Friday, July 31, 2009

Simplicity 4694 - Official Red Cross Home Nursing Pinafore and Canteen Apron

World War II (probably after 1941)

LIFE photograph by George Strock, 1941
Interestingly, no fabric recommendations are made, and yardages are given only for 35" wide material, so I'm assuming the Red Cross made recommendations or supplied the fabric.

The Red Cross museum site has a nice overview of WW II canteens here. Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom for a link to a PDF that will tell you how to recreate a WWII canteen.

The Red Cross also offered home nursing courses during the war, in part to mitigate the shortage of doctors.


Diane Shiffer said...

Oh my gracious! That link was so wonderful! Wouldn't it be a hoot to set up a Red Cross Canteen? I just love this era♥

Little Black Car said...

The pattern number would put it around 1943 (pattern 4635 was 1943).

My, those uniforms don't change much. We had an older lady hospital volunteer come by the other day to look at some historical material and her uniform was very similar to the dress and pinafore on the right (which looked very much like my grandmother's Gray Lady volunteer outfit from the 1960's).

Quail said...

Before I forget...I found this website today and thought of you:

It's a bit bonkers but the site has some unusual gems! said...

Latter-Day Flapper - I recall that the "candy stripers" of my childhood hospital stay wore something very similar, though in pink and white stripes (naturally) with pink dresses underneath.

it's so interesting that your grandmother was a Gray Lady! I looked at their uniforms on the Red Cross website. I don't think I've ever known a Gray Lady or seen one of the uniforms "in person." said...

Quail - I'd heard of Harper House but didn't realize that they'd just changed hands. Thanks for reminding me that they're out there. They certainly have an eclectic offering. Hawaiian shirt patterns!?! The Greater Bay Area [San Francisco] Costumers Guild offers reviews of many of the obscure patterns that are out there:

Little Black Car said...

I'll have to see if I can find a good picture of the Gray Lady outfit. Yes, it was very much like a candy-striper uniform, just, I guess, a little more stately, as befitting an adult lady.

Grandma actually went to nursing school for a semester and did very well, but dropped out when she got sick, and her parents and boyfriend (not my grandfather; an earlier beau) pressured her to stay home. She always regretted not finishing.