How fashion design experts interpret designs

How fashion design experts interpret designs

How fashion design experts interpret designs
Image: Pinterest

By Kofoworola Agboola

Style Interpretation remains one of the most important skill a Fashion designer must develop in order to keep clients happy and referrals flowing

There are currently 3 basic ways fashion designers are making clothes

  1. Freehand tailoring

  2. This method entails cutting the details of the style directly on the fabric. It’s fast and easy, it takes experience and expertise to be able to interpret styles accurately with this method

Pattern Making

This method entails drafting out details of the style on paper, before then, transferring it to the fabric. Its techniques help you interpret existing styles and form your own styles even if you are a complete beginner


This entails placing the fabric directly on a dress form to get the details of the style. Most couture houses use this method.

Every method is useful for different situations and styles but I always recommend pattern making because it gives the complete beginner a chance to compete with more established brands, with the sophistication of styles and technique options it offers.

How to interpret styles with pattern making:

There are 3 basic techniques that are used to interpret styles in pattern making

Dart manipulation

The transfer of darts to different parts of the bodice, skirt trouser, etc example french dart

Added Fullness

This is the technique of adding extra fullness to the existing basic bodice, skirt, or trouser eg flares, Cascades, etc


This means the removal of excesses from the bust, waist, etc example corsets, bustier

All styles are formed using these three techniques, and it makes it easy to demystify the mystery of a style

Now let’s interpret a style, using these three techniques as a guideline

When challenged with a style that you do not know how to cut properly, you need to ask these questions :

Dart manipulation question

Has the dart been moved to another location? Ie, The original dart on a basic blouse/bodice is usually on the waist and shoulders –


Looking at the style, the dart has been turned into a princess seam, that goes from the waist to the armhole area

Added fullness Question:

Has fullness of any kind been added to this bodice? And where?


Fullness has been added to the bodice from the sleeve area into the chest area, this fullness is also pleated


Has any form of excess been removed from this bodice compared to the basic bodice?


Yes, excesses have been removed as this style is more fitted than the basic bodice.

The basic bodice is the foundation for all blouse styles in pattern making and all you have to do is just compare the current style and the basic style to know what has changed in it and use the knowledge of these techniques to guide you on how to interpret that style.

This might seem like a lot for someone who hasn’t been using pattern making and I think I have something that will interest you.

Would you like to learn 6 sophisticated styles, using these techniques that you can add to your catalogue this year to Dazzle your clients and increase sales?

Then click here:

To your massive success

Agboola Kofoworola is a Fashion Designer, coach, and consultant and can be reached on [email protected]

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