FIT Sewing Portfolio Tips

1. Are your hems straight and loose threads clipped? Neatness and strong basic skills are always highly valued!

2. Closures. Did you push yourself further than just an elastic waistband or tube dress? Have you challenged yourself by using buttons or zippers?

3. Does you garment fit a person or dress form well? It’s all about the fit at FIT! Avoid bumps, puckers and pull-lines.

4. Fabric choices are crucial! Avoid fabrics that show all mistakes, like satin, silk, chiffon, spandex, etc., unless you are fully confident in your ability to sew them.

5. Aprons, pajama pants and circle skirts are typically not considered competitive garments. Select creative garments with several construction pieces or with a tailored fit.

We hope these tips help you choose your best work!

If you want to further develop your sewing skills, explore FIT’s Precollege courses for spring, summer and fall terms:


Instructor Spotlight: Kristy Puchko

Kristy Puchko is a New York-based film critic and entertainment journalist whose work has appeared on Vanity Fair, Nerdist, IndieWire, and many more sites. A small town girl from Pennsylvania, Puchko came to New York to study film at Macaulay Honors College’s Brooklyn College branch, and graduated with a B.A. in Film Studies. After a summer working on Sesame Street, Puchko moved from production to post-production, working on music videos, commercials, and films. From there, she branched out into blogging, and quickly realized her true passion was in writing about cinema in a way that engaged and challenged audiences. Today, her career includes interviewing filmmakers and stars, penning thought-provoking editorials about film and television, and crafting reviews of the latest titles hitting theaters. She’s traveled the world on assignments, trekking to film festivals, press junkets, and visits to movie sets. But she can’t talk about those until the embargoes lift.

See some movie reviews by Kristy:






Teaching Philosophy:

I aim to emulate the learning environments where I grew the most as a student. Conversation is key. I believe the classroom must be a safe space for students to test out ideas and feel free to ask questions. As my work is all about interpretations of art, I don’t believe in a “right” interpretation, just supported arguments and unsupported arguments. Don’t stop at your opinion, dig and tell me how you got there. I want students to treat me as a soundboard, where they can bounce ideas and questions with verve and without fear.

On Precollege Programs:

My first semester of college was a major culture shock, going from a small town to a big city, yet smaller class sizes, and much more challenging curriculums. What I strive to provide to make that transition easier on my students is an introduction to the kind of critical thinking and opinion-based writing that will be put them ahead of their peers. College is a journey where passion finds a focus, but Precollege courses can be a strong first step on that path.


Industry Experience:

Film Critic for Nerdist,, Pajiba
Member of OFCS – the Online Film Critics Society
Member of GALECA – Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association
LA Film Prize Judge (2014-2016)

Instructor Spotlight: Donna Berger

Donna Tartaglione Berger began her career in fashion as a fashion designer and illustrator after graduating from The Fashion Institute of Technology. Her experience in the industry spans fashion design, graphic design, illustration, and CAD implementation. Her design experience includes companies such as: Emanuel Ungaro, Jones NY, Marc Andrew, Larry Levine, S.Rothschild, Members Only, and Donna Karan. After many years of designing in the fashion industry, Donna started her own business and is a successful entrepreneur with an athleisure brand concentrating on today’s trends, fashion forecasting and branding in the world of social presence.

As a designer, educator, and entrepreneur with over 25 years of fashion industry experience, Donna has a proven track record in connecting fashion, creativity, technology and student success as her passion continues to ‘give back’ to her students. Her knowledge and years of experience help students thrive in an environment that is unique and challenging.

She currently teaches part time at The Fashion Institute of Technology and at Parsons The New School of Design.

Donna also volunteers as an artist/photographer for children’s organizations including the Make A Wish foundation and Operation Warm.


Classes Taught:
JSX050: The Fashion Cycle
JSX060: Red Carpet Fashion
JSX 019: Fashion History: Trends Through the Decades

On Precollege Programs:
FIT’s Precollege Program is a wonderful opportunity to teach and introduce students interested in fashion within a college setting.  They get a good feeling from the workshops, campus, people, and all the creativity surrounding them.  I wish these programs were available when I was in middle/high school.  We always have a wonderful time together and I love seeing the smiles, and self-confidence on their faces as we create the projects!

Teaching Philosophy:
I love to work with driven students in a creative, inspiring environment and help them learn the skills they need to move forward.  My students are engaged in personal hands-on projects as they are able to choose a topic of interest and apply the skills we are learning along the way.  I find that when students get to research their own interest, it is a true passion-based learning experience.  It’s amazing to see how they grow through the workshops; artistically and socially.

Farewell Fashionistas!

Sunday, December 18th  was the last class of FIT’s Fall 2016 Precollege Program. Before I say goodbye to my time here and to my readers this season, I will outline what the final assignment was like.

As an 11-week course, we had a number of assignments along the way to keep us on track, to prepare us for a career in presenting our ideas to our peers, and to test our knowledge of the material we learn. Inevitably, this last class marked the final assignment: creating a fashion line for a fictional collaboration between a chosen fashion icon and retailer.

In terms of product development, this means breaking up the fashion line into the categories of fashion, core, and essentials.

For my project, I was assigned James Dean as my fashion icon, and Brooks Brothers as my retailer. Thus, my personal goal was to create a collection embodying the edgy, rebellious side of James Dean while not straying too far from the traditional, conservative Brooks Brothers image. I had to try not to alienate the target customer, while using my new fictional brand ambassador to hopefully draw in younger customers to breathe new life into the retailer. I took advantage of the common links of layering and “All-American”-ism between my icon and my brand. This collection was my result:

I also thought it would be a cute idea to create a few outfits (to present via Keynote) out of the items in my collection, using Polyvore. These are a few results of that:

So that’s the crux of my FIT chronicles! Thank you to all of my readers and supporters this season, to my professor, to the Precollege Program directors, and to the great girls in my class for making this semester an excellent and memorable one!

I can say in all honesty that this is a great course, and I would highly recommend it not only to anyone interested in fashion, but to anyone interested in evolving into their best self in the most constructive of environments. It sounds dramatic, because it is; this class and the entire experience it promotes is honestly life-changing.

I shouldn’t hope to see you at FIT’s Precollege Program next Spring- YOU should hope to see yourself here! Give yourself the gift of self-love this holiday season and sign up for class!


Farewells and Goodbyes

On the last day of class all that is left are farewells and goodbyes. It feels just like yesterday we were all strangers with one common interest but yet here we are sad to leave one another after 11 awesome weeks. With a new outlook on not only the fashion world but FIT also, I decided to ask my classmates to reflect on their time here in the Precollege Programs to give insight for many of you hoping to absorb some of the same knowledge we have gained.

“I Love the location and vibe of FIT.”


“This is my first class I have taken at FIT it has been a great experience, definitely coming back.”


“Great way to meet new people and make new friends.”


“Definitely where I see myself for college.”


For me, this being my second year here, I have doubled my education and am very engaged in the fashion industry. With hopes of coming back in the Spring, I know I will yet again get to participate in this experience of a lifetime. From writing about FIT and sharing my thoughts and process with all of you, it made me realize how gratifying the Precollege Programs are and that there is nowhere I would rather be.

Thank you for tagging along on my journey.

With love,