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Father-Daughter Projects – “Catching Fire” Dress by Matthew & Emma Hillis #FathersDay

There have been a number of excellent father-daughter/father-son projects shared on the Adafruit Google+ community celebrating the role maker parents play introducing their children to electronics, engineering, and invention. Here’s one by father Matthew Hillis and his daughter Emma that they documented and shared last October in the lead up to Halloween, inspiring others to work together to make excellent Halloween costumes.

Father-Daughter Projects – “Catching Fire” Dress by Matthew & Emma Hillis:

Introducing the “Catching Fire” dress.  This is a design by Emma, electronics by me and Dress made by Sweetie.  Emma also helped solder and sew the electronics on the dress.  Why not do a Daddy Daughter sewing project for Halloween?

The electronics are a Flora, 1m of NeoPixels and a Accelerometer.  The code was inspired by the Sparkle Skirt and other code I found browsing the +Adafruit Industries forums.  We are still playing with some of the light animations but having the accelerometer sensor gives us some fun ways to trigger different animations.

I love building stuff and tinkering with electronics.  Years ago I was a High School Cisco Networking teacher that sponsored a FIRST robotics team for a few years.  They were very long nights but I love working with the students and building the different things that we designed.  Since I’m not a teacher anymore I have not built many electronic projects.

I had heard of the Raspberry Pi and recently purchased one to play with this summer.  It was fun to play with the linux distro but nothing really sparked my imagination until I heard about the Arduino and more specifically Adafruit.  I think my introduction was watching the AOL hardwired youtube video with iJustine.  I loved the idea of making my own Wearable project.  So I started to think about the different things I could build.  Nothing was jumping out at me but then my Daughter (Emma) was watching a Wearable Wednesday video with me and she showed me her sketch book of Dress Designs.

Emma showed me one of her favorite sketches of a dress that had a campfire theme…. 

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