Current total cost: $52 US +tax for IKEA items
IKEA items used: 4 Tejn fake sheepskins
Non-Ikea items: belt or equivalent, needle and thread, shoelace.
Velcro and perhaps elastic would be optional upgrades. A couple of large safety pins could be helpful in assembly.
Description of your Hack:
This furry chaps-plus-poncho worksuit is for staying abundantly warm while doing office work in a cold place. It goes over your clothes
and is easy to put on and take off, especially if you use Velcro for the chaps.
You’ll use 1 fake sheepskin each for the right and left leg of the chaps, and 1 each for the front and back of the poncho.
(Please read the cautions below before buying materials.)
Assembling Your Outfit:
For the Chaps:
We’ll use the orientation in the IKEA photo so the flat end will be at your feet.
You don’t need to sew the full leg, just at strategic points. First you’ll sew them tentatively, then try on and adjust, then sew more securely.
1. Tentatively, sew just the flat end’s two corners together, edge to edge, using just a couple of stitches. (The fur goes on the outside, you’ll warm up faster that way.) Then do the same twice more for that leg (sewing 1 point on the left to the corresponding point on the right), first at the widest part of the middle bulge, and then again (using a shoelace segment if necessary in between, if needed to fit your thigh) at the widest point of the top ‘leg stub”.
2. Repeat this to make the other leg.
3. You’ll probably want to hold the chaps up somehow, since having your furry pants drop around your ankles anytime you stand up seems a little too “office casual”. So: for each leg make one belt loop out of a segment of shoelace, for the front of each chap leg. Just safety pin them on for now, until you know better where they need to go. Run the belt through these loops, put the chaps on, then adjust the loop position so your furry legs won’t be dragging on the floor.
4. Give the chaps a test drive, adjust more if needed. Walk around a bit, sit down, get up, sit down, take them off, put them on… Once you know that the fit is right, sew each of these places more securely. OR you could use Velcro for making the legs, since that would make them even easier to put on, or use elastic as a strap for the “upper thigh” fastening.
5. You might also want to attach the two legs to each other in front around belt height.
For the Poncho:
Sew the other 2 sheepskins side to side, with enough of a gap in the middle to put your head through. Use your judgment, do the sewing tentatively and then adjust before you commit to sewing securely. And as with the chaps, the poncho sewing doesn’t need to be anywhere near continuous, to keep you warm.
For arms and hands, you can use a pair of long fuzzy socks with holes at the end (1 for thumb, 1 for fingers) to turn them into fingerless gloves. A hat and slippers will complete the look.
1. This is a warm, quick hack but it’s crude — if aesthetics are important, you’ll need to make improvements.
2. I don’t know that it would work with a dress. Maybe you could fashion a 4-sheepskin overdress, instead of the 2-sheepskin chaps? It might be scratchy though.
Height: If you’re over a certain height your midriff might start to look like Taylor Swift’s, I don’t know.
Width: The sheepskin is about 2 ft wide. Compare the width at its upper (non-flat-end) leg stub (23 inches?) to your clothed upper thigh, with some leeway. If your thigh is this size or bigger, realize that there won’t be complete coverage in the back. This is ok since when the time comes to sew that part, you can just use a piece of shoelace or something as a connector so your leg will fit.
4. Materials. This is a situation where fake is better. Wearing 4 fake sheepskins feels fine, but wearing 4 genuine sheepskins would be a lot heavier and more burdensome. (Also, the sheep would prefer that you use fake.)
5. What happens if you cut the sheepskin? I didn’t, so I don’t know if anything will unravel.
6. Who had the flu and sneezed on your sheepskins in the store? I washed mine as a precaution before putting the outfit together.
7. Bring a towel if you’re going to eat leftover spaghetti at your desk.
And if you do make this outfit, if you could take some nice photos, including of your coworkers’ reactions, that would be wonderful.