Leeds Craft Hack

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I was lucky enough to attend Leeds Craft Hack at Leeds City Museum last week. The free event was aimed at adults, and offered a series of workshops that incorporated technology and digital processes into crafting. I work in engineering and science communication, and (of course) my huge out-of-work passion is dressmaking, so the Craft Hack was the perfect combination of the two!

First up was a laser cutting workshop. I spent a bit of time making and manipulating a design (with the help of the guys from Leeds Hackspace), before sending it to be laser etched and cut by machine. I'd gone with my blog logo in mind so I was pleased that it was suitable for etching!

My laser etched and laser cut blog logos!
The technical side of things was kindly explained to me by Dominic Morrow who brought along his laser cutter for the event. The entire etching and cutting process took under a minute, and it was pretty cool to watch the cutter at work. I have no idea what I'll use them for, but I'm thrilled with the results - it sort of makes my blog feel more 'real' if you know what I mean!

Loving my new logos!

I also tried out a basic LilyPad workshop to make some wearable tech. The LilyPad is a little component that was pre-programmed with instructions, so that when connected to LEDs it can make them light up in a particular way. I chose to add the tech to a glove, so it involved a bit of sewing with conductive thread to connect the LEDs, battery pack and LilyPad up in a circuit.

LilyPad glove
I got a bit grumpy with how fiddly I'd made it for myself by using a glove, and took it home to finish. I'm regretting the decision now as I'm still trying to get my 'disco glove' working (maybe I've got my wires crossed somewhere). Anyway, here is an amazing video from @WillowStacey who definitely got it right...

I had a great time trying out some new things at the Craft Hack. Not sure I'll be whipping up Hussein Chalayan replicas anytime soon (I mean just look at what he can do with electronics WOW)...
Hussein Chalayan video dresses and wearable tech - sourced from Pinterest 
But at least I know that adding tech into my dressmaking is a possibility - stage wear ideas maybe? The day served as fab inspiration, and if I'm very lucky maybe I'll get to do something fashion and technology related at work - here's hoping!

The Craft Hack was expertly organised by Liz, aka @electroknitter - check out her website Electroknit to see some of the amazing things you can do when you hack a knitting machine.

Stay in touch!

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  1. Just wanted to say that I love reading your blog and have nominated you for the Liebster Award. Check out my blog post: http://sewingvsknitting.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/liebster-award.html x

    1. Hi Fiona, thanks so much for nominating my blog! It's so lovely to know that people read it now and again - I really appreciate it :) x
      P.S. I love your Hollyburn skirts - especially the red corduroy one!

  2. This is amazing! I'm also an engineer by trade and it's cool to see the two worlds meet like this :-)

    1. Hey Tasha! Yeah it was fab - hopefully events like this will become more common in the near future! x


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