Cap Pattern Help Needed

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Noah McCann, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. Noah McCann

    Noah McCann New in Town

    Messages:
    8
    Hello all, I am looking for some advice on making an 8-panel gatsby/newsboy cap. I have a friend who is a very talented seamstress, and she recently agreed to attempt to make one of these hats for me. We are unable to find a good pattern for one, and we are unsure about what materials to use. Does anybody have any suggestions? I was thinking about using an old tweed suit for the outer material, and maybe the suit's lining for the hat lining. I have a big piece of tooling leather (it is just thick vegetable-tanned cow leather), and I was wondering if that would work for stiffening the brim. I would like to avoid using cardboard, as it is an inferior material in many ways. Also, my instrument repairman has been wearing handmade versions of these caps (slouched backward) for many years, and he has a whole stack of them. Would it be wise to try to get one of his old ones and make a pattern out of it? Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
     
  2. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,574
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    I own a number of newsboys from a variety of artisan hatters. The design itself is dead simple but the differences in the caps can be quite large. I think a tweed jacket and its lining would work well. I have caps with both leather and vinyl inserts in the brims no cardboard. I think the leather is a great upgrade. The big question is the profile. Do you want a fuller style cap or a much narrower less full profile? You will likely need a pattern for that in order to fully discern the amount of fabric needed to get the look you want. Or in the absence of a pattern you cannot beat good old trial and error.
     
  3. Noah McCann

    Noah McCann New in Town

    Messages:
    8
    Thank you for responding so promptly! It is good to know that leather works well. The cap I am going to disassemble has a fairly narrow brim that has been rolled like a baseball cap. He slouches all of his hats backwards so there is no slouch over the brim, and then rolls the brim like a baseball cap. It should be possible to add a brim of any width to the hat once I have the pattern for the rest of it, shouldn't it?
     
  4. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,574
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    looking at my caps it does seem straight forward. The main question is the width and length of the brim and whether you want the cap buttoned to the brim or left unbuttoned allowing for extra slouch to keep the cap material on the brim.
     
  5. Noah McCann

    Noah McCann New in Town

    Messages:
    8
    Thank you for mentioning that. It would be a little more difficult to add a snap than it would be to put in a stitch, especially if I want to decide where I want it to slouch before I set a snap or stitch. I am sure there are other alternatives also, but I am not thinking of any.
     
  6. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,574
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    I saw a cap maker (German) on Etsy who does not attach the cap to the brim in any way. He just allows for the fabric to find its own spot on the brim. My pref would to have it attached and prefer a button as my one cap with a snap continually comes undone when I adjust the cap whilst on my head....a bit of a pain.
     
  7. Noah McCann

    Noah McCann New in Town

    Messages:
    8
    I think that is what I will do. I don't really like the snaps. The hat he gave me for a pattern is about 35 years old and was made by Pat's Hats (http://www.pats-hats.net/). It has a few cool built-in features, and it doesn't have a snap. It gives him a little more freedom to wear it however he wants. I decises that, due to the construction of the hat and lack of snap, the leather brim would be too heavy to include it in the design. It would drag the hat down and put pressure on the seams. The original hat has a somewhat floppy foam brim (with 35 years of abuse), but I am not sure where to find that foam or any other suitable material for the brim. Any suggestions?
     
  8. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,574
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    No, sorry my only experience is in owning both the plastic inserts and a heavy leather. The leather just feels better, can be molded better as it has much less spring to it. Plus I have a big bias towards leather over plastic.
    But if you are at all like me with projects, yes I want to get it right but a big chunk of the fun is in the experimenting and the risk of screwing it up.
     

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