I love Maker Libraries.

I volunteered for several Maker workshops for children at The Free Library of Philadelphia. There was 3D  Printing, electric circuit magnet looping, and other fun projects. The kids were eager to tinker about and create something they could call their own.

When I discovered that my favorite creative space in Lagos, Stranger joined the British Council sponsored Maker Libraries network, I knew I had to take a class.

My first class is pattern making. Chife is my instructor and we have a splendid time discussing fashion. He shows me accurate ways of taking my measurement and then the work starts. I am on my feet for the next four hours, but all I feel is pleasure.

What initially starts out as two disjointed rectangular boxes starts to take form when we draw a raised arc for the waist line above the hip length.  V-patterns are drawn in the middle of the boxes for what will become darts. Each measurement represented by drawn lines is labeled- Center back; Center front; Side seams; Hem line. I marvel at the 2D construction we have laid out on the table. It is beautiful. “Never cut from this main sheet”, Chife cautions. “It is your treasured master sheet.” So we trace.

The back is transferred to a brown paper, and the front to another. We draw the lines and curves on the calico fabric, add sewing allowance, and cut the pieces of the skirt. The front is cut on fold in one piece and the back is cut in two pieces. “Manage your fabric wisely, while cutting”, advises Chife. I struggle to contain my excitement about wearing my soon-to-be sewn skirt.

Once sewn, I model it in front of the mirror and Oroma gracefully takes my pictures. I am so excited, the crazy thought of strutting the streets of Lagos in this calico fabric crosses my mind. That is the power of the maker culture.


If you are interested in taking one of the classes, keep up with the calendar of events at Stranger and by all means, make something this week!


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