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How to Use the Magnetic Switch in an E-Textile Circuit

This cute little dog has a magnet hidden away inside his bone, and when the bone is placed in his mouth the LED in his nose lights up. The dog uses a magnet switch hidden in the mouth area, which when paired with the magnet hidden inside the bone, activates the circuit turning on the LED.

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The rest of the circuit is hidden away inside the dog, though the battery can still be accessed when it needs replacing via a small gap in the dog’s body. The circuit requires some previous knowledge of e-textiles as well as some textiles knowledge.

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Learn how to:

  • Add a magnet switch to a circuit.
  • Use a mini cell holder.
  • Create a circuit using one PCB LED.

 

Level of difficulty:

  • Intermediate.

 

Parts List

In order to make your dog with magnetic bone you will need:

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You will also need the following equipment:

 

Step-by-step guide to your dog with magnetic bone

Step 1

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Start to stitch the e-textiles circuit on the inner layer of the body fabric. Use conductive thread to over-sew the negative side of the cell holder into the position marked on the pattern template. Note that the open side of the cell holder is facing the bottom edge of the fabric.

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Use small running stitches to get to the position of the magnet switch (see pattern template) and over-sew one side into position (it doesn’t matter which way round the magnet switch goes).

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Using a new piece of conductive thread over-sew the second side of the magnet switch onto the fabric. Use small running stitches to get to the position of the LED on the edge of the fabric and over-sew the negative side of the LED into position (see pattern template).

 

Step 2

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Using a new piece of conductive thread, over-sew the positive side of the LED into position. Stitch small running stitches from the LED to the positive side of the cell holder and over-sew it into position. The remaining positive and negative holes on the cell holder are not used in this circuit and can be held in position using ordering sewing thread.

 

Step 3

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The e-textiles circuit is now complete. Insert the cell into the cell holder with the positive side facing upwards. Place the magnet onto the switch to check the circuit works.

 

Step 4

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Attach the eyes & tail to the main body of the front and back of the dog using the embroidery thread. Any stitch can be used to do this. In the photo a cross-stitch has been used to hold the centre of the eye in place, and a blanket stitch has been used for all other areas. Two strands of stranded embroidery thread have been used. Use a running stitch to create the body markings on the dog using the pattern template as a guide.

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Sandwich the inner fabric layer with the circuit attached between the back and front pieces of the dog. If necessary trim the layers so they match exactly.

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Use the stranded embroidery thread to stitch the layers of the dog together starting at the hole on the bottom edge of the dog and stitching the legs first. Any stitch can be used. The stitch used in the photos is a blanket stitch.

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When you reach the top of the back leg stop stitching and stuff the legs, as they will be harder to reach when the body is stitched together. You may need to use a thin pointed object to help you reach the tips of the legs.

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Continue stitching around the dog until you get to the end of the nose where the LED is. The back and front fabrics are slightly smaller than the inner fabric the circuit is stitched onto so the LED should sit beyond the 2 layers of fabric. Position the inner layer of fabric so the LED sits flat against the nose.

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Continue stitching the layers of the dog together from the other side of the LED to the position of the cell holder. Leave a few centimetres of fabric open by the cell holder to allow you to stuff the dog.

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To close the hole stitch 2 of the layers of fabric together. Stitch the edge of the single layer of fabric covering the cell holder to make it match the rest of the dog. This single layer of fabric is where the battery will be accessed so the gap needs to be big enough to get your fingers in.

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Cut a small, square hole in the nose fabric, as shown on the pattern template. Slide the hole over the LED. Stitch the nose into shape covering the LED.

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Stitch 2 layers of the ear fabrics together closing all sides.

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Position the curved section of the ears on either side of the head and stitch into the position indicated on the pattern template.

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Stitch the 2 layers of the bone together leaving a gap along the centre of the fabric. Slide the magnet into the hole along with a small amount of stuffing to pad the bone. Stitch the hole closed.

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Attach the ribbon around the bone and around the dogs neck. When the magnet in the bone is placed onto the mouth area where the magnet switch is the LED will light up.

 

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

Download a pdf version of this page here. pdf_icon.gif

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