Nancy and Allan are wonderful folks. I knew after making Allan's Disco Band Camp Jacket last summer that I had to come up with something equally exciting and beautiful for Nancy.
Like most other makers who work with LEDs, I'm constantly searching for the newest/smallest/cutest LEDs; basically, we all want fairy lights. Back in November, my search for addressable tiny lights paid off, and I ordered a couple sets from AliExpress.
Once I got the LEDs, I was in love and had to share them. I also knew I had to put them under some tulle. I bought a couple black midi tulle skirt's to see what would work best. I wanted them to connect all the way around the skirt to hide the beginning and end of the string.
I divided the skirt in half with tailor's chalk and marked where I wanted them to travel, from the top on one side to the bottom on the other, creating a channel to place them between. I marked the halfway point on the LEDs with a piece of tape to keep the string of 50 LEDs from being too front or back heavy.
I pinned the LEDs down to the skirt and then secured them using hot glue, burning myself more times than I'd like to admit.
Even though I'd pinned the LEDs in place, the final ones ended up a bit out of order. However, I ended up just accounting for this with how I mapped out the LEDs, which was far easier than all the over planning I'd done earlier.
I hooked up my microcontroller, an Adafruit Gemma M0 with a large switch & button, in a custom case, and then attached a USB power bank and fit it all into a tiny hidden pocket sewn into the skirt.
Here's the skirt in action: