textile project

Art Conference + Sewing = ???

In September, Pittsburgh hosted the Arts and Education Partnership National Forum (AEPF). Our executive director, Jane Werner, was asked to speak at the Forum and we were asked to have an accompanying table with a small taste of what goes on in MAKESHOP. We brought along a lot of example projects, wooden joinery blocks, circuit blocks, soldering tools, etc. We also brought along a lot of sewing materials. The plan wa
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Soft Circuit Blocks

A few months ago I was introduced by my colleagues in MAKESHOP to the idea of using conductive thread to sew a circuit.  The concept is simple; instead of using electrical wires to connect your components and power sources you use a conductive type of thread.  This allows you to attach your electrical components to fabric.  This is a new way of exploring and understanding circuitry.  A sewn or soft circuit may, in so
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Allen’s Monorail

Another sewing story from the week involves my friend Allen (four years old) and his mom, two very regular visitors to the Museum. I have known Allen’s family since before he was born. He seems to have inherited his older brothers sense for planning. He comes in every week (sometimes twice a week) with his mom after preschool and he always has a plan for what he wants to make or explore. This week he wanted to build
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Return Visitors

The end of August brings a lot of visitors to the Museum who are trying to get one last fun activity out of their summer vacation.  With this particular family they decided to get two activities out of the end of their vacation.  Allison and her father were visiting Pittsburgh from Buffalo and happened to stop by MAKESHOP during their stay.  Allison spent a long time designing and sewing a really nice change purse.  
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How to Thread a Needle

The first thing you want to do when you’re threading a needle is get the right amount of thread. My favorite way to get the right amount of thread is to unwind the thread while holding the bobbin (which is the tube the thread is wrapped around) in one hand and pinching the end of the thread in the other. I stretch my arms out all the way, then cut off a piece of thread with sewing scissors. Here, you can see me
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Mammoths in MAKESHOP

Throughout the month of July we have explored different ways to make puppets. At our latest Youth Maker Night we had some tools out for machine sewing and hand sewing in case anyone was interested in making a puppet. The discovery of a large piece of brown, furry fabric lead two boy to the idea of making Wooly Mammoth puppets. The two boys working on this project got the chance to learn a bunch of sewing techniques.
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