In The Future, We'll All Wear Electronic Skirts

Alison Lewis wants to get women into crafting and electonics.

Alison Lewis, a former web designer and crafter, wrote her new book, Switch Craft: Battery-Powered Crafts to Make and Sew, "to change the way people craft," as she tells the AP. The book's projects range from the low-fi (iPod case) to the high-tech: "an illuminated skirt and wriggling squids for cats to play with."

The idea of technology and crafting intersecting - as they do on Lewis's Web show, "Switch" - is perhaps not unexpected, since both have entered the culture so assertively. While the book is not explicitly geared towards women, the fact that Lewis says she wants to make technology "less unfriendly" and involve a new audience, would seem to point towards overturning certain stereotypes.

On the face of it, the two hobbies - the high-tech and the homespun - would seem to appeal to two very different forms of confident neo-dorkery. But really, Lewis is right - why should they? Making things is awesome, and at this point, almost any kind of manufacture is within our power. If we started out reclaiming crafting somewhat ironically, why not technology? Disclosure: when I, a retro-crafter from way back, first heard about the book I thought, not for me. But a glance through it has kind of changed my mind, and I have an eye towards making the boom box-pillow thing as a gift for my brother. Then too, my dream of finally owning a working Electra costume and performing "You Gotta Have A Gimmick" now seems within even my power. One thing is for sure: Alison Lewis is that most admirable of creatures, a woman who's taken her passions, had the confidence to assume others would share them, and made it into a career. And who doesn't love that?

Designer melds tech, fashion in crafty electronics [AP]