McCalls Half sizes… and Hannah Troy petites

From Marian Corey's "McCall`s Complete Book of Dressmaking" published in the early 1950s

In case you weren’t aware McCalls patterns in the 1950s were designed for women 5’7″ or 5’8″. If you like vintage patterns and wanted to alter to accommodate your measurements in what were known as “half sizes” the above page features some valuable information as to how to resize the pattern. Half sizes were for shorter women with slightly thicker waists, (and as someone who has had a baby in the last year, my waist is not what it was)! Reminds me of the scene in Gone With The Wind where the glamorous Scarlet O’Hara laments her lost waistline, despite the use of a corset.

Hannah Troy was the first McCalls dress designer to think about petite sizing, making dresses for women 5’4″ and under. Here are two Hannah Troy patterns, so very fifties…

Party dresses designed by Hannah Troy, McCalls 5288 and 5573

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