Would you have the courage to ask this Ouija board dress questions? You never know what it may answer! This dress, designed by Adrianna McKinley uses some basic circuits to light up letters on her dress in response to questions. You might look at this and immediately think of the wall from the hit show Stranger Things. That isn’t too big of a surprise, that’s actually where Adrianna started. She wanted to make the wall as an interactive costume but it didn’t really fit into the theme of the company party she was designing it for. However, a Ouija board could!
The dress has a total of 30 LEDs, Neopixels from Adafruit on a single strand. It is all controlled by a Flora and powered from a battery pack.
I just had one small battery powering the string so when they all lit up it was a bit of a power drain, though it did make a nice gradient when it lit up.
Though the circuit sounds fairly simple, a battery, a Flora, and a string of LEDs, it actually posed a bit of difficulty for Adrianna.
The sewing was a challenge. I used the medium weight conductive thread with a fabric that is very light so occasionally the circuit would short and lights would go on or off at random. I had to sew all the electronics in place before I could place the letters on top, so it was a lot of pinning and unpinning to make sure everything was placed right, that the circuit wouldn’t show, and that the wires were less likely to touch.
She explained that, if she had to recreate this, she would probably work the circuit a bit differently. She would most likely use a thinner thread and sew the circuit to its own piece of fabric sandwiched between the letters and the dress. This would isolate it and eliminate many of the issues that she ran into.
Overall, it was a hit at the party. People enjoyed watching it light up, but she did find that many were too scared to ask questions!