This dress design was a costume for a play based on the Beauty and the Beast story. the challenge was to have a dress that could look ordinary during some of scenes but transform into a chandelier during the ballroom dance scene.
Step 1: Testing for Effect
The dress needed to look magical. A white dress with an overlay of organza over the skirt was made. A set of 100 LED lights (33ft) on copper wire was used for the lighting. https://www.amazon.com/Starry-String-Lights-Flexib...
To test and plan, the LED wire was simply pinned onto the dress under the layer of organza and the original power supply was used - it looked great!
Step 2: Making Power Box
The next step was to develop a way to turn the lights on/off. A small battery pack that held 4 AA batteries was connected to the LED string simply by splicing the cable from the LED string and attaching it to the box with electric tape (I recommend using white tape for better camouflage).
The power box was placed in a small pocket sewn to the dress in the back near the waistline. The pocket closed with a velcro and was thin enough to be able to turn the on/off switch through the material.
Step 3: Sew the Wire Onto the Dress
The pinning allowed to estimate the amount of space between the rows of light to get an even spread of lights (doesn't have to be exactly straight). Organza ribbon (3/4 inch) was then stitched in a circular pattern all around the dress. Only the top part of the ribbon was sewn at first. The LED wire was then pinned under the ribbon and the bottom of the ribbon was sewn to encase the wire.
Step 4: Lights On- Lights Off
The girls performing with dress needed to be able to dance and move without damaging the garment so several layers of crinoline were worn to lift the skirt and showcase the number of lights.
Step 5: Dancing in the Dark!
During the ballroom scene, three girls dressed as "mini-chandeliers" dance around a dark stage and the LED string from the dress give a really cool effect. It's also a very cool (and safe) Halloween costume!