Monday, January 26, 2009

Counterfeit It: DIY Rodarte Diamond Cut Leggings

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)
tailor's chalk
graph paper
*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.
-Tiffany

Stumble Upon Toolbar

31 comments:

Luce said...

aeee awesomeness... that takes serious rodarte-dedication!

woodley park-zoo said...

FREAKING INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!
I especially love the fact that the pattern becomes irregular...
Sooooo beautiful, soooo happy you did this and shared it. I haves me no wet look leggings but makes me want some now!

May Kasahara said...

wow. I like your DIY ones better. amazing!

Frou Flu said...

oh my god that is so cool wow that does take an awful lot of time but hey they really look great! i love your outfit especially your shoes:)

Kat George said...

WOW! Girl they look amazing! Maybe I'll try it out when I get back to Melbourne... I bet you'll I'll do one leg and pike though... You must have the patience of a saint! xx

Pammy said...

insanely amazing. I'm going to make some as soon as I get the time. A++++++

LJ said...

GREAT JOB!!! those look AMAZING..i love the cutout rodarte leggings so much, and it seems like such an easy idea now that you put it into context!

love the black lipstick too..i should wear my YSL gloss more..
xx-LJ from SOS!

katherinemae said...

wow I absolutely love this! I still have a pair of useless wetlookleggings lying around and will give it a try. Just wondering, how do you keep the edges from frazzling?

Cara said...

Wow, you did an a m a z i n g job on these. Congrats! I hope to get around to trying it out myself...

The Six Six Sick Girls said...

Kat George-it's super easy, you just have to be patient--give it a try!!!

katherinemae- actually, this kind of knit is pretty sturdy, and doesn't really fray unless you really pull and shred it. We use it quite often when we are making 66S outfits, because we don't have to finish the edges. It's really woven fabric that you have to worry about. If you are still worried about fraying though, there is a glue like substance (I think it's called No Fray or something like that) that you can paint around the edges. The most important thing is to cut very carefully and precisely to create straight lines.

xxx,
Tiffany

Grace said...

Killer. I recently subscribed to your blog primarily because of the Rodarte inspired DIYs. Keep it up, you rock.

Fashion Trix said...

you are looking HOT, and the DIY tights--amazing!

xx,Juliana

nikkimoose. said...

def trying this out xo

alex said...

MADE MY DAY!

bjorn said...

Wow, I've seen you in some awesome outfits, but this one takes the coodles!

burnthesebones said...

such dedication! and the result is just beyond. can't wait to see your other rodarte DIYs. (especially the spiked shoes, perchance?)

[Tara] said...

Oh my goodness, these turned out so amazing! You are a very patient DIY-er. I would be terrified to wear these myself, out of fear that my leg-fat would pop out of each diamond-hole, LOL! You look great in them.

Ka[i]Lea said...

holy CROW THOSE ARE AWESOMEEE ILL BE MAKING SOME TONIGHT.. THANKS ;]

La Couturier said...

this is such an ingenious diy!

xoxo,
La C.

Juliet said...

WOW!!!
Congrats on your completion on it, it looks fabulous!

Betsey J. said...

love it.
reposted.
http://betseyj.com/2009/03/diy-amazingness.html

Twobreadsplease said...

Oh my god, they are amaaaaazing. You're so friggin fantastic. x

Rachie-Pie said...

LOVE THEM! another DIY success ;-)

Treacle said...

These tights are gorgeous! I've posted a link to this article in my own blog. :-)

Mercedes said...

These are fabulous Tiffany! You are a genius!

Ruth Clark: Top Notches said...

I loved these from their NYC show, been waiting for a high street store to bring out a replica but no such luck so far! Definitely going to give this a bash now! Hopefully they will looks as professional as yours :)!

meredith said...

OMG that is way cool. i am so doing that to my leggings! thanks for the idea!..

Tanya/Tikay/Tati said...

I just wore these out for the first time and got soooo many compliments!! They took me 3 weeks to get done but it was sooo worth it...one girl even knew the Rodarte ones and asked if mine were real :o)
Score!
Thanks so much!

renee said...

i'm ridiculously impressed by this... that's so neat.

Vinda Sonata said...

my friend from 'the style aficionado' linked me to this article. this tutorial is fab. yours is very neatly done. good job girl :)

Jihan S. said...

Very hot. You did an amazing job.