Tonight’s Project: Glow-In-The-Dark Hoodie

February 6, 2014 — 2 Comments

EL_Wire_HoodieMy most recent package from Adafruit arrived today containing Sarah’s long-overdue birthday gift: An EL Wire Starter Pack (in Aqua color).

A couple things I learned during this project:

  1. True to warning, it does emit a high-pitched sound that can be heard.  Not enough to interrupt a conversation or maybe be overheard by someone else in the room — but the wearer can hear it.  Only a minor inconvenience, really.
  2. The wire is somewhat rigid and will attempt to retain it’s coiled shape even after being unwound.  I recommend spending time straightening the wire before you sew it to any fabric.  It’ll improve your results.

It took some trial-and-error to figure out how to securely sew it into the jacket but in the end I’m mostly pleased with the results.  I say mostly because I’m less-than-pleased with the hood at the moment.  I intend on ripping those stitches and redoing it differently (in the near future).

In my case, it was the stiffness of the wire that was causing problems around the hood.  I stitched the wire on the inside of the hood about a quarter inch from the edge.  Depending on the location of the drawstring inside the hood, the wire may cause the hood to turn outwards.  It’s not a deal-breaker, but it makes for an awkward looking hoodie if you don’t fool with it to turn the lip of your hood back towards your face.  I believe stitching it a little farther back (half-inch?) inside the hood should solve this problem.  However, it will also obscure the visibility of the wire.  Choose wisely.

Luckily Sarah’s hoodie had a hole sewn in one of the pockets that allows you to slip your headphones through to a phone/music player in the pocket.  I used this to route the power cable from the pocket inverter to the EL wire.  That same pocket also has a smaller pocket sewn inside it which securely held the inverter.  Both features in her hoodie made this project much easier!

She’ll be attending a weekend-long function with middle schoolers at church and they’ve been known to throw some loud concerts complete with neon lights and glow-in-the-dark sticks.  I wanted Sarah to have some unique bling of her own to show off.  I can’t wait to hear the kid’s reactions to her glow-in-the-dark hoodie!

Aaron Melton

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2 responses to Tonight’s Project: Glow-In-The-Dark Hoodie

  1. How did you straighten the EL wire?

    • Wow, Garry; Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

      EL wire is a bit unruly and does what it wants in regard to shape but I took some of the fight out of it by suspending it from one end and attaching an object with some weight to it to the other and allowing it to dangle for several days. I wore this hoodie just a few months ago and the wire is still stiff. It’s worth it though as it’s always a hit with the kids.

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