LED light Dress

My mega project from 2017: Making a dress with NeoPixel LEDs! Combining my sewing hobby with a RaspberryPi and LED strips.






The sewing process of my dress:


6 layer petticoat from Tule and Organza fabric.

Each layer exists out of:

  • Tule Circle skirt. Diameter of 75cm. Inner circle diameter of 25cm. Height 25 cm.
  • Tule Strip 30 cm x 500 cm
  • Decoration ruffle strip of Organza fabric (3 diff colours): 750cm x 10cm

First cut all coloured strips of the organza and hemmed them with silver thread. Using a hemming foot on my old sixties sewing machine. That is 6 x 7,5 meters of hemming!

Then I cut 6 x circle skirt 25cm width. Diameter of 75cm. Inner circle diameter of 25cm. For my taille circumference is 76cm. 76 / pi = 24.2cm The outer circumference then becomes 75 * pi = 235cm

So for the middle part I cut 6x tule strips of 500 by 30 cm.

Then attached the coloured organza strips to the tule strip. Ruffling them up along the way. Same as the tule strip to the circle skirt.

I cut a 15 cm opening in the circle skirts so I can slip it over my hips. Hip circumference is 105 cm. So 105-76 = 29 Needing a cut of 29/2 = 14.5cm.

I also added one lining layer underneath the petty coat. Made from a thin fabric.

The I sewed them all together at the top and sew some hooks in to close it.

4 dress layers of Organza fabric.

In total the dress has 4 organza layers on top of the petticoat. The layers from bottom to top:

layer circle skirt length color circ waist diameter radius
1 full 55 cm pink 79cm 25.15 12.6
2 1.3 50 cm white 26.33 -
3 double 40 cm white 39.5 12.6 6.3
4 4 30 cm white 19.75 6.2 3.15

Hemmed everything with pink thread and a plastic (fishing) thread. To make the fabric get a firmer wave at the bottom.

Backup lights

Because I was afraid the Led lights won’t last all evening (or I didn’t have faith it would work out at all..) I installed some simple lights in the petticoat. It was around Christmas time so a lot of simple cheap led lights on batteries could be found in the store. I used 3 strings of white led lights and sewn them in the dress. This gave already a beautiful effect! The small battery packs stay in little pockets sewn to the waste underneath the petticoat layers.


The top is made from lining, tule and organza fabric. The desing is based on a pattern I found from another dress and changed to my own sizes and likening. I made 2 test tops before making the final top.

The top 4 layers from the dress are sewn to the top with a pink band in the middle.

The petticoat is separate and has its own closure.


Decoration exists out of roses I made from left over pieces of organza fabric. I also found some white glitter leaves in the Christmas decoration sale. All sew on by hand.

Making and testing the Leds:



  • ws2812 DC
  • 5V ip65 Waterproof
  • 30 leds/m
  • power: 9 watt/meter
  • width:10mm height:2.5mm

Verbruik: 2Amp per meter when fully lit. 1 when programmed. 0.5 when programmed less bright. 30 LEDs: 9 Watts (about 1.8 Amps at 5 Volts).

Raspberry Pi

I installed Raspbian Stretch Lite


Level shifter:


Specs: https://cdn-shop.adafruit.com/product-files/1787/1787AHC125.pdf


What to install:

sudo apt-get install build-essential python-dev unzip wget scons swig

wget https://github.com/jgarff/rpi_ws281x/archive/master.zip && unzip master.zip && cd rpi_ws281x-master && sudo scons && cd python && sudo python setup.py install

From https://dordnung.de/raspberrypi-ledstrip/ws2812

Making it portable

2 lead accu’s of 6 volt, 4.5AH

Specs: Part Number: UL4.5-6 Length: 70 ± 2 mm (2.76 inches) Width: 47 ± 2 mm (1.85 inches) Container Height: 101 ± 2 mm (3.94inches) Total Height (with terminal) : 106 ± 2 mm (4.17 inches) Approx Weight: Approx 0.75kg (1.65lbs)

Checkout more code and descriptions at my github. Still really unorganized!!