All posts by stephaniehazlewood

Steph and Birce – Final – Crying Dress 2.0

After the mid-term project we decided that we wanted to continue our study and experimentation of liquid and garments, essentially a Crying Dress 2.0. We wanted to build on feedback from the original crying dress and add other elements. For instance, we researched bioluminescent phytoplankton that lives in the Maldives. We aesthetically liked their glowing pattern and wanted to mimic it and incorporate it into the crying dress. glow 02

Another improvement we wanted to make was to more realistically capture the motion of rolling tears. The look of the first crying dress was very medical and the water flowed through tubes. This time, instead, we wanted the water to be free falling and roll of the fabric in a manner more similar to crying.

Lastly, we wanted to improve the concept conceptually. The first dress, one had to activate the motor. With the second version, the user puts on a mask with a sensor, as if masking their genuine emotions, and  triggers the motor to start pumping water.


The look is assembled in three parts essentially. A waterproof dress that the water can bead off. The dress also has pockets that contain the pump, circuit, and water reservoir. A mask that has a sensor that trigger the motor to begin pumping water. A necklace through which the water is pumped and drops onto the dress.

Why/Inquiry: How can we capture emotion in a garment? What is the emotional reaction of the observer of the dress? How does the dress affect the wearer; is it therapeutic, calming, or have the opposite effect? Does the observer perceive tears of joy or sadness?


Materials used:

Waterproof/Nylon fabric

Plastic Tubing

Water pump

Glow water (highlighter soaked in water)

crying dress 2.0 b

In order to mimic the glowing effect of bioluminescent organisms, we soaked a highlighter in water. Different color highlighters produced different levels of glow when shined with the UV light. For instance the green and yellow shine the brightest. The different colors can be used to convey different moods and different sources of tears based on the wearer.

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crying dress 2.0 a

Birce and Steph – Crying Dress 2.0 – Process

We have decided to make the crying dress 2.0 as three pieces:

(1) A tube necklace with punctured holes that drips the water onto the dress. The motor that pumps water into the dress is triggered by a sensor that detects when the user is crying.

(2) A mask with a sensor for tears that connects to the water pump

(3) A waterproof dress that serves as a canvas or template for the “tears” from the necklace. The dress will have a pocket that holds the pump and the water.


Inquiry: How can a garment act as a disguise or mask for real emotions? What is the emotional reaction of observers of the dress?


Problems still to be solved:

-How to make the sensor run on 9v rather than 5v

-How can we make a refillable container for the water that does not leak and connects to the tube for the pump

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Birce an Steph – Week One Progress

After thorough research, we moved ahead into the prototyping and experimental phase.

We sourced materials:


Water Pump

Waterproof Fabric (nylon)

And we experimented with these materials to test our idea. We drilled holes in the tube and pumped water through it. We mimicked how the tube would be situated on the neckline to test how the water would flow and drop of the tube. We also wanted to test if the water would bead off the fabric in the way that we wanted. The tests were pretty successful.

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Since we want the water to be fluorescent we are also experimenting with dyeing the water with the ink of a highlighter. When a UV light is shined on the water, it should glow in the dark. We want the water dripping from the tube to glow to mimic the bioluminescent phytoplankton. We are thinking of two ways to incorporate the UV light. 1) Shine the UV flashlight on the dress when the lights are off. 2) incorporate LED UV lights into the tube neckline that turns on when the user feels stressed.

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Birce and Steph – Final Project Proposal


After the crying dress, we decided we still wanted to experiment with liquid and fluidics working in a garment. We researched the “glow-in-the-dark beach” in the Maldives.

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These glow-in-the-dark beaches are caused by bioluminescent phytoplankton. Bioluminescence occurs widely in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as in some fungi, microorganisms including some bioluminescent bacteria and terrestrial invertebrates such as fireflies. Communication (quorum sensing) plays a role in the regulation of luminesence in many species of bacteria. Using small extracellularly secreted molecules, they turn on genes for light production only at high cell densities. While most marine bioluminescence is green to blue, the Black Dragonfish produces a red glow. This adaptation allows the fish to see red-pigmented prey, which are normally invisible in the deep ocean environment where red light has been filtered out by the water column.

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The bioluminescent phytoplankton react to any type of stress or change in tension, emitting light from their cells anytime something breaks the water: a wave, a kayak or even your hand. They’re calling it, informally, the “firefly effect.”

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We want to create a garment that mimics the bioluminescent effect of the phytoplankton in the water. Since the phytoplankton illuminate as a reaction to stress or tension, we want to use those as triggers for the garment. The dress will mimic their actions and act as a therapeutic calming sensation to their high stress or tension. We want to the dress to perspire glowing liquid in a similar manner to sweating, as one does when they are stressed. The dress will “sweat” fluorescent water  out of the fabric’s pores but drip in an aesthetically pleasing and beautiful way.


Week 1: research and proposal.

Week 2: source materials and prototype.

Week 3: finish prototyping and execution of final project.

Week 4: Complete project, write-up, and project due.


Materials to explore:

Waterproof fabrics – nylon, vinyl,

Waterproofing coating spray

highlighter to illuminate water



water pump

Illustration of system:


Birce and Steph – Tear Catcher Dress – Final

Tear Catcher Dress Definition:

“Tear Catcher Dress” is a smart and fashionable piece, which features the technology of stimulating “the act of crying”. We were inspired by the idea of “tear catchers” were commonly used during Ancient Roman times, with mourners filling glass bottles with their tears, and placing them in tombs as a symbol of their respect for the deceased. We wanted to mimic this idea in a garment. The garment has tubes that can connect to your face to catch your tears and will flow through the tubes and collect in the pocket at the bottom. This also mimics what is happening internally when a person cries. Their tears flow through a tube and collect in the tear ducts before they are released.


Questions that spawned our project:

-How can we convey an emotion, such as sadness, through a garment?

-What about making a tear catcher wearable?

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We explored the answers to these questions by creating the “crying dress” or “tear catcher dress” based off the system shown above. A person cries, the years are collected and flowed through tubes, and the collected in a pocket.

Materials used:



– Medical Tubes

-Nasal Tubes,

-Adafruit 12V Peristaltic Pump

-9V battery


crying dress10After researching tear catchers, we wanted to mimic this idea in a garment. The garment has tubes that can connect to your face to catch your tears and will flow through the tubes and collect in the pocket at the bottom. This also mimics what is happening internally when a person cries. Their tears flow through a tube and collect in the tear ducts before they are released. An alternative option to using real tears, the dress can cry on your behalf if you have run dry of tears. We have connected a motor that pumps the water into the dress to mimic the action of crying. The drop of the water from the tube to the pocket most similarly mimics the action of a tear as it rolls down the vinyl. We decided to use white fabrication as we researched funeral wear in other countries, such as India, where they wear white to the ceremonies of the deceased. The white fabrication also more clearly demonstrates the flow of tears.


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Further Exploration:

As we explore this project of an emotional garment further, we would like to experiment with other aspects. First, we would like to figure out a system for recycling the tears/water. We would like to experiment with better materials and fabrication so the dress is a better representation and easier to wear, such as making the pocket collecting water able to dispose of the water or collect it permanently.







Birce and Steph – Tear Catcher Dress – Process

After our proposal, we decided to narrow down our ideas and find a more concentrated area of research on which to base our device. We still want to focus on the idea of capturing emotion in a garment.


Sept. 18-25: Develop and research concept

Sept 25-Oct. 3: Experimentation with liquid flows

Oct. 3-10: Sample fabrication/materials and work on dress design

Oct. 10-16: 1st prototype

Oct. 16-23: 2nd prototype and final touches to project


We decided to focus on sadness as our main emotion and it’s physical reaction of crying. After research we found that multiple cultures in history have collected tears – ancient Persia, the Victorian times, and Roman times to name a few.

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These tear catchers were used for many different reasons. The Persians used it when a sultan returned from battle, he checked his wives’ tear catchers to see who among them had wept in his absence and missed him the most. The Victorians believed that once the tears had evaporated, the mourning period was over.

We want to take this idea of a tear catcher and put it in a garment.

We began the project by first experimenting with microfluidics. We laser cut patterns into plexiglass to test how we could control the flow of water to mimic tears.  Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 7.16.38 PMScreen Shot 2014-11-05 at 7.16.48 PM


The experiments with microfluidics were somewhat a failure as the water was flowing outside of the carved path. We needed to think of a different way to mimic the flow of tears.


We decided to experiment with using a motorized pump to pump water through tubes that were attached to a garment through a casing.


Essentially we want to create a mechanism following this system:

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Fortunately the mechanism worked. However, the construction of the garment did not work. We chose fabrics – Vinyl and Spandex – that did not sew well together. It hindered the design of the dress. From here we need to create another dress using the same mechanism but using different materials.



Sewing Workshop

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Hey guys!

I’ll be leading a sewing workshop in class this Thursday. I’ll be teaching a super basic intro to sewing on the industrial machines. I will go over the terms used for different parts of the machine, such as presser foot, bobbin, and bobbin case. I will show how to properly operate and sew on the machine. I will show a small variety of stitching you can do.

Typically for sewing on the industrial machines at school, the required materials are: thread, needle, bobbin, bobbin case, thread clippers/scissors, ruler/tape measure and fabric. I will bring my materials to set up the machine and some fabric for everyone to try it out on. You don’t need to bring anything unless there is something specific you would like to work with.

email me if you have questions or want to request for me to demonstrate something specific that I have not mentioned.


Hacked Webcam Microscope Stand

The process of hacking the webcam was very interesting and much easier than I thought it would be. Playing around with the microscope camera was a ton of fun and examined numerous objects under the lens including: knit sweater, iphone screen, lavender seeds, fingers, eyes, and hydras (before I killed an “immortal

microscope stand
Microscope Stand

The process of creating the stand was a little more frustrating as my knowledge of product design is quite limited. I laser cut plexiglass into two triangles with holes at each corner that could fit the acrylic rod tightly enough that it would not slip, but loose enough that it was still adjustable. I decided to utilize the clip provided on the webcam as another point of adjustment where one can slide it up and down the acrylic rod. microscope stand microscope stand


Microscopic images:

yarn filaments of a knit sweater
yarn filaments of a knit sweater
iPhone screen
Lavender Seed
Lavender seeds

Baby hat mobile lab

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I made this baby hat meant for 0-6 month olds. Obviously we can’t know what babies are thinking since they don’t have the ability to talk. One can gauge their thoughts and emotions based on reactions, but it is not always accurate. For instance a baby doesn’t really gain the ability to smile until 3 months old. Since they can cry, you know when they are upset, but you don’t always know when they are happy or excited. For instance, how do you know if a baby is actually enjoying the song you are singing to them? This hat has EEG sensors on the inside that would transfer the information immediately to a phone application to allow parents/caregivers to gauge a baby’s emotion more accurately. There are also small lights on the top of the hat that would light up when the EEG sensors detect that the baby is excited.