17-year-old Ella DiGregorio recently introduced a line of “Transforming Beauty” gowns that literally change from long skirts to short with the touch of a button.
As Mari Grigaliunas of MySuburbanLife reports, DiGregorio’s sample dress uses threads that run from the bottom hem to the waist of the garment to shorten the skirt when she pushes the button of an Atmel-based Arduino board hidden in the back of the dress.
Additional designs sketched by the teen arrange the threads in various designs to create completely different looks including a high-low skirt, a layered look and an Angelina Jolie inspired slit that disappears.
“I really like the idea of technology and fashion. There’s so many possibilities.” DiGregorio said.
“I’m kind of use to hiding things in clothing,”
As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, quite a lot of wearable activity is currently centered around companies like Arduino and Adafruit. Both offer wearable electronic platforms powered by versatile Atmel microcontrollers (MCUs).
“Building electronics with your hands is certainly a fun brain exercise, but adding crafting into the mix really stretches your creativity,” says Becky Stern, Adafruit’s director of wearable electronics.
“Sewing is fun and relaxing, and adorning a plush toy, prom dress, or hat with a circuit of tiny parts can make you feel like you’re some kind of futuristic fashion designer. Playing with sensors and conductive textiles breaks electronics out of their hard shells and makes them more relatable.”
Just like their IoT DIY Maker counterparts, the soft electronics community has adapted various Atmel-powered platforms specifically for wearables, including the Arduino Lilypad (ATmega328V) (developed by MIT Media Lab professor Leah Buechley) and Adafruit’s very own Flora (ATmega32u4), which can be easily daisy chained with various sensors for GPS, motion and light.
Interested in learning more? You can check out our wearables article archives here.