Pick up a starter kit at the Bazaar this weekend and looking for a project?
Check out the various projects from Julie Boyd!
She has instructions available online and downloadable PDF formats on projects ranging from a beginner’s simple circuit to adding up to three LEDs to an article of clothing. She’ll also show you how to spiral the LED “legs,” so that they can be easily sewn to fabric. For more information about sewing components, check out Lynn Bruning’s tutorial on how to make them more sewing friendly here and tips for sewing them to fabric here.
To create your own battery holder:
1. Cut out two squares of fabric about 1/4 of an inch larger than the battery. You’ll need the extra material so that when 3 of the 4 sides are sewn together, the fabric will still lie flush against the battery.
2. Cut the conductive fabric into two squares. One square should be roughly half the size of the regular fabric square from step 1. The second square should be slightly smaller. This is due to the smaller surface area for the negative side on your battery (the not so smooth side).
3. Remove the protective backing from one of the squares of conductive fabric and attach it to your square of regular fabric. Secure the conductive fabric with a few stitches using the conductive thread. Rather than cutting the excess thread, leave it danging so that you can use it again later when attaching your LED.
4. Repeat step 3 for the second square of fabric. Mark the side opposite the conductive square to indicate which side is positive.
5. Set the battery between the two squares of fabric with the conductive squares against the battery. Make sure that the conductive fabric and the conductive thread from one square doesn’t touch that of the second square. This will cause the circuit to short and prevent it from functioning properly. If they touch, the easiest fix is to sew a piece of non-conductive fabric, using non-conductive thread, over the spot that the conductive fabric overlaps.
6. Using non-conductive thread, stitch three sides of the squares (conductive patches facing in!) together, forming a small pocket.
7. Use the lengths of conductive thread remaining from steps 3 and 4 to connect the holder to your circuit.
- How to Sew an Accurate 1/4 Inch Seam (quilting.answers.com)
- Easy Sewing. (payelbd.wordpress.com)
- Finishing techniques (patternstriedandtrue.org)
- Beginner Electronics Project: The TapeTricity Card (makezine.com)
- Wear What You Sew (couturelunacy.wordpress.com)