Monica’s Halloween Costume

Let It Rain: A wearable vest for a rainy day

I’m tired of hearing all about ‘sunny LA’. I’m stuck in the concrete jungle and I wonder, how come rain never gets good press? This halloween I wanted to let rain take the stage and strike a pose. Hopefully this gets us more The Notebook, Singing in the Rain, and Shawshank Redemption moments. Plus, blue is the best color ever.

Materials

Polyfill, black velvet fabric , black translucent fabric (to conceal and protect LEDs) Adafruit GEMMA, Adafruit Soft flexible NeoPixel strip (50 NeoPixels), 1200 mAh LiPoly battery

Circuit and Soldering

To see the final code for the rain best, click here.

I would definitely add more light segments to the code as well as a button switch through them and turn the LEDS off altogether.

I would also separate the LED segments and have them connect with JST-connectors instead of soldering the entire circuit shut. This way I wouldn’t have to pull out the battery every time.

Circuit working!

Making it wearable

Sewing the silk fabric onto the velvety fabric was a huge challenge. Sewing is harder than I thought!

The vest is light, relatively comfortable and it’s gotten really good feedback. People like the velvety back and how the umbrella helps describe what the costume is about.

Because this project was done in such a short amount of time, I opted to staple the LED strip onto the fabric to keep them in place, instead of hand-stitching it. However, I did accidentally cut through one of data lines of the strip when stapling it. Yikes! I had to cut through my base fabric and carefully re-attach the data wire.

I was extremely happy when the sewing was done. YAY!

Before and after of this not-so-clear umbrella

Party Time!

The final photoshoot: bringing some joy to this rainy costume with a big smile!

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Becky Stern for her guidance with the coding program and for lending me her umbrella. Thanks to Nihaarika Arora for partnering up for some coding troubleshooting. Thanks to Helena Yang for lending her sewing tools and expertise. Thanks to all my classmates for raising up the bar very high!