Sunday, April 29, 2012

Inkblot Dress DIY Tutorial

There are so many Project Runway garments that have inspired me through the years, but Mondo's Rorschach dress really captivated me and made me want to attempt something similar.  This was also the perfect opportunity to play around with making my own print.

See tutorial after the jump.

What I used:
  • For this dress, I used McCall's pattern M6028 because it had one continuous panel for the front and contrasting side panels similar to Mondo's look.  You could also very easily do the same inkblotting process for a shirt or skirt.
  • Fabric paint
  • Small paintbrush
  • Scrap cardboard or newspaper to prevent staining your work surface
  • Fabric (I used white jersey knit)
Helpful tips:
  • Test a small piece of your fabric with fabric paint so you know what to expect.  Different application methods yield different designs (dots / blobs / lines / etc.) - experiment on your scrap fabric to get the look you want.
  • Work on one small section of the dress at a time and allow to dry before moving on to the next section.  This will help prevent smudging or misalignments.
  • When applying, be cognizant of where the ink blobs will fall.  For example, you might want to call attention to areas like your collar or waist but not your hips (or, there's no pleasant way to say this, your lady parts).
1.  Set up materials and work surface: fabric on scrap cardboard with paint and brush (dress panel has 1st section completed and dried - forgot to photograph application - sorry)

2.  Apply paint to section.  

To prevent accidental ink blobs, it's a little easier to apply paint to 1 half of the dress and then fold the dry portion over top.

Using the existing paint bottle, the easiest patterns to make are dots or lines.  For bigger blobs or continuous strokes, I used my paint brush to join my dots / lines.

If you want more application control, I think using one of these squeeze bottles with fabric paint would work well.

3.  Fold dry portion over painted portion, carefully aligning your fabric so that your design is centered.  

Lightly blot (I used my fingers to gently tap down on the paint) to spread the pattern.

4.  Unfold and let dry.  

Each section takes about 4 hours to dry so this is definitely a multi-day project.

5.  Repeat application and drying process for each section.  

6.  For the remainder of the garment, I just followed the sewing instructions for my pattern.

I showed this in my previous post, but the inkblot dress can be quite versatile (I especially like pairing it with red):

This was my 1st draft - too many smudges / dots and pattern was not an exact mirror image:

Hope you have fun with this!  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via email  or the comments below.


  1. Love that you recreated your own piece from an inspired runway piece :)

  2. Hey Sweety, great Photos & nice Blog. I like it really ;) Great Job! I follow you, i hope you follw me back (if you like ;))) big kisses from germany ;***

  3. Totally gorgeous! I think Mondo kept thick/bigger prints/blots and you made it into sleeker version which I really Like! Totally fab and I actually discovered that I have a similar dress which I have never worn. time to fish it out!

    1. Thanks so much! Yes, please wear and post a pic!!

  4. Such a clean transfer of the pattern on both sides! Great job! LOL on the lady parts! For sure!!! So when you paired it with the pants/skirt, you folded the dress up under itself??? Amazing!

    1. The clean transfer is the result of the good paint and the practice I got from messing up the first one LOL. And yep! Just tuck dress hem into pants and voila - instant shirt :)

  5. I'm blown away by what you've made. I could never ever do anything like this but admire those who can.

    1. Thank you for your kind words - they really made my day! :)

  6. wow, what an amazing job you did! it doesn't have to be perfectly asymmetrical... it's perfection. :)

  7. how amazing is this?! you never fail to amaze me with your talent! :)

    <3, Mimi

  8. This is phenomenal! You did an outstanding job, it is quite lovely.


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