Wednesday, August 4, 2010

e-Textiles @ the Boys and Girls Club - Part II

Finished Sewing Sheet
Thread pulls down through the needle top
The second project phase: sewing circuits started at the Boys and Girls Club on Tuesday June 8th. To familiarize the youth with sewing we opted to sew into construction paper (an already comfortable material) copied with three object patterns. The youth picked one of three running stitching sheets (rocket, robot chick, bug) to sew using regular thread and a Clover self-threading needle. All of the youth practiced threading their needle then sewed stitching sheets (some stitched 2 or even 3 of the sheets!)

After practicing the running stitch, Ben and Alex gave a short talk on circuits & shorts by using a few slides and ending on the sewing circuit complete with the sewable parts.  Kylie stressed the importance of stopping at the knots at each part and not sewing through the parts and asked the group what would happen if you did sew all the way through a part?  They responded: "A SHORT!"

Decorated Journal Cover
Next each youth picked out a colored journal, a set of stickers and drew a working circuit in their journal to use as a point of reference.  Each journal was checked for accuracy and the youth then started on their first sewn circuit!

Using a set of stickers (LED, switch, Battery holder) each youth laid out their circuit on their chosen colored quilting square.  Replacing the sticker with the part and using conductive thread they sewed from:
1) the + on the battery holder to the + on the LED; knotted and cut the thread. 
2) the – on the LED to the switch; knotted and cut the thread.
3) the switch to the – on the battery holder; knotted and cut the thread.
Then the magical moment of inserting the 3V battery resulted:
a working circuit and smiles!!
Note: The youth's squares are currently being sewn into a quilt to be displayed on a wall at the Bloomington Boys and Girls Club.  Picture is forthcoming.

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