1958 Claire McCardell Separates

Maybe it the fact than in the past few days every single bathing suit and shorts set ever designed by Claire McCardell has been showing up on Pinterest and Facebook, or maybe it’s just that I really, really need something new to wear at the beach when we go next month, but I keep looking at her designs and thinking about how perfect they are.

Even if I were lucky enough to find the McCardell bathing suit of my dreams, I’d never wear it.  But it dawned on me today that I can have a McCardell of my own to wear.  You see, I have the pattern.

I’ve actually had this pattern for years, pulled out of the pattern drawer at a Salvation Army thrift that’s been closed for at least 10 years.   I’ve sold a lot of patterns over the past years, but this one was never in the sell pile.

Claire McCardell only did a few patterns for McCall’s, all in 1957 .  My pattern was released for summer 1958, probably around the time McCardell died in March of that year.  She also did patterns for Spadea in the early to mid 1950s.

It you look carefully at the illustration, you will see that except for the skirt, these pieces are cut on the bias.  And as you might expect from a McCardell sportswear design, there is topstitching galore.  The suggested fabrics are linen, sailcloth, poplin, gingham, denim, duck and cotton.  I’ll be using a piece of indigo kettle cloth that I’ve had for quite a while.


Filed under Designers, Sewing

16 responses to “1958 Claire McCardell Separates

  1. hi lizzie! the indigo cloth is really beautiful – i love the cut on the suit too. can’t wait to see it when you’re finished!


  2. My first thought when I saw the pattern was…I could wear this now.


  3. I adore McCardell’s designs. Looking forward to seeing your finished piece!


  4. Looking at the designs back then, it has already be forseen that being skinny will be the next big thing as the waist drawn are so small.

    Does the design looks a bit like LV or is it just me perhaps?


  5. What a fabulous pattern/design! Hurry up and make it so we can see it!


  6. What a great sewing project. Can’t wait to see! 🙂


  7. Cannot wait to see the finished product!


  8. Wow those McCall’s patterns bring back memories of my grandmother.


  9. This bias cut halter top is adorable and inspiring! Looking forward to your version (white top stitching?)


  10. Great pattern and wonderful fabric choice! I’m with everyone else – can’t wait to see your finished suit!


  11. Looks outstanding!! Great fabric choice. I want it too!!


  12. sofiawinterstays

    I love these old illustrations!


  13. Pingback: Currently Reading: Claire McCardell: Redefining Modernism | The Vintage Traveler

  14. Pingback: Claire McCardell, a Biography | The Vintage Traveler

  15. Pingback: McCall’s 4494: Claire McCardell Play Set | The Vintage Traveler

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