Prototyping Wearable Utility

Form

I started out by creating the form using scrap fabric. In order to figure out placement for some of the tools, I traced them with paper and pinned them to the dress form. I added a velcro closure under the arm so I could start trying it on.

Function

I was still struggling to decide placement, so I took away the fabric and attached the notions directly to the dress form. This really helped me think about the interactions of accessing them.

I borrowed interactions from other examples of wearable utility. For storing scissors, I thought of creating an underarm holster. While working at a fabric store in high school, we were each issued a pair of work scissors. My work uniform was an apron that had a special pocket for the scissors. While I'm not placing anything on the lap, I did want to recreate that ease of access by making a special scissors pocket. I'm also very protective of my scissors, so it seemed like a good idea to keep them close to me.

For knitting needles I tried out placing them on the back, so I could reach back for them like an archer reaching for bows.

For the pins, I imagined a plucking motion to remove them. I generally keep pins and needles separate, so I created a small needle book to store them. The spools of thread are placed to look similar to a bandolier. If I attach them through the center, I'll be able to pull off lengths of thread without removing them.

Piecing It Together

For the next step I started attaching the notions to the fabric piece I made. I added pockets for the scissors and the knitting needles, then I made a pin cushion for the shoulder and attached the needle book to the chest.

I liked the location of the pin cushion and needle book, but when I tried it on I didn't love the interaction. I think it could definitely be improved and simplified. I will start looking into a magnetic solution.

The scissor holster worked fairly well. I would play around with angles, but it does seem to keep the scissors in place pretty well.

Though I really loved how the knitting needles looked, I didn't actually place them in a good location. They are difficult to reach, and impossible to put back in once I take one out. It will definitely be a challenge to create an easy interaction for storing any items on the back.