I made this skirt as my final project for the Wearable Media courses I took at OCADU. Wearable media refers to garments, accessories, shoes, etc.–anything you wear–that contains Boring details! Who cares? This skirt bloody LIGHTS UP WHEN I SHAKE MY BOOTY! Check out the video demo:
The skirt is a basic pencil skirt design — I grabbed one of my go-to pencil skirts from my closet and used it as a template to cut out a pattern for a new one using black ponte knit fabric. I also cut out an overlay from flower-covered stretch mesh fabric (which, for readers linked here from Project Sewn’s website, is my admittedly tenuous connection to this week’s Floral Frenzy Challenge). On top of the inner skirt, I stitched a long length of RGB LED string lights. I attached the string of lights to the skirt in a curvey-snakey pattern so that the skirt still can stretch in any direction, and I used a wide zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine to tack the lights down every few inches. (I of course managed to stitch right into the wire of the string lights at one point, breaking the wire and forcing me to test out my soldering iron skills.)
There’s a pocket at the waistband of the skirt that gives access to a neoprene panel onto which I sewed the “brains” of the skirt: a Lilypad Arduino micro controller, a battery, and conductive thread circuits that connect everything together. On a separate fob I sewed an accelerometer, which basically detects motion, also connected to the micro controller with conductive thread. With help from the class TA, I wrote a program and uploaded to the Lilypad so that whenever the accelerometer detects a significant amount of movement, the lights twinkle.
I put the accelerometer on a sort of fob so that the wearer can choose to either tuck the fob into the pocket (in which case if you want the skirt to light up, you have to give your ass a shake), or you can wear the fob outside the skirt and give it a shake with your hand whenever you want the skirt to light up.
Such a fashionerdanista, no? Sewing and crafting mixed in with programming and electronic circuits. Right up my left-AND-right-brained alley. And by the way, I hereby copyright the shit out of that clever new term, if I do say so myself. Google has never even heard of it. UNTIL NOW.