A Barts Bunny

I trained as a nurse back in the 1980’s at Barts, otherwise known as St Bartholomews in London. I have to admit that one reason I chose to train there was that I liked the uniform!! When many hospitals were going over to a shapeless dress with a cardboard hat, Barts was still starched aprons and hats. Lesson one in nursing school was how to make your hat out of a square of starched linen. They taught us to make it on a head but in practice everyone made them on a shortbread tin! We still had the black wool capes with a red lining to keep us warm in winter, I loved my cape!

The theme of the Great British Sewing Bunny ( run by Cool Crafting) round 2 was heroes. I decided to make a Barts nurse outfit as a tribute to all my nursing friends (and family) who have worked so hard over the last twelve months. I managed to miss both waves due to self isolation and post-op recuperation so I have a huge respect for those who worked throughout. Some even came out of retirement to work!

I made the dress first, I needed a simple front fastening dress so I used Archie’s shirt as a basis with a dress pattern overlaying it. The white apron is just two rectangles stitched together, held in place at the back with a pin! The navy ribbon with a shiny button makes her petersham belt and silver buckle. In those days when you qualified you could get a fancy silver buckle, mine is beautiful, made in 1901, such a shame we can’t wear them now. We used to wear our hospital badge in between the collar points and we always had a pair of scissors in our top pocket…

I made the cape next, using a cape pattern from one of the Luna Lapin books, I just needed to change the hood into a collar and add some red ribbons to tie across the front.

The final part of the outfit was the cap. I cut a square of cotton, formed the brim by folding the fabric about four times and securing it round a bead pot which turned out to be a perfect bunny head size! The top is meant to have five pleats down each side, I didn’t manage that many but it still looks pretty neat. The tails were then turned up and everything secured with a bit of judicious stitches rather than the safety pins and hairgrips we used to use. Violet wasn’t too keen on the pins I used to secure it on her head either!

Violet didn’t win a place in the final but it was fun to make. It was Nurse Appreciation Day this week too so it was pretty apt.

Next weeks theme is Bridgerton Bunny, a reference to a period drama on TV, but it is basically for any period dress outfit. I’m sitting this one out as I know I haven’t got time this coming week.

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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19 Responses to A Barts Bunny

  1. Ruth says:

    Well, I maybe biased due to our history etc, but I genuinely feel you was robbed. That Barts Bunny is the Bees Knees. She is absolutely beautiful and if you ever feel like making another on commission, well Margojust name your price.
    You are so clever and that is the Best Bunny Ever. Xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ruth says:

    Margaret. Not Margo, sorry. Autocorrect done me a bad one. 😬

    Liked by 1 person

  3. endrickwater says:

    Well, I thought Violet looked wonderful. Tell me, though, if she should venture out to work at St Thomas’ (perish the thought!), is she still allowed to wear her Barts cap? (And the cape is wonderful — Super bunny!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • craftycreeky says:

      Lol, I remember talking to a doctor who trained at Barts, he later worked at Tommy’s and one day wore his Barts tie for work, he was told in no uncertain times never to wear it again πŸ™‚


  4. claire93 says:

    oh I’m quite disappointed that Violet didn’t win a place in the final with her Barts nursing outfit! Definitely a superhero, and such attention to detail – well done Margaret!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sharon says:

    She is just wonderful! You did an awesome job on her. I have a daughter and grand DIL both, nurses and they deserve a well done appreciated gift. You’ve got me thinking on this πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. katechiconi says:

    I do regret the demise of the dignified and impressive nursing uniforms. I can quite see that it was a lot of extra work for the nurses to maintain them, but you looked so good! Violet looks excellent, but I’m glad she’s been spared regulation footwear πŸ˜‰ There’s something about a cape, isn’t there? I’ve often thought people should wear them more, because they look wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • craftycreeky says:

      I think there’s a lot to be said for a more dignified uniform in how it makes you feel and gives you some authority to hide behind when dealing with stroppy patients! It used to take us about 10 minutes to prepare a new uniform as they had detachable collar and buttons, never mind making a new cap. The regulation footwear (no mocassins, at least 3 sets of eyelets…) may not have been the most attractive but when they reckoned we walked about 10 miles a day on the Nightingale wards they were comfortable.


  7. anne54 says:

    What a wonderful tribute to the nurses who have worked so hard over the last year. I can see why you liked the uniform ~ I am quite envious of the cape! However, I suspect that the current uniforms are more practical.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. tialys says:

    A true Superhero – forget the knickers worn over the tights. Although she does have a cape πŸ˜‰
    I think uniforms should make a comeback. The postmen used to looks smart back in the mists of time, now they wear shorts whatever the weather which is just too bizarre when we’re talking about U.K. weather.
    I must have a look at the other entrants – I can’t believe Violet didn’t win.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a very professional looking bunny.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jane M says:

    Definitely a super hero – looks fabulous

    Liked by 1 person

  11. kathyreeves says:

    What a grand entry this is, and every detail is there. So very well done, Margaret!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love both your honesty and the Barts uniform on the bunny.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. That is so sweet! I am a nurse also and trained in the late 1980s! We wore very formal uniforms (like the bunny’s) in school.

    Liked by 1 person

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