Monday, August 10, 2015

Up Your Pendletons

Most of the time when I find a Pendleton shirt, it ends up in my husband’s closet.

Pendletons in the 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.

Pendleton frontPendleton back

This one turned out to have had something of a hard life.

Holes on the Pendleton

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.

Warranted to be a Pendleton

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.

Merino Too warm.

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.

Cashmere sweaterCashmere

Then I found another Pendleton hidden in a box – a similar plaid in a smaller size.

Vintage Pendleton cutter

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.

Vintage facingModern facing

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.

Mrs. Wilberforce helps me sew

She made sure to get the maximum amount of pale kitty fur on the dark wool. She’s nice that way.

Mrs. W

And voila, we now have a Pendleton pullover!

Upcycled Pendleton frontUpcycled Pendleton back

It’s very comfortable. And very warm. (Especially in August!)

Upcycled label

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.

Vintage Pendleton dog coatZoe goes plaidA Pendleton helps you roll over

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.

Original buttons & 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.

Vintage heart button

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

Zoe's handiwork

but finally I see that she has been trying to do her own upcycling.

Refashion by Zoe

Guess this would have to be called a pupcycle, right?

Zoe's pupcycle

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!

Me & Zoe in our Pendletons


  1. Great job on the upcycling and making me (and, no doubt, others) laugh!

    1. Thanks! I'm starting to look forward to fall now. Especially since it's supposed to get up to 100 again today - not the norm here!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! Zoe wasn't quite sure why I was picking her up, but she played along.

  3. Nice top! Now I know what to do with the sweaters I'll be getting rid of when I get around to cleaning out my winter clothes. Oh, and by knowing what to do I don't mean doing any actual sewing, God forbid, I mean giving them to you. :-)

  4. Good for you for finding an actual Made in the USA Pendleton shirt. We were in their store and most everything said "made in China" we left.

    1. Wow, I had no idea Pendletons had gone off shore. Oh well, I can't afford new ones no matter where they were made. It's vintage for me - thank heavens they're almost impossible to wear out!

  5. Both projects are brilliant! Sure to win notice in the contest. Which one will you enter? Or both??

  6. Love that pupcycler's dog jacket!

  7. Hey Lady! I really want to include your make in a Refashioners round up but the images here are too small for me to use :( Do you have the original full size images and if so can you email me with them??? Please! kitschycoo(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

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