The Vintage Traveler

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.

{ 8 comments }

 

I’ve had this 1974 pattern by designer Stephen Burrows hanging on my idea board for some time, and last week I finally got around to making it.  Burrows was one of the bright young designers who designed clothes that were perfectly in step with the late 1960s and into the 70s.  I’ll be writing more about him this week, as I feel like he is not as well-known as he should be.

I fell in love with this pattern the minute I spotted it.  I did have concerns about the collar, as I usually don’t like anything quite that big.  But it didn’t *scream* 1970s, so I made the decision not to alter it.  I’m glad I did, because it is just right with a scarf tied beneath.

I made this from a wonderful double knit cotton jersey I had stashed away.   Double knit  means that the fabric is knit with a double stitch that makes the knit the same on both sides.  There honestly is not a wrong side to this fabric.  It was knit as a tube, and is probably the nicest cotton knit I’ve ever sewn.

You can see more photo at The Vintage Traveler.

{ 1 comment }