DIY Rodarte-style leggings, Coven sweater, Count Aapo Tee, Burberry booties, Antti Asplund cross necklace, Iosselliani ring.
So, after getting a headache from doing so much Rodarte knitting, I decided I would take a small "break" from my dress project, and make some diamond cut leggings, similar to the ones that they showed at their Spring 2009 show. Thinking that this would be a pretty easy project, since it's a no-sew, no-knit DIY, I grabbed my old American Apparel wetlook leggings, which were starting to look tired anyway, and decided to give them a makeover. While it was pretty easy, it was actually much more time consuming than I ever expected, and I would take knitting another couple of pairs of Rodarte tights over doing this project again. Just warning you. If you are interested in doing it, here's how.
What you need:
1 pair of wetlook leggings
shears (I suggest Gingher)
*a lot of time (and preferably the Twin Peaks box set to keep you company)
*anal retentive attention to detail
Inspiration: The leggings from the Rodarte show, which I haven't actually seen in person, appear to be made of laser cut leather, with zippers up the back. They aren't actually full leggings, they're thigh highs that are held up with a garter. The pattern in the front is completely cut out in diamonds, and has the appearance of large fishnet.
Close up, you can see that the pattern become irregular at the back. I followed the same idea, cutting out the entire front section of the legging, while cutting diamonds selectively (but not arbitrarily) from the back. Also note that since the wetlook fabric is spandex, it will stretch a lot more than the leather.
1. I started by making a stencil for myself on graph paper, which approximated the size and pattern of the diamonds.
2. Carefully, I cut out each of the diamonds.
3. I turned the leggings inside out, and placed the stencil on top of it. Using tailor's chalk, I transfered the pattern onto the legging, starting first with a couple of rows. I proceeded to carefully cut out the diamonds, starting at the tip of a diamond and making a tiny V shaped incision with the scissors, and then cutting around. Try to keep the lines clean, and straight! When I finished, I repeated the step, being very careful to line up the stencil with my previous cut-outs to ensure a uniform pattern. Continue this step until you reach the bottom of the leg. Do the other leg.
4. For the back of the legging, I used the stencil to design a more random pattern. I also made sure that I cut some random diamonds down the side of the leg, to avoid having a long continuous line of unbroken black fabric.
Anyway, this is kind of a massive pain in the ass project, and if you do it, don't be surprised if you find yourself thinking "F***, I'd rather be knitting/blogging/making out" so I advise you to do it bit by bit. I completed this pair after working on it a little bit every day for a week.