In this lesson, you will be introduced to the materials and tools needed to take this class and where to buy them. I link to the cheapest options, trying to keep things grouped between a few companies to help with shipping costs for the international folk. If a link is no longer good or you need help finding an item, feel free to message me!
100% sheep's wool felt is much nicer than the acrylic felt found in your local fabric store. The acrylic felt will also not be able to tolerate the heat of an iron, it's made of plastic and will melt! Buy a few colors for variety or stock up on your favorite color.
[x1] fitted t-shirt.
The fitted part is important because you will be attaching a sensor to it to read body movements. The sensor will need to be close to the body and held there in order for it to bend and move with you. The shirt should be made of a medium-weight knit because you will be sewing to it and don't want the material to tear easily.
[x1] pack of sewing needles (embroidery recommended)
This class does not require a sewing machine, instead, you will be hand sewing your projects. If you have a machine, you are welcome to use it.
The needles will be used with regular and conductive thread, the latter can be fairly thick, so choose a needle that has a medium to large sized eye. The trick is to get a needle that has a large eye but isn't too thick. You can end up punching large holes in materials if the needle is too large. Embroidery needles are usually a good choice, they are thin and sharp, but have a larger eye than standard needles.
[x1] bobbin conductive 3-ply thread
Adafruit, who distributes this thread, also sells 2-ply, which is thinner. The one that is more all-purpose is the 3-ply, so that is required. Feel free to purchase the 2-ply to try out for yourself.
[x1] spool polyester all-purpose thread that matches your felt
Only one spool is necessary, but feel free to stock up on other colors or a small kit for variety. Gutermann is my favorite brand, so I've linked to them.
[x1] pair of scissors
Ginghers are my favorite for sewing projects, but you can get a sharp pair for cheaper. Keep them dedicated to cutting fabric to keep them sharp. A small pair of scissors is very handy for when you need to get into smaller places but they are not necessary.
[x1] pair of craft scissors
For cutting sticky back velcro, paper, and for all else that is not fabric.
[x1] seam ripper
[x1] soft measuring tape
[x1] straight edge ruler
A grid ruler is great for squaring lines but any straight ruler will do.
[x1] box of straight pins
These are used to hold fabric in place while sewing or prototyping. These are extra fine pins and are made for delicate fabric, this means that they are sharp and thin, so they glide through fabric very easily. Even though they are made for delicate fabric, I think they are the best for general purpose sewing too.
There are many kinds of fabric glue, depending on what kind of hold and what type of fabric you are applying it to. The one I link to Fabri-Tac, it's the most permanent fabric glue I know of that you can get in a fabric store. It's great and has a very strong hold.
I also use Aleene's Ok to Wash. It can be machine washed, has a low odor and isn't as thick as Fabri-Tac which makes it more manageable. It's a lighter glue I use for securing knots.
[x1] foot of Shieldit Super conductive fabric with hot melt adhesive backing.
Scroll down the page to find Shieldit Super.
[1x] foot of Velostat by 3M resistant plastic.
Scroll down the page to find Velostat by 3M.
There are several marking tools for fabric out there, I also use tailor's chalk.
[x1] pack of 24" x 3/4" of sticky back velcro tape.
You can get any width from 5/8" - 1" if you would like to buy it from your local fabric store.
This comes in light-weight or heavy-weight. Either will work for this class. Heat 'n' Bond can also be purchased at your local fabric or craft store.
[x1] assorted pack of 5mm LEDs
You technically just need one, but the rest are good for experimentation, plus they are affordable enough that getting a pack of multiples makes more sense in the long run. You will use these down the road if you build more circuits. If you want to purchase them individually, you can do so here.
An essential tool for circuit building! It can read how much power a battery has left if, you have made good electrical connections, and more.
[x1] 1000 mAh Polymer Lithium Ion (LiPo) battery
[x1] USB microB cable
[x1] LilyPad USB microcontroller
The LilyPad USB is sewable and great for beginners. Take a look at the Introducing the Microcontroller lesson if you would like to learn more about this board and what else is available before purchasing one.
These LEDs come in several colors: Pink, Yellow, Blue, Green, White, Red and Purple.
This can be found here or sometimes on sale through Amazon which is linked above.
[x1] needle-nose plier
Rounded nose pliers are preferred but any small plier will do the trick, this is for bending small gauges of wire.
These are used to clip circuits together when using a sewable microcontroller.
You will be writing programs and uploading them to the microcontroller via a computer's USB port. If you don't already have one, find a computer that you can download software onto and can have access to for the duration of the class.
These can be thought of as optional right now since I go over techniques that use either hot glue and parchment or polyester filling to diffuse an LED with. Feel free to hold off on these until you get to the lesson where you can choose or stock up on them now.
[small] piece of parchment paper
[small] piece of poly-fil
Share a photo of your finished project with the class!
Nice work! You've completed the class project