Monday, September 2, 2013

Makevention: Bringing Maker Culture (Including E-textiles) to the Larger Bloomington Community

On August 24, Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University, held its first Makevention, a Maker Faire-like event introducing the community to aspects of Maker culture, from 3D printers to FIRST robotics teams to upcycled clothing to medieval-style weapons and costumes.

Diane and Sophia from IU's Creativity Labs participated by running an e-textiles booth in the ReFashion Textile Area. At least 20 youths stopped by our tables with their families and learned about circuits using alligator clips and LEDs, learned how to curl the legs of regular LEDs to make them sewable, and sewed LEDs into shirts, fabric scraps, felt bracelets, etc.

This girl had a "close encounter" of the STEAM kind when she sewed a blue LED onto a Roswell shirt!
Creativity Labs member Kate Shively stopped by with her daughters. One daughter wanted to repair a tear in her stuffed snake by using e-textiles, and the other upcycled and decorated an old t-shirt.

Creativity Labs member Kate Shively and daughter enjoying the ReFashion Textile Area at Makevention
While only about 20 youths were able to complete their e-textile projects at the event, about 100 people per hour passed through the doors, and many of those who could not stop to sew at our tables at least stopped to talked to us about e-textiles, took some of the informational flyers we had, saw many demonstrations of e-textile projects, and found out more about how they could get involved.

We greatly enjoyed spreading the word about e-textiles at Makevention! This was our first showcase of these materials for the larger Bloomington community, and we are thrilled at the positive response we received. We'd like to extend our thanks to Bloominglabs, which hosted the event and invited us to participate, and Discardia, which collaborated with us on the ReFashion Textile Area.


  1. I do a lot of upcycling of garments, but never thought of incorporating electronics into them. Something to think about but I think have a steep learning curve as I've never touched that particular topic. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Interesting post you have shared as well as your creativity also incredible.

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