Couch Scarf and Flapper Hat From Men's Shirt




Introduction: Couch Scarf and Flapper Hat From Men's Shirt

About: Hello! I love sharing my passion for making useful things from refuse! If you like my stuff follow me on Instructables and check out my website at!

Look closely and you will see that the front of the flapper hat is actually the collar of a shirt. This scarf, which is made from the same extra-large men's shirt is incredibly warm and comfortable as well. I am somewhat nostalgic and I like being comfortable. So, I decided to combine the two for this contest  to create a scarf with a cushion look to resemble an old-timey arm chair as well as a matching flapper hat.

My inspiration came from the oversized men's shirt below. I couldn't bare to just get rid of it because the fabric was so nice, but none of my male friends really wanted it either, so I held on to it until I thought up the hat and scarf. You could use other articles of unwanted clothing for the scarf, but the flapper hat works especially well when made from a collared shirt.

This instructable requires time and some patience, but is well worth it!

Main photo by M. Scott Brauer

Step 1: Preparing Materials

Things you will need:

Extra-Large Men's Shirt
Approximately 40 round-topped Buttons
Needle and Thread

1. The first thing you will need to do is take the men's shirt apart. You can either cut along the seams or use a seam-ripper to carefully undo all the stitching. Seam-ripping can be tedious and time-consuming, but leaves you with a little more flexibility as far as material size goes.

2. Next you need to figure out how wide and long you want your scarf to be. This scarf is double-sided in order to add the batting.You may be limited by the size of the shirt you are using for material, but mine ended up 22cm x 160cm (8.6in x 63in), which is just the size I wanted it. I found the best parts of the men's shirt to use for the main scarf were the two front pieces and the large back piece cut in half. These pieces mirror each-other, making it easier to form front and back sides.

3. Once you figure out which pieces you want to use for the scarf, you can make them rectangular by ironing the curved sides in. Make sure to measure as you iron to keep the width consistent in all four pieces.
note: I left the original curves of the the shirt at the ends because I think they look nice and they make the scarf a little longer. If you want square edges, just iron those edges under as well.

4. After you get all four pieces the same width, pick one of the pieces from the front and one from the back of the men's shirt to sew together along the width. This will be the middle of the scarf. Repeat with the other two pieces. After sewing the pieces together you should have two long pieces that mirror each-other and are the same width.  Iron the seam so that it lays flat (this will be inside the scarf).

5. Next, find two pieces that are as wide as the scarf wide that you can add as frill at the ends and cut them your desired length. I used leftovers from the back of the shirt.

6. Now it is time to sandwich the batting and the frill pieces between the two main scarf pieces and pin it all together.  (See photo below.) The more you pin the less likely things are to slip when you sew.

Step 2: Couch Scarf: Piecing It Together

After you have figured out all the pieces, the sewing is relatively easy.

1. Sew along all of the edges, being careful that you are sewing through both the front and back. The closer to the edge you sew the harder it is to keep all the pieces together, but if you sew too far towards the middle of the scarf it won't look as nice and the material/batting might pop out.

2.Once you have sewn the scarf up you should determine where you want to sew the intersecting lines. I used yarn and pins to give myself an idea of what it would look like and ended up with diamond shapes that are 32cm long x 10.5cm wide. It doesn't really matter what size they are, as long as they look nice with the buttons. I decided to go with fewer (bigger) diamonds and to sew a button in the middle of each.

3. After careful consideration, you should mark where you want to sew before sewing along all of the lines. I just used some cardboard and common classroom chalk to mark all of mine. It was almost completely faded by the time I was done sewing the lines and has since completely disappeared.

Step 3: Couch Scarf Buttons and Frills

The cloth-covered buttons add a really nice touch to this scarf, but are by far the most tedious and expensive step. The buttons must the be the kind that can be threaded through some kind of loop in the back, and you might want to make sure they are all the same size. Or, you could make them all different sizes and/or cover them with all different kinds of fabric for a more colorful effect.

1. Figure out how many buttons you need, which will depend on whether you put them on both sides. For each button you need to cut out a small circular piece of the fabric. Just make the circle big enough to wrap around all the edges of the scarf. I went for buttons both sides of the scarf and ended up covering 38 buttons.

2.Start weaving the needle around the edge of the circle, about a quarter inch from the edge. You don't want the thread too close to the edge, but you also don't want to be able to see it on the other side.

3. After weaving around the circle once, insert the button and draw the thread around the base of the button. Continue to sew around the circle once or twice in order to secure it before tying the thread off. Make sure the fabric on the surface of the button is taught. Repeat until all buttons are covered.

Step 4: Sizing Flapper Hat

It doesn't matter if you do the hat or the scarf first, there should be plenty of material for both.

1. In order to make the hat I took one of the sleeve pieces, and measured a circular portion by sticking it on my head with a bowl to measure about how big I wanted the hat to be. Obviously this isn't a great way to do it, and the size will change with the size of the head, but I really couldn't think of a better way to make sure I cut a big enough circle.  Suggestions please!

2. Mark the circle with some more chalk and cut it out with an extra inch or so, as shown in the photo below. Other pieces you will need for the hat are the collar of the shirt and one of the cuffs.

3. Next you need to attach the collar to the circle. This may take a few attempts to get the hat to sit right on your head. For me, it worked well to have the edge of the collar lined up on the white line right in the center, but then gradually take it in as it goes towards the ends of the collar, so that the white line ends up about an inch away from the seam at the ends of the collar on the inside of the hat. This requires a lot of pinning and careful sewing or it won't be even on both sides.

Step 5: Piece Together Flapper Hat

Once the "bill" of the hat is in place the back of the hat is fairly easy to finish.

1. Take one of the cuffs and size it by buttoning it to the collar that is already attached to circle and seeing how long it needs to be in order to make the hat fit firmly. I had to take mine in about an inch and a half.

2. Cut it leaving enough border to tuck inside the cuff. Tuck and pin, then re-sew the cuff edge.

3. After the cuff is sized you need to move sew the button back on and steal a button from the other cuff. Figure out where you want the buttons and sew one in the same spot on each side. This will make it look nice when you attach it to the collar/"bill" of the hat.

4. Attach the cuff ("back hat strap") to the collar ("bill) and play around with the folds in the fabric while it is on your head. The fabric will be too long, so draw another line where the bottom of the cuff goes across the fabric. Take the cuff back off then cut the fabric along the line. fold the material under to make a neat border, pin and sew (this is just to make the fabric easier to manage, you are not sewing it to the cuff yet).

5.Once you have finished the edge, re-attach the cuff and pin the fabric under it. I made several small folds for a ripple effect (you can see this in the picture where I am wearing the hat below), but you could also make one or two big folds for a more dramatic look.

6. Sew along the previous lines of the cuff and your hat should be nearly complete!

Sorry some of the photos below are a little out of focus, by the time I noticed the hat was already made...

Step 6: Finishing Touches

Adding a Flower pin is a nice touch. You can either use one you have, or make one from scratch.

One flower design I especially like is by instructables member madebytrish:

I might even have enough scraps to make a matching pair of gloves, but we'll see if time allows this year!

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    lady tradey
    lady tradey

    11 years ago on Introduction

    fantastic! love the helpful aren't they?
    You've got such a professional looking result with this hat. Thank you for adding this to instructables.Very inspiring.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    just found this but I wanted to say how much I love this ible. Very cool thanks for sharing :)


    12 years ago on Introduction

    amazing! love what you've done. you can tell how much you loved the shirts' fabric.
    really really grate work~~!!


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I really like how you integrated existing parts of the men's shirt into the hat and scarf. Like the cuffs and the original buttons.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I love this project!  The hat is adorable.  I couldn't help noticing you have a vintage singer - is it a 201?  I have one, too.  It's a killer machine and also a beautiful piece to look at.  Cheers to cast iron machines!


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Actually, the machine is "Shanghai Brand" and fairly common in China, which is where I live. I actually found this one on the curbside on its way to have all of its metal reclaimed.  Bought it off the metal recycler for $9, replaced the cord and it works great!


    13 years ago on Introduction

    Just got back from a really long trip and it was really nice to read all of your comments. Thanks!