DIY

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

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

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