With a few modifications, old dress shirts can have a second life as child-sized medical uniforms.

With a few modifications, old dress shirts can have a second life as child-sized medical uniforms.

child sized medical uniform - little girl in nurse's dress illustration

Imaginary statistics show sick dolls and stuffed animals receive a higher quality of care when the caregivers are dressed in child-sized medical uniforms.

ILLUSTRATION: JEFF BRITTON

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My children enjoy playing “hospital,” and all their sick dollies and stuffed animals are getting even better care, now that their doctors and nurses are dressed in child-sized white coats. I made the medical uniforms from discarded dress shirts, and each coat took only 10 minutes or so to make. First, I cut off the collar (the ends sewn together, make a nurse’s cap), leaving the band with the collar button. I cut off the sleeves about three-quarters down, turned back the raw edges twice, and sewed the hem to form a cuff. Then, at the child’s waistline, I sewed a length of elastic around the inside of the shirt. If you stretch the elastic taut as you stitch it, the fabric gathers nicely. A red cross with the name “Doctor” or “Nurse” above it made with a permanent pen finishes off the outfit. The children love them. 

Lisa Anne Zack
Johnson City, New York