Program your holiday sweater!

Results of Code One.Gr

See my sweater in action in the above youtube clip.

It took a LOT of persevering, but I was finally successful at adding some “sparkle” to my sweater.  This was accomplished by sewing down a programmable micro-controller (an Arduino Floraboard) and LEDS (little light bulbs) using conductive thread to the sweater.  I also attached a motion-sensor.  I programmed the micro-controller to flicker the lights and to change the colours as the motion-sensor sensed changes in movement and direction.

I mentioned the teaching of Electronic Sewing (E Textiles or Soft Circuits) in Maker Education in an article I wrote for the International Student Parent Magazine: “How the Maker Movement is Transforming Education”   I was proud that it was also published in their hard copy magazine this past Autumn. 🙂


Micro-Controller (large circle) attached to the motion-sensor (small circle)

Micro-Controller (large circle) attached to the Motion-Sensor (small circle)

Conductive Thread

Conductive Threads

Trouble-Shooting with alligator clips and there was a LOT of trouble-shooting!

Trouble-Shooting with alligator clips and there was a LOT of trouble-shooting!

Programming the micro-controller

Programming the micro-controller




 Above: I put my neopixels (the LED lights) through the “strand test”.  It cycles through all the colour possibilities and blink patterns.  

I love the tactile sensation of sewing and working with fabric. It is an extraordinary feeling having my two worlds of sewing and technology collide like this.  I feel really chuffed—like I’m on the cutting edge of my art! 

I’m looking forward to another year exploring ways to teach computer programming through the Arts and especially through Music and Textiles.

Hoping to add a lot more sparkle to my life and to others!

Happy 2016!


About Vivian

Vivian @ChezVivian is a Canadian-born Chinese, currently living in Switzerland. She has also lived in Hong Kong and Indonesia. She holds a M.S. (focus: Educational Technology Integration), B.Ed and a B.A. and graduate studies in Kodály and Orff music pedagogy. She is an elementary school classroom generalist, but has also taught as a music specialist, ESL/EAL and also in Learning Support. Most of her teaching career was in International Schools in Hong Kong. She is excited about the IBPYP and the possibilities of using technology to Inquire. Recently, she has been looking at the opportunities that computer programming gives to put #TECHXture back into the hands of children. In other words, technology need not be just about looking at screens. It can be about building things with our hands; and computer programming levels-up what children can do with the things they build---encouraging higher thinking skills. She is a Coetail Post-graduate Certificate grad ('13-'14), a former Coetail Coach and one of the co-founders of #CoetailChat. Her blog home curates her assignments for Coetail and her M.S. graduate studies about Educational Technology integration and anything else educationally-related that she feels inspired to write about. Her twitter tagline sums it up: "Mom to 4, Mentor, Educator, Musician (in that order)".
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4 Responses to Program your holiday sweater!

  1. Nadine says:

    Amazing!!! Way to go!

  2. Joy Walker says:

    This is great. Well done for persevering with it. Joy