Assignment 2: Expressive Wearable – Tears

Concept & Objective – The idea was to create a hat that ether alone or in public can represent sadness or tears. While at the same time creating an aesthetically pleasing look that in darkness can simulate flashing tears across someones face. One blue light blinks and stops then a second LED blinks as if a tear was moving downwards.

Process – I started by drawing the circuit on paper and then creating it on its own using wires and a basic switch and creating the code for two lights blinking after another.



I then began sewing with regular thread to secure the fabric hanging off the hat that is meant to hold the LEDS. Then began sewing with the conductive thread.

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Then used blue tissue paper to mach the LEDS and encase them, but it also helps with the effect. Then used a large piece of conductive fabric in another hat to encase everything and complete the circuit when pressed against.


Final Images


Final Video:

Parts List:

  • Circuit Playground Express
  • Conductive Thread
  • Regular thread
  • 2 Clothes Pins
  • Conductive Fabric
  • 2 resistors
  • 2 LEDS
  • 2 Tuques
  • Tissue Paper

Reflection – The sewing was the hardest part. I had to restart twice because of conductive thread being to loose and connecting with another line of conductive thread and parts just falling off because it was hard to secure them properly. I also found great use of of mapping the circuit out with the normal wires and following that as I sewed and constantly checking with the real wires connecting them when I only had some of the parts sewn in and just checking with a wire before I used thread to make sure each step there wasn’t a mistake.

Resources & Related Works:

Arduino Lesson 2. LEDs. (2012, November 29). Adafruit Learning System.

Contributor, F. (2015, July 30). Fashionable therapy brightens winter SADness | Fashioning Tech. fashioningtech.

Assignment 2: Expressive Wearable – Angelina Do (#3182746)


The idea for this wearable is to create a bag to prevent theft and give the wearer peace of mind when walking about in street.  When the straps of the bag are pulled apart by a thief, the bag begins to flash red lights and a loud siren begins to alarm. This wearable is meant to express the emotion of fear as it is common for one to be anxious when carrying around large amounts of money or important valuables. This wearable is inspired by a recent event that took place in San Jose, California. “According to KTVU, a 64-year-old grandmother had left the bank with more than $1,000 in cash for Lunar New Year. As she got in her car parked at a Vietnamese market, another car came and blocked her way. The suspects opened the door to her car, grabbed her purse and fled (Smith, 2021).” There has been a spike in Anti-Asian hate crimes targeting older Asians in the news recently, and it truly hits home to me as I fear for my own family’s safety at times. This theft prevention tote is made to help these citizens especially around Lunar New Year and bring attention to the victim to prevent the robbery from proceeding.











I first started sketching the circuit for my wearable. At first, I was going to add an LED to my circuit, but I decided that for the function, adding a small LED would not create any additional impact on the bag’s overall red glow.









I then started to test my circuit’s functionality using the CPX and alligator clips.  I attached a metal snap to the positive alligator clip and the other to the negative alligator clip to ensure the same result would be reflected when sewing the snaps onto the tote.















After ensuring the circuit was functioning with the alligator clips, I began creating the tote bag from scrap fabric I had lying around the house. I measured the dimensions of the tote onto pink fleece and created the base of the bag. I then created straps using a raspberry coloured fabric to create the practical tote bag.



After the tote bag was constructed, I began to sew my CPX onto a white piece of felt and started sewing my circuit using the conductive thread. I ensured that a clasp was connected in series to either A3 or GND. I then powered the CPX with a power bank to ensure the circuit was still functioning!


The final step was adding decorative elements like the trim around the bag with the excess raspberry fabric. I also sketched out an outline of a rose on a panel and added the hand embroidered element to the front. I made sure to position the head of the flower in front of the CPX to diffuse the light to give the illusion of a glowing rose. The prototype is now finished and ready to perform!

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Link to video demo!


  • Circuit Playground Express + Power Adaptor
  • Conductive Thread
  • Metal Snaps
  • Scrap Fabric
  • Embroidery Thread
  • Sewing Needle
  • Non-Conductive Fabric (Felt)


Overall, I am pretty proud of myself that I was able to create a functioning wearable! I like the overall aesthetic of it and everything that I had planned to do ended up following through. If I were to revisit this project, I would want to improve the stitching of my conductive thread. It was a little loose at some points which could impact the circuit at some point. This project helped me solidify my understanding of switches and how to properly program a “reverse” switch. I learned the functionality of the If/else block code and how this changes the circuit from closed to open. Additionally, I learned how valuable just 15 minutes of office hours truly is! In the future, I would hope to add additional LEDs to challenge myself further.


Smith, A. (2021, February 05). Asian community FEELS targeted by Crime ahead of Lunar New Year celebrations. Retrieved February 11, 2021, from