You'll learn how to sew a bag (or you can use a bag your already have), and pocket to set up LED lights and circuit playground.
Step 1: Making Your Bag
I've always been interested in combining lights with textiles, and conductive thread is an easy way to do that. You can hand -stitch this but it will be better to use a sewing machine. You can make your bag any size you'd like and out of whatever material you'd like! I will list the sizes I used in the text box. OR you can use a bag you already have, and explore colors and placement.
(optional) Sewing machine or needle + thread
(optional) Sewing pins
Circuit playground express
Sewable battery holder
Conductive thread (has silver coating to conduct electricity)
Coin cell battery (CR 2032)
(optional) Fabric: two 12"x16" one 3"x18"
Sewing instructions: Making your bag
Before you start, make sure your fabric is ironed.
-Take the two 12"x16" pieces of fabric and face them right sides together
-Sew the two pieces together on the sides, and bottom
-Take the 3"x18" piece and make sure it is facing right side together (towards the piece you've just sewn together) Line the 3" width in the center of the seam of the bag, then sew each side to create the handle
Step 2: Make Your Pocket and LED Glow
-Think about the size you'd like your pocket to be, double that and add an inch.
-With that piece of fabric, design the composition of the LEDs. You'll be folding the fabric to cover the LED lights so they won't be seen.
-Mark positive (longer) ends of the LED in sharpie to differentiate between positive and negative
-Twist the LED ends into bead shapes and sew loops through the LEDs and the soft circuit
-Use your conductive thread to sew down the positive side, and separate piece sewing down the negative side being careful not to tough the ends of positive and negative threads together.
Tips: I sewed around each loop with the conductive thread about six times. You can connect this method with the circuit playground express, or you can keep them doing their own thing!
-Install the battery to make it light up!
- Once you have a pattern or design you like, fold the fabric in half. Then, pin it to the first layer of the bag and hand stitch with any thread you'd like!
Tip: There are many different techniques to hand stitch, a ladder stitch may be the cleanest, but it doesn't really matter!
Step 3: Circuit Express: Make Your Code and Bag Glow Some More!
I like circuit playground more than the LED lights because you have way more control.
Make your code to make it glow with your circuit express
- Plug in your circuit express into your laptop and go to : https://makecode.adafruit.com/
-Attached are images of my color code that I wanted to use to compare what it would look like beneath various fibers. It's interesting to see how the light changes depending on the colors it exists around.
You can use it as a template, or you should code colors that match your project and interests.
For me, I had a lot of joy experimenting with the color aspect more than the sound. I also attached a video of some sound experimentation. I made it so every time