Most of the time when I find a Pendleton shirt, it ends up in my husband’s closet.
Which is where I assumed this one was destined when I found it a couple of weeks ago at a yard sale. Paid a buck for it, which is a good price for any wool shirt, let alone a Pendleton.
This one turned out to have had something of a hard life.
But no matter. I don’t mind mending, and I wanted to participate in The Refashioners 2015, in which sewists are challenged to refashion a man’s shirt. I washed the Pendleton (I don’t dry clean, no matter what the tag says!), rolled up my sleeves, and went to work.
The first step was to delve into my refashioning stash. I was originally going to use the turtleneck and cuffs from this heavy merino wool sweater.
But I was afraid it would just too darned warm. (Of course the fact that I’m constructing this in August for pity’s sake might have influenced my thinking.) After a bit of a rummage, I settled on this kitten-soft cashmere sweater that my friend Judy gave me when she did a closet cleanout.
Then I found another Pendleton hidden in a box – a similar plaid in a smaller size.
The differences between these older shirts and the newer ones were interesting. No ‘dry clean only’ tag on the old one – the tag gave full washing instructions - and they were more generous in the use of fabric. For instance, 3” turnbacks for the front facings instead of a strip of taffeta.
Had a great time putting things together. I inserted a bias pleat in the back, cut from the back of the second shirt. I removed the front buttons and used part of a vintage sleeve to hinge the front together. Removed the original collar and cuffs and added cashmere ones. Mrs. Wilberforce helped with that part, kindly holding down the shirt while I hand-stitched the cuffs.
She made sure to get the maximum amount of pale kitty fur on the dark wool. She’s nice that way.
And voila, we now have a Pendleton pullover!
It’s very comfortable. And very warm. (Especially in August!)
This is not my first Pendleton upcycle however. And I don’t think it’s the cutest. That would have to be the vintage Pendleton that I made over for Zoe.
This one involved quite a bit of pinning and saying, “Zoe! Stand! Wait!” She was very patient as I figured things out.
Besides the back and collar, we were able to utilize the original buttons and buttonholes.
Like mine, hers includes cashmere for the lining – what was left of a sweater that she chewed the sleeves off of. And the chest piece is decorated with a vintage button from my stash.
I realized recently that Zoe has quite a creative streak in her. I’ve always thought she was chewing up cloth napkins for the hell of it
but finally I see that she has been trying to do her own upcycling.
Guess this would have to be called a pupcycle, right?
Rummaging through my stash of cloth and sweaters, I came across a couple more vintage Pendleton shirts that I’d forgotten were there. And some more sweaters from Judy.
I foresee a warm and cozy winter ahead!