Saturday, 25 April 2015

WWI Nurse's Uniform: The Dress

It wasn't only soldiers that went to war a hundred years ago. Thousands of New Zealand and Australian nurses went as well, serving anywhere from convalescent hospitals in England, to casualty clearing stations not 100 yards from the front line. Most nurses served through the New Zealand Army Nursing Service (NZANS) and the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS), but some served through Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service and the Red Cross.

I have focused on making an AANS uniform, as thanks to the mini-series Anzac Girls, based on the book The Other Anzacs by Peter Reese, I managed to make a detailed study of the costumes made for it.

 The cast of Anzac Girls

The rest of my research showed a lot of variation in uniform styling, and I am yet to find a set of actual uniform guidelines for any of the nursing services, so as far as I know it was anything goes as long as it was tidy.

I had hoped to have the entire uniform finished by this Anzac Day, but working six days a week for the past two months hasn't left a lot of extra time for sewing. What I do have today though, is the finished underdress. It should be a darker shade of grey and the skirt isn't quite long enough due to fabric restrictions, but here we are. I ended up using Simplicity 9723 as a general base.

1 comment:

  1. This may be of interest to you -Standing Orders for Dress and Clothing (Citizen Forces)