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

Project 5: E-Textiles

Prior to this project I had some experience with textiles– I learned how to embroider and sew by hand with my grandmother, but I had never really used a machine for either task. Figuring out how to make the stitches or be comfortable with the machine was not hard to learn though. I think had I not had that prior experience, I might’ve felt more overwhelmed by some of the mishaps that occurred in the lab. For example, the upper thread got jammed multiple times during the embroidery portion of the assignment, and ended up cutting through the fabric. This was mediated by going back in and simplifying the stitches more, as well as reducing the design itself. I also used the backing paper to help stitch onto the fabric. Nonetheless, it was frustrating.

I was pleasantly surprised when I got the circuits to work! They lit up right where I wanted them to (on the bridge) and I was able to access the battery switch on the front of the bag. In my rush to finish the assignment, I realized I didn’t do the zipper stitching correctly- I lined the inner fabric to the wrong side of the zipper.

I really wanted to stick with the design concept- this past week I kept seeing images of a bridge from my hometown, and thought it’d make a nice design to embroider. I wanted to include text as well, but ended up changing the text (all iterations based off of the musical, ‘In The Heights,’ based in my hometown and also taking place near the bridge I mentioned before). If I could do it over, I would redo the design to make the stitching more straight forward and clean. Although it was the most frustrating project to date, it is so far the most fun I’ve had. 

Embroidery Stage

Embroidery in PEStitch


Final Product