Craft & Design

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This Forbes.com article, A Blinking Fashion Statement, gives some nice publicity to the smart crafting movement and DIY wearable electronics:

For all their talk of breaking glass ceilings, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton have nothing on Leah Buechley.

In the several years since she first sewed a circuit board to a T-shirt, the 31-year-old University of Colorado computer-science researcher has done a lot to bring gender equality to the world of do-it-yourself, perhaps shattering a certain silicone-based ceiling once and for all.

“The tinkering group has always been a boys’ club,” says Buechley, referring to the DIY movement’s loosely formed faction of tech geeks, gear heads and circuit wizards who tinker with electronic gadgets in basements and garages across America. At the same time, she says, the arts-and-crafts contingent (think knitters, sewers and silkscreeners) has traditionally been a more feminine domain.

But that is changing. With the advent of newly available “crossover” materials, such as conductive thread that acts like electrical wiring and a microcontroller that Buechley invented to be embroidered onto fabric, it has become easier to do both. Crafters are starting to solder, and tinkerers are learning to sew.

Also featured prominently is Syuzi Pakhchyan, author of Fashioning Technology.

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From the Maker Shed:

Buy Fashioning Technology by Syuzi Pakhchyan in the Maker Shed today!

This book demonstrates how to blend sewing and assembly techniques with traditional electronics to assemble simple circuits using conductive thread, solder joints for snaps, and switches for buttons. With the sewing machine as a viable substitute for the soldering iron, you can craft a new generation of objects that are interactive, quirky, and fashion-conscious.

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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