Remember that space man costume I started making for my son a few months ago? No? Well, my son thought I’d forgotten about it, too. He said this morning, “MOM, you’ve been working on my costume for YEARS! I wanted to wear it LAST Halloween!” I know I’ve been a little slow on this project, but I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been that long (OK, I just looked at my post on it. It was mid-July, which is further back than I thought it was, but not as long as my son thinks it was.).
Anyway, I started working on it again a few weeks ago (on and off, admittedly), and it’s morphed a bit from what it was initially supposed to be. I learned about electroluminescent (EL) wire a few months ago, and I’ve been dying to try it out. It’s basically a lightweight, bendy wire that’s fairly cheap and a great way to light up a costume (think Tron). Well, every space suit can use some hi-tech-looking lights, so I thought this would be my perfect opportunity to try it out.
I ordered two nine-foot strands of EL wire in blue and green with controllers from a seller on eBay for $9.88 each including shipping. They weren’t fancy but seemed to work fine once I installed two AA batteries in each one.
Attaching the wire was easy if somewhat time-consuming. I made a black jumpsuit as the base to the costume, and I drew a design in white chalk on it where I wanted the EL wire to go. Once that was complete, it was just a matter of hand stitching the wire to the costume with transparent thread. I tied the thread off at every turn in the design.
I went into a bit of a panic when after hours of sewing in the green wire found that it no longer lit up. I started fidgeting with the wire and controller to see where the problem was when the EL wire just completely FELL OUT of the connector. Luckily, my husband who can be handy when he wants to be (or, in this case, coerced) was able to reattach the wire , and it seems to be working just fine now.
I debated whether to hide the controllers inside the suit, but I thought they’d look fine attached at the hips to look like weapons of some sort on a holster. The controllers came with a clip on the back, so I sewed one flat strip of elastic that the clip would hang on and another strip above and one below that strip that went around the outside of the control box.
I have to say, I think Cael is going to be the coolest trick-or-treater in town on Wednesday. I hope he thinks it was worth the wait.
The suit looks even better in the dark/semi-dark, so I’ll have to see if I can get pictures of that posted soon.