For my final project I decided to do a dress with LED panels. There are two panels, each consisting of 34 colored LEDs and then one Lillypad with 9 white LEDs that blink very quickly in a circle. The two panels are mirror images of each other except the Lillypad one starts at the top and one starts at the bottom so when you turn them on together they “spin” opposite of each other.
The actually dress is just a simple cotton dress with a very mild shark bite hemline and a v-neckline. The Panels were made with a Pleather material so I also added a similar material to the sides and the straps. I also have a v-strap in the middle.
Before I could start the panels I needed to know how many LEDs one battery pack could support, the most I have connected to a single battery is 13, so I started at 8 and built up from there. I have a feeling you could add more than 13. Something that I did find out that was interesting was at first I had designed the dress with sections of blues and greens and then sections of red, yellow, and pink.
I had previous trouble with getting the pink to light up, and when I did the test of how many I could fit on one battery I did it with red, yellow and pink specifically to see if the pinks would work this time and they didn’t. So I changed my design to just be sections of blue and green, and then red and yellow. But, after talking to Sophia we started thinking that maybe the pink was actually considered a cool color. So then I did another test to see if I could group together pink, green and blue and it worked! So now I have one section on the panel that has the three colors.
My next problem I had to solve was how to attach the panels onto the dress. The problem is I wanted to hide the battery packs on the bottom so you would still have to have access to them. So my solution was Velcro. I sewed the rounded side of the panels to the dress and the middle point, but kept the top and the bottom points free then added a piece of Velcro to the panel and Velcro to the dress. Now it sticks to the dress while still allowing me to peel it back and add the batter when I need to. The other thing I did was slice a section of the side to secure the batteries for the Lillypad.
So that’s basically it, I think it turned out really well, I’m not sure how comfortable it would be to wear because of the battery packs sticking into you, but at least it looks cool!