When we began stocking Pendleton plaids, I knew I wanted to sew a winter-weight Fen dress in this cozy fabric. Dreamy wool, combined with the Fen pattern's optional longer sleeve, would make a fantastic, easy to wear silhouette for cool weather. I'm so happy with how it turned out--this wooly long sleeved dress is going to be a favorite this fall and winter. It's like wearing a cozy blanket around all day!
Pattern: Fen, View B with optional long sleeve added
Fabric: 2.5 yards Pendleton Grey & White Check, 1.5 yards Cotton/Silk Radiance in Taupe (both available in our Denver shop, email us for more info)
Size Made: 4
Modifications: Cut pocket fronts from cotton/silk to reduce bulk, and lined skirt with cotton/silk
This woven wool from Pendleton is a bit lighter than their blanket weight jacquards but heavier than your typical wool shirting. It's a perfect fabric for lighter wool jackets, and at first, I questioned if it might be a tad heavy for a dress. To reduce the amount of bulk at the pockets, I used a coordinating cotton/silk as the pocket lining. This worked great! The "pocket front" piece was cut from the silkier fabric, as this is hidden behind the skirt front, and I cut the pocket back from the wool, carefully aligning the plaids so that it matched up with the skirt front. Hooray for pattern matching!
I lined the skirt of my dress with the silky fabric too. I cut a second "skirt front" and "skirt back" from the cotton/silk, with one small edit on the front piece--since there doesn't need to be pockets in the lining, on the skirt front I added back in the bit where the pockets would be by using the skirt back as a guide. Lining this Fen-dleton is so great, as it means I can wear it with tights and not worry about a slip!
The Pendleton is wide enough that I was able to get my size 4 pieces out of just 2.5 yards. I cut the bias for the neckline from the Pendleton wool, but looking back, using the cotton/silk here instead would have allowed me to use a little less yardage of the Pendleton, and also reduced bulk at the neckline. That said, the neckline is nice in the wool and I love the way the plaid lined up, which was unplanned and quite serendipitous!
Once I put on my new Fen-dleton, I had no more worries about the weight of the wool--I love this dress!
I've long been a fan of draping myself in as much wool as possible, and this might be the most comfortable wool garment I've ever dressed myself in! It is basic enough that it will work perfectly under more wooly layers like shawls, scarves, jackets and all sorts of warm things as the weather gets cooler. Even on its own, it keeps me plenty warm on crisp fall days.