I wanted to make an EL Wire dress after I worked with EL Wire on my cowboy boots. This project was super simple to make, and took almost no electronics skills to make this dress light up the night.
With just a few tools, and a glue gun, I was able to turn a sheer dress I already had into a galactic masterpiece.
Step 1: Materials and Supplies
Step 2: Selecting the Garment.
I ended up settling with a sheer dress with a black slip, so the wire could only be visible if it was on. It ended up creating a really beautiful effect. And it was great to see how people reacted to the dress once I flipped the switch on the EL wire inverter.
Step 3: EL Tape at the Waist.
I started with EL tape and adhering it to the waist of the dress. I tried a lot of methodologies for making this happen. I tried a sewing machine, with a zig-zag stitch, and found that I kept busting the needles in half when ever I struck the wire. That really speaks to the robustness of the material, tougher than
So if I couldn't sew it, what was left? HOT GLUE!!!
I love when projects become magically easier, out of necessity.
I started with the EL tape and glued the non-luminescent side of the tape to the seam of the waist, so that the bright side shown through the front of the outfit. The rayon of the dress was really forgiving with the glue gun, it worked great.
Step 4: Working With the EL Wire.
When I got to the end, I trimmed my excess.
If you trim EL wire, just put a dab of glue on the cut end, and it is basically re-sealed. This material is wonderfully easy to work with. Glue and scissors - a crafter's dream.
Step 5: Mapping a Pattern.
When I had a pattern I liked, I began gluing down different strands of EL wire into that pattern, and when I got to the bottom, I added it to the wire I had already attached to the hem. It created a nice swirling affect.
Step 6: Check Your Work
I did this by testing each strand before I glued it, and then again right after I had attached it to the dress. It was a nice way to make sure that the lines of wire I was gluing down looked good through the sheer space fabric too.
Step 7: Wiring the Dress.
I had gathered the ends of the EL wire, and snipped them. The wires are marked, which makes this very easy. I fused/soldered all the wires with white stripes, and then did the same to all the wires with black stripes. From there I ran long wires to where I would want to connect my battery pack. From those long leads of the EL material, I then recycled one of the ends I had snipped and re-connected it accordingly.
What I had essentially done was re-wire all the EL wire and tape into one parallel circuit.
Step 8: Placing Your Power Pack.
This way if I needed to change the batteries I could still easily remove the power pack and swap them out, and then just snap the inverter back into place, and clip it back to the dress.