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Patterns of the Past: Creating a Classic Newsboy Cap

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Threads Digital Ambassador Peter Lappin created a professional-looking newsboy cap by applying important construction and finishing techniques to a a vintage McCall's pattern.

I am a big fan of newsboy caps, which I think flatter my somewhat long and narrow face. I own an assortment of store-bought caps, but I have long wanted to sew my own: a good-quality newsboy cap made from Irish tweed or Italian wool can cost $100 or more.

A self-drafted newsboy cap

A few years back, I tried my hand at cap-making, using a thrift store newsboy I disassembled to draft a pattern. I traced the pieces—actually, just one of the eight crown panels, as I mistakenly believed that the crown consisted of identical panels—and did my best to construct the cap. The result, while attractive, wasn’t right. The hat was too pancake-shaped; the lining was too thick, which puffed up the pancake; and the inner band, just a piece of grosgrain ribbon, was too flimsy.

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  1. User avater
    Miio | | #1

    In French millinery, we use a gros grain ribbon to form the inside band of a woman hat. It is the Haute Couture option. The gros grain is also steam shaped into a curve to fit the head better. The gros grain has quite a bit of give and can be shape very easily, especially if it is in cotton as per tradition.

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