Vintage Pringle Meets Pendleton

One of the things I’m always looking for at thrift stores is vintage and high quality cashmere sweaters.  I know I can go to Macy’s after the first of the year and buy a new cashmere sweater for $49.99, but cashmere is one of those items that it is true that you get what you pay for.  After touching Pringle, or most other Scottish cashmeres, you’ll never be content with Charter Club again.

As with many used items, you really have to be careful about condition when buying used cashmere.  Some advice:  1)  If it pills, don’t buy it.  2)  Learn to mend small holes 3) Don’t be afraid to hand wash cashmere.  I use conditioner shampoo.

Last winter I gave up most of my sloppy old sweatshirts in favor of cashmere sweaters.  They not only look better, they are warmer.  And given that they are easily found in thrifts, I had no trouble finding more than I actually needed.  That’s when it becomes easy to be picky.  Why buy a thin made in China crew neck in an off color when there is a blue Brooks Brothers hefty cable knit turtleneck made in Scotland right beside it?

I recently found a nice tan Pringle, button front with a collar.  I knew I’d wear it a lot, but there were two issues – the elbows were getting thin, and there was a small hole.  I learned a long time ago that holes are just part of owning cashmere, and that if I was to wear it, I’d have to learn to mend them.  So I did.

The elbows were a larger problem.  I decided to go with patches.  I like the look of elbow patches.  I can remember a time when all men’s sweaters had them, so maybe this preference is nostalgic in nature.

Here is where it is convenient to have a fabric stash.  A stash is not hording.  A stash is made up of fabrics and trims and buttons you love and can see yourself using.  My stash is carefully edited!  I had no problem finding a fabric I liked, a Pendleton plaid taken from a skirt made unusable by the presence of multiple moth holes.

I cut two identical ovals (being careful to avoid those pesky holes) and carefully pinned them to the elbows.  I then used buttonhole twist to hand sew the patches to the sweater, using a blanket stitch.   This is quite easy, the only problem being that it is easy to catch up both layers of the sleeve instead of just the one where the patch is applied.

So here is the finished product.  Add cool autumn days and I’m set!



Filed under Sewing

15 responses to “Vintage Pringle Meets Pendleton

  1. Very cute, Lizzie! We usually wear our enormous collection of vintage cardigans throughout the winter, since we’re not likely to get cool enough for cashmere here!


  2. That’s fine hand sewing and a thoughtful way to reuse the Pendleton fabric! Plus keep a good cashmere sweater in the fashion pool


  3. Lizzie you’re such an inspiration! That Pringle label reminds me immediately of my great aunt Agga, and also of her sister Mimi (who worked for years at Peck & Peck)- the patches on the arms are practical yet stylish, and you’re right, cashmere is much more attractive than sweatshirts.


  4. I love Pringle sweaters! I recently sold one in my shop that was very similar to yours… it was very hard to let go of.

    The patches you’ve added to yours look wonderful! Such a fabulous idea.


  5. oh man i want them so bad now!!! loving them to death, really!!!


  6. Well, I love this, Lizzie. Not only is it smart, thrifty, and stylish, it combines three of my favorite things: Scotland, cashmere, and plaid.


  7. That’s some mighty fine hand-sewing, Lizzie! Beautiful work.


  8. Hey, that’s a fashion classic worth reviving. I’m reminded that mom taught me to mend cashmere using a hair from my head (when I had long hair). I guess that’s the way they did it in the good ol’ days when buying thread to match was too pricey!


  9. Thanks for all the nice words about this project!


  10. Pingback: What I Didn’t Buy – Italian Cashmere Made in Hong Kong | The Vintage Traveler

  11. Pingback: Vintage Tips, Tutorials and Links Round-Up | Penny Dreadful Vintage

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