I Made a Peaky Blinders Newsboy Cap on an 1920s Sewing Machine

Follow along as I make a Peaky Blinders hat on a 1920s sewing machine.

IG: barrowsandwights

Transcripts for all videos are available on my website.


Tony Allen Bernier:

Etsy Pattern Listing – https://www.etsy.com/listing/765265661/digital-newsboy-cap-shelby-cap-pattern

YouTube Tutorial: https://youtu.be/ZxV6ehxDlBM

Materials Used:
– Scrap denim
– Polyester thread
– Cotton fabric scraps for lining
– Fusible interfacing scraps for brim, including 2 layers heavy bag weight interfacing
– Button from stash
– Cotton strip from stash
– 1″ elastic scrap

Singer 128 sewing machine used for the bulk of the sewing.
Singer 20-10 toy sewing machine used for lining construction.


Title Card:
Photo by Anton Atanasov

Logo designed and drawn by A.R. Gergler

Background Music:
“Rhythme Gitan” by Latché Swing
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Dirty Hardcore Groove by WinnieTheMoog
Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/6743-dirty-hardcore-groove
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

End Screen:
Photo by Anton Atanasov


[“Rhythme Gitan” by Latché Swing – fun, upbeat jazz music]


Welcome to Barrows and Wights. I’m Adrian. I use masculine pronouns.

One of my goals with starting this channel, which I talked a little bit about in my channel intro video, is that I want to share things with you that I’m making either as a costume or as part of my history bounding vintage inspired wardrobe.

And one of the things that really separates a modern masculine outfit from a vintage inspired one is the hat.

Hats are a big thing.

A hat maketh the man.

Now, I’m not usually a hat person. My hats have been limited to woolen hats in winter and the occasional pirate hat for… pirate occasions. And I have two baseball caps – one from a group Halloween costume from work 8ish years ago and one that my university sent me when I enrolled as a grad student this past winter.

That’s it. Excepting a couple of specific costume pieces or theme park souvenirs, those are my hats.

But there are two things that are nudging me into maybe expanding my hat horizon a little bit.

One – During the summer of 2020, I binge watched the later four seasons of Peaky Blinders.

And I think we’ve all been at least a little inspired to dress like a 1920s gangster in our lives, right? It seems to me that anyone who has watched more than one season of this show has bought something to dress like Cilian Murphy’s Tommy Shelby.

And Two – I started following Dandy Wellington on YouTube and Instagram. Took a wardrobe styling class from him last year.

If you are unfamiliar with Dandy Wellington, he is a bandleader and entertainer who is well known for his colorful, vintage Jazz Age style. Like, the guy gets featured for his style a lot.

A lot.

And he’s very passionate about hats.

He’s got a hat for every occasion.

I will never be as stylish as Mr. Wellington and I doubt I’ll ever be someone who has a hat for every occasion, but I have found myself on walks with the dog and working in the garden in the sun with no shade and thought to myself – you know, I think I might need a hat for this.

So I did a little bit of searching and I found a tutorial and pattern combination for a Peaky Blinders Newsboy Cap by Tony Allen Bernier. His Etsy store and his YouTube tutorial will be linked below.

I also happened to have about 3.5 pairs of jeans worth of scrap denim which would make the perfect test hat in this style.

I do have some nice wool that I got in an Ebay destash that I think would make a really nice newsboy cap in the future, but I want to make sure that I’ll actually wear this thing before I make a super nice one.

And it’s good to get some practice in with sewing something like this. I don’t think I’ve ever sewn a hat before? If I have, I can’t remember.

I don’t have much to say about the process of making this hat. You can watch the full tutorial for free on YouTube for step by step instructions.

[Dirty Hardcore Groove by WinnieTheMoog]

[“Fast and hard metal track with a groovy beat.”]

I decided to improvise the brim insert for this hat. There are hat inserts available for sale, but I have a ton of scrap interfacing pieces, included a very stiff interfacing left over from bag making projects. I layered up some of the interfacing until I was satisfied that it would hold its shape and that I could still sew through it.

[Music continues]

I ended up making a couple of changes at the end of the process because I just didn’t feel like ordering new supplies. The tutorial uses an elastic sweatband, which both covers the raw edges and tightens the hat for a multi-size fit. I decided to use a spare binding strip from a quilt project and a scrap piece of 1” elastic to achieve the same effect.

[Music continues]

That’s it.

It’s a fairly straightforward project with some fiddly sewing to get the brim to work right. There are some things that I will do a little differently with a second hat, if I get around to making one. The brim on this one isn’t quite even and I can make some little changes to get the body of the hat to lay a bit better along the brim.

I think some of the difficulties I had with the brim construction can be fixed by using a different sewing machine where I can remove part of the bed to get a better angle.

There is also a minor seam bulk problem with so many layers of denim coming to meet at one point, but I don’t think that will be as noticeable with the weight of wool fabric I have set aside.

Otherwise, I’d say this is a perfectly serviceable hat. I’ll test drive this one over the summer and see if it’s something that I’ll add as more of a day to day item.

Thanks for watching.

Like, share, comment, subscribe, all that YouTube stuff I’m supposed to say now.

I’ll see you soon.

Good bye.

[Jazz music from intro plays]

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