I’ve been a fan of designer Claire McCardell and her sportswear aesthetic for years. I was lucky enough to run across one of the few designs she did for McCall patterns in 1957 and 58, just before she died. I recently got around to finally making some of the pieces in the pattern, a halter top and shorts, and I tried to make them as authentically McCardell as I could.
Before starting my project, I studied similar garments by Claire McCardell that are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute collection. This was made easy by the Met’s on-line gallery of their collections.
I chose a cotton kettlecloth in indigo blue because she often worked in cotton using a textured dark fabric. She was also a fan of top-stitching and metal buttons which I also used. Note that the pieces were cut on the bias, another McCardellism.
I have a few more photos of the project and of the inspiration pieces on my blog, The Vintage Traveler.