DressCode is a sound reactive circuit based on PIC, developed by Seb Madgwick, Vincent Akkermans, Sophie McDonald and KOBAKANT. It has 3 output pins that gets activated as the environmental sound changes. It has auto gain feature so it adjust to the general sound amount of the environment. (for example, if you go to a loud club, it can still catch the music beat)
In this example project, I am making a dressy shirt which includes few LED light that reacts to the sound. As I could not find the shirt I like, I am making a shirt from scratch.. If you have a shirt you like, you can start from existing shirt. (I will try to upload the shirt pattern soon…) I bought a half transparent scarf at 2nd hand store. This will be the diffuser and main decorative element of the shirt.
First I started with making mounting for SMD LED. You can also directly solder SMD LED to the this post for detailed DIY flex PCB making). I made the design to indicate the LED direction: pointy side or 2 hole side is the GND.
Then I started to mark where the LED be placed, and how they will be connected using tapes.
Then I started to stitch the connections with conductive thread. Here I am experimenting few different stitching techniques, back stitch, chain stitch, sewing machine (conductive thread as bobbin thread) and couching. I have also tried using
Sometimes the connections needs to jump over the other traces. As
After all the traces are stitched, I started to add the LED mounted on the flexible PCB. You can sew it just like buttons. Make sure the LEDs + and – directions are correct. When you add the LED on the middle of the stitched traces, stitch over few times with conductive thread first, make sure that your new thread is now electrically connected with the trace and stitch with the LED.
I am always making a knot at the end of the thread or when I finish the stitches, which makes hairy end like this picture. Often this causes shirt circuit as it starts to fray very much. I used fabric patch with fusible (iron on glue) to cover them so they do not fray and touch other thread any more.
The finished circuit looks like this. I forgot to take a picture before assembling the shirt together.. but I first finished the circuit, then assembled the shirts, added the scarf on the outer layer.. and voilà! it is done.