Sew Circuit

First, stitch power and ground rails along your ribbon by using a zigzag stitch. One strand of 3-ply thread works fine for this scarf's power delivery, which is about 4.5 feet long.

If your ribbon is longer or you're using more than 12 pixels, consider zigzagging around two strands of conductive thread together for less total resistance.

On one end, stop short of the ribbon's end and leave tails about 10 inches long for sewing to FLORA.
Thread one tail onto a needle and hand stitch it to VBATT by way of D12 on FLORA. The ribbon is not quite wide enough to reach to VBATT without forcing the other two connections to be impractically close together, so it's ok to short D12 to VBATT to help space things out better, since D12 is not used in this circuit.

Pick up the other tail and stitch around GND on FLORA.

Tie knots and seal with clear nail polish or fray check. As it dries, pull knots tight, then cut tails short when the adhesive is dry. For more tips, check out our Conductive Thread guide.
On the other side of the FLORA board, stitch connections between the SCL and SDA to the color sensor.

These thread connections are pretty close together. To help prevent the knots from knocking into each other, alternate which side of the ribbon you tie off. For example, tie knots for GND and SDA on the front side and SCL and 3.3V on the back side.

Seal all knots.
Another option is to solder the color sensor to the FLORA, as shown, using a piece of foam tape to affix the two together in a delicious circuit sandwich.
Stitch the first pixel close to the FLORA board, connecting pad D6 to the inward-facing arrow on the pixel. Tie off and seal the knot.

With another piece of conductive thread, stitch around the pad marked - on the pixel to secure it to the ribbon, then weave the needle under your zigzag stitch to put it in more contact with the conductive thread ground line. The more thread in contact with this line, the better the power delivery will be to the pixels.

Use a marking pen to measure where each other pixel will go-- ours are 4.5 inches apart.
Using the same zigzag technique as earlier, affix data lines to the ribbon. At each mark, cut a long tail, then pick up again on the other side of the mark. This way you can pick up and hand stitch the tails without having to stitch long distances between pixels.
Ribbon ready for pixels along side ruffle scarf, which you'll make in the next step.
Closeup of pixel sewn with lots of contact on + and - sides.
In version 2, we used narrow conductive ribbon for the data bus, and sewed the pixels on the opposite side of the ribbon from the power/ground rails.
This guide was first published on May 22, 2013. It was last updated on Sep 19, 2018. This page (Sew Circuit) was last updated on Aug 29, 2015.