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[personal profile] chebe
Walking down the street one day, sinuses nearly frozen solid, I happened across a cheap, and warm looking hat. Who was I to be picky about style? Once my brain had thawed I was struck by inspiration! So I modded the hat, based upon the Rock Star Headphones from 'Fashioning Technology' (to be seen on the cover). (Hmm, there's a community too, very, very interesting...) Here's my tale...

Take 1 hat, discover it's actually acrylic so you can't dye like you'd hoped, chop the bauble off.

Take 2 small LEDs, 2 small buttons, one Lilypad switch, a battery and appropriate holder, and some conductive thread.

Test your basic circuit premise. Basically, switch controls whether the circuit completes to light the LEDs. Simple.

Poke the LEDs through the flaps, just above where your ears are.

Slit the inner lining of the hat open, push the legs of each LED through holes in the buttons, and curl with a pliers. Make sure you mark which one is positive (usually the longer leg) and which is negative. Wrap the leg loops with conductive thread, and start laying down your circuit.

Continue across the back of the head to the other LED. Here I'm just laying the conductive thread down (allowing for the stretch of the material) and couching it on with regular black thread.

When circuit is complete (including the battery and switch) take an old pair of headphones. I used one of the type that are designed to go around your neck and leave only one wire hanging down. Because of the loose knit I could just thread the jack through the outside seam and thread the rest of the headphones in place. Secure with regular thread.

Stitch closed the giant hole you cut. Because this is going to be worn on my head the battery holder and switch are likely to get caught in my hair, so I decided to add a simple flap to keep them tucked away. I added an elastic-band spare battery holder inspired from the last project. Basically, take a length of elastic band, as wide as the coin-cell battery, and twice as long. Fold in half, stitch it down one side, and attach as you wish. When a battery is placed in the elastic pouch it should stretch a bit, and keep it snug.

Turn it right-side out and flip the switch. In the 'Fashioning Technology' book they recommend embroidering around the LEDs to make them more of a feature. I haven't simply because I don't have thread in that colour yet. But I'm thinking some radioactive symbols? Would certainly suit the colour scheme :)

I do realise that is the very short version, so if you want me to explain at a regular pace any particular step or technique, in this or any other post, just let me know and I'll gladly oblige.

In conclusion, this was fun. My first project that I really had to figure out the details for myself, and actually ended up a finished, working piece. Next up, back to the Lilypad Arduino I reckon. But I'm not telling what just yet.
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