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How to Make a 'Be Seen, Be Safe' Belt Band

Description

This project uses a flasher controller that is inserted into a pocket in the product.

No specialist techniques are used to attach the unit and there is also a very limited amount of textiles skill involved.

The unit has an LED integrated onto its surface along with a push button switch that controls its 3 lighting effects; constantly lit, flashing slowly and flashing fast.

The lack of specialist skills needed to make this project make it quick to make and one that is ideal for beginners or anyone wanting an e-textiles project that is simple.

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The band is made of high visibility reflective material with the LED light shining through the fabric as an added safety feature. It can be used by cyclists, walkers or anyone wanting a high vis safety product. It can be attached to a body sash, belt, bike frame, push chair handle or anywhere that it can be looped around.

This project could be adapted and made into an armband simply by lengthening the size of the band.

Learn how to:

  • Add a flashing LED unit into a product.

Level of difficulty:

  • Beginner.

Parts list

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In order to make your be seen be safe armband you will need the following:

  • Flasher controller.
  • Cell.
  • Metal popper (no sew variety use metal prongs to attach the popper to the fabric).
  • Main fabric - 21cm x 5cm reflective or fluorescent tape .
  • Sewing thread.

You will also require the following equipment:

  • Sewing machine.
  • Tools for attaching the metal popper (see popper packaging for instructions).

Step by Step guide to making a be seen be safe belt band.

Step 1

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Cut a length of tape 21cm long & fold up the bottom section by 6.5cm with the wrong sides facing each other.

Don’t pin the fabric as the pin marks will show.

The fabric holds a fold well but if you do need to secure it temporarily use small amounts of masking tape.

Step 2

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Position the pronged side of the popper on the wrong side of the fabric so that the centre of the popper is approximately 1cm below the fold line.

Follow the instructions on the packet for the popper to make sure it is attached correctly.

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Sit the top of the popper on the right side of the fabric so that the prongs sit below it. Use the tools sold with the popper to clamp the popper into place.

If you feel you need to, practice on a test piece of fabric first as the popper can’t be removed and redone if it goes wrong.

Step 3

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Stitch down the sides of the fabric to hold the folded sections in place.

If you find the fabric is difficult to sew use a walking foot which is used for plastic type fabrics or alternatively try sandwiching the fabric between thin layers of tissue paper and tearing this away after sewing.

Step 4

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Position the pronged top half of the popper on the right side of the fabric so that the centre of the popper is about 1cm away from the top of the fabric.

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Position the back of the popper on the wrong side of the fabric so that the prongs sit below the popper back.

Use the tools sold with the popper to clamp the popper into place.

Step 5

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Insert the cell into the cell holder and insert the whole flasher unit into the pocket area with the LED facing the outside of the product.

Step 6

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Wrap the band around a belt or sash & fasten the popper to hold in place.

 

Download a pdf version of this page here pdf_icon.gif

This tutorial was produced for Kitronik by Julie Boyd who is a specialist in e-textiles design.

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