I'm a grad student in a cognitive science department and as one of only 3 people in our department who owns a sewing machine and the only one willing to sew without a pattern, I got commissioned to do a unique project recently.
Some people in my department study how kids learn language and more specifically, how kids figure out what sounds go together to form words and what sounds just happen to be next to each other but don't make a word. For example, how do little babies figure out that "whataprettybaby" is actually "what a pretty baby" and not "wha ta pret tyba by".
There is a new, cutting edge method that uses light to monitor brain activity. My colleagues are using this new technique to try and see what part of the brain babies (6-10 month olds) are using to learn language and figure out where the words are. Babies are perfect for this because they don't have thick hair and skulls to block the light. It's so new that the manufacturers haven't designed caps or headbands to hold the sensors on a baby's head in the way that my colleagues want.
This is where I come in... My colleagues have been commissioning me to make a cap/headband to hold these little flexible 3" by 4" sensors onto a baby's head in specific locations. Babies don't seem to mind wearing these types of headbands and hats while watching little movies sitting in their parents lap, which is pretty awesome. This is probably the 3rd or 4th version of this that we've come up with, but I think it's the best so far.
Using tulle and black cotton fabric, I made pockets for the sensors and then using some black knit fabric to make a stretchy band and chin strap. There's a second knit band that goes over the whole thing to help keep the sensors next to the scalp. Let's hope it works and keeps the sensors in the right places on the babies' heads!
Thanks for indulging in an overly academic post with pretty boring photos. :)
p.s. If you're interested in getting involved in participating in studies with your kids, there are labs at any university all over the country studying everything from motor development to language to counting and more. Usually participation only entails your child watching a movie or playing a game.