Reflecting and Improving

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Hi everyone! So this week, after studying for tests and working on projects and completing countless hours of homework, I decided to look at some of my “earlier work”. I think it’s really important to reflect and improve in life; reflect on what you have done in the past and improve for the future. Here is a dress I made a few years ago and a pair of shorts I made this week!
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unknown unknown unknown unknownAs you can see, the dress itself looks fine. From the outside, you can’t tell if anything in particular is wrong with it; but as you look closer, the seam holding the upper shirt and lower skirt together is just a simple, and not necessarily strong, straight seam. Prior to starting classes at FIT I could sew simply. I could setup my machine and sew a dress or pants or whatever it was, but I had no idea what each garment needed to work as best as it could.

Improve:

Unlike the dress, this pair of shorts is sewn with different kinds of seams, each seam is finished and the shorts are overall stronger than the dress is. I’ve also learned that I can’t just pick a fabric that I really like when making something because, although it’s really really pretty, it might not work for the project I’m trying to complete. If I find a fabric that I am in love with I will go home and design a garment that will work for that fabric, I will make sure that I am making a responsible decision regarding the project instead of just deciding what I am going to do and praying it will work!
I hope you have a great day and an even better upcoming week! Bye bye!
~Kaela

Introducing Precollege Blogger: Kaela

KaelaBuggy_precollegeblogger
Hi everyone! My name is Kaela and I am 14 years old. Growing up in a relatively small town in Connecticut, I’ve found that everyone has a passion, and whether you are a sports fanatic or a theater kid, you have to figure out what your own passion is. When I was in first grade I found mine. I have always been interested in anything that is even remotely related to the large world of fashion: the culture, the construction, and especially the design.

It started with my incredibly influential math tutor, Nancy. Nancy, a devoted grandmother who loved children and quilting, always had an exquisite new pattern neatly placed on the floor of her office. I was too shy to ask about it so I just admired the great work of art from a far. After weeks of my some-what-secret admiration, I asked her about her hobby. We would talk for hours about the experiences she’s had and the pieces she’s made and with every story, I wanted even more to learn the amazing skill of sewing. One day, Nancy was extra ebullient as I walked up the long pathway leading to her home. She ushered me inside and explained there was a “special surprise” waiting for me in the office. I eagerly walked up the spiral staircase leading to my surprise and, to my amazement, Nancy presented her own sewing machine. She told me her plan to give me the beautiful Singer ever since she caught me marveling at her quilts. Nancy told me how important it is to find a passion and she encouraged me to pursue it.

This spring, I am taking the “Sewing for Fashion Designers” course here at FIT. My first day of class came with great anticipation of finding my classroom and introducing myself to everyone. This anticipation was silenced after my professor took attendance. She needed to pick up some supplies for us in another classroom and suggested the class learn each other’s names, but after she left, minutes of awkward silence took her place. I decided to open the floor by recommending we play a name game. Dozens of eyes stared at me for a second and I expected a snarky remark like, “that’s stupid” or “go back to kindergarten”, but my suggestion was actually met with kindness. Immediately everyone participated in saying their name, where they are from, and what their favorite tropical fruit was. I was impressed that we could make such a ridiculous game be so amusing. This experience has motivated me to continue taking classes at FIT. Over the summer, I plan to take a four day “The Fabulous World of Fashion Forecasting” workshop, which will help me in my designing.

If there is one thing I could tell you, despite how cliche it might sound, it is to find something you love to do and practice, because no matter how hard it can be at some times, It will definitely be worth it in the end. I am so excited to be here with you and can’t wait to see you next time, bye bye!

~Kaela

Fitting Fashion into High School

My high school is very art-centric, more money gets poured into the art departments than any of the sports teams. I guess that comes with the location, there aren’t many places to play football in the middle of Manhattan. I’m lucky in this way, I myself being more artistic than athletic, I have had many opportunities to showcase my talent.

I work in the drama department, making and designing costumes for my school plays. While most of what this entails is working with the director to make a costume plot, then thrifting for cheap versions of what you came up with, and altering that to fit the actor, it’s hard work, and a lot of people play it off as being easy. I highly recommend doing something like this for anyone interested in fashion design. It has helped me with technical skills, working within a budget, and how to design collaboratively. Also, your work is very appreciated, and gawked over because you can do something that a lot of people can’t do. You can make something out of nothing. Take something out of fantasy and into real life, even though sewing is, honestly, a really fundamental skill.

Being able to make clothes was a job expected of women and girls not even 100 years ago. It has become something so distant and other worldly. It has become an art form rather than a necessary craft. This isn’t something I’m complaining about, it has turned fashion into a real profession, something you can base your life off of. This I am thankful for. Fashion has given me a purpose, something to look forward to in the future, a goal to strive for. I tend to hold it a little to highly, fashion, make it seem like something it isn’t. Because when you strip away the layers, what fashion really is, is a business. And like all businesses there is a clock in the center of it, ticking away, like a heart counting down its last beats. In fashion, this clock, this heart, is design, and designers, the people who create the looks themselves. Without designers there would be nothing. So we must thank the men and women who toil away, designing our clothes, because without them the thing we love so much would be… nothing.

Sophia

 

Hey everybody! It’s Emily, the blogger from last fall with the chickens and the hurricane. I actually just moved back home, and the chickens are back in their coop in the backyard.

Putting together a fashion design application portfolio is not the easiest task. Especially while juggling AP classes, homework, fine arts portfolios and costumes for two plays at school at the same time. Thankfully, I have my own room with a desk to work on everything, and the portfolio class on Saturday mornings, where I can work on projects specific to the application.

But putting together a portfolio is also a chance to reflect on my work from the past four years of programs, and while there isn’t much of a change to the feeling conveyed by my drawings, there is a definite improvement in technique. Before I came to class, I worked only in watercolor, and I couldn’t get the proportions right or really show that the clothes were separate from the figure. When I had to use the art markers, I was scared of them. I didn’t like the way I couldn’t control them, but it was easier to render the different fabrics.

By now, the fall 2013 semester, I have learned a lot of little tricks that add up to more accurate renderings, like having a tucked shirt bulge where it meets the waistband, or showing the different layers of fabric when pockets have been appliqued on. Another big thing is showing shadows- don’t be afraid of contrast! Fabric doesn’t lay flat on a body, it has curves and bumps and hills and valleys that all catch light and cast shadows. Folds happen too. Try to draw them, especially if an elbow or knee is bent. It adds another dimension to the drawing. Wrinkles happen when fabric is gathered, and all that is is an extra shadow. And all that’s just from asking questions and observing what was fixed in my drawing classes!

Sewing is another beast entirely, because with fabric, you can’t really force it to do something it’s not capable of without working with it. Soft, flowy  fabrics aren’t going to stand up straight without being fused to a stiff backing, and stiff fabrics aren’t going to drape like a softer one. Wovens will not stretch as much as knits will. Zippers are an ordeal to set, and hemming a circle skirt is not the easiest task in the world. I think everyone’s made the mistake of forgetting to add their seam allowance at least once, and ended up with a garment half an inch too small on all sides. Or had a one-way print and accidentally had it upside-down on half their garment. I actually just did that one on a flare skirt. But that’s the process. You make mistakes, learn from them, and then move on to other mistakes. Eventually, you just don’t make those mistakes anymore.

I would say the most important thing I’ve learned from taking all these classes (I’ve taken 7 so far!) is there’s always something more to learn. Coming into portfolio, I thought I was set, but the proportions on my figures were still not correct, and I was having trouble with leg positioning. But everyone in class has something to teach you, even if they aren’t the teacher. I learned how to render pockets from the girl in the row ahead of me in the fall of my sophomore year. I’m helping the girl next to me right now with shading.

Are there any tips/tricks you’ve learned that help you in class? Share them in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Hugs,

Emily

Congratulations Madison!

CONGRATULATIONS TO MADISON BANASZEK WHO WAS JUST ACCEPTED TO FIT THIS FALL FOR FASHION DESIGN!

Student: Madison Banaszek
Major: Fashion Design

Courses taken in Precollege Programs include:
HAR 016 Creating the Fashion Figure
HAR 087  Advanced Fashion Design Art Techniques
HAR 089 Fashion Design Portfolio
 HAR 091 Anatomy of Fashion
HAP 026  Sewing for Fashion Designers
HTS 153 Crochet Design Techniques

Were you accepted to FIT this fall too? We’d love to feature you on the blog as well!
Email: David_Bryant@fitnyc.edu for more information