Category Archives: Academics

Building Your Portfolio In The Summer

Hello TIGERS,

The heat waves are striking once again this summer and sometimes it is not so easy to roam around the streets of NYC. However, your time at home doesn’t have to be a waste, so if you have any spare hours you can use them to continue building your portfolio!

It is not easy, at least for me, to be on top of all semester projects and at the same time updating my fashion website. So, I take time in the summer to refresh my website and add all the recently completed projects. Like this, I can give my undivided attention to details when it comes to designing a well-rounded website. With this comes along, photo shoots, yes. Since I am in the Fashion Design major, my projects consist of designing and sewing garments. A lot of times we get handed projects back to back and don’t have enough time to do a more professional photo shoot of the final outcome. So, during the summer, I use this time to get the shots I need.

I also take some time to dig into research. Research for new collections, designs, and even history research. You can never learn too much, and the more you know the easier it gets when it comes to starting projects, specifically in the fashion field, themes, concepts, ideas all come faster.

You may have your portfolio all set by the time you step into summer, but it is never a bad idea to go back and check that everything is at its best for when you need to show all the amazing projects you have done!

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer. Feel free to comment how you spend your summer time!

Best,

Maria

Taking a Foreign Language while Abroad

Hi everyone!

This past semester when I was studying abroad I continued to work on my Japanese minor. While I really enjoyed taking the class in a different country and getting a different perspective, there were some unexpected challenges along the way! Here are some things to consider if you take a language class abroad.

1. Different pace or syllabus
I found that the class I took as a comparable class to Japanese 4 at FIT was a bit behind in grammar, but way ahead in vocab! I knew all the grammar concepts we covered, but definitely had to hustle to catch up on vocab we were expected to know. I would recommend checking the syllabus to see what will be covered, as each teacher has a different teaching pace.  Additionally, we were using a different textbook.  In a language, where everything builds upon itself, knowing where you stand in the classes comprehension is really important!

2. Similarities to local language
Japanese and Cantonese (the local language where I studied) have a lot of overlap in the characters used! Thankfully the professor understood that I hadn’t been writing in the system since primary school, and allowed me to use other systems of writing. I did try my best to study as many characters as possible while there, even though we were not tested on them like we are at FIT. If you find you’re behind in an area, be sure to discuss with your professor and do your best to catch up.

3. More opportunities to practice!
In NYC I barely get a chance to speak Japanese, but while I was abroad I got to travel and test my speaking abilities! This was by far the most beneficial experience for me, I learned I still have a long ways to go when it comes to numbers- which is good to know. I can now focus more studying on that.

It can be really difficult to take a language where local students have more experience in it.  My friends taking Mandarin ran into a lot of issues, since Cantonese and Mandarin are a lot closer than English and Mandarin.  They definitely had to work even harder to make sure they kept up!  Once you get past the first level of a language, the classes do get more challenging, but I think learning a second (or third!) language is worth the extra effort you have to put in.

Overall, I would really recommend taking a language as a minor at FIT, and working on it while you are abroad if you have the chance.  It is a lot of work sometimes, but it looks great on your resume, and being able to communicate with someone you might not have been able to is incredibly rewarding.

What language would you minor in?

Sam

Online Classes at FIT

Last semester was my first time trying online classes. I had never taking an online class before, so I was definitely not too happy to be taking two online classes and in another time zone. However, I had no other choice because I was studying abroad, and these classes weren’t offered there.

Class #1 was an Intro to Biology

Class #2 was Organizational Communication and Workplace Relations

For starters, the professors were great! They were clear and posted everything so that we had enough time to complete all assignments. Not only theirs, but also spend time in our other major-related projects. Overall it was a fair amount of work.

The assignments went had-in-hand with the textbook and resources provided by the professors. If you aren’t able to purchase a hardcover textbook, like I wasn’t, you can either rent or purchase the online version of the textbook.

Throughout the semester, the professors made sure we were keeping up, sending emails, reminders, making sure we participated in the class discussions, etc.

One of the reasons I liked taking these online classes was that I can complete the assignments in my spare time, after coming from my other day classes in Florence. I did not think that I would enjoy taking these online classes, especially with the time zone difference, I thought I would have issues to upload everything on time. I actually found myself registering for another online class for this upcoming semester, which came in handy because I had already chosen my main courses and did not want to rearrange it so much.

There are many courses at FIT that you can take online, from liberal arts to major-related. Check out the FIT Website for more info.

Have a great weekend,

Maria

Tips on Managing Projects

Happy Monday EVERYONE!

I know the semester is over, but it is never too late or too early (for next semester) to give you all some tips for managing all the projects thrown at you from professors!

1. Time Management –

I know, I know, I know! You hear this all the time, from almost everyone, but, this is key when it comes to juggling so many projects all at once. Making sure you have enough time for each project can make the difference in the quality of the final product. Not only that, but you aren’t stressing out the night before trying to finish everything all at once.

 

2. Get Lots of Rest –

Getting some rest and proper sleep in the days of hard work can seem a little hard to do. Not only will you feel rested, but this will help you start each day with a clear mind, ready to target all tasks.

 

3. All you can Eat –

Yes! Buffet style. I cannot stress this enough. It is very important to eat as much as possible when working so hard and for so many hours. This is the #1 thing that will give you energy to carry on!

 

4. Go over details –

It is never enough to go over all the details for your projects. Make sure you are following all guidelines given by your instructor and that you aren’t forgetting any small points.

Over the semesters I have been learning different techniques to help me juggle so many different classes. These were some of the ones that have best helped me through all the projects, you should give them a try, maybe they’ll help you too!

Have a great week,

Maria

I Made a Jacket!

Front opening of my jacket.

For my final project in MG 312 – Manufacturing II Process Analysis, I made a lined, full zip, corduroy jacket with two front welt pockets. This was a very involved process as we started from scratch. We took our bodies measurements and made a “body fit” pattern. This was so that we knew exactly what our measurements were so that we always had a place to start from if we wanted to start over. Just getting my body fit pattern just right was difficult. I had little experience in making any type of garment, so it took a few iterations to get my body fit just right.

The lining and facing of my jacket. We also put a brand and size combo label, and a wash label in.

Once I nailed that, I started patterning the silhouette of my jacket. I sized up my body fit in every direction and started working on prototypes of my final garment. I particularly struggled with patterning my sleeve. This was the first sleeve that I have ever made. Most of the textbook resources that we had in the class were dedicated to women’s wear, so there wasn’t a huge selection of menswear guidance. Even so, some of the textbooks were hard for me to understand with my limited experience, so in the end, I made my sleeve based solely on intuition – it didn’t turn out half bad. It took me roughly 6 failed sleeves to get it sized just right – I still can’t believe pattern makers can make things like sleeves correctly on their first try.

The sleeve in the welt pocket of my jacket.

The blue corduroy and black lining that I used in my final garment were provided by my professor Linda Cohen (she’s the absolute best professor at FIT). I had to lay the corduroy in a specific way to make sure that the nap of the fabric was matching, but once I had everything cut and fused, it was time to start sewing. Sewing isn’t particularly complicated but it is definitely time-consuming to get quality seams. It also takes some amount of technical skill to operate the machinery well. It took me the entirety of a week to make my final garment. From finalizing my patterns, cutting my fabric, fusing my fabric, and sewing, I spent roughly 85% of a week in the labs. There was a point where I hadn’t eaten in 27 hours because I stayed up working for so long.

Back of my jacket.

On the last day of class, everyone presented their final garments and told us about their journey through the process. Everyone did an amazing job with their garments, no exceptions. Students made things such as denim jackets, tunics, suit vests, joggers, leather blazers, fur collars, robes, dresses, and even blouses. Once the presentations were over, even our professor told us that we had raised the bar for this project, which was an extremely rewarding thing to hear. This is the last class that I’ll be having with professor Linda Cohen and I can’t explain how thankful I am to have had her for the last two semesters. This class brought all of my fellow classmates together like no class has done before, and I am also thankful for that. Now I’ll have a jacket to wear for Winter that I made!

Front opening with the collar up.