Drawing on inspiration from colleges and universities across the country, Wesleyan recently opened its own Makerspace on the newly renovated second floor of Willet Library. This space gives students a creative area to sew, knit, and craft.
"The idea organically evolved from conversations we had with students about wanting to learn how to sew. Original plans had the room as a small study room, but we decided an area for students to create would be a better use of the space," said Kristi Peavy, library director.
The room is equipped with sewing and embroidery machines, Cricut cutting machines, knitting materials, and more. Faculty, staff, and students can have 24-hour access to the room after completing a 30-minute instructional orientation with one of the librarians. A student worker staffs the room and hosts training sessions for the equipment and software. More than 30 students have already completed the necessary training.
"I think the new Makerspace is popular because it gives students the creative outlet they've been missing. It's the only place of its kind on campus where students of all skill levels can make something they can be proud of. Whether that means a beginner making a scrunchie or a more skilled student sewing a dress from scratch, all skill levels are invited, encouraged, and motivated to come and make," said Alexxis Merrow '21, Makerspace student worker.
President Fowler hosted two "Sew with the President" workshops to introduce the space. Both events were at capacity as students learned how to make pillows and sew pillow shams with guidance from President Fowler and Kristi Peavy. Plans are to host creative workshops throughout the year.
While most materials in the room are free for student use, materials for projects that students plan to sell must be provided on their own. You can donate materials (fabric, yarn, and other supplies) directly to the space. Contact the Library if you have items you would like to donate. You can also purchase, and ship directly to the library, items from our Amazon Wish List. The wish list is always current with items needed for the space. Our goal is to provide students with these consumables at no charge.