eTextiles How To: Sew a Light Up Wristband with One LED (simple circuit)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Completed light-up felt wristband with one LED

Yes! Now we make a light up wristband or light-up bracelet or whatever with one light!
If you've read through the eTextiles Tips & Tricks and know how to knot thread & thread a needle, and have your hand-sewn felt wristband, then you can begin! Even if you don't have a felt wristband, you can do this project with a random piece of fabric, or a belt, or a hat, or something. You really do, however, need to know the eTextiles Tips & Tricks and how to knot thread & thread a needle.

How To: Make a Simple eTextiles Circuit (lights up one LED)
The short instructions are in this image above, but you can also go through step-by-step with the photos below. You'll need some supplies first.

1. Supplies for lighting up one LED

Supplies for the Light Up Wristband with One LED
  • 1 CR2032 Coin Cell Battery (PRT-00338)
  • 1 sewable battery holder (DEV-08822 or DEV-13883)
  • 1 Lilypad LED (DEV-13903)
  • ~16"+ conductive thread (DEV-10867)
  • needle (small enough to fit through the connection point/hole) (TOL-10405)
  • craft scissors
  • felt wristband (or textile of some sort).
Electronic Component Supplies for eTextile Circuit Projects

Before you begin...
It's usually wise to prototype your electronic circuit design using paper first: http://byov.blogspot.com/2017/04/etextiles-paper-prototype-before-you-do.html. Just cut out the pieces you'll be using from the paper (i.e., a battery holder and one LED), tape them down onto a piece of paper that resembles the necessary circuit layout, and then draw lines connecting the positive connection points. And then a line connecting the negative connection points. These represent two separate pieces of thread, and remember, they should not intersect!

If you've got some alligator clips, it's often nice to test out your design to ensure everything works before you sew it to fabric. I've discovered dead batteries this way ;)

Alligator Clips are great for testing out designs.

  1. If you're doing a fancier design, you may wish to mark where the LED & battery holder should be sewn.
    I'm going to attach my components-felt to a fancier embroidered wristband. I'll cut a tiny hole in the main flower so that the LED can shine through. But first I have to figure out where to place the LED on my plain felt.

    You can also just sew your electronic components directly to the felt wristband, too. They'll just be a bit more obvious.
    2. For fancier designs, mark where you want your LED to be placed.

  2. Double pretzel knot the thread end & thread your needle
    Instructions for starting your hand-sewing: How to knot thread and thread a needle.
    4. Thread the needle with the other end.

  3. Push needle through positive end of battery holder, back to front.
    5. Push needle through positive end of battery holder, back to front.

  4. Place battery holder in desired location, then push needle through the fabric.
    6. Place battery holder in desire location, then push needle through the fabric.

  5. Push needle back up through fabric, close to previous stitch. Then push needle down through the hole in the metal connection point.
    7. Push needle back up through fabric, close to previous stitch. Then push needle down through the hole in the metal connection point.

  6. Repeat steps 5&6 four or five times for a secure connection (i.e., this is the overcast stitch)
    8. Repeat steps 6 & 7 four or five times for a secure connection (i.e., overcast stitch)

  7. Use a running stitch to sew to desired location of the LED
    9. Use a running stitch to sew to desired location of the LED

  8. Use the overcast stitch from steps 5 & 6 to secure the positive connection point of the LED.
    10. Use the overcast stitch from steps 6 &7 to secure the positive connection point of the LED.

  9. Secure the end of the thread by pushing the needle through a few previous stitches, preferably on the back of the work.
    11. Secure the end of the thread by pushing the needle through a few previous stitches.

  10. Trim any loose thread ends.
    12. Trim any loose thread ends.

  11. Repeat steps 3-12 for the negative side of the battery holder and LED.
    13. Repeat steps 2-10 for the negative side of the battery holder and LED.

  12. Place the coin cell battery into the holder, matching the positive end to the positive side of the holder. The LED should turn on.
    14. Place the coin cell battery into the holder, matching the positive end to the positive side of the holder. The LED should turn on.

  13. (Optional) If you have a fancy cover for your wristband, you should cut a hole in the fancy felt where you want the LED to shine through.
    If you have a fancy cover for your wristband, you should cut a hole in the fancy felt where you want the LED to shine through.

  14. (Optional) If you have a fancy cover for your wristband, you can attach the circuit felt to the cover felt, using non-conductive thread.
    Be sure to remove the battery when sewing, so that the conductive threads don't touch as you sew with your non-conductive thread!
    If you have a fancy cover for your wristband, you can attach the circuit felt to the cover felt, using non-conductive thread.
    If you have a fancy cover for your wristband, you can attach the circuit felt to the cover felt, using non-conductive thread.

  15. Replace the coin cell battery and you're done!
    Completed light-up felt wristband with one LED

Tea Review: More Adagio Samplers!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Jade Oolong Tea
Yes and yes to this Jade Oolong Tea. I think I have a serious sweet spot for the smooth flavors of a good quality oolong. These, like other oolong I've seen, are whole leaves that unfurl as they soak in the hot water.

Peppermint Tea
Peppermint Tea from Adagio. I had not anticipated liking plain old peppermint tea this much. But it is a very nice and calming tea. 'Leaves a lovely mint aftertaste.

Not pictured
At some point I should note that I totally scarfed down Adagio's Gingerbread Black Tea over the month of December. I drank many cups of this seasonal tea each day over the holidays and failed to photograph, but it was a really fun black tea with a considerable amount of ginger and "natural gingerbread flavoring", lol.

Citron Green Tea
Citron Green Tea from Adagio. A lovely, bright tea that tastes vaguely of Fruit Loops. Really quite pleasant, with lots of fruity citrus flavors going on. Great if you like a busy tea.

Masala Chai Black Tea
Masala Chai Black Tea from Adagio. A nice, spicy black tea. 'Still prefer my rooibos chai version, but this is still quite enjoyable.

White Peach Tea
White tea will always be at the bottom of my list. Even with fruit in it. Including this White Peach Tea. It's just not that interesting? I don't know.

How To: Hand Sew a Wristband

Friday, April 21, 2017

Completed Felt Wristband
This simple wristband will function as the background to our eTextiles - all the lights and battery, etc. It's fairly simple and quick, with the intention of introducing some basic sewing skills (knotting, threading, running stitch).

How To: Make a Simple Felt Wristband with Velcro

Supplies for the Felt Wristband
3" X 8" felt strip, sewing thread (can use embroidery floss, but it gets stuck in the Velcro), sewing needle, (optional) needle threader, 0.5-1in sewable velcro, and craft scissors.

Extra scraps of felt or embroidery thread for decorating.
Felt Wristband Supplies

  1. Trim felt strip to circumference of wrist plus one inch
    If you're putting your electronics inside your wristband, you might need to make the wristband a little longer. If the battery holder is going on the outside, then an inch should be plenty (i.e., the width of your Velcro).
    3. Trim felt strip to circumference of wrist plus one inch

  2. Knot the end of the thread and thread your needle with the other end.
    There's a BYOV Tutorial on knotting a thread and threading a needle.
    2. Thread your needle

  3. (Not Shown) Push needle from back of Velcro square to front.
    3. Push needle from back of Velcro square to front.

  4. Place Velcro square on felt strip, use running stitch to secure Velcro to felt.
    A running or straight stitch can be used to connect the connecting points of several electronic components. It's the basic process where the thread comes up through fabric, then down, then up, down, etc. ApartmentTherapy has a tutorial on this stitch and others, here: www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-sew-basic-stitches-221433. I sometimes like to make smaller stitched on one side of the fabric, so they aren't quite as visible. If I don't care about looks, I'll often pick up several stitches at once to save the time of individually creating each stitch.
    4. Place Velcro square on felt strip, use running stitch to secure Velcro to felt.

  5. Secure thread end with backstitch or through previous stitches
    I usually secure the end of threads by pulling the needle through several previous stitches, or sometimes backstitching. This is necessary to prevent all your work from unraveling! this tutorial describes some options.
    5. Secure thread end with backstitch or through previous stitches

  6. Trim thread ends.
    5. Trim thread ends.

  7. Flip felt over. Other side of Velcro will be at opposite end of first side.
    Felt Strip Placement

  8. Flip felt strip over & reknot end of thread.
    6. Flip felt strip over & reknot end of thread.

    It's easier to use sewing thread (not embroidery floss) when sewing the prickly-Velcro.
    Sewing wristband with sewing thread (not embroidery floss) is easier, doesn't get stuck in Velcro.

  9. Repeat steps 2-6 for other half of Velcro, on the other end of the felt strip
    7. Repeat steps 3-5 for other half of Velcro, on the other end of the felt strip

  10. Done!
    Completed Felt Wristband

eTextiles: Paper Prototype Before You Do Anything

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

If you're not incorporating a lesson on circuit-diagramming, you can probably skip this step.



Before we get into the nitty gritty of actually making our felt wristbands for our light-up wristband, we need to give some thought to the positioning of the components. The easiest path is to just put all the components on top of the wristband (not on the inside). Your piece of felt then only needs to be about the circumference of your wrist plus 1-inch. This will give some space for the Velcro overlap and wriggly wrists.

In a classroom setting, I'd incorporate some paper prototyping after sewing and circuits have been introduced. And then we'd paper prototype using the cut-outs below (print at 50% scale). Colored pens/pencils can be used to simulate the positive and negative strands of conductive thread. Paper Prototyping is essentially creating a model of what you'll be building with actual components, felt, and thread next. It's helpful when creating a more complex design (such as with the battery holder inside the wristband and LEDs outside of the wristband).

Paper prototyping is good for determining what pieces should go where for the most attractive and best fitting final product. If you're just going to stick everything on one side of the felt, then it's not fully necessary.



Success: Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies [omg]

Sunday, April 16, 2017

170314smittenkitchen-5

OMFGROTFLMAOWTFBBQ.
These Chocolate Chip Meringues from SmittenKitchen are heaven. Like a chocolate chip marshmallow without all the effort of a marshmallow! The perfect chocolate-chip-delivery system. Because it's a meringue, you don't end up with tons of batter, so you've got a manageable number of heavenly cookies to eat.

The recipe provides a "traditional" long & low cooking method along with the speedier one. I went with the 25 minute speedy version and they came out slightly crunchy, but mostly chewy. A perfect texture.

A perfect cookie.

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170314smittenkitchen-2

Sewing: Knotting a Thread and Threading the Needle

Friday, April 14, 2017

Before you start hand-sewing, you need to put a knot on one end of the thread, and stick the other through a needle. This post is just to keep around so the resource is around.
Attempting to avoid the expert blindspot.



Knotting the End of a Thread

I tend to use two tailor's/pretzel knots stacked right on top of each other, but you can also do a Quilter's knot. Whichever is easier to grasp.


3. Double pretzel knot the end of the thread
4. Thread the needle with the other end.
How To Knot the Thread: A tailor/pretzel knot on top of another tailor/pretzel knot
How To Knot the Thread: Double pretzel knot, done

Threading a Needle
I usually just shove the thread through the needle-eye by hand, with a bit of saliva and hand-eye coordination. But for those lacking that technique, using a needle threader may be a good approach. Just push the threader's wires through the needle-eye, put the thread through the wires, then pull the threader away from the needle. The thread should go with it and your needle should be threaded.

How To Thread a Needle: 1 Supplies
Put needle threader wires through needle-eye, then put thread end through the threader wires
How To Thread a Needle: 2 Put Needle Threader Wires through needle-eye How To Thread a Needle: 3 Put thread end through threader wires
Hold needle and pull threader away from needle
How To Thread a Needle: 4 Hold needle and pull threader away from needle
Pull threader until thread end goes through the needle eye
How To Thread a Needle: 5 Pull threader until thread end goes through the needle eye
How To Thread a Needle: 6 A threaded needle!

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