A Reproduction WWI Army Nurse Uniform

In my previous post, I showed images of an original WWI Era Army Nurse Uniform that was lent to me for study by a collector and former military couple. The goal was to reproduce a wearable version of the uniform for interpretive events. Here is the result!

Our reproduction is made from a very fine smooth weave wool. It is finer than the original but as close as I could locate. The jacket is fully lined in cotton. The buttons are original.

The wool had a very beautiful drape to it- which made a beautiful skirt but needed a bit more interfacing in the jacket. I also used a sturdy cotton lining to give it a bit more structure. The original jacket was lined in a thick synthetic blend satin and as this jacket was to be worn in a hot climate, I chose to use a cotton interior instead for ease of wear.

Unlike the original, our reproduction does have a center back seam. This was because I initially had a gusset at the center back skirt (and it is all cut as one piece like the original). However, after I cut it out and then considered the drape and fall of the jacket, I deemed the extra fullness at center back was going to be too much and would throw off the silhouette. So even though it looked ok at the muslin stage, with the wool and the lining, it was just too much. So I eliminated it, but was still left with the center back seam.

Another challenge were these front shoulder tucks. When I drafted the pattern, I allowed for this. But after multiple tries at creating this detail with no satisfaction, I decided to axe it. A casualty of puckering I suppose. (And a challenge for another day….)

For more information about our WWI era women’s uniforms or any of our custom made historical fashions, please visit our main website by clicking on any of the links in the top bar!

About Susan

My interest in historical costume began at a very early age. I knew by age 5 I wanted to be a costume designer. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to turn my passion into a full time business. You can find my costumes onstage in NYC, on the big screen, and in museums around the globe.