Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Reversible Newsboy Hat - free pattern & tutorial

The 'lining' fabric is reversible ShweShwe from S.A. 

The pattern I made for my Newsboy Hat is here.  Be sure to print it at 100%, no scaling.  Ensure the test blocks on the pattern are 5cm x 5cm on your printed pattern.

Suitable fabrics:  DO NOT USE STRETCH FABRIC.  If your fabric has a slight give, use appropriate  interfacing to stabilize it.  Rule of thumb:  Your interfacing should generally be the same weight (or lighter) as your fabric.  Try match the properties of the fabric with the properties of the interfacing for best results.

You can use linen, cotton, tweed, corduroy .... the options are endless.  You can also upcycle clothing you no longer wear to create this hat - it doesn't need too much fabric!  Don't use a very thick fabric or you may struggle with the bulky seams.

Cut out:

6x Triangle piece in Main fabric
6 x Triangle piece in lining fabric

*  Although I say 'lining' fabric, this hat is reversible, so there is no right side to it.

1 x Peak in Main fabric
1 x Peak in lining fabric
1 x Peak in stiff interfacing / volume interfacing - I have a great felt one I bought from CeKa (read about CeKa & their great products here).

Please note:  if you do not have interfacing, no problem!  You can simply take a few layers of  thick fabric, sew them randomly with big stitches to keep them in one layer, and then cut a peak piece out of this layered piece to use as stiffening!

1 band in each fabric 6cm x (circumference of head - where hat would sit - plus 10cm)
ie. If your head is 50cm around (at the level your hat would sit) cut your two bands 6cm x 60cm.

You now have all your pattern pieces ready:

Over to your sewing machine

Place two triangles, right sides together, and starting from the top working to bottom, join the pieces, using a 1cm seam allowance.

Open these out & finger press seam open

Add a third triangle to these two, matching up the top edge of triangle 3 with the opened seam edge of triangle 1

You now have 3 triangles joined.

Start again the same way with the remaining three triangles.

Match seam of one piece created with seam of 2nd piece, starting at the middle, begin joining the two halves by sewing from center to outer rim.  Then go back to center & do the other side

Work very carefully so that your points match up exactly in the middle.  Now sew back over the middle  once more to ensure there are no gaps between your two seams.

Do the exact same thing with your 'outer' hat fabric pieces.

Place your inner hat inside your outer hat wrong sides facing and match up the seams (which you should open flat as you go) and pin together at each seam - place your pins in perpendicular to the brim to make it easier in the next step

Place your band (right side in to make it easier to pin in place) around your head at the place a hat band would sit & pin it at the correct circumference

Safety pin it at the right place & double check size
Stitch  your other band EXACTLY the same size
Stitch each one into a ring

Make double sure they are EXACTLY the same size

Decide which part of your hat is center front (there will be a seam exactly down the middle of the center front of the hat)

Mark the middle of each band opposite the seam you created with a pin

Start pinning one of the bands (right sides together) to the main hat (make sure you are matching main hat fabric to band fabric! i.e. the hat fabric touching the band you are about to join on to it are both the same fabric) - begin at the pin you have just marked on the band & join that to the centre front seam.

Work your way around the hat, leaving the last two segments (one either side of the back center seam) free.  You will notice that the hat is bigger than the band.  This is 100% correct.  
We now need to ruche the last two segments (either side of the center back) of the hat so that it fits inside the band exactly.
The best way I have found to do this is to take embroidery floss, knot one end, and stitch with a zigzag either side of the floss - making sure not to sew into the floss - and then pull on the free end of the floss to gather the hat up evenly to the right size.
Photos to follow!
 Please note!  We are only gathering the base of the back center 2 triangles that make up the main hat.  It is also possible to gather all the way around the hat so you have less gathering over a larger area.

The following photos are purely to clarify:

Now add the inside band - right sides together - to the main hat, sewing DIRECTLY over your last seam.
At this point you will understand why I advised against a very thick fabric!  Sew slowly over the ruching - it is thick here - don't speed & break needles!

Pull the two bands out & press with fingers to ensure the seam between hat & band is flat

Fold under each band to match perfectly & be the same width all the way around the hat & pin in place

We will now make the peak part to add between the two layers

ASIDE:  For everyone who grew up in S.A. in the 80s... I am listening to Cold Fact while sewing & reminiscing fondly of my  'wild and precious' youth - watch this and this & you will know a bit about what growing up in S.A. in that time means (and you will see snippets of my beautiful country, and hear that distinctive SA accent ;))... Beautiful story! Wonderful soundtrack to an amazing time - I recall thinking I was sooooo cool, 16,  in my bikini, tanning,  listening to Cold Fact on the balcony of a family vacation home in Leisure Bay at full tilt.  You can get the album here - well worth 9.99!

Okay, back to sewing...
Making your peak:

Place the two fabric right sides together with the interfacing (or whatever you are using as stiffening) behind 

Line them up perfectly & stitch down, using the foot width as your guide

Make snips all around the curve, right up to the stitching, BUT NOT through!  Be careful!  Best to use sharp scissors and use the tip  

Turn right way out and finger press FLAT

Another aside:  This beautiful box (below) is next to my sewing machine with my MadeByDi tags inside, a gift from the sister - not by blood, but by choice.  I love seeing it as I sew!

Okay, now sew your concentric rings - again use your foot width as a guide

Mark the middle of the peak and the middle of the front of your hat with a pin & match them up

Pin the peak into place

Stitch down & you are done!
Although this tutorial is long & wordy, these hats are REALLY easy to make, and you will now want to make one in every fabric you can get your hands on - your hubby's shirts may even be sacrificed to the cause!  

Toddler hats are really cute & can be easily made by minimizing the pattern to the right size.

Me in the one you 'saw' me sewing....

The sewing team should have fun with this later...


  1. Thankyou for sharing! I would love to make this hat, and was thinking it would be perfect for a little facebook charity - I have been asked to make hats for a charity auction (mostly knitted) raising funds for a little boy with cancer. Is it okay to use your pattern to make 1 or 2 hats to sell in the auction? All proceeds are to the boy's family to help with his care costs.

    1. Hi there, thanks for asking! You are most welcome to sell as many items as you like from my pattern, the only thing you may not do is copy my pattern & sell it or distribute it in any way as your own. Please credit me & add this blog post url on every item you make / sell. Thanks
      Happy stitching, I hope your charity auction is a resounding success!
      Please note it is also suitable for children, just make the band ring slightly smaller & the gathering at the back will increase.

    2. Thanks Di! Will definitely do that. :)

  2. Hi, I've followed the link for the pattern pieces, but it takes me to a page on SCRIBD that says it no longer exists. Can you help, please?

    1. email me at dicremeratgmaildotcom and I will send the pattern pieces to you

  3. I dont know if this will still get to you but I would love to know the pattern for this hat!!! Thanks!

  4. Email me and I'll send it to you

  5. Looked at a lot of Newsboy caps on Pintest but liked the look of yours the most and thought the instructions were the most likely I could follow (only very recently started sewing again so I don't have much confidence). Well I found it very easy based on the instructions & pictures. Thanks.
    I am in South Africa right now. I found some material with maps of Africa , words etc that I thought would be great for the cap. Now that I have looked at it more carefully I see it includes the words "I left my heart in Africa 1879" - I have put those on the peak. Haven't done history for ages but found out 1879 was the start of the Anglo-Boer war. This could be interpreted in a number of ways. However, my heart does belong to Africa

  6. hi, I wonder if you are still sending out the pattern for this hat?

    1. Sure, just email me and I'll get it to you!

  7. Hi, i love how you explained everything, the hat looks great. Are you still sending out the pattern i would love to try making one.

    1. Email me at dicremeratgmaildotcom and I'll send the pattern pieces to you