Thursday, December 4, 2014

e-Textiles with Middle School Girls

Although I have lots of balls in the air right now, I also agreed to teach an afterschool class in Williston as part of the SPARK Academy.  I'll be working with a small group of fifth and sixth grade girls once a week for five weeks.  My goal is to have them create a felt ornament with one LED and a battery holder and the Sparkling Bracelet from Sewelectric.

Fortunately all of the girls have a little bit of sewing experience.  After a brief introduction of the project and materials, they were excited to get to work.  They started by sketching their design and planning where the light and battery holder would go.

Next, they set up their embroidery hoops and threaded needles (luckily I had remembered to purchase needle threaders!). We attached the battery holders with a little tacky glue.

The girls then cut out additional felt pieces they would need and tested their LEDs and batteries.

They poked the LED leads through the fabric and coiled them with needle nose pliers.  


Most of them were able to sew a line from the battery holder to one of the LED leads.  They are obviously excited because they asked if they could come work on their projects during lunch tomorrow!


  1. Leah, seeing these pictures speaks volumes! I was able to meet the librarians who run the EHS maker space this week and learn that they are interested in learning more about e-textiles. There were high school girls sewing ornaments and dolls together using felt and big fat needles in the space, but they didn't have any LEDs. When I returned to the space after school yesterday, I found a different crew of young women in the space designing buttons using PhotoShop. The point of my comment is to let you know that I find what you are doing to be of incredible value and believe that EHS needs a similar after school opportunity...perhaps next month.

  2. Jill and Leah
    Let's talk more about these ideas on Google Hangout or F2F when I come home (flying back for 10 days on Dec 16)