Assignment 2 – Valeria Suing (The Hangover Shirt)

The Hangover Shirt


Concept & Objective 

Hangovers are rough, and if you have ever experienced one, you know the feeling of waking up full of regrets, with a major headache and an increased sensibility to loud noises.

To help you get through it, I present to you The Hangover Shirt. You can activate it by pressing a button and lights will get activated from loud noises. So instead of yelling everyone to be quiet, let your passive-aggressive shirt tell them!


I started with a prototype of how the shirt will look like.


To test the circuit before sewing I used the alligator clips and from trial and error, I found a sound level that would react to only loud noises.


Since the wearable is meant to communicate with others, I decided to add another light to make it more noticeable.


For the code, I decided to use digital values of HIGH and LOW for the LEDs. This allowed the lights to be brighter and shut down completely when the environment is quiet.


Here’s a video of how I tested the lights using a YouTube video of Steve Carrell yelling: testing-lights-video

The Sewing Process:

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I decided to glue the paper over the lights to diffuse them a little bit.


With the help of a plotter, I got the lettering in vinyl.

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Parts List

  • 2 LED Lights
  • Conductive Thread
  • 2 10k resistors
  • CPX micro-controller
  • Micro USB cable
  • T-shirt
  • Paper cut into a circle (I used an Aeropress filter)
  • Glue gun
  • Vinyl for lettering


Circuit Diagram


Final Product

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For a quick video of how it works: img_8567

Reflection & Next Steps

Overall I had a lot of fun doing this project. My sewing skills definitely need to improve, this is where I had the most trouble. But hopefully, I’ll keep practicing and getting better.

I was debating whether to use lettering for my shirt or not. I was worried that the use of a phrase will weaken the communicative powers of the lights. In the end, I decided to use it since the lights and the lettering complement each other and it allows the t-shirt to speak on its own with no verbal explanation.

If I could revisit this project again I would maybe a switch rather than a button since it was a little uncomfortable to keep the button pressed for the lights to work. I would also sew the lights in a more creative way maybe adding more LEDs to form a circle. I think I would also add a protective layer for the conductive thread, I had to wear a shirt underneath so there won’t be any contact with the skin.

Of course loud sensitivity is not only for hangovers, this t-shirt can also apply for migraines or just for keeping a quiet environment to allow rest or even meditation.

Resources & Related Works

Resources for the prototype image:

Blank t-shirt template front and back. (2016, November 21). VectorStock.

Related Works:

VersaMe has a wearable for kids who are starting to speak and it acts as a word counter. This is related to my work since it interacts with sound as an input from the environment.

VersaMe. (2016, October 18). VersaMe Launches the Starling, the World’s First Word Counter for Babies. PS Newswire.

Another wearable that I found that uses sound as input is this tuner for your wear watch. It allows musicians to tune their instruments and is easy to carry around.

Summerson, C. (2015, January 28). atHandTuner Is A Wearable Instrument Tuner For Your Wear Watch, And It Works Really Well. Android Police.

One thought on “Assignment 2 – Valeria Suing (The Hangover Shirt)”

  1. This is practical, cute, and hilarious! One thing I would change is the lettering–vinyl on the front of a shirt is not so soft, and would eventually peel off with regular wear. You don’t even have to fully applique the letters if they’re made out of fabric(if you revisit this project); I would suggest some fabric glue if you don’t like to sew. They make applique glue you can seal/strengthen by ironing (like a make-your-own iron-on patch, sort of).

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