We’ve all had the fantasy of not having to take our doona off when we leave the house. Rachel Wagner did just that today – but you’d never know.
You see, at first glance the 26 year-old’s Gorman-esque jumpsuit looks like it could have come with a three figure price tag. In fact, she made it herself from a doona cover she found in an op shop.
"The salvaged doona is an old sewing secret as it means you can find bulk fabric for next to nothing. And jumpsuits are a big fabric hog!" she tells Mamamia.
"I was rummaging through the masses of drab beige bedding, I found this one and cracked up. So that was a promising sign. This would have been $10 max from Brotherhood of St Laurence.
"It's a little bit Ken Done, a little bit Gorman and just disgustingly OTT. I figured at the worst I would get a smile out of it going through my machine."
Despite getting many comments on it, Wagner says it actually wasn't intended to be worn outside.
"To be perfectly honest, this was never supposed to leave the walls of my home! I went out in search of some cheap fabric to make a toile (a practice version) of the jumpsuit to check the size and fit of the pattern before I took my scissors to the fancy (and a lot more exxy) fabric," she says.
"I was planning on making just a boring old black linen version but once I whipped this baby up I knew it deserved to see the light of day. I have gotten so many comments on it, maybe because it stands out so much against the standard Melbourne blacks.
"It’s my new summer favourite - bright, easy and fun."
The 26-year-old used a free pattern from Peppermint magazine and designed by designer and blogger In The Folds.
The pair have teamed up to create an online sewing schools that create patterns with easy-to-follow instructions that are great for beginners.
"The jumpsuit was fairly simple with a lot of straight lines, the trickiest bit is getting the invisible zipper in."
Not only did the jumpsuit cost less than brunch, she also whipped it up in just an afternoon.
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"The zipper was about $5 plus a few bucks for the thread, so all up I made it for under $20. If you used a doona from home and pinch a zipper from an old dress you don't wear anymore you could do it even cheaper!"
Wagner says she will definitely be doing it again (getting crafty is in her nature, you see).
"I'm always wary of the impact our disposable fashion has on the world. We buy a $20 dress on sale, wear it a couple of times then it ends up in landfill. By taking pre-loved goods from the op-shop and refashioning them into something new and exciting, you still get that gratification that comes with shopping but you can feel a lot better about it. Plus, no one else will ever have anything like it!"
And if you're thinking of doing it yourself, she says go for it.
"If you don’t have a sewing machine a lot of stores and sewing groups will let you go in and use one of theirs. It brings so much joy to wear something you’ve made yourself," she says.
"And trust me, it’s not as hard as it looks. Start simple and follow the pattern. If you mess up (and I ALWAYS do) you can just call it a design feature. "