Student Reference Guide


Welcome Students! Whether you are a new student or returning student, here are a few tips and guidelines to help make your experience at The School of Fashion Design a terrific one.



It is hoped that you will be able to attend all of your classes throughout the semester. However, if you are unable to attend, or if you will be late, it is your responsibility to contact your instructor(s) of your absence and make-up assigned work. Please refer to your syllabus for contact information.



SFD uses social media to promote events, announcements, internships, and job opportunities. Email is used for specific student messaging. Please remember to check your email.


Computer Room

The computer room is located on the third floor. This room is only to be used when class is in session.



The School of Fashion Design has available a range of designer fabrics for student purchase. The charge is $1.00 to $2.00 per yard. SFD students enjoy a 20% discount at the Fabric Place in Natick.


Fashion Show and Crits

As part of the SFD Experience, all students are expected to participate in the annual Fashion Show production week (generally mid-May). Crits are also part of the learning experience and all students should attend the crits each semester (generally late December and April).


Home Sewing Machine

If you are enrolled in one of the clothing construction classes you will want to purchase a home sewing machine. There is a lot of sewing involved in the sewing courses. You won’t be able to do it all at School and you will need to be able to work at home as well. An inexpensive sewing machine can be purchased at large discount stores for approximately $100-$200.



You can expect about two hours of homework for every hour that you are in class. The classes are fast paced and you will quickly fall behind if you do not keep up with your projects.


Hours of Operation

Semester hours are posted in the Student Lounge, or you can ask at the front desk.


Housing Options

Please see the front desk for a listing of near-by apartments and short-term housing.


Identification cards

Are issued to all full and part time students. Cards provide student discounts.


Industrial Sewing Machines

Each full-time student (enrolled in a clothing construction class) will be assigned an industrial sewing machine at the School. This will be the sewing machine you will use throughout the semester. Typically only one student is assigned per sewing machine. Once you have been assigned a sewing machine, practice on it as much as possible. This will help you to become accustom to using it, and projects will go more smoothly.


International Students

Please see the front desk for a Travel Endorsement before travelling outside the United States. Please provide your US address to the front desk within two weeks of the semester starting.



The Reference Library is on the third floor. Please see the front desk before using the library.



If commuting on the T, use the Green Line and get off at the Copley Square stop. We are also a short walk from Back Bay station which services the Orange Line and the Commuter Rail (south bound trains). If you drive in be aware that parking on Newbury Street is two hour, metered parking. Parking and towing is strictly enforced. After two hours you must move your car to a different block or it will be ticketed. If you must drive in, it is suggested you park in a local garage or parking lot.



Lockers can be rented for the semester or year. They are located in the Student Lounge. Often students buy double of their drafting and sewing supplies and keep a set in their locker and a set at home.



Being able to take measurements is a must in the sewing and drafting courses. The instructor will review how to read a ruler in the first or second class. If you are rusty in using a ruler we suggest brushing up. It will make class work easier at the beginning of the term. At SFD we use the Imperial measuring system (inch, foot, yard, etc.). The metric system is not used.



At the beginning of the fall semester there is an orientation session for all students. During orientation you will meet faculty and get an excellent overview of the program and courses. For returning students you will learn what is new at SFD and also get an overview of your fall courses. It is expected that all students will attend orientation.



Restrooms are located on the Mezzanine Level and downstairs in the sewing room.


School Closing Information

During inclement weather, please call the School for a status update.


Student Experiences

SFD will periodically arrange for visits to other cities and to cultural and special events. Check out the cultural events notebook in the Student Lounge. These experiences are great opportunities for all students and a nice way to get to know each other.



Each class has specific tools you will need to be able to do the course work (ex: pattern draftingrulers, pencils, scissors, etc.). You can purchase the supplies from the School (which is recommended as we have specific tools we want you to use) or you may purchase your own. Always bring your tools to class. The classes at SFD are designed to be “hands on.” In many of the classes you will be expected to do work in and you will need your tools.

When extra supplies are needed throughout the semester (muslin, oak tag, brown paper, dotted paper, etc.), please go to the front desk. We accept cash or credit card if the amount is over $4.00.


Student Lounge

SFD has a Student Lounge located on the second floor next to the sketching room. The lounge has a refrigerator and microwave for the storing and heating of food. There is a water cooler and a Keurig coffee machine. You are welcome to bring in your own Keurig coffee.

NOTE: We ask that all food be kept in the Student Lounge due to the risk of damaging other student’s work in the class rooms. Most teachers allow students to have a drink in the class room if it is in a sealed container.


The Building

The School of Fashion Design is located in a turn-of-the-century building. Please respect the building by helping to keep the classrooms, workspaces, and Student Lounge picked up and tidy.