Monday, March 2, 2009

Go Hard Or Go Home: DIY Rodarte Dress

DIY Rodarte Dress and DIY Rodarte Leggings, worn with an American Apparel liquid-look black bra, Burberry boots and a Gerard Yosca necklace.


Even though I half-ass a lot of things in my life (dish washing, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping...), when it comes to work and creative projects I believe that if you're going to do something, you may as well do it right: go hard or go home.  The DIY Rodarte knit stockings and the DIY Rodarte diamond cut leggings that I made a while back were all just part of the buildup to making the Rodarte dress of that I've been dreaming of since it came down the runways of their Spring 09 show.  Here's how I did it.

What you need:
Size 10 circular knitting needles
Size 10 or medium sized crochet hook
Size 5 or small crochet hook
Yarn needle
5-10 different colored and textured mohair yarns of your choice, 1 skein each
Bits of metal chain
Metal Ring

1. This was one of the many original inspiration pieces that I wanted to base this dress off.  The best part about DIY is getting to really make the piece your own.  I didn't really like the colors of this particular dress, so I chose a darker blue and black palette with shocks of white, sparkling grey, pink and violet.  I already was lucky enough to have it all on hand (I got it for free from my old job as an Assistant Knitwear designer at Sweetface), since all of the mohair and angora knits that I used are actually very very expensive, which is part of the reason that the real Rodarte pieces are astronomically priced.


2. While the skirt of this dress is more tightly knit than my dress, I chose to go with the cobweb style loose/sloppy knit of their Fall 08 collection.  To make the skirt, I cast on 100 stitches, reducing 10 stitches every 5 rows until I had a total of approximately 25 rows, with the last row being 50 stitches, and tight enough to form a decent waistline.

3. This is where the dress gets very tricky to explain.  I chose to crochet the entire top half of the dress, using a large crochet hook.  I never follow any patterns, and always feel like it's the most intuitive to improvise it as I go along until I feel like it looks right.  The Rodarte dress lends itself to this kind of haphazard technique since it is meant to look a bit like a hodgepodge knit collage.  I had wanted to incorporate a chain at the waistband, like the original, but I couldn't find anything that satisfied me, so I chose to only use the metal ring and a small bit of chain, which I crocheted to the base of the dress.  I turned the skirt around, and added a crochet backbone section of sorts that extended from the waistband of the dress.

4. I crochet the top separately, starting with a circle for the base, and then crocheting the front and the back parts individually, whip stitching the shoulder lines together with a yarn needle.  I then took the two sections of crochet that I had attached to the skirt, and stitched them on to the front and the back of the crochet top.

5. To finish, I used the small crochet hook to crochet small wispy white strands around the ribcage area.

Sorry if this DIY is poorly explained and difficult to follow, but really most of it was improvised.  I'm happy to answer any questions or make any clarifications.  And if you do chose to make this and blog about it, please don't forget to give us credit!
-Tiffany

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28 comments:

La Couturier said...

Oh. My Gosh. Breathtakingly gorgeous. You're indeed a DIY goddess!

xoxo,
La C.

L said...

This is just too awesome, I have no words!

If I could knit, I'd attempt something similar, or at least a sweater in the same style. For now I just have to admire those with the skills. Wonderful and inspirational post, thank you for sharing!

L - heavyheels.blogspot.com

A La Mode said...

Wow this looks amazing!

Luce said...

I can't believe you made this! Its jsut insanely incredible- and you look great in it too, btw!

Alicia/InstantVintage said...

Amazing job. Wow.

grace said...

firstly, my gosh. I am so so proud to be a fellow DIY-er. I'm a little reluctant to worship at the feet of the Sisters Mulleavy when there are such talented craftswomen out there!

Secondly, Tiffany, I will be in New York late March. We should plot a visit to Chinatown to kidnap Petey Wright.. just a thought.

Happy DIYing!

Grace

Mrs.S said...

This came out GREAT! Looks great on you! YAY! :)

PUG and PIPS said...

this is the most amazing thing I've seen in the blogging ...ever
Great work Tiffany. Knit queen!
xxx

alex said...

in love. as always.

Bella said...

You are amazing... my jaw just dropped to the floor when I saw this incredible creation!

Ahhh, I need this in my life... if only I were DIY skilled!

May Kasahara said...

you are so BEYOND talented.
I am in awe.
It's truly amazing.

market publique said...

I love it! Maybe I'll get into knitting know, so I can make my own rodarte piece. I'm thinking berry colors, black, gray & cream...

burnthesebones said...

can't even wrap my mind around the construction of the dress. i bow down!

Mariane M. said...

DAMN your hands are magic!

sushipie said...

That is some pretty sweet improvisational knitting! I'm afraid I would have just ended up with a giant cobweb.

xoxo

http://www.sushipie.squarespace.com

Queen Michelle said...

Good Lord that is completely amazing!

Georgie said said...

That dress is brilliant. I am definitely going to try get my mum to make me it (shes a expert knitter).
x

indie said...

Awesome DIY skills!!!

Laura. said...

that looks sooooo good
can't even begin to understand the instuctions though haha It can't help I have no previous knitting experience...!!!!

http://aforteforfashion.blogspot.com

Yuka said...

WOW! what a good diy job.

Kit said...

woah soooo wild!!!

The Fashion Assistant

Janet said...

GENIUS!

woodley park-zoo said...

LOVE!
GOING GOING GONE HARD for sure!

Also thanks so much for adding me, I feel absolutely honoured... love you guys! I can't wait for the chance to plot going to one of your parties in the future...

Susie Bubble said...

If there was some sort of DIY Bloggie awards...surely it needs to go to you!

Nancy said...

Awesome dress! I just knit my own version of the Rodarte dress, but yours is wayyyyyy better!

Ty Ty said...

wow. that is amazing! your are truly talented at DIYing! i love your version!
great blog!

Marcus said...

this is f*****g awesome! kudos!

Madeline and Sophie said...

Please Make me a dress!!!!! email me at bubbly.paradis@gmail.com
i will pay you!