Normally official holidays aren’t something you are really aware of. When living in my hometown there were always those holidays who were only marked in the calender and the federal ones who meant a day off school. In this part of Germany, the 1st of November is a federal holiday, so of course Halloween was celebrated every single year since the 5th grade.
Meanwhile I have moved to another country and to a protestant part of it. That means the 1st of november is a working day as every other day (except for the fact that all the people from catholic regions of Switzerland go shopping in Berne, so it is very crowded).
For that reason a dear friend of mine had to plan her Halloween Party on Saturday, so please forgive that slightly belated costume post.
As you can imagine, the last weeks weren’t the perfect time to prepare a perfect costume out of nothing, so I went for something already proved and tested.
My grandmother, born in 1933, became a nurse after she had finished school. I don’t know exactly when she started her apprenticeship, but it must have been somewhen around 1950. What I can say fore sure is that she quit her job in 1965 when my father was born and she has been a stay-at-home-mum ever since, being at the age of 80 today.
This is my grandma in 1953:
A few years ago she told me, that she still had her nurse’s uniforms in the basement. I was very exited and asked her to show it to me. In an old wardrobe she kept multiple of her dresses, aprons and other stuff. I was so very happy (also because my family isn’t very rich or aware of tradition and has only very few family heirlooms and souvenirs) and she asked if I wanted to have one of them. She gave me a dress, an apron, a cap, a surgical gown and even a matching brooch (well yes, the enamel is broken, I think she kept the intact one).
The cap was a bit of a challenge, because she didn’t remember how it had to be folded. Looking at some photos at the internet and with a lot of trial-and-error experience I figured out something that could be at least a possibility of how it was worn, though I am still not sure if this is the right way.
So, if you ever come across something that looks like a gigantic single layer slip, it is a nurse’s cap. It is starched very heavily, I didn’t dare to wash it until today because I am sure I will never be able to starch it as the hospital’s laundry did.
The first thing you’ll need is something called nurse’s pins. I didn’t even know that they existed (having had always assumed that those caps had been pinned with standard pins) until a client of the haberdashery shop I used to work in asked for them (of course, we didn’t have them). But when I found a little box of white-headed pins in a sewing basket I bought on a flea market, I knew immediately what I had found. They are a little longer and stronger as standard pins and, as already meantioned, come only in white.
First thing to do is fold the double-layered part of the cap back.
Pin the ends together to form a circle.
Pin the flap over the ends as shown. You can change the size by reducing or enlarging the overlap of the two ends and of the flap.
And voilà, your cap!
And here is the complete costume:
Somebody at the party asked me if it was on purpose that I wore my apron inside out. But I didn’t. It has one pocket for the right hand on each side, so if it get’s dirty you can turn it around. For someone standing left from me it looks as if my pocket was on the wrong side of the apron.
Me trying to make an ugly halloween-y face. And on the inside you can see a 50 year old (blood?) stain the laundry didn’t manage to eliminate.
I was accompanied by my boyfriend, wearing some giant plastic screws on his head as a costume (he hates costumes, that was all I managed to convince him of) and lots of homemade cookies (these are only the few we kept for ourselves):
I hope you had a nice weekend and a happy Halloween,
see you soon, love,