Vintage Nurse Pattern

Dress-up clothes:  creative fun, instructive play and one of the most inexpensive “toys” out there.

To make your own, gather old curtains, sheets, dresses, flannel blankets, etc from the attic, thrift store or garage sales. An old white sheet and scarlet curtain became Rosalind’s vintage Red Cross nurse outfit.

Dress-up clothes are great for fledgling sewers like me because they don’t have to be perfect. After all, they are dress-up clothes! Thankfully, she wasn’t too worried about minor imperfections, and woke up in the middle of the night asking if she could play nurse again yet!

These are the simple “patterns” I used to make an apron, cape, hat and accessories.

To keep this from becoming a dreadfully long post, I posted the patterns separately.

Vintage American Red Cross Nurse Cap

Little Girl’s Cape

Medical supplies: Of course, no nurse outfit is complete without medical supplies. Sew a red cross onto a little white bag and fill with medicine and bandages.

Medicine jar: Remove the label from a vitamin bottle. Create a new label with a permanent marker. Cover with clear packaging tape and fill with mints or their favorite treat.

For vintage bandages, use little strips of gauze.

Child’s Cape Pattern

Capes are so versatile: a nurse, princess or fairy can all share the same one. And they are ever so easy to make!

This is the simple pattern I used to complete Rosalind’s nurse outfit.

    1. For cape: Cut out a rectangle that is 26 inches X the desired length.
    2. For band: Cut out a 16 X 2 1/2 inch rectangle. Iron under 1/2 inch on the short edges of the band and down one long side.
    3. For tie: Cut out two 12 inch pieces of coordinating ribbon.
    4. Iron under 1/2 inch along the sides and bottom of the cape. Fold under again and sew.

    1. Baste 1/2 and 3/4 inches along the top edge of the cape. Gather until it is 15 inches wide.

    1. With right sides together, sew band to cape. Turn out and iron.

  1. Fold the band over the raw edge. Pin ribbon to each side. Sew in place.

Vintage Nurse Cap

At one time caps were a mandatory part of a nurse’s outfit. No vintage nurse outfit is complete without one. This is the simple pattern I used for Rosalind’s Red Cross Nurse dress-up outfit.

Nurse’s Cap:

    1. Measure your child’s head.
    2. For cap: using a large pot or bucket lid, trace and cut out an 8-10 inch (diameter) circle.

  1. Baste 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch around the outer edge. Gather to form a “puffy hat” the circumference of your child’s head.
  2. For flap: Cut out 2 semi-circular “flaps” approx 7 inches long.
  3. For red cross: If desired, cut out 2 thin strips of red material (approx. 1 X 2 1/2 inches), iron sides under and sew onto the right side of the outer flap.
  4. With right sides together, sew along the curved edge. Turn right side out. Iron.
  5. Iron the pointed edges back.
  6. For rim: Cut out a rectangle that is 1 inch longer than your child’s circumference and 2 1/2 inches wide.
  7. Sew right side of rim to right side of cap with the flap in between. Turn right sides out.
  8. Iron under 1/2 inch on the loose edge of the rim. Fold over the raw edge and slip stitch in place.