Tucked away in the corner on the highest level of King Library is the Makerspace. And it’s awaiting new visitors.
This “space” is equipped with any type of machine one can wish for, from 3D printers to embroidery machines. And it allows for many who enjoy fashion to partake in it.
Ella Roberts, business economics major, is one to vouch for her interest in making fashion pieces while currently studying in a different field.
“I have made a period piece, a dress that was inspired by the Bridgerton style that had the Empire waist and flowy,” Robers said. “I made it for the MUF&D fashion show. I wanted to dress up for it and I’ve always wanted to make a dress like that.”
With long, wide tables and various sewing machines, Roberts can place her patterns out to make her pieces and then bring them to life. Around her are various staff members wearing embroidered aprons, who help any newcomer to the Makerspace, and aid in any mishaps that might happen.
One of which is Emily Stevenson, a sophomore engineering major. Her passion for this space started all the way back in her freshman year.
“When I walked into this space, I was obsessed with everything that I saw,” Stevenson said. “They actually mentioned needing students to work and I instantly, the next day, started making my resume.”
After helping out students during her work hours, she practices perfecting the knitting machine — a new addition that is coming soon to the studio. During her time at the Makerspace, she has witnessed a lot of fashion and architecture students come through its doors.
“There is a [fashion] class that has their final project — they are required to make something in the Makerspace,” Stevenson said. “They have to make an 8 by 8 [inch] pattern, so people will come and do four different segments on the embroidery machine.”
Stevenson also recalls that the sublimation machines (a printer that uses heat transfer technology) and the laser engraver (engraves into hard materials) are also popular within the fashion community at Miami.
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The fabric and machine use is free to everyone (with of course, using an appropriate amount). Stevenson remembers other different types of projects that students have created at the Makerspace.
“We had architecture students come in and make curtains for their office,” Stevenson said. “I have seen people do costumes before, like cosplay.”
The busiest day of the week would be Fridays, due to most students having free time because of no classes. The place runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, but recently, Wednesdays and Thursdays go until 7 p.m.
Stevenson and the team at the Makerspace are ready to welcome new people.
“When you come in, we will give you a little tour,” Stevenson said. “All of our machines are very beginner friendly to learn on, if you just come up and have an interest in anything like 3D printing, laser engraving, sewing, embroidery, knitting, button making even — just pop by and we will be very excited to teach you.”
After all Roberts attests to the quality of the equipment and vibe of this secret crafting place.
“I do like 99% of [sewing] here, at the Makerspace,” Roberts said. “The one’s I had [sewing machines] had four stitch types and these have 99 stitches, which is so cool! They have take-home sewing machine kits, where you can take it back to your dorm — I’ve done this before as well. But I mostly just come here because I love this space. It's really calming, it’s like a break from everything else.”
This hidden gem of Miami is ready for any crafters, designers or hobbyists to partake in. The Makerspace machines are strongly recommended to be reserved beforehand, on the Miami University library website.