I don’t think my first day of high school could even compare to my first day at FIT’s Precollege Programs. Everybody looked so exited to learn, and trust me, that’s not the case in my high school at all. I loved the energy, the laughs and the positive energy. Most of all I adored the fact that I’d be talking about fashion all day… what a dream come true.

Prior to entering FIT’s Great Hall, my great excitement mixed with sudden anxiousness. I was constantly wondering “What if they don’t like my outfit?” or, “What if I fail at all my classes?” Every negative thought hit me right at those barbie plastered doors of 27th and 7th. Little did I know I had nothing to worry about.

Barbie Exhibit D Lobby

But that wasn’t the case at all, once I stepped in those doors, (and was told to get out and enter through 28th and 7th) I couldn’t believe how good the air felt… not only was there air conditioning, — which is a major plus since the weather is beyond tolerable — but I could just feel the creative aura emanating from every showcased piece of art. From outside of the FIT building, all that I  saw was what I thought were barbie ads, but little did I know that there was a whole clothing line of “Barbie” created by various students at FIT. And they were created with recycled materials, uh, can you say talented!

For my first class (HAD 149: Advertising and Graphics Design Portfolio) we started out with drawing what we “saw,” the picture was turned upside down and upside up. It was supposed to train our mind to recognize different shapes and lines.  We had to draw a picture illustrated by the famous Pablo Picasso. I wouldn’t say that I am a bad illustrator, but I had to reconsider that after I analyzed my final product. I nearly doubled over after I saw my Pablo Picasso reproduction. But as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

My version compared to the Original Picasso illustration.

For my last and final class of the day (unfortunately), HPM 067: Manual Patternmaking and Sewing, we got to learn the basics on how to produce a basic shirt out of Muslin. It included lining the fabric up on the mannequin and using the pins to tack the right proportions. Ultimately it was a fun learning experience, given the fact that it was my first time using fabrics to make anything! According to our Professor, our final project consists of us creating a whole dress, wish me luck! Here is my current first day project in the making:

All I can say is, I really love FIT so far, and I hope to meet some more really great amazing people as I gain a lot more knowledge for my designing years to come! 

During the orientation, I just couldn't stop smiling! I knew the next day was going to be fun.

P.S I’ll have outfit segments on every post, but since it was my first day… I sort of forgot! 


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Instructor Spotlight: Sarah Gilbert

Sarah Gilbert is an patternmaking, sewing and draping Instructor in the Technical Design department in the School of Art and Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Ms. Gilbert has taught at FIT since 2004  and received her  BS in Consumer and Family Studies from SUNY Buffalo. In addition, she holds two AAS degrees from FIT in Fashion Buying and Merchandising and Patternmaking. In addition, she is a Freelance pattern-maker and samplemaker of doll clothes and stuffed animals for a McCalls Pattern Company.

Ms. Gilbert teaches HPM 067: Manual Patternmaking and Sewing for Precollege Programs on Sundays at FIT.


Ms. Gilbert’s  Teaching Philosophy:

Everyone has creative potential. I love sharing my passion for sewing and patternmaking with my students. 

On Precollege Programs: 

Meeting wonderful people who want to learn about patternmaking and sewing is what I enjoy most about Precollege Programs.  I like to see the expression on my students faces as they put on a garment they actually made themselves.  It is a very powerful feeling.

I find Pre-college students to be very motivated and energetic.  They radiate that energy to me and it inspires me to be my very best.

Industry Experience:

  • Freelance pattern-maker and samplemaker of doll clothes and stuffed animals for a McCalls Pattern Company
  • Computer and manual pattern-maker for outerwear, children’s wear and sleepwear
  • I create custom handmade dolls, doll clothes and stuffed animals on an individual basis
  • I teach and tutor at FIT in the subjects of manual and computer patternmaking, draping and sewing



Back in Black

…Or rather “Back in Prada Spring/Summer 11 inspired stripes,” the first of many outfits being worn to my pattern making class which I am so completely in love with. omg.

I honestly had the worst expected for the class due to the fact that I was in a pessimistic mood because of the prior incidents of being incredibly sick with the cold, getting in a car accident the day before, almost missing my train, taking pain relievers from my accident, cold medicine and athesma medication at the same time without realizing that the combination would make me almost a walking zombie and the complete worst, meeting my new pretend best friends on the train but never speaking to them because being painfully shy and awkward and never actually talking to them but only listening to their awesome conversations from two seats away. (I’m actually kidding, the car accident was the worst if my sarcasm didn’t translate through text.)

But despite all of that, the first day of class went way better than expected.

As I walked toward the elevator I met a guy who asked me for directions and it turned out he was headed where I was! We introduced ourselves, complimented each other, and even had a conversation! I was so proud that I overcame my social awkwardness for at least a few minutes to meet a new person. Oh, and it get’s better, I talked to another person! I was on a roll, being a social butterfly and all.

I’m glad my professor quickly jumped into things and we started drafting a pattern for a skirt. “With this basic skirt pattern,” she said “you can make any skirt” – Music to my ears!

Looks like I’m going to have a lot of new skirts in the upcoming months…