Running stitch example close up

The Running Stitch and the Whip Stitch

  ​​When visitors sew for the first time, they often worry about the tools, like how to thread a needle and whether they’re going to poke themselves with the needle once it’s threaded. Once they start, however, they shift their focus to making a stitch. There are lots of ways to make a stitch, but there are two stitches that new sewers tend to start with: the running stitch and the whip stitch. Both
Read More

Too Many Shoes?

I’ve always said that solving problems is one of the most important parts of being a maker. It is a lot of fun to solve a problem by making something. That is essentially how an inventor thinks. If you are tired of sitting on the ground then why not build a chair? If you your chair isn’t comfortable then you can always sew a cushion. My problem was too many shoes in my closet at home. I could have easily
Read More

We made a sloth

Before I started teaching in MAKESHOP I really didn’t make very many things at home.  Nowadays there is always some kind of project we are working on.  At my house we really like sewing and we really like sloths.  So we figured, why not make a stuffed sloth? We looked up a lot of pictures of real sloths to see how exactly the their facial markings looked.  We made a pattern on paper and then went on an adventur
Read More


Our Teaching Artists and one of our interns recently had the chance to display some original MAKESHOP creations in an art show at Tula Organic Salon and Spa here in Pittsburgh. The Salon hosts a different artist every month and allows them to display their artwork throughout the space.  The MAKEHOP Art Show included a light-up jacket created by Christian as a Halloween costume/night light. Some DIY guitars (one was m
Read More

Allen’s Car

Here is a great example of how a visitor can really come prepared to MAKESHOP. Allen visits the Museum a lot and although there are lots of things to play with at the Museum he sometimes brings his own toys as well. During this particular visit his toys completely inspired him to create something in MAKSHOP. He wanted to make a car for his pirate toys to ride around in. We spent a really long time building a car out
Read More

A Miniature MAKESHOP

We recently explored scale and perspective as a theme in MAKESHOP.  One of our activities was to create a tiny version of the MAKESHOP exhibit.  I built a small diorama of the room and then let other educators and visitors add to the space.  There are some very recognizable objects in MAKESHOP.  It was a real challenge building tiny, tiny versions of those objects out of random recycled materials. Little red chair wi
Read More