Learn by Doing: Sewing with Conductive Thread
November 21st, 2017 | Kimberly Hwa Davis, Community Learning Specialist
Hi, my name is Kim Hwa Davis, a new Community Learning Specialist for Do Space and I’m thrilled to be a part of this team! While I’d say I am comfortable with technology, my knowledge, I’ve learned, only scratches the surface of what is out there. Technology goes WAY beyond the easy interface of my iPhone and laptop computers I’ve been working with since I was a kid.
Coding? Circuits? 3D printing? Yeah, I’ve heard of it, know what it is. But have I had any first-hand experience with any of the above and so much more? No, no I have not. Do Space is changing that for me! I want to share with you some of the amazing new skills I’m learning and maybe it will inspire you to look into and try some out some of these same things.
One of the first projects I was tasked with was getting ready for our Holiday Hacks: Light-Up Holiday Sweaters program on Friday, November 24 from 12:30-2:30. I will be helping members spruce up those holiday sweaters and take them to the next level with light sources such as electroluminescent (EL) wire and Christmas lights. Okay, I know how to sew. I can show people how to sew these lights with their own battery packs attached to a sweater. This shouldn’t be too bad. But wait, there’s more!
We have LED lights and button batteries with holders and conductive thread to connect them all! That goes beyond sewing. That goes into knowing what is circuit is and how they work. After some research and a few Youtube videos, I felt ready for my first try at using conductive thread to light up an LED light.
I found a Santa hat that has Merry Christmas embroidered on the white cuff of the hat. I decided I’d put a LED over the dot of the ‘i’ in Christmas. Here is what I used:
- Conductive thread
- 1 LED light bulb
- 1 button battery
- Button battery holder
- Sewing needle
The general process was figuring out the placement of the light and where to sew the battery holder. I needed to make sure I was sewing the positive side of the battery holder to the positive prong (the longer one) and negative to negative. Otherwise, when the battery is popped in, the light will not light up. I also made sure I did not have anything from the positive side touching the negative side. Otherwise, it would create a short circuit and not light up.
Want to try something like this yourself? Come join us for our Holiday Hacks: Light-Up Holiday Sweaters program on Friday, November 24 from 12:30-2:30pm! Bring your own sweater to brighten and be the hit of your next holiday or ugly Christmas sweater party. We’ll have many of the things you’ll need to create your own light-up sweater!