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…