Introducing Precollege Blogger: Ella!

I am a New Yorker through and through. I love the city and hope to live here once I graduate from college. New York is a great place for people watching – yes, I am the person that stares for just a little too long on the subway. I observe what people wear as well as how clothing affects their movement. I enjoy thinking about how behavior and clothing are interconnected. In the future, I want to research the psychological effect of constrictive clothing on women.

Every summer from ages 11-15, I spent a week sewing costumes with my friend Ruby. I’ve always enjoyed reading classics, consequently, many of the costumes were inspired by books like Pride and Prejudice and Little Woman. This annual project taught me how to decipher patterns and how to understand the construction of different garments. As I grew older, my sewing evolved. I began sewing and designing clothing for everyday use and for special occasions. I am currently working on a crocheted crop top and short tube skirt to match. In addition to sewing, I dance, sing in a choir, and take karate classes. My interest in pattern making and sewing led me to FIT. I took an Intro to Draping class last year that broadened my understanding of how to construct patterns and of how fabric falls. This year I’m taking an Intro to Menswear Sewing class. I’ve only sewn woman’s clothing, and I chose this class to challenge myself. I’m also excited to gain experience using an industrial sewing machine. I always leave class bursting with new ideas. The FIT campus is an inspiring environment; creativity lives in the air. That is all for now. Spring is on the way, and another semester of precollege classes are off to a start. I look forward to blogging for all of you! Happy creating!

– Ella

The Working Man

Menswear, particularly men’s street wear, is something I find very interesting. I like looking at men and seeing the way they dress and what looks good on them. Construction workers in particular are a whole interesting group that deserve more attention than they get. They are gritty and dirty and real. Their clothes are a reflection of their work in the practicality of it. They seem to have their own definition of who they are. I don’t mean to talk about construction workers as a different species of human, it is a profession, and maybe to them it doesn’t define who they are. But in the same way you look at a group of business men and place a blanket statement over them, I look at construction workers and have something to say that I feel can apply to all of them.

Construction is everywhere in New York. The scaffolding in front of my school just came down a few months ago after being there for more than six years. Streets are being constantly torn up, facades of buildings being transformed, new ones being built. As much as the skyline seems to be constantly developing, one thing that never changes are the men who work on these projects. I’m talking about construction workers. We all know that Construction Workersfamous photograph of a group of young men hanging from the metal interior of a building hundreds of feet above the ground. The men in that picture fall somewhere between impossibly cool and utterly foolish.

Although the general uniform has changed over the years, the general feeling that construction workers carry throughout their respective eras has not. I see them every day on the subway, everyday on my way to school. They are rugged, like an urban lumberjack. During the winter you see them trapped in layers of sweatshirts and long underwear, and during the summer they strip down to t-shirts, showing their bare arms. Their hands are calloused and broken. Some carry strong and slim torsos, others hold a belly of beer. In a world and in a time when gender and sexuality and identity are all so subjective, I believe that when you look at a construction worker you are looking at a man. Back to the olden days of Cowboys and Indians and Clint Eastwood. I don’t mean to put a whole group of people in a box, I’m not saying that this the rule, or even the truth, this is just my truth.

Construction workers carry a sense of pride with them, you can see it in the way they hold themselves. They are confident. They know exactly what they are capable of, and have a sense of proficiency. Even if their job is cutting 2 by 4s or nailing two pieces of wood together, they know what they are doing. They look put together because they’re style comes out of necessity. They don’t necessarily care how they look, but they have to wear certain things just for the mechanics of their job. Tighter fitting clothes so as not to get in the way, but loose enough that they can work in them.

In fashion you can find inspiration literally everywhere. I find it in the diverse culture of the people around me. Maybe you can find it in the architecture of buildings or the delicate shape of flower petals. Whatever it is make it yours. Keep it close to you and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.



Congratulations Noah!


Courses taken in Precollege Programs include:
HAR 016  Creating the Fashion Figure
HMW 157  Introduction to Menswear Sewing

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Keeping an Open Mind

For my Fashion Forecasting class, we took a trip to Macy’s. We had an assignment, which was to pick a department (either women’s, men’s, children’s, or accessories) and answer a few questions.

macysWhichever department we chose for the assignment had to be the department we use for our end of semester project, in which we must predict a trend for spring 2015.

I was positive that I was going to do my project on womenswear, so I immediately headed towards the 3rd floor, when my friend, Shioban, convinced me to shop around the men’s department first. I’m so happy she did.

Menswear never really interested me. I thought that it was boring, and that there is not much to do with menswear. I was pleasantly surprised by how fascinated I was with it.

mtThe displays were beautiful. The mannequins all looked so dapper, as did the men shopping there. The trend seemed to be a newer, fresher, and more modern gentleman, inspired by the early 20th century. This was further illustrated through one of the sales associate’s bow ties, which was made of wood.

Another sales associate let me in on a secret, bow ties are THE new menswear trend. These were not your basic bow ties either. There were barely any basic blacks to be seen. They came in every color of the rainbow, in every fabric you could ask for, and any pattern imaginable. There was no basic stripes, the were boldly colored.

mt2Red satin bow ties, á la Jared Leto, were flying off the displays. Paisley, geometric prints, houndstooth, and even bow tied with some sparkle woven in were everywhere.

It’s safe to say I’m obsessed with menswear now.

I learned to keep an open mind. The trip taught me that those that are closed-minded will not succeed in fashion. Keep an eye out for old trends that may reappear, like the bow tie. Don’t close yourself off, to fashion or anything else. I didn’t, and now I have a new found love of menswear, and two bow ties.

What do you think about menswear? What do you think about women wearing menswear items?

Until next time,


It may be sweltering, but I’m still sewing!

Hello, everybody!

(Me, staring off into the distance, trying to look cool.)

My name is Tessa, and I am (obviously) taking a class at FIT this summer. (AKA now.) I’m taking HMW 157: Introduction to Menswear Sewing.

I don’t really feel as if I thoroughly have to introduce myself, because I’ve actually done this (blogging for FIT) before! Over the spring semester, you could have read about my experiences in FIT’s HAP 026: Sewing for Fashion Designers class.  The Tessa there is the same one as the Tessa here! Feel free to go back and read some of my other stuff, including my original introduction (if you’re dying to know something about me).

Carrying on…

Since, as of this writing, it has been a week (!) since my first class, this entry is not going to be a play-by-play. It’ll be more general.

Let me start with the first day of class. I planned to take the train in, right? There I was, at my local train station, praying that the 12:26 train going to Grand Central would be on time. It wasn’t. So after the ten-minute mark, I decided to get my mom to drive me in. She did (thankfully!) and I actually made it to class on time.

(To those of you who are currently staring at their computer screens wondering why in the world I did not try to get on an earlier train, I have an answer for you. In the mornings, I’ve been working at a job which ends at noon. The 12:26 is the first afternoon train, so therefore it was the first one I could catch.)

Let me stay on track, though…

Being that this was the first class, it was pretty much introductions and a look over the supplies list and syllabus.  The main goal of this course is actually just the construction of one garment, unlike the multiple in the class I took prior. Since the class is a menswear sewing class, we’re to make a short-sleeved man’s dress shirt.

Personally, I am excited to do so. From my understanding of it, menswear is very detail-centric, and I believe that I have to work on such.

Then, on my way back home, to get to Grand Central, I (gasp!) took the subway by myself home. It was like only the second or so time I had actually taken the subway, and then I did it by myself! I was quite proud of myself, as I even had to transfer!

Now onto the next day. My train was on time, we played with the machines a bit, and I think that was pretty much it. For many, using the industrial machines was new, but to me such was not. As previously mentioned, I took a sewing  class during the spring semester. So I was breezing through the practice exercises, just having to refresh my memory rather than get used to a whole entire new system.

(Industrial and home sewing machines are like Macs and PCs- they do the same thing, yet are still different.)

The rest of the week went by quickly. (Not to say that those first few days didn’t, but…) We basically just prepped and prepped for our shirts.

There were cutting out of patterns, trips to TruMart for fabrics and Sil for thread, there were less-than-a-minute missings of my regular train home, there was cutting out fabric, and so on and so forth.

(My fabric. Fishes!!!!)

Now’s the time to talk about today’s class- the second Monday. We actually sewed on fabric today, for the first time in the class. The yoke’s attachment to the shirt was started, which was actually quite easy, being that so far we’ve done only two straight stitches.

Also, the interfacing for the shirt was cut and attached.  For me, this ironing to attach it took ages. (Oops, whatever.)

I was able to get through everything, though I believe that not all kids were able to do so.

I am pretty excited for the next couple of days, and am totally looking forward to the next part of the shirt assembly.

Until next time-