One of my friends has dreamt of designing and wearing her own dresses for a long time. She sketches dresses in notebooks with the hope of being able to design them some day. Based loosely on one of her sketches, I would like to design a Constellation Dress. This dress would contain constellations from the Northern Hemisphere that light up, but only when those constellations are visible in the sky above the dress.
We note that constellations appear at different times during different seasons of the year. Additionally, this dress would show the constellations above, even in the daytime. This dress would be incredibly cool, and would also be somewhat educational to novice astronomers.
Attached is a picture of the aforementioned sketch (in images below). Additionally attached is a picture of a star chart. This star chart, or a similar chart, could be modified into a pattern. The dress would likely be a modified star chart - a hole would have to be cut out in the middle to create the skirt, and the missing piece of the map could be wrapped around the torso to host a complete picture of the sky.
As defined by my friend, the material would have to be soft and flowy. It would also have to be tough enough to hold up LEDs to be sewed into the fabric. I would likely start with simple dark cotton, though potentially switch at a later time to a different fabric with more flow.
For the ‘stars’, I would use LEDs. I would also want to use conductive thread to create one (or more) soft circuits to light up the LEDs. A Raspberry Pi would be sewn into the back of the dress, and would drive the logic to switch the LEDs on and off when the constellations are in the sky. A battery would also be required.
For the project, I would have to find or create a pattern for the dress based on the design. I would then sew LEDs into the fabric in the pattern of constellations, following the star map as discussed above.
To create folds in the dress, I would want to use the techniques discussed in class. I would use many different darts to create interesting folds in the fabric, as well as tailor the dress to fit its wearer.
To set up the LEDs, I would use Soft Circuitry to connect the LEDs to a battery as well as to a Raspberry Pi in order to drive the circuit.
In conclusion, this would definitely use techniques from the class, and also pose an interesting challenge to create. I would definitely enjoy creating this dress!