Cartwheel Accelerometer Shirt




This top was inspired by the joy I get from being upside down and doing cartwheels!

Just a circle of LEDs that start to spin (kind of like the spinning beach ball of death).


Step 1: Needed Things



  • Arduino
  • Soldering iron (and solder)
  • Hot glue gun (and hot glue)

Step 2: Cut Fabric and Solder Board

Cut the shapes of the fabric out of cloth, and the solder board out of acrylic or wood (all file are attached to this step and are made in Rhino). I used a laser cutter to do all cutting, but you can cut the fabric normally and use a drill press for the solder board, but the files should give you an idea of how to cut.

Step 3: Solder the Circuit

  • Place LEDs in Solder board
  • Solder Negative line of LEDs
  • Solder together Lilypad and accelerometer by the following guidelines:


X--------------- A3

Y--------------- A4

Z--------------- A5

Negative----- Negative

Positive------ Positive

  • Solder the negative line of the LEDs to the negative line of the accelerometer/Lilypad unit.
  • Solder positive lines on LEDs. The LEDs should be group in fours, creating 6 positive leads. Solder each of positive line to their own connection on the Lilypad. It doesn't matter where you solder the leads, but you will want to address them in order around the circle later, so make it easier on yourself now.

Step 4: Integrate and Code the Circuit

Take the circuit out of the solder board, and place it in the fabric, popping the LEDs through the holes. Replace the fabric with the LEDS in it on the solder board (so that the fabric is between the solder board and the majority of the electronics. Then use hot glue to secure all the LEDs, the accelerometer and the Lilypad. After this point, I pinned it on to the dress form to make sure the electronics where exactly where they needed to be.

Then plug the board into your computer, and code in Arduino. You're welcome to write your own code, but I have attached code in this step.

Step 5: Cover Circuit

Place fabric over the area and hot glue it into place. Make sure to leave a little opening over the Lilypad which will serve as a port to program the Lilypad and a pocket for the battery.

Step 6: Sew It All Together

Sew the front, back, and shoulders together. Then sew the shoulder seam, then down the arm of the arm and repeat on the other arm.

Then you're done!

Step 7:



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    7 Discussions

    Digi Majou

    Question 3 months ago

    Hi Emily, with your circuit and code, I made a Tidal Staff with which I ask folks to invent a movement that makes the sound of the ocean AND make the lights blink up and down. It worked well for a long time! now I'm trying to debug something that came up when I tried to mess with the code. FOr some reason, Arduino says ERROR and won't create your sketch attached here. Will you post the code here? Thanks for sharing your creativity - I loved making this project! and also, my image won't post. I put one on my homepage though... , check it out- thanks again!!

    1 answer
    emilydaubDigi Majou

    Reply 2 months ago

    I'm excited that I could contribute to peoples coding and movement experience!

    Sorry, but that's all I got- This code was written almost 4 years ago now, and the code I posted is exactly what was used in the top. I would suggest checking that you have the right drivers for the board you're using, and if that doesn't help, then you'll have to debug it for yourself, unfortunately. I wish I could help more!


    2 years ago

    This is a really cool project Emily!! Have you ever considered applying for a maker competition?

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed it (: I haven't, but I am certainly interested. I didn't know those were a thing! Do you have any recommendations?


    Reply 2 years ago

    I do on my instagram (@emily_daub)! I am working on posting it, but haven't gotten to that yet, but for now you're welcome to check it out on there.