Oh Sew Stylish - IPod Control Evening Dress




"Bright Patches" is a lovely silk halter-back evening dress by Lynne Bruning.
Gorgeous, yes? Now look closely. Notice anything...?
Now why would we ask such a question? 
Remember, Aniomagic is about stylishly blending electronics with fashion.
After studying this project, you'll be able to dramatically reach for your dress to change songs on your iPod/iPhone.

Photography | Carl Snider
Fashion | Lynne Bruning
Model | Dallas
MUA | Courtney Snider  


Teacher Notes

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Step 1: Ingredients

  • a fabulous dress, sweater, coat, or jacket 
  • some bias tubes to route and insulate the conductive thread
  • some extra fabric to match and compliment your garment

Step 2: Conductive Fabric & Preparation

We use two types of conductive fabric for this project:
The light gray one is very conductive; used for the Forward/Volume UP actions.
The darker one is not so conductive; used for the Back/Volume DOWN actions.
Cut each piece of conductive fabric into two small 1-inch squares.
You'll also need to cut four pieces of fabric: two for making a pouch, and two for an insulator/divider between conductive layers.
Experiment with hole sizes: 
   - too small requires a hard squeeze 
   - too large and the remote may turn on even when you don't press it.

Step 3: The Switch

Use conductive thread to sew two pieces of conductive fabric together. Leave
several feet of conductive thread after sewing each pair. It will be routed
to the magic dock.
Create a stack: conductive fabric, regular fabric, conductive fabric.
The two sides of conductive fabric will make contact through the holes when
you press. Align gray to gray and black to black.
Use regular thread to sew the entire ensemble together.
Use a multimeter to test the resistance when you squeeze the switch. You're
measuring across the two strands of conductive thread. It should read 1kΩ or
less when you press the gray (zelt) part, and about 50kΩ when you press the
black (velostat) part. More technical details.

Step 4: Bias Tubes & Magic Dock

Since the switch is all the way in the train of the dress, you'll need about 4 feet of conductive thread leading to the dock. Use a fabric bias tube for a stylish way of insulating the thread.
Textile enchantress Lyne Bruning shows how to make a bias tube in this Instructable.
With a large needle, feed the conductive thread down each bias tube... you'll need two to keep the conductive threads separate.
Follow these instructions from a previous example to connect and assemble your magic dock. (the colors of the bias tubes are different, but the technique is the same)

Step 5: Make the Pouch for the Remote Switch

Create a small pouch to hold the remote switch. You can sew this directly on the dress.
Slide the conductive switch assembly into this pouch and seal it.
Use existing hems in the dress as anchor points to attach the bias tubes to your dress. You can also use fabric glue if you prefer.

Step 6: Pocket for IPod

Next, use another piece of regular fabric to create a svelte pocket for the iPod. You'll sew this into the lining of the dress so you can easily slide it in on the go.
You might also consider making a buttoned flap to keep it secure.

Step 7: Total Glamtronic

Like the diva you are, we expect you to dramatically reach for your dress to change songs on your iPod.  xoxo

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    15 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

     Could you maybe add some notes to some of the photos to show us where in the dress the ipod and switches are? I'm lost in steps 5 and 6, it's hard to tell where on the garment you're working. I'm curious! =]

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I've added some notes to the pictures in steps 1, 5-7. The remote is sewn into the tail end of the dress, and the ipod sits in a pocket sewn into the lining at the small of the back.


    9 years ago on Step 7

    Wow, I am impressed - but I still can't see where the ipod is hidden or where the controls are.   I imagine the dance partner could accidentally change the tune as well? 

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    The controls are at the tail end of the dress; she's holding it up in the picture. The ipod is tucked into a small pocket in the lining at her back.

    Yes, anyone can change your tunes... first though, they'd  have to try and grab hold of your dress train as you breeze through.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     what if she steps on the controler or someone else does?
    its a very good idea, but the controller should be more easily accessed. its like as a man bending down and pressing ur shoe to change songs when the ipod is in ur pocket. something closer to the head would be ideal. 


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Yes she would... the earphone jewelry was not yet available at the time of this shoot.  We're working on it, seriously.


    9 years ago on Introduction

     Very pretty result! My big issue with a lot of wearable tech is that it looks a little too sci-fi for me, but this is beautiful!

    1 reply

    thanks jessratfink! 

    Aniomagic is so high fashion you would think they have a degree in garment construction instead of PhDs in computer science.


    9 years ago on Introduction

     This dress is so beautiful and then you go an add an ipod and make it outstanding! :D Very cool! Thumbs up!!!

    1 reply