March 5, 2014 AT 1:00 am

This LED Dress Makes the Grade #WearableWednesday

LED PartyDress

Seth Moczydlowski is normally an industrial designer, however, when a group of fashion design students needed an Arduino capable member, he picked up a needle and thread. While members of the group worked on the dress design, Seth worked on a circuit mock-up using a FLORA microcontroller, NeoPixels and a microphone. Check out his method of prototyping using Arduino and Processing in this video. This is great for working with light patterns in any wearable!

The majority of the circuit is hidden in a fabric belt, with a nicely finished pocket for the battery. Following Adafruit best practices, Seth sealed all of his knots of conductive thread using clear nail polish. This is really important for a lasting creation, as the thread has a tendency to unravel. As you can see in the video below, the result is a beautiful dress that reacts to sound. Thanks to the cutouts in the flower design (which looks laser-cut), the light cascades nicely onto the dress.

Considering many people choose black or white for their canvas of LEDs, it’s refreshing to see a coral colored wearable. Seth was definitely pleased with the results.

 In the end, this project was very enjoyable. It got me out of the normal bounds of Industrial Design and afforded me some great exposure to a new hardware platform. Additionally, it was an excellent exercise in scheduling, as we all had different schedules and could only meet once a week to work on the project details. The actual construction of the dress was very rigorously timed so that it could be completed on schedule.

With these great results, Seth can probably expect an even tighter schedule. Got an industrial designer in your life? No worries, we’ve got tutorials that are perfect for you. Check out the Sparkle Skirt.

Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

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