I thought last week’s class about rulers was my favorite until Ben taught us about enclosures. It’s always a wonderful treat to listen to someone talk about their passions with enthusiasm. It helps to put things into perspective and learn to appreciate them.
Leftover Acrylic – Canal Plastic
Arcade Joystick – courtesy Roland
Bamboo Tray – Container Store
With finals in full swing, I planned on taking it easy and making the classic Luisa Pereira enclosure to mount my joystick and house my Arduino. That didn’t come to fruition, however.
For PCOM/ICM finals, I am working with Simon Jensen on a wearable Heartbeat and Respiration monitor. On par with our timeline and this week’s user testing, it was time to enclose our respiration and heart sensors into a wearable. On Monday, I made a first prototype. Originally, I wanted to begin building it into a sports bra / tank because I want to begin thinking of the components as parts of a whole and understand how best to integrate them in an intuitive way. As a patternmaker, two of my primary concerns are fit and closures (how one gets into/out of a garment). I hit a roadblock thinking about how best to accommodate as many people as possible for user testing without having to make multiples. (Sizing standards exist for a reason and no size actually fits all.) Simon convinced me to focus on integrating the components first instead:
The design is essentially an adjustable belt that clips into position beneath the chest and above the abdomen. It has 2 channels for the respiration sensor and Polar belt to feed through:
It also has a pocket bag to house our feather board, LiPo battery, and bluetooth module. This is a video Simon documented of me wearing it beneath my shirt and testing it with data visualization of my breath:
I got great feedback from Simon and Aiden regarding size, comfort, sensor placement, and the adjustable strap closure. On my commute home, I sketched a design between falling asleep:
The next morning, I went to work and during my break, I drafted a pattern on CAD based on the measurements and feedback I received:
The pattern itself is quite simple. It is a rectangle on fold with 3/8″ seam allowances, clean finished edges and the channels are created by applying a topstitching. The top channel (1 1/8″) is for the respiration sensor, followed by an 1 1/2″ spacing between it and the Polar sensor channel to pocket the hardware. Notice the topstitching stops in the middle for alligator clip wires to attach to the respiration sensor. I made a quick prototype out of muslin:
The trick to get all clean edges is by sewing an L-shape, flipping the remaining side through the pocket hole to sew together, then flipping it inside-out, then altogether right side out.
Topstitching applied to create the channels:
I made some adjustments to the pattern and channel widths and remembered I had some leather leftover from a previous project:
Sadly, when I tried applying the final topstitching using the awful home-sewing machine in the ITP Soft Lab, it tore the leather. I know I’m not supposed to blame the machine and I know they aren’t equipped to sew leather to begin with, but I think our Soft Lab needs some upgrades. I almost lost my shit, but there’s no point moping and since I’ve already made three, I knew the fourth would come easier:
Back view w/ all parts enclosed:Front view w/ all parts enclosed:User testing today had a 6/7 success rate and received a lot of good feedback on our progress!