Make it with Wool

Make it with Wool

Rali Burleson, Arizona State Director of the Make It With Wool Contest, sent us a photo of herself in a dress sewn from a vintage (1949) Claire McCardell design pattern. She expects to “get a lot of mileage” out of the dress: she is able to wear it year-round in Arizona because it’s made from 100% AirLoom Merino wool (formerly known as Sir Pendleton fabric). This is a year-sound textile that is, as she says, “almost tissue-paper thin.”

The sewing process

I converted the gathers to pleats (an engineering feat in itself) and used couture techniques throughout (sew-in silk organza interfacing, Hong Kong finishes, stays along the neckline and bodice sides, hand-applied collar and invisible zipper, hand-knotted thread eyes, and more).


For the vintage look, I bought a navy cardigan with ¾ length sleeved-rounded toe pumps, and a structured handbag. For the evening look, I bought a navy satin border silk chiffon scarf to wear as a shawl, pointed-toe suede pumps, and a metallic box clutch.

Admiration for the seamstresses of yore!

I concluded that seamstresses of yore were of a different cut of cloth (pun intended). The vintage patterns I love so much are not for the faint of heart! And to think everyone made their own clothes, children’s clothes, household linens (quilts, embroidered tablecloths, pillowcases, aprons, and so on). Whew!

Would You Like to Enter?
Here is the new and improved National MIWW website:
Contests are run at the state level, and deadline dates (mostly this Fall) are listed by state. This is a great time to explore your state’s contest, especially with so many students expected to be home based this Fall. And don’t forget our September apparel fabric sale! 
promotions, wool

Making Connections with Pendleton Wool

The Wonders of Wool

Here at the Woolen Mill Store, we are passionate about wool and its properties; durability, sustainability, ease of tailoring, and beauty. That’s why we love the Make it With Wool competition. We’re also passionate about the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington that happens each year (shown in time lapse, above). With the displays, booths, classes, and wonderful conversations we have there, we learn as much as we teach.

Creative Customers

That’s why we were delighted when a Make It With Wool contestant dropped by our booth to show us the entry she made with wool purchased from our booth last year. She graciously allowed us to share these photos of her creation: a pieced coat with a unique back zipper and beautiful tonal embellishment.

Isn’t this coat a work of art?

Safety Concerns and More

We understand that many of you are home right now, whether you are working from home, or home with your children due to school closures, or, sadly, in quarantine. We want you to know that we can ship directly to your house. Pre-shop the fabrics on the fabric tab, and then call 1-866-865-9285 or email us at for help.

Pendleton Woolen Mill Store

8500 SE McLoughlin Blvd. Portland, OR 97222

(503) 535-5786 • •

Store Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10am – 5:30pm • Sunday 11am – 4pm


Make It With Wool Winner & Pendleton Tartan on the cover of Threads magazine!

Cover of a sewing magazine called "Threads" featuring three dresses on display forms, that won the Make it With Wool contest. one dress was made with Pendleton Hunting Tartan fabric.

Make it with Wool

Kelsey Clear of Niles, Michigan, who learned to sew when she was only six years old, recently won First Runner Up honors in the Make It With Wool contest–and she did it with Pendleton wool. But not just any Pendleton wool! Kelsey sewed her winning look with our very own tartan, as registered with the Scottish Tartans Society.

Photo of a certificate from the Council of Scottish Tartans Society, officially recognizing the Pendleton Hunting tartan. Dated July 20, 1998.

Pendleton Hunting Tartan

Pendleton Woolen Mills registered the official Pendleton Hunting Tartan with the Scottish Tartans Society in 1999. It was created to commemorate Pendleton’s roots in the Pacific Northwest and the many generations of family that have overseen Pendleton’s business through the years. The official company tartan also salutes the British Isles origin of Pendleton’s weaving heritage, thanks to our founder, Thomas Kay.

And yes, that’s the very tartan bordering the certificate. For a closer look at the winning look, which includes more than just that adorable shirtwaist dress, pick up a copy of Threads today–we have it in stock at the store. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to sew your own project with Pendleton Hunting Tartan. We would love to see it!