Today was the shopping trip to Jo-Ann's, and I am so excited to have all my materials ready to go! I have a little less than a yard of black fabric for the under-layer of the skirt (where I'll be mounting all the components...actually looks like it will be sturdy enough to allow me to solder the LEDs directly onto it) and also found some beading wire that has copper wire inside. It's so much thinner than the rainbow cable I was planning on using and will be much more subtle. In the lab, I stripped two ends of a sample section and connected them to an LED/coin battery to check conductivity, and it has a strong connection. I will post a video later.
Now, I just need to fix my code...I'm still getting the strange Adafruit Neopixel error on my computer, so I'll try uploading on the lab computer tomorrow or Friday and that will hopefully solve the problem.