Tucked into the corner at the highest level of King Library is the Makerspace. And he is waiting for new visitors.
This “space” is equipped with any type of machine you could wish for, from 3D printers to embroidery machines. And that allows many of those who love fashion to participate.
Business Economics major Ella Roberts shows her interest in designing fashion pieces while currently studying in a different field.
“I did a period piece, a Bridgerton-inspired dress that was Empire waisted and flowy,” Robers said. “I did it for the MUF&D fashion show. I wanted to dress for it and I always wanted to do a dress like that.
With long, wide tables and various sewing machines, Roberts can place his patterns to create his pieces and then bring them to life. Surrounding her are various staff wearing embroidered aprons, assisting any newcomers to the Makerspace and assisting with any mishaps that may arise.
One of them is Emily Stevenson, a second-year engineering student. His passion for this space began in his first year.
“When I walked into this space, I was obsessed with everything I saw,” Stevenson said. “They actually mentioned that they needed students to work with and I immediately the next day started doing my resume.”
After helping the students during her work hours, she’s training to perfect the knitting machine, a new addition coming to the studio soon. During her time at Makerspace, she saw many fashion and architecture students pass through her doors.
“There is a [fashion] class that has their final project – they’re bound to do something in the Makerspace,” Stevenson said. “They have to do an 8 by 8 [inch] pattern, so people will come in and do four different segments on the embroidery machine.
Stevenson also recalls that sublimation machines (a printer that uses heat transfer technology) and laser engraver (engraves into hard materials) are also popular within the Miami fashion community.
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Cloth and machine use is free for everyone (with, of course, using an appropriate amount). Stevenson remembers other different types of projects the students created at Makerspace.
“We brought in architecture students and made curtains for their office,” Stevenson said. “I’ve seen people make costumes before, like cosplay.”
The busiest day of the week would be Friday as most students have time off as there are no classes. The place operates from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, but recently Wednesdays and Thursdays go until 7 p.m.
Stevenson and the Makerspace team are ready to welcome new people.
“When you come in, we’ll give you a little tour,” Stevenson said. “All of our machines are very beginner friendly, if you are just interested in something like 3D printing, laser engraving, sewing, embroidery, knitting, even button making – just drop by and we we will be very excited to teach you.”
After all, Roberts attests to the quality of the equipment and the atmosphere of this secret crafting place.
“I like 99% of [sewing] here at Makerspace,” Roberts said. “The one I had [sewing machines] had four types of dots and these have 99 dots which is so cool! They have to-go sewing machine kits, where you can take them back to your dorm – I’ve done that before too. But I mostly come here because I like this space. It’s really calming, it’s like a break from everything else.
This Miami hidden gem is ready for any crafter, designer or hobbyist. It is strongly recommended that you reserve Makerspace machines in advance, through the University of Miami Library website.