Thursday, March 4, 2010

Newsboy Cap

Newsboy Thumbnail

So I love my pink sweater newsboy cap from last year; the color is cheerful and it is so warm with the angora sweater shell and tie silk lining. However, the style is a bit dated; it is more "marshmallowy" than the lower profile newsboy caps people are wearing today. I did a bunch of experiments with the Vera Wang winter white boucle I got from fabric.com for $1.95/yd (more on that later) to determine what level of felting I wanted. I did a fairly large piece in a hot water wash and a tumble dry. It turned out more felted than I want for a coat (can you believe I'm actually experimenting rather than jumping in willy nilly?), but I didn't just want to throw it away as it was so thick and warm. So I got the idea to make it into a hat.

Because I didn't want to use the Saturday Night Hat marshmallowy pattern again, and couldn't find a decent pattern anywhere else, I decided I'd have to draft one. Keep in mind that (1) I am the Slapdash Sewist, and (2) I have no idea how to draft. I don't necessarily recommend you do this at home.

So first, I put a tape measure on the top of my head measured down to my ear to get the "radius" of my head. It was 6 inches. So I scrounged around my kitchen and found a bowl with a 12 inch diameter and traced it. I cut out the twelve inch circle and folded it into 8ths, and then cut out one of the wedges. Thus endeth the scientific portion of my pattern drafting.

Then I sort of added some width and length and cut out the lining (also a Vera Wang fabric, the silk/rayon satin) based on this pattern. I put it together and found that I needed more width and a little more length and kept adjusting the pattern little by little until it was where I wanted. Here is the evolution.

Pattern Evolution

The Saturday Night Hat pattern piece is on the right for reference; that hat is a 4 panel with darts in each panel to mimic an 8 panel. I folded the SNH pattern in half to better show how the shape compares. My final pattern did not end up so very different from the SNH, but is narrower and starts the peak higher by enough to take out the marshmallow factor.

Tornado of Triangle Points

After making up the lining, I understood why the SNH pattern is a 4 panel rather than 8 panel. Man, that is a lot of triangle points. I sewed them up to the top as close as I could, trimmed off every other point, and then on the outside of the hat did a couple of circular stitches around the meeting point to keep everything in place.


I didn't have enough fabric for the band around the hat, so I added "hand wash in hot with 5 minutes of agitation, hang dry" to my experiment list. It made the fabric a little tighter and less floppy, and I decided I liked the texture contrast with the rest of the hat. Because the hat fabric was SO thick, I couldn't sew the band around the hat right sides together then turn down because the seam allowance would have been ridonkulous. So I stitched the CB seam of the band, folded the band in half wrong sides together, and layered the upper folded edge of the band over the lower edge of the crown (both fashion fabric and lining) and stitched in place.

Hand Stitch RibbonI used the bill pattern from SNH, shortening it to fit with current styles. I used heavy interfacing on the upper and lower pieces, but did not add any internal structure as I did with the pink hat because the fabric is thick enough to stand on its own. I pinned the bill to the lower edge of the band and stitched in place. I finished the inside by hand-stitching a ribbon to the lower edge of the band, turning up, and hand-stitching the upper edge of the ribbon to the lining. This covered all the ugly mess of seam allowances (and is apparently the traditional way to finish hats, based on the reading I've done).

Flower CloseupWhen it was done it needed something, but I couldn't figure out what. I could kind of see brass or gold studs around the band, but I didn't have any and didn't think that would really be me. Then I remembered about a hand-made flower pin I'd bought at a fair trade store. I never wore it as a pin but thought it might work on the hat. I took it off the pin back and sewed in placeI think it added just the right touch.

The reason I am interested in making hats is that I have a freakishly small head, and ready-to-wear hats do not fit me. Even the SNH is a smidge too big. So I was determined to fix that problem with this hat. I was a wee bit overzealous and did not add quite enough wearing ease, but luckily I was able to stretch it out a bit on my hat block so it is comfortable to wear, though it is snug when I pull it over my ears. I'm not sure I'd make this again; when I was researching current newsboy styles I came across several that are not panelled at all--they have a round or oval tip and then a one piece crown, like this one. I bought McCall 5995 in that style, though I would shorten the high peaked front crown which screams "sexy policewoman."

Cidell took the photos so there are a bunch of good ones here and the pattern review is here.


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Fabric Test

It's hard to photograph white fabric to show differences in texture, and of course I forgot to save a piece of untreated fabric, but this is what I've got on how this fabric felts. I did not like the original texture as it was very floppy and loose. I am picturing this as outerwear, so I wanted something more substantial.

Hand wash hot, with about 5 minutes of agitation: 6 inches length to 5 1/2 inches length, about 10% shrinkage; negligible width loss (it's possible I didn't measure very precisely when cutting).

Machine wash cold, hang dry. Original swatch was 6 inches long and 25 inches wide. After treatment was 5 1/2 inches long, but I forgot to record the width before cutting out my band (dumb!). I don't think it lost much.

Machine wash cold, tumble dry. This is the final treatment I decided on and have done the whole piece. I didn't measure the length before putting it in, but I'm sure I lost some. The width is now 47 1/2 inches. Of course, I didn't measure how wide it was to begin with and fabric.com doesn't have the info cached, but I think it was 54".

Machine wash hot, tumble dry: shrank from 15 inches to 10 1/2 inches in length, and from 57 to 40 inches in width, almost identical shrinkage rate of 30% in length and width.

39 comments:

amber said...

Super cute!!

Little Hunting Creek said...

that is so cute - you are a hat making Genius!

ELMO said...

That is adorable! Those points look fabulous, I would have been tempted to wear it inside out and show off the precision.

redhotpepper said...

Very, very cute! I too have that freakishly small head so I usually have to buy childrens hats.

Annie

Karin said...

You look so cute. What a great picture! All your hard work paid off. Now you are a "slap-dash milliner" to boot!

BConky said...

Love the hat. So cute. I recieved the pattern you gave. Thanks, I think it's cute. My daughter is out of the hospital now but Dr. said she wasn't out of the woods yet and thats how to make a nervous mother crazy.

Eugenia said...

I love hats! Your latest newsboy creation is quite wonderful - its neat shaping and winter white colour suit you so well. That flower is a perfect touch!

NGLaLALa said...

I LOVE this hat! It looks great!!

Adelaide B said...

It is pretty cool. I'm a little bit jealous.

Uta said...

Very cute hat!

Lindsay T said...

Really cute! Nice pic of you. I bought this same fabric.

Vicki said...

What a cute hat. The different textures and the flower really make it special. And really cute photos too!

Sheila said...

Totally love your hat and to read that you don't know how to draft... your drafting skills are on point. Great hat.

Sue said...

Great looking hat that flatters you. Very impressive drafting.

Adriana B. said...

This is really cool! Way to go!

Carol said...

This is lovely and it's very cute on you. I've been making loads of hats out of leftovers and I think it's a fun addition to a wardrobe. Why I need so many hats in the subtropics, however, is a mystery. Mind you, I did see someone working out at the gym yesterday wearing a chunky knitted beanie!

Pamela said...

This hat is adorable on you! I think the longer you sew, the more drafting becomes second nature.

Thank you so much for posting the results of your felting experiments. I, too, have a lot of yardage of the VW ivory boucle. I think I like the fabric better felted; it somehow looks more expensive.

Sewfast said...

Super cute...love the flower pin!

Reethi said...

Oh this is adorable! And clearly, you are significantly more sensible than me, I'm sewing spring dresses.

kbenco said...

The hat is really cute. You have worked hard with all your samples.
You look especially gorgeous in those photographs.

Gigi said...

So adorable, the flower really makes it! I just love hats.

Sue said...

Really cute hat - now I didn't think I needed a hat but I want one now after seeing yours!

beangirl said...

newsboy hats are not a favorite with me at all, so I would normally sort of just politely ignore a post about one. Except that this is really really cute (the flower totally makes the whole look, I agree) and besides that looks very high-dollar, which is pretty darn amazing for $1.95/yard, right? I think it's fair to say that you now "draft".

Sew4Fun said...

Wow, fabulous hat! Love it! Kudos to you for drafting it as well. I can tell there was a lot of time and love put into this hat but it certainly paid off.

Elaray said...

Really, really cute!

Faye Lewis said...

That is too cute!

Cindy said...

Your hat is the best! You are looking good!

Very Prairie said...

Pretty! I think you are a secret genius when it comes to pattern drafting. Also, there is no problem with your fine sized head; I made the SNH baseball cap and it was huge- could probably fit two heads in it!

gwensews said...

You can wear a hat well. It's totally cute!

Digs said...

Beautiful, adorable hat! Bravo!!!

Pamela said...

Well done! Your commentary is not only valuable, it always provides me with some good laughs! $1.95/yard? Man, I need to pay better attention to web sales - thanks for the usual enlightenment and entertainment!!

Michelle said...

Wonderful hat!! And your "experiments" have inspired me to toss the rest of my ivory boucle in the wash. I love the look of the fabric in the hat!

mpressive threadz said...

Oh,the hat is too adorable. You look great in it!

HeathersSphere said...

You look so adorably chic in the cap! Not too many can pull this look off.

angie.a said...

This is absolutely adorable. I say this while I hide the screen from my 12 y/o who covets newsboys. Cause I really don't want to draft one, HA! :D

senaSews said...

Very cute hat. Next winter i need one hat like this, too!

eword10 said...

OMG, I love this hat. I liked your first one, but I LOVE this one. What a great accessory. And you look so cute in it. Great job at figuring out the drafting. I am always so inspired by your projects.

D-lyn said...

Oh I love your new Hat!
fabulous with the felted wool too!

Did you make the rosette on it?

Isabelle said...

Your hat is so cute! It suits you so well. Adorable.