Sewable Soft Circuits Workshop with Decatur Makers and Sparkfun Electronics

softcircuits-5This July, we taught two Sewable Soft Circuits Workshops at Decatur Makers, teaching makers the basics of creating sewable circuits, and introducing them to technology they can use to make their project sparkle. Thanks to Sparkfun Electronics, we were able to teach these two class, and bring a lot of great material to our students.


In the first class, we taught the basics of creating a sewable soft circuit. We used Arduino lilypad sewable LEDs with battery holders, sewn with conductive thread. Students were taught the basics of a circuit, how to wire LEDs in parallel, and how they could adapt these skills for bigger projects. We also taught how to create an on/off switch using metal sewing snaps so their bracelets and masks could light up when worn and be turned off afterwards.  All the students in this class went home with a completed project. Some students made light up pins and masks based on previous Sparkfun projects, and other students made light up bracelets inspired by Wonder Woman’s indestructible bracelets.

In the second class, we went a little bit further into the world of sewable circuits and introduced how to use a microcontroller like the Arduino lily twinkle to make their project’s sparkle. Students brought their own project and were taught how to adapt them to make them sparkle. They were introduced to the Arduino lilypad environment with the lily sparkle board. Some students went a little bit further and made use of the lily tiny board with light sensors to customize their projects more. Students were taught the basics of creating circuit to light an LED, and then taught how this skill applies to microprocessors like the Arduino lilypad that can control the lighting patterns. Students were also taught how to apply these skills to other projects, and garment construction so their projects can be washed and readapted. Participants brought in a range of projects to work on from denim jackets to flags, hats, and scarves.

Thank you so much to Sparkfun for sponsoring this class for us and giving us this opportunity!