Introduction: Neopixel Bell Bottom Pants Flares
So I was sprinkling Neopixel dust around and seeing what would stick... How about showing your true colors by having a light up panel on your pants? No more singing the bell bottom blues.
In addition to making a groovilicious contribution to your fashion statement, it is doubly shagilicious by using some faux fur material as the covering.
Powered by an Adafruit Flora to drive the Neopixel LED strips, you can make the lights shine in any color or pattern you desire. Trippy. Suitable for formal, casual and ultra-casual wear...
Step 1: Get the Warm and Fuzzy...
Essentially what we will be making is a radioactive glow-in-the-dark tribble.
You need a bit of faux fur material. Tip: To reduce the mess when you cut the material, slice the material on the back non-furry side and pull apart. Groom any loose fibers from the cut edge.
A patch of fiberfill sheet batting to increase the diffusion of the Neopixels
some backing fabric for the light enclosure
For the electronics you will need:
Any small Arduino microcontroller - I used an Adafruit Flora designed to be used in wearables but you could also go with a smaller Adafruit Gemma or Trinket.
A strip of Neopixel addressable LEDs. I had two short segments that I wired together to act as one long strip.
A suitable small battery pack or LiPo battery to power the electronics
There are great tutorials on Adafruit's Learning System to get you started on wiring up and coding the Neopixel strips to your Arduino board. The demo is just running the basic diagnostic sketch called Strandtest. I'm sure someone out there has the algorithm for a true Lava Lamp dynamic to code into a sketch.
You'll need some basic sewing and electronic skills.
and you should have the garment you want to mod. This light up panel can also be embedded as a patch pocket or epaulets on a shirt. Even light up your backpack. It just happened that the shape of the electronics wired up was suited to flare out the leg of a pair of pants. Maybe someone wants to do up a pair of sheepskin boots.
Step 2: Please Extinguish All Lights When the Pants Are in Motion...
We just need to make a pocket enclosure for the Neopixels and electronics.
The fiberfill batting should be sandwiched between the faux fur outside covering and the fabric backing. Learn to sew so you can layer everything correctly so when your turn things inside out you will have a nice finished seam showing. That is one of the many reasons I keep a seam ripper tool handy. Sew your trapezoidal shaped casing and leave an opening for the electronics.
You can sew the entire casing to the bottom leg of the pants centered along the outer seam. You could also take apart the seam and use the casing to bridge the gap thus flaring out your once skinny jeans into retro bell bottoms.
Slip the Neopixel strips in the casing so that the fiberfill batting will diffuse the light before it goes through the outer faux fur layer. You may have to sew a few stitches to tack the Neopixel strips or other components so they are secured in place. Reach in or feel around the fabric to access the on/off switch on the battery pack or Flora.
Yeah, yeah, add sound reactiveness with a microphone module, GPS, wireless/bluetooth for IoT functionality, control it with an app, so many things to do...
So there ya go, stayin' alive,
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive. Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive.