we will be joining the skirt part to the finished upper part so cut out the upper bodice on the waistline and add extra pattern to the center front. The next thing to do is to establish your shoulder length and draw the monostrap style line on the pattern. I want the shoulder to be 3 inches so I measure 3 inches from the shoulder tip towards the neckline and on that point, I contour by going down by quarter (0.25 inches). That way the shoulder fits well with no gaping. Next you draw a straight line from the end of the new shoulder line to the armhole. Look closely at the about picture. You notice the straight line is below the neckline. It should be. Don’t take it above the neckline or it would give a choking fit. The next step is to contour the other side of the shoulder. Draw a line from your bust point to the midpoint of the shoulder and measure 0.5 on both sides OF THE DIAGONAL LINE AS SHOWN ABOVE. Now, you are going to fold out that whole 1 inch by folding the first line near the armhole on top of the second line beside the center front. Cover the fold with a tape. You will notice that what you folded goes into the waist dart. Redraw the diagonal line and erase the previous line. What you have just done is called contouring and it makes the cloth fit and mould your body more closely. The next thing to do is to establish the dropped shoulder. Whip out your sleeve pattern. I usually use the tight fitting sleeve so I can get a great fit. So I want the drop to be small so I will go down on the center line by 3 inches. On my front and back bodice, right at the shoulder tip, I draw an 90° line. Once you establish that 70° angle mark, you draw a line from the shoulder tip to the 70° mark to form an angle 70° line. On the armhole for the back and front bodice, measure the same 3 inches on the armhole. Then you place the center line of the sleeve and match it with the 70° line ( below the extended shoulder line) and then draw your dropped shoulder using a curved ruler. Below are the pictures. I used pins to establish the paper. You use the same method for the front and back. Next step is to draw a curve from the 3 inches mark on the bodice to the 3 inches mark on the sleeve. Now that I have established my dropped shoulder, I would true the line since the lines are sharp and our shoulders aren’t. So you want to use the curve ruler again to draw a curved shoulder. Afterwards, I will create a hole/wedge in the middle of the new shoulder line( just like the original picture) and viola! I have my complete pattern. I also created a full back bodice for the back..dont forget to do so too. You also need to add a zipper line either at the center back (Yes I have made a dress like this) or by the side. Viola!! We are done!! Would put up pictures when I see the patterns. If you want to know more about my skirt making classes, click this link. Bodice and sleeve patternmaking classes starts 3rd week in March. Click this link to know more about that. A rerun of our skirt, bodice, sleeves classes starts in first week in April. To get more info, updates, freebies, join our Facebook groups, we would be having live classes in March so JOIN US NOW to get started. Click this link. Want to know what we have made with our patterns, check out our fashion label at Join our Ig page at That’s all for today folks. Do comment below and tell us what you think about this page.