Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

E-Textile – Pouch!

For the last two weeks, we’ve been working on digital embroidery, soft circuitry, and sewing. The assignment calls for an embroidered design incorporating at least two LED lights on a pouch. Before I begin working on an assignment in this class, I like to think about whether or not what I’ll be making can serve a purpose in my life. I’ve been needing a bag for my GoPro knock off and its equipment, so I decided to approach this assignment for that intention.

I grabbed a camera silhouette from Google and modded it a bit in Inkscape. The embroidering worked out without a hitch but I realized while the machine was embroidering that I didn’t think about where my LEDs would go. It makes the most sense to have the LED lights go where the “flash” on the camera should be. However, I didn’t appropriate enough space for two LED lights in the “flash” area — I should have made modded the image so that there was a huge flash on the camera. I consider this a negligible mistake though.


After the embroidery, I prepared my fabrics (two inner lining squares and one outer square and one outer embroidered square) and sewed in the soft circuit. I wanted my battery and battery holder(?) to be on the inside of the bag lining but the LEDs to be between the inner lining and outer canvas. The circuit looks really simple, but I actually had a sort of difficult time sewing the circuit together — probably because I’ve never really hand sewn anything before.


When I showed the finished bag to my friend who sews and he suggested was to make a fabric cover/flap for the battery pack and thread that were inside the bag since they are vulnerable to anything I store in the bag. I think that’s a fantastic idea and I intend to sew a protective flap in when I get a chance.

I tried my hand at using a sewing machine a couple times before but I was always intimidated by the threading process because the machines that were available to me didn’t have the 1-2-3 step tutorial labeled on the machine. Now that I’ve learned how to set up the thread on the fablab’s sewing machines, I’m going to be less intimidated in the future by other sewing machines. Overall, I’m really happy that I got this chance to learn how to embroider with a machine, learn how to use a sewing machine, and prepare a soft circuit.