VAD Nurse

Linen

Patience wants to be ready to help if the more than usually Dreaded Lurgy makes an appearance…

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Apron Front

…so, using a lovely old piece of hemstitched linen, I sewed up some bits and pieces to make a Canadian Voluntary Aid Detachment uniform.

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Apron Back

Now Patience has an apron…

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Hemming

…a veil…

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At the ready

…a collar and some cuffs.

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Cloak

Then to complete her outfit I made a cloak using navy blue wool with red silk for the lining.

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Collar

I discovered a way to make a very nice stand-up collar…first cutting the exact shape I wanted from an index card, and cutting the wool a little larger…

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Stitching

…and using the English Paper Piecing method I folded the wool around the card and basted it into place.

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Steaming

Then I steamed the collar over the curved edge of my tailor’s ham with the raw edges facing down. I let it dry in place before pulling out the basting and removing the card.

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Collar Lining

I made the lining in the same way on the same card, and steamed it with the raw edges facing up.

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stitching

That made both parts of the collar want to curve in the right direction, making it easier to sew.

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Overcast

The completed collar was overcast stitched to the body of the little cloak…

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Going to work

…and now Patience is on her way to work…

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Hope

…though we sincerely hope we won’t need her ministrations!

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Click Here for an interesting video which describes the elements of a VAD Nurse’s uniform. Note that not all uniforms had red crosses on the front, nor round necklines as is stated. There are images and extant uniforms with variations.

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14 thoughts on “VAD Nurse

  1. One would heal quicker if treated by such a sweet, well appointed nurse!!! Beautiful work. A breath of fresh air in this crisis. Your posts go in my « grateful » jar each day. Thank you for bringing beauty in this very talented simple way…a lighthouse in a thick fog night.

    • Merci, We are glad to shine a light – Patience is glad to be ready to help if help is needed – a cool hand on a fevered brow, or a hot water bottle for a Hitty with a chill. But mainly we hope she will only need to dispense cheerfulness and love.

  2. Once more, a dear member of the QH household comes forth with an endearing narrative of the day. Thank you, Patience, and also the dear one behind the scenes who makes very nice Hitty outfits for us to admire. May the more than usual DL stay far from your borders there on Q Street.

    • We wish the same for you and yours. The days are strange, but there are still little wonderful things to notice – the world will be better if we can only be aware of, and value them!

  3. Oh so very special. With Patience at someone’s side they will be comforted. The nurse outfit is wonderful…Patience looks ready to help and heal. We all are so grateful for the thousands of health care givers in this time of great stress, sickness and need.

    • Patience loves her outfit – it makes her feel like a “real” nurse, and although sometimes it can be hard, she will do her very best to encourage her Hitty sisters into good spirits, no matter what!

  4. I am also hopeful that Patience will not be required to utilize her skills but oh my she is a lovely nurse…and her ensemble is just amazing. Thank you Quimper Human for showing how you made that collar…and a close up of her pinafore. Your stitching is so perfect.,

    • Thanks! The collar trick just came to me while I was working on it – much too good a sewing tip not to share it! I have to admit, Patience makes me feel cheerful just by looking at her!

  5. Patience is crazy-adorable in that uniform. The set of her little wooden jaw is particularly appropriate for battling the bug! Bravo!

  6. so beautiful and it brings back memories. My student nursing uniform (1963-65) was very similar minus the veil. Blue dress with removable collar and cuffs and navy cape with red wool lining which I still have. I remember the day I was fitted for it. I had my grandmother’s gold, monogrammed pocket watch on a chain in my pocket. My mother used it when she was a student nurse at RJH in 1926-28. Graduated to an all white dress. Thank you for the memories, Patience looks very authentic. Beautiful job.

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