How To Keep Your Head Warm With A Skirt

We’re not sure what we like better about this upcycled trapper hat — that [ellygibson] made it as a tribute to Holden Caulfield, the anti-hero of the classic teen angst novel The Catcher in the Rye, or the fact that she made it out of a skirt that cost a dollar from the thrift store. Oddly enough, one dollar is exactly what Holden paid for his hat in the book.

To make this hat, [elly] started by measuring the circumference of her head, then used math to figure out the radius of the circle for the top part. She made a prototype first to get the fit right, then cut the pieces from the skirt and the lining pieces from black flannel. We love that [elly] used the tiny pocket from the skirt in one of the ear flaps, because it will surely come in handy one day.

[elly] doesn’t provide pattern pieces, but that’s okay — between the explanation of how she arrived at the hat band circumference and the step-by-step instructions, it should be easy to make one of these for yourself from whatever fabric you’ve got.

Before you go cutting up an old coat, consider whether it could be fixed. Remember when [Ted Yapo] fixed the zipper box on his son’s winter coat by printing a replacement? Or how about the time [Gerrit Coetzee] cast his own pea coat buttons?

58 thoughts on “How To Keep Your Head Warm With A Skirt

      1. Yes, but this isn’t “hacking”, this is recycling fabric like it used to be done.

        Back before all clothes came from stores, people used to buy rolls of fabric, copy patterns out of magazines and books, and then simply make themselves clothes. To save money, you recycled your old clothes for material. For the actual process of it, it doesn’t matter whether the fabric comes from a skirt or a roll.

          1. One doesn’t keep gates by pointing out that calling this a hack is not warranted.

            Also, who says clothes aren’t intended to be recycled into other clothes?

          2. Also note, this is better than a hack: if you were to do something like this, this is pretty much how it is done – a textbook example almost.

            Even a good hack is not something you would recommend as a general rule, as it is usually only applicable in special circumstances and doesn’t make sense otherwise, or it’s a stop-gap solution to a problem that shouldn’t exist in the first place (i.e. there is a better solution that is unavailable this time around).

          3. I like repurposing and recycling, but that does not make it a hack. Sewing and fabrics are definitely part of a hacker’s toolkit, the electronic equivalent of this is using a resistor from an old VCR to make a voltage divider on a different project. It’s just sourcing a base material from a previous project.

            Congrats to Elly on a nice project, but it is clearly arts and crafts and no hack involved.

            If you do any less gate keeping, you’ll be spotlighting someone who uses a light switch as a light switch. The line has to be drawn somewhere.

    1. Some of us aren’t nearly so hooked up on the word “Hack” in HaD as you seem to be.

      Also, if you want to be pedantic, why not complain about how there’s more than one article a day? After all, it’s not called “HacksADay”.

      1. I was always sure that “hack a day” is more like a call to hack your day. A kind of modified “sieze a day” motto. But that would probably involve exclamation mark wouldn’t it? Every day learning something :)

    1. If no feature of the skirt was used in the hat, why would this be “hacker activity”? If you just pull the seams apart, lay it down flat and cut pieces with a template, what difference does it make whether you use an old dress or a piece of new cloth from a store? In other words, you simply made a hat out of a piece of fabric, like it is normally done. Where is the hack?

      Recycling old clothes for fabric is what people have done since clothes were invented.

      1. If this was a cheap skirt I could buy off Amazon to repurpose, or even a very common piece of clothing like blue jeans or a white collared shirt, ok. That would sell me. But this…

        She’s just showing off the hat she made. What, you like it? Good luck finding the skirt she used, lmfao. Why share something with the audience here, when the audience cant really do anything except admire how pretty it is.

        Repurpusing thrift clothes is a HUGE trend on tik tok this week.

        And deep down, we all know THAT is why this article is here.

      2. Replying to the post by Dude on January 27, 2021 at 12:14 am:
        If you just desolder the components of that old junk, repurpose them and make some new electronic gadget out of them, what difference does it make wether you use used parts or buy them new from a store? In other words, you simply made something out of electronic parts, like it’s normally done. Where’s the hack?

        Seriously, HaD has featured more maker-oriented stuff many, many times previously.

        1. >HaD has featured more maker-oriented stuff many, many times

          And most of those times we complain that it’s not a hack.

          If you buy a 1,000 piece puzzle from a store and complete it, do you get to feature on HaD?

  1. Not a hack as I view it, had the hat had some extra functionality after finished I would find it more of a hack (maybe I will have to shoehorn in the ear flap pocket to make it fit my definition)

    The lady wasn’t aiming for a hack though, she wanted to make a hat out of a skirt and that was a success.

    it is a good example of a in depth step by step instruction , without a doubt…

    The downside is that I would not know how to source a plaid skirt, if I wanted to make the hat.

  2. There’s clearly a blurred line between making and hacking. As an oldie I prefer the original (in computing circles) use of the word hack: a bodge to make something do something that was not originally intended (or, sometimes, just to make something work at all, but still in a bodgy way, as in “I’ll hack something together”).

    But latterly “hack” has become way overused. I am particulary suspicious of the term “life hack”.

    So I quite like the term “maker” instead. Perhaps HAD should rename themselves as MAD?

    1. That “blurred line” seems to be a part of life these days, (for good or bad) thanks to the internet. I see it in sports as well, like surfing, skating, snowboarding, wakeboarding etc. all borrowing ideas and techniques from each other.

      1. Look at the title. Clickbait.

        If they’d been honest:

        “How to get fabric from an old skirt.”


        Or maybe:

        “How to make old fabric into a hat?”

        Ooh. Ahhhhhh.

        Did you not already know those things?!?! Or were you somehow unable to google “hat sewing pattern”? No matter how much you love the hat, you arent going to find the same skirt. And it wont have the cool pocket. So this is, essentially, a pattern for a hat. Wooo.

        But they know, that that’s just so shitty and worthless nobody would even click on it. So the make it this clickbaity, deliberately uninformative title, because if they told people what it was ACTUALLY about they wouldnt get as much as revenue for it.

  3. THIS IS HACKING. (and it’s also an awesome hat)

    Some of the reactions here sound a lot to good ol’ gatekeeping to me.

    If the article was about repurposing an old tire to make a slingshot, there would be for sure less -MEN- waving they merriam-webster over here for sure. Maybe ya’ll need a warm hat :)

    1. But isn’t *some* gatekeeping desirable and even required? Without any “gatekeeping” at all, any forum such as HaD devolves into a stream of random articles with no coherent theme. Is my omelet recipe a “hack”? Is the fact that I can pull out carpet from a large room and cut it up to make runners a “hack”? When I go to my thrift store and buy bookends, but use them as doorstops, is that a “hack”? How about when my child discovers a “hack” and uses a Ken doll to play with G.I. Joes? Without any gatekeeping at all, these would all be articles on this site.

      The word “gatekeeping” does not connote anything negative. It is about filtering and limiting. In the case of articles being considered for publication on HaD, filtering and limiting is good. Exactly what gets filtered and limited is an on-going debate/discussion, of course. :-)

      1. Gatekeeping has a negative connotation in this case and that is what I mean. I did not explain so but you clearly read it correctly. There is an “About” section on this website answering your questions. It states: “Hacking is an art form that uses something in a way in which it was not originally intended.”

    2. No it isn’t, unless you call recycling fabric in general “hacking”.

      Note that the article doesn’t claim a hack either, and nor should it. This is better than a hack: if you were to do something like this, this is pretty much how you should do it, rather than making some ad-hoc bodge such as wrapping the skirt around your head like a turban.

      1. What did you get from this? Did you somehow not know that fabric could be made into clothes? Or did you not know that old clothes were made out of fabric?

        Lmfao what a waste of readers time. Anything for ad revenue right? Even destroying the brand and driving people away. About half the comments here are saying this is worthless space filler. It’s not an isolated lack of interest, your core audience couldnt care less about this. Most of the support is just being polite too, they cant even say why they enjoyed this or what they got out of it, just “dont judge”.
        Eventually people just wont read if hackaday keeps wasting time like this

    3. Because it is not immediately obvious to a ten year old child that a tire can be repurposed into a slingshot. That old clothes are made of fabric, which can make new clothes….I’ve never met a ten year old who couldnt figure that out, all by themselves.

      Did you actually LEARN anything at all from this? Do you know anybody that would. Because I have never met adults that ignorant.

        1. Since we’re going for “intellectual and moral superiority” here, I should point out that it should be “fewer -MEN-” not “less -MEN-” since men are countable nouns.

  4. Cool hat, looks loke the hat from “el chavo del 8” (“Chaves” on Brazil).

    Put a speaker in each ear flap and you will have a speaker hat much better than what Atari is making for the new VCS :)

    1. Lasers would be good too. But then lasers make everything better :)

      Once this would have been repurposing, but now, with everyone jus watching Netflix and buying stuff from Amazon (I deny everything), it just about counts as a hack. Lasers and speakers would cement it as an awesome hack.

  5. Wow, what’s with all the hate on the definition of hacking? I’d say in today’s throw away, walled garden, you don’t own what you bought society any creative repurposing of standard goods can qualify as a hack. Hell I sewed the shoulder strap of my old backpack on with dental floss because it’s cheap, strong thread and even that could be considered a hack (although I don’t, I’m just to cheap to fix my stuff properly) so lets just accept that whatever we call this it’s a good hat and there is no need for people to get their nuts in a bunch.

  6. I remember when I made a wallet out of duct tape and notebook paper. Good times.
    As for this, well those of us who still had home ec classes in school might remember some of those sewing days but seriously one of the projects in that class was to take your scraps and make something at the end of the semester. That was my favorite project because it was something I created within constraints and it came out great. I really enjoyed the teacher as well. Very cool lady that helped a friend of mine find his way into designing for a few shoe companies over his career. As for this being some kind of hack sure fine whatever you want but I kinda think it is better suited for the .io section of the site. People have opinions whether we feel like they are valid or not, HaD lets others get torn apart over an inefficient amp build for 20+ comments, so let equal be equal. As long as people are not being needlessly personally nasty etc then it would be fine. Then there is the almost ironic multi exchange above about “gate keeping” smdh. What is messed up is that I have to do complete mental gymnastics and type out an explanatory paragraph just to state that something is pretty basic and uninspiring just because of age and gender. Oh well.

  7. “And now for something completely different.”

    I just yesterday learned there are outdoor “quilts” that are just basically sleeping bags without zippers and with a few straps.

    And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

    Bummer the other skirt design that came to mind when just reading the article title isn’t active anymore appears. The design used an old black leather skirt I clearly recall:

    Looks like there are still some images floating around the web and here’s one for your viewing pleasure:

    For some reason, also gets me thinking about using old leather couches leather for crafting or more utilitarian purposes.

    From the comments above… seems one needs to add an improvised heater or something to better fit eh?

    Would shearling or fir lining help too?

    Maybe an EMF or phonon or photon shielding liner?

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.