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

February 6, 2014 — Leave a comment

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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