Tucked away in the corner on the top level of King Library is the Makerspace. And it is waiting for new visitors.
This “space” is equipped with every type of machine one could want, from 3D printers to embroidery machines. And this allows many who like fashion to participate in it.
Ella Roberts, majoring in business economics, is the one who vouched for her interest in fashion while currently studying in another field.
“I did a period piece, a dress that was inspired by the Bridgerton style that had an Empire waist and flow,” said Robers. “I did it for the MUF&D fashion show. I wanted to dress for her and I’ve always wanted to make a dress like that.”
With long, wide tables and various sewing machines, Roberts can lay out her patterns to make her pieces and then bring them to life. Around her are various staff members wearing embroidered aprons who assist any newcomers to the Makerspace and assist with any mishaps that may occur.
One of which is Emily Stevenson, a sophomore engineering major. Her passion for this space began as early as her first year.
“When I walked into this space, I was obsessed with everything I saw,” Stevenson said. “They actually mentioned the need for students to work and I immediately, the next day, started making my resume.”
After helping students during office hours, she practices perfecting the knitting machine—a new addition coming soon to the studio. During her time at the Makerspace, she has witnessed many fashion and architecture students pass through her doors.
“There is one [fashion] class that has their final project — they’re asked to make something in the Makerspace,” Stevenson said. “They have to make 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 engravers (engraving on hard materials) are also popular within the Miami fashion community.
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The use of the fabric and the machine is free for all (of course, with the use of an appropriate amount). Stevenson recalls various other types of projects students have created in the Makerspace.
“We had architecture students come in and make 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 free time due to missing classes. The place operates from 9am to 5pm on weekdays, but recently, on Wednesdays and Thursdays, they go until 7pm.
Stevenson and the team at the Makerspace 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 to learn, if you’re new and have an interest in anything like 3D printing, laser engraving, sewing, embroidery, knitting, even button making – just pop in and we’ll be very excited to teach you.”
After all, Roberts attests to the quality of the equipment and atmosphere of this secret craft venue.
“I like 99% of it [sewing] here in the Makerspace,” Roberts said. “What I had [sewing machines] there were four types of stitches and these have 99 stitches which is so cute! They have take-home sewing machine kits that you can take to your dorm – I’ve done this before. But I mostly 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 craftsman, designer or hobbyist.