60-90 min
Session 1 of 0
In Progress

Create a Controller to Plug and Play!

60-90 min


Ages 8+

What Will You Learn?

We will create a skirt that can easily hold lights and later be added underneath an outfit you separately design, to add lighting. We will measure, cut, and stitch fabric onto your premade skirt.

At MakeFashion Edu, one of the biggest challenges we have is the range of ways designers want to attach lights to pieces to tell their story. We have used velcro, hot glue, elastic, stitches, fabric glue and … whatever else we can think of! It always takes a little bit of experimenting and practice.
One workaround we have used, when we do not have time for experimentation, is the Light Up Underskirt!

You can prepare this underslip early on, without having come up with a project concept, and then easily attach lights to it when you are ready! It can help pull some of the craft work forward to be worked on earlier in the project. We have used it to allow large groups to work on different parts of their projects at the same time, as they choose what to work on first.

Once the slip is made, lights can be easily pulled through fabric loops, and you can customize it in two ways:

  • Whatever you put on top of the underskirt can be totally unique per project.

  • You can choose any color and pattern of lights that you have

Get Inspired

If you are new the lighting up wearable projects, we recommend you watch a “MakeFashion Edu Rapid Highlights Video” before starting to get some ideas of finished projects!

Measure and Cut

Step 1

Depending upon the length of the slip and the length you want the underskirt to be, measure and mark up to 6” from the bottom of the slip in several places.

Draw a line connecting the marks and cut off the bottom of the slip.

Step 2

On the cut off strip, measure and mark a line 3” from the edge and about 24” long. Cut along the line.

Step 3

Fold the 3”strip in half and sew along the cut edges to make a tube. Keep the stitches as close as possible to the edge.

Cut the tube into 2” sections.

Step 4

Pin the 2” sections just below the elastic on the slip, the fold at the bottom. Leave about 11/2” – 3” between the sections. The LED strips will go through these loops so make sure they are large enough to pass through.


Step 1

Sew the loops to the slip as close to the edge as possible. Attach underneath the elastic.

Step 2

Use more of the fabric that was cut off from the slip to make a pocket to hold the power source and/or microcontroller. Make sure that the pocket is large enough to hold everything. Measure at least 8” across and 5” in length. Fold in half and sew along the side and bottom reinforce top edges by backstitching. Be sure to leave the top open! Turn right side out.

Step 3

Sew back of pocket to back of slip. Leave the front of pocket open.

Light it Up

Step 1

Thread LED strips through the loops, put the power source in the pocket and turn it on! It is ready!

This underskirt can be put underneath any outfit you create!

What's Next?

Try out other materials

There are a few options we have seen!
Add loops or velcro to the bottom of LED strips to hold the LEDs more tightly. Otherwise the lights hang free and swing gently.
You don’t need LED strips for this, you can also use Fairy Wire.

After you have created Wear it under a skirt or dress, and build whatever type of outfit you come up with. Now you can tell more stories with your own wardrobe. 

For a ton of ideas on what to create, have a look at the amazing outfits that have already walked the MakeFashion Edu STEAM Runways, check out the YouTube playlist.

SteamHead 501c3 June 16, 2021
WE ARE A MAKERSPACE AND A MOVEMENT. Our mission is to provide access to quality, relevant education focused on integrating design, technology, and community. Because when people have access to great spaces and resources, they make great things.