What to Know When Considering Precollege at FIT

IMG_4680 (1)Hi Everyone!

I hope your week has been great (despite the unexpected chilly weather)! In today’s post, I thought it may be helpful to offer anyone considering a precollege course at FIT with an idea of what they will be jumping into!

Basically, a precollege class here is the absolute coolest extra curricular activity ever. Not only do you get to hang out with some of the sweetest, most hilarious, and talented people every week, but you get a taste of what art school is like! Prior to FIT, I envisioned art school as a place for only child prodigies who picked up their preferred medium at birth and never put it down, but in actuality, that’s not even close to reality! I mean yes, there are child prodigies here, and everyone you meet is extremely gifted, but FIT is a place where you discover yourself in every sense of the word! Whether you want to go into fashion design or marketing, precollege is a tool that you can use to further your understanding of that field and ultimately prepare yourself for it!

Next, precollege is definitely a big time commitment! Now this one is partly depending on where you live and the class(es) that you take; however, even if you live a block from campus and take a class that assigns no homework, it is still at least a 3 hour class. To some people this may seem like a turn off because it is a large chunk of your weekend, but seriously, every class goes by SO fast! When I hear my (amazing) professors say that it is time to clean up I always try to figure out where all the time went!

My third, and last, piece of information that I think you should know is that if you do decide to apply to any art school after going through FIT precollege, you likely will have enough projects to put together your portfolio. I have not had this experience personally (I’m only a high school sophomore), but I have friends who have gone, or are going, through the process of piecing together their creations in preparation for the college application process, and they ALL say that they wish they’d started earlier, and FIT Precollege is a great way to do just that!

At the end of the day, if you are motivated enough to be reading this blog post about FIT Precollege, you will excel in the program :)

I hope you have a great day and an even better week!

~Kaela

The Importance of Construction in Design

Hi Everyone!

I hope you all have had a great past week! As I turned in my first project (as mentioned in last week’s post), I began to think about how I have grown since my interest in fashion really began.

In the beginning, most of my interest was geared toward the design aspect of fashion. I hadn’t yet fully grasped the concept of producing what I drew, so I just spent hours on end sketching garments that I never thought would leave the pages.

When I began to sew, I started with the basics: stuffed animals, pillows, and mini-purses. I created countless variations of the same basic design before I even began to think about transferring my knowledge of how to sew pillows to the creation of my designs. I soon found myself (poorly) constructing blouses made from curtains and blankets, and wearing them proudly!

As years passed, and I have grown older, my skills have developed more.  I found myself sewing more and more successful pieces, more closely resembling my designs, but I still felt as though there was some sort of disconnect between my, then, abilities and what I thought I was capable of achieving.

In the summer going into my freshman year of high school, I took a two-week long precollege course at a prestigious fashion school, notorious for their incredible design graduates. I went into the program confident in both my construction and design skills, but soon realized that my ability to design far surpassed what I was actually able to make; I knew that I had to develop my construction skills more, but I felt hopeless in terms of how I would do it.

A friend that I met in the course suggested that I try precollege at FIT. She told me that she had found herself in a similar situation where she did not have the skills needed to grow in her design career, but after just one semester at FIT, she felt more confident than ever!

Since starting classes at FIT, I have noticed a HUGE improvement in my construction. FIT does an amazing job teaching the basics, while also helping each and every student find their own style and personal techniques! If I could only leave you with one piece of advice, it would be that in the design world, your ability to make what you design is just as important as the design itself!

I hope you have a great rest of the week and a fabulous start to spring!

~Kaela

Welcome Back Precollege Blogger: Kaela

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Hi again! For those of you that are new to my blog posts, my name is Kaela and I am 15 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.

As I told you all last spring, my passion for design was fist ignited when my incredibly influential math tutor, Nancy, gave me my first sewing machine. 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  level 2 “ HPM 071 Patternmaking and Sewing” Precollege course here at FIT. I am so excited to grow more as a designer, as well as build on the knowledge that I gained in “HAP 025 Sewing for Fashion Designers,” “Fabulous World of Fashion Forecasting,” and “HAP 153 Intermediate Sewing and Embroidery”. I am especially excited to begin class this spring because I will have the chance to reconnect with friends from previous semesters! Since starting Precollege at FIT, I have formed so many strong friendships. When we are not helping each other in class, or grabbing a coffee at break, my friends and I keep in touch in between semesters. Precollege at FIT is so unique in that no matter what course you take, you will most definitely be surrounded by passionate, caring individuals who will push you to be your best!

I am looking forward to another great semester, and I am very excited to be here with you on the Precollege blog! See you next time!
~Kaela

Instructor Spotlight: Deborah Beard

Prof. Beard, a New Jersey native, has been at FIT since 2008 and she is the chairperson of Technical Design as well as a professor in Technical and Fashion Design Departments. She has been a Fashion Designer for over 25 years in both Los Angeles and NY. Prof. Beard has owned a Junior Sportswear company and wrote a book “The Complete Book of Technical Design for Fashion and Technical Design.” Her passion is teaching and involving her students in the industry and seeing them prosper beyond their degree into rewarding jobs in Technical Design.

Prof. Beard teaches:


Teaching Philosophy:

The first thing you need to start in fashion is the “love” of fashion. Wanting to create and make clothes for yourself and to learn to make things unique is all you need to come into the course. We will teach the techniques, sewing, Pattern making, you just need to want to make a garment you can be proud to say “I made this!”.

On Precollege Programs:
I love working with Precollege students because they love to learn. I have a teenager so I know how to teach so they understand. I am open, friendly and excited to help and show my students. I want them to be excited to keep going and make fashion their career. Or at least make things for themselves.