Introduction: S.H.I.E.L.D/HYDRA T-Shirt

About: Debut book 'Margarash' coming from Enchanted Lion Books Fall 2016. Repped by no one yet. Which is sad. (hint hint). Storyteller, library student, loud.

As a fan of graphic novels/comic book movies I was looking for a fun comics-themed project to create an e-textile for a youth and technology class. And yes, HYDRA are the bad guys ....... but this was a really fun project. My sewing, as you will be able to see in the pictures, is fairly abysmal so if at any time in this Instructable (also as an aside, it is ridiculous that the spellcheck on this site does not recognize 'Instructable') you have a better way than do what makes sense to you. All the pictures in this Instructable are for my original design and uses a light sensor. I've since added an alternate plan that uses a switch instead.

O.K traitors, let's get traitoring!

Step 1: Gather Materials

For this project you will need:

- ProtoSnap Lilypad Development Board Pack which contains the Light Sensor, Buzzer, FTDI, Conductive Thread, Needles and LiPo Battery:

- 2 Red LED (need to be ordered separately) :

- USB cable

- Black T-shirt (get one that fits you or whomsoever you are making this for)

- Black fabric: enough to make both a patch and enough to line the shirt interior. I used a 12inch by 12 inch piece for the patch and a 21 by 14 inch piece for the lining. Just make sure that you can put an iron-on transfer on it. Personally I've found that people who work in fabric/craft stores are more than happy to help you make selections.

- Sewable Velcro: enough for the patch , I used 33 inches by 5/8inch strip of sewable for the front and sides of the patch.

- Stick-on Velcro: enough for a few patches for the lining - 8 inches or so

- Dark Fabric Transfers

- Miscellaneous household tools such as chalk, scissors, X-acto knife, tape (Not all required but useful).

Step 2: The Plan

Before getting started I worked out a basic plan. In fact I worked out several because I couldn't get this project to work. Both of these do! It's important to remember when looking at the plans that the main board is sewn inside the shirt, while all other pieces are on the outside. I could cover them up, but I think having the pieces on the outside looks more in line with HYDRA design. The first plan uses a light sensor and the second a switch.

Step 3: The T-shirt

This comes down to how big you are. I am a fairly large person, so I bought myself a XXL black shirt. I found a Hydra logo I liked: and re-sized it to have a diameter of 7 inches. This gave me two inches on every side of the logo with a planned 11 inch square panel on top. If you are a smaller or larger person, adjust the sizes accordingly.

1. Find and resize your logo.

2. Print the logo on a fabric transfer and use an X-acto knife to cut out the eyes from the transfer (this will make it easier to sew on the LEDs later).

3. Iron it on to the t-shirt following the transfers directions- use chalk on the t-shirt to act as a guide.

4. Place and pin the side and top Velcro strips (leave the bottom) and use a sewing machine to sew them into place. BE VERY CAREFUL not to sew the back and front of the t-shirt together or you may end up with 'battle damage' on the back as my shirt did when I tried to pick apart the stitches.

Step 4: The Patch

1. Take your black fabric and cut it into a 12 by 12 inch square (or a little bigger than your planned patch).

2. Fold down a half inch of fabric on each side and pin it in place so you have an 11 by 11 inch square. Sew them down (hand or sewing machine) so you have a nicely edged patch.

3. Turn the patch over and pin the top and side strips of Velcro (again leave the bottom for later). Use a sewing machine and sew them down .

4. Find and resize a S.H.I.E.L.D logo : I made mine the same size as my HYDRA logo with a 7 inch diameter.

5. Print it out and iron it on to the front of your patch. Because my stitching looked terrible I printed out some grey strips on another piece of transfer and ironed it over the stitching.

Step 5: The Coding

To build these codes I borrowed heavily from the developer of the board, Leah Beuchley's codes for 'Beep' and 'Blink' and 'Sensing'. To work out the frequencies of the notes I used this helpful 'chart'. The Instructable for 'Night and Day Toy' was also very useful.

The light-sensor code basically tells the board that once there is light it should go "dum dum duuuuuuummm" while the two lights flash in synchronization and then stay on. This could very easily be changed. They could turn off. Or flicker! Or flash "Hail HYDRA" in Morse code. There is no limit to what you can do and in the future I will add different options to this code (or someone else can in the comments), but for now it remains simple. The second code is basically the same but instead uses a switch to start the code going, rather than a light sensor. Use whichever you prefer, or use a button!

To do the coding you will need to use the Arduino software available 'here'. The drivers needed to upload the code should download as well, and the site has some very helpful forums if you run into real trouble.

Depending on where you are (inside/outside) - you may want to adjust how much light the sensor needs to activate.

Step 6: Conductive Thread Sewing

Now for the part I did three times before I got it right. Be careful to ensure you don't cross the threads and cause a short and if you are someone who struggles with sewing, I suggest you have someone help/keep an eye on what you are doing. Alternatively there are several online tutorials which I recommend you look at such as this 'one'.

1. Place the various components (LEDs, buzzer, sensor) where you want them according to the plan. Starting at the board, sew the conductive thread through the Arduino 'petal' (hole) several times to ensure a strong connection. Then, again following the plan, sew to the corresponding components '+' or '-' or 'S' spot. THIS IS WHY WE PLAN!

2. At each petal (hole) sew the conductive thread through several times to ensure a strong connection and finish it with a knot.

3. Do one component and then repeat the process and sew on and sew on (HAH!).

Step 7: Upload Your Code and Clean Up

Verify your code and then upload it using a mini USB and the FTDI that came in the pack. Little lights will flash green and red to let you know it is uploading. If you have the battery plugged in at this point it will charge. Unplug the FTDI and the shirt should be working! Turn off/take out the battery to save power. Turn the t-shirt inside out and stick on some small pieces of the stickable Velcro and then attach the lining. This stops it from shorting out against your skin and as you can see my cat decided to help out. You could if you wanted use some more stickable Velcro somewhere along the bottom if you wish (avoiding the threads!), but I haven't found it necessary.

Tear off the patch and watch your friends recoil in horror at what you have accomplished/become!

Hope you enjoy making this!