Electronic Fashion Camp - Day One

By Jules Strickland    01 Aug 2012

What do these things have in common: fashion design, microcontrollers, LED’s, and fun? They are all part of the first day of this year’s Electronic Fashion Camp for Girls! Today the girls are taking a crash course in all things LilyPad Arduino. We’re talking programming, electronics, circuit boards, rapid prototyping, sewing, materials, and fashion.

To kick off the camp, we’re going to get to know each other by working in teams to complete the Fashion Designer Challenge. Their mission: pick one model and work together to create one fashion design using only tissue paper, crepe paper, decorative duct tape, twist ties, and ribbon. The four teams will develop completely different designer creations: two dresses, one shirt, and one super hero outfit. They are all fabulous!

fashion competition

We’ll then walk through the basics of the LilyPad Arduino, a sewable microcontroller that can be connected to fabric using conductive thread.

Toni will teach us how circuits work and basic coding skills. (P=I*V kind of stuff) While coding for the first time can be intimidating, Toni is doing an amazing job of breaking it down into simple, easy-to-understand instructions. We’re teaching the girls to code for both analog (1024 settings) and digital (either on or off) settings.

When talking about anything fashion related, it’s always good to have an understanding of how fashion works. Kim is helping the girls by speaking about fashion as communication. She’s a professor in Emerging Media & Communications program at The University of Texas at Dallas and runs an independent study called Fashioning Circuits. In a totally interactive session, we’re discussing what fashion and emerging media means. What do your clothes say about you?

Big thanks to today’s volunteers: Kim Knight, Patti McLetchie, Lauren Von Eper, Emily Strickland, Julie Strickland, Amy Pickup, Florence Lubinus, Dia Campbell, Toni Klopfenstein, and Amanda Clark