Craft & Design Wearables
How-To: Insulin pump fashion


Jessica Floeh has been developing Hanky Pancreas, an empowering fashion line designed around insulin pumps (for type 1 diabetics). She made a tutorial to get you started on your own:

This tutorial will show you how to make a simple piece inspired by my transformative fashion collection, Hanky Pancreas . The current collection is for women and represents a series of design solutions that better integrate the machine with the body and mind. By turning medical device into fashion accessory the designs intend to alleviate anxiety, create dynamic communities, and encourage new relationships with medical technology.

We spend so much time personalizing our opt-in gadgets like phones and mp3 players, but I love that Jessica is empowering diabetics to feel positive personal expression with a life-saving medical device, too. Cyborgs rule! Jessica is currently looking for investors to jump-start this project as a company.


5 thoughts on “How-To: Insulin pump fashion

  1. I can’t imagine how I’d adapt this to fit men’s fashions. So, I’ll just offer my solution for integrating the pump with my clothing … I cut a hole in the top of front pockets to thread the tubing through. This allows me to carry the pump in my pocket rather than clipped to a belt. With the hole at the top, I don’t have to worry about loosing change or keys. It’d probably be better to sew a button hole … but I’m no tailor.

  2. We haven’t gotten my favorite Type 1 diabetic a pump. She’s just 11. We hope that the technology will get her out of the finger poke and injection stage but, when she does get a pump, I want her to be empowered enough to say
    “Hello!! Hey! Ignore that. It’s an insulin pump! It looks just like a cell-phone! Now! Get over yourself and let’s talk about fixing the world. I have tools and I know how to use them!”

    1. Give her confidence and show her that she is still Normal! Send her to camps and groups where she can meet other people that have diabetes. I was nine when I was first diagnosed and the best advice I could pass on is to just be completely open about everything. My parents asked my teacher to let me show my class what diabetes meant and how and I had to deal with it. My friends became actively involved in helping me remember to test and take my insulin. Let HER became comfortable taking care of herself. I am so thankful for all I have learned from this disease and the person it has made me. The insulin pump was another stage to it all. Its exactly like you put it…. “I’m diabetic. Its an insulin pump. If you have questions, just ask Me. If not, let’s move on” good luck in this journey. If you need any advice please feel free to let me know!!

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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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