BLINKING TANK TOP
1. DESIGN YOUR PATTERN
1a. Decide on the number of LEDs
you want and their general placement.
I decided to sew a simple tank top,
and I chose to place the LEDs evenly
across my top every 2". Since my tank
top is approximately 28" around and
12" tall, I needed 84 LEDs.
Time: One Week Complexity: Extreme
2. MAKE SEQUINS WITH YOUR LEDS AND BEADS
If you’re not up for soldering, you can substitute traditional through-hole LEDs for the surface mount LEDs,
twisting their leads into spirals to make them stitchable. Read about this technique at craftzine.com/01/led.
2a. Get crimping beads and surface mount your LEDs. Using a soldering iron
with a very clean tip, place the tip of the iron into a bead. Melt some solder onto
the outside of the bead. With the soldering iron, drag the bead up to the LED as
shown (middle right). When the melted solder touches the LED’s contact, the
bead will adhere to the LED. Lift the soldering iron out of the bead.
Now take some measures to distinguish the cathode lead (-) from the anode lead
(+) of each LED. The cathode end is often marked with a green line on the front or
back of the surface mount package. To distinguish the two, solder a brass crimping bead to the cathode lead and a silver bead to the anode lead for each LED.
2b. Solder beads to the leads for your battery and switch, so that they can also
be sewn on. This is the switch sequin.
TIP: If your soldering iron tip is dirty, it will stick to the bead and make the
job very difficult. If this is happening, you should clean or replace your tip.