DIY Geek Chic


A colorful new book, Fashioning Technology, offers high-tech projects for the fashionable woman — By Amy Geppert

August 18, 2008—Bored with knitting? Weary of felting? A new book called Fashioning Technology: A DIY Intro to Smart Crafting will pull you out of your craft rut, as author Syuzi Pakhchyan shows step-by-step how to incorporate a tech flair to your projects. Armed with LEDs, phosphorescent ink, and polymorph plastic, among other "smart materials," you'll be making fun and funky accessories and toys in no time. Projects range from "Rock Star Headphones" to a "Luminescent Tea Table," combining the trendy handmade movement with a hip aesthetic.

Fashioning Technology contains large, colorful pictures and a plethora of uncluttered diagrams. Pakhchyan breaks down transistors, resistors, diodes and capacitors, all in clear, easy-to-follow language. The second chapter is full of technical primers to get you on your way to making Rock 'n' Roll Speakers or LED Chandeliers. These primers were so straightforward, even yours truly is confident about sewing circuits (and I haven't even figured out how to use a sewing machine). The project instructions are equally simple and anticipate questions in a way most craft books don't. I might even attempt to make the achingly cute "Emoting Electronic Finger Puppets" without assistance from our H2.0 gurus.

The only complaint imaginable about Fashioning Technology might be the scarcity of materials. While Pakhchyan catalogs an abundance of resources for the components divided by category, items aren't easily found at one convenient location. Materials can become pricey ordering in this pell-mell way, but making a Space Invaders Tote that lights up for an incoming cell call is totally worth it.

Stay tuned for Amy's full hands-on review, wherein she rolls up her sleeves and fashions her own technology, just as soon as those darn parts arrive.