Ladymaker Tenaya Hurst loves wearable tech. You’ll find her wearing sound-reactive, light-up jewelry and an Arduino programmed head piece, clothing often adorned with blinking LEDs. She also brought special guest Woodchuck the dachshund, who has his own Arduino programmed light-up vest.
Because Tenaya knows that sewing circuits with conductive steel thread, battery packs, and LEDs comes with a unique set of challenges, she devised a workshop that walked mothers and daughters through circuit design and testing before the circuits were committed to thread and fabric.
Moms and daughters first assembled their sewable battery packs, then attached alligator clips between the power source (battery pack) and output device (LED) for electricity to flow from positive to positive and negative to negative, and then integrated a two-part metal snap to serve as an on/off switch. Allowing the girls to experiment and troubleshoot created those “a-ha!” moments when LEDs lit up.
Once everyone understood how electricity should flow between components, moms and daughters were ready to replace alligator clips with conductive thread and sew their designs into fabric, wrist bands, headbands, and barrettes.