jw12lj's blog

Just another OCAD University Blog

Final Project: Process of Making the LED costume

Filed under: General Posts — Jessie Waisze Wan at 3:40 am on Friday, December 12, 2014


My main post is here

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Fabric (lace, tulle, brocade)

the padding thingy??


plastic mannequin

artificial flowers


pulse sensor

white LEDs


conductive thread (I ended up using the entire bobbin!!!)

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I don’t remember which website did I get the bodice pattern from?? But anyway I place the pattern on the lace fabric, marked the fabric with pins(I used pins because the fabric marker is not showing up on the dark fabric, which it kinda sucks), and that’s gonna be the waist area.

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so after I cut out the lace, I created two slots for the boning, the width of them are around 1cm

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then I moved on to the chest part, which was pinning the fabric

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I think it looks okay on the plastic mannequin, I had to tape it because the pins would not go through the plastic

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I inserted the boning into the slots, then I trimmed it off.

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I was sewing the brocade top part and the waist part together

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And I’m halfway done my final project (Well not really..)

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Then I started to use the ribbon to make the lacing at the back, and I was pinning them so they won’t fly away to the other side of the studio.

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And to the skirt and train part, I had to sew layers and layers of ruffle to the long piece of tulle, it is easy to do because all I had to do was sew and gather the tulle together (but then I had to make sure not to run out of fabric, because making ruffles need a lot of fabric)

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I really like how the top part of the train is sticking out around the bodice, I didn’t expect it to turn out like this!

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Few days after, I went to Canada Robotix to buy the pulse sensor, I’m so glad Joyce told me about that place, totally saved my life and a little bit of money.

I was really excited to rip out the package and test the pulse sensor out!! So first I read the instruction manual , it told me to put the clear sticker on the sensor that has the white heart on it to protect the sensor from the moisture, and then it told me to squeeze hot glue onto the other side of the sensor from undesirable shorts and noise. Even though that sounds weird to me, but I did it anyway because I like to follow the  instruction, yes I’m serious.

Then first, I use the code from the official website and  put it into the lilypad, I made sure all of my LEDs and sensor were connected properly in the right places, the pulse sensor is on because it has the green light. I pressed my finger onto the sensor (the white heart side) then I pressed it under my ear and every part of my body, nothing happened….

I read the instruction manual  again for like a thousand times, it told me the sensor won’t work well when I pressed the sensor too hard or light or my finger is cold/wet/greasy, but I don’t think these are the reasons the sensor did not work, because even when I pressed it under my ear which is warm and I’m pretty sure my heart is beating and I’m not a zombie.

Then I watched this youtube tutorial for the heart sensor necklace, which is demonstrated by a girl named Sylvia, she is really cool and smart. I like how she talked and acted through the tutorial, which cracked me up so much!! Anyway, I actually followed everything she did on the tutorial, we used the same code from the Pulse Sensor official website, we even have the same Lilypad Arduino, but still nothing happened.

I found out that the code from the official website has a few issues with the type of Lilypad Arduino that I used, but still I didn’t get it.

It was almost 3am and even though at that point I was beyond frustrated, but I didn’t give up, because this is what I really what to do for my final project! I continued to search more relevant information, and I stumbled on this project Beating Heart Headband by Becky Stern ,  I modified the code that she shared according to my need. The code is on my main post



(hey I have white pajamas this time!)

So I tested it out, and it works!! I actually had to pressed the sensor really hard in order to let the LEDs light up.

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The next day, I sewed the LEDs onto the tutu, I just need to make sure they were sewn carefully in the right places and covered with ribbon to protect the thread from touching each other. Then I plucked out the artificial roses and glue them onto the tutu, the heart sensor



The pulse sensor is connected to my finger, with a small rose attached on it, so that it looks like the  rose vine are blooming on my arm. I was so excited and a little bit nervous to test it out, and I’m glad it’s working finally!!

This is just a video of how my heart rate changes throughout the song called Take my Hand by Charli XCX, and the output of LEDs show how fast my heart rate is by blinking frequently.




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