COSTUME TUTORIALS: Good and Bloody Nurse
The most common costume I see at Halloween is a medical one. Normally I see people in scrubs, but that just is too lazy and plain for me. I present to you, my medical costumes. I have both good...well sort of, and evil nurse costumes. They both incorporate some basic elements, but with color differences and some fabric changes.
Apron - This is one I made. I will provide a tutorial for it, later this month. It's a really easy one to make. You can adjust the length of the bib and skirt, as well as the skirt fullness, when you are constructing it. This one uses white cotton. There is red stitching on the pockets. I used a special stitch that looks like sutures. Pockets are handy to have because you can stick your ID in there, as well as any medical instruments you need for your costume...we'll get to those in a bit. I used watered down red paint to paint the medical crosses on the bib and back pockets. I used the same paint and a paint brush to splatter on the fabric. This creates a blood spray look. It's up to you how much you want and where you want it. I splattered the ties too. Splattering is messy, so make sure you either do this outside or cover your working area. The paint drys quickly, because it's watered down and lightly applied. Of course, if you wanted to go as a real good nurse, don't do the "blood spatter", do just the cross on the bib.
Shirt - You will notice a red and white striped tank top peeking out of my apron. I bought this at a store. It was a night gown, but I shorten it, because I don't wear night gowns and it makes a great fitting tank top. Altering a tank style night gown allowed me to control the length. Since this is made of a jersey knit fabric, I didn't hem the bottom. This type of knit will not unravel when cut. I tried the gown on, and used straight pens to mark, in the front, where I wanted the bottom to stop at. I took it off, laid it out flat, and folded it in half with the back touching. This way, I could see my straight pen markings. Make sure it the shirt is smooth, with out bumps or your cut will be crooked. Since this is a striped shirt, I cut along the stripe that fell the closest to the pin marks. If you are using a non horizontal striped shirt, you lay a ruler along your pins. Your pin marks might not be perfectly straight, so this a good time to fix that. You can use white chalk to mark a straight line. Cut along this line, through all of the thicknesses of your shirt. This will create a straight bottom. Your bottom might roll up a bit, this is fine.
The alteration was just an extra helpful thing for anytime you want to alter the length of a shirt. For this costume, you can use any red and white striped shirt, a solid red one or a solid white one. Just make sure it's a comfortable one that looks nice with the apron.
Skirt - I have on a red tulle tutu. The tutu I'm wearing, I sewed, but if you are not skilled with sewing or don't want to sew tulle (which is a horrible fabric to sew with, because it likes to move around easily), you can follow my tutu tutorial to make one. No-Sew ones are the easiest. You can use any red skirt. I recommend a red one, so it pops against the white.
Undergarments - Since my tulle skirts are short, I normally wear little boy cut shorts under neath. This is especially important if you use a no-sew tutu, as it doesn't have a modesty panel under it. It's completely sheer. If you use a red skirt, try to find red boy cut shorts. The boy cut covers you butt better than just underwear. Though, I think under this particular skirt, since it has a modesty panel, I was wearing red ruffle underwear over a nude colored mesh thong.
Stockings - For this one, since it was chilly that day, I am wearing white fishnets under the red underwear and white thigh high stockings with medical crosses on them. I have a red garter belt on to hold the thigh high's up. If it's not a chilly day, don't wear the fishnets, just the stocking with a garter belt will do.
Shoes - For this day, I felt like being comfortable, so I wore white knee high faux Converse. (I also have a pair in black that I wear a lot with other outfits) I normally wear red pumps.
Accessories - To amplify the nurse costume, I bought a stethoscope with red tubes and large syringe (It's for oral medications, it has no needle) from a local medical supply. I also bought a child's medical kit from a toy store and I use the case as a purse. You can buy just a case from a costume or party supply store.
Hat - I attempted to make a barrette with a "hat" on top, but it ended up not looking right on me. That was probably due to it not being a regular nurse hat. The medical supply doesn't carry those as they are a style that nurses no longer wear. If you would like to make your own vintage style nurse hat, follow this handy tutorial.
Should you not be of the crafty persuasion, many Halloween stores should have a variety of nurse costumes to chose from. If you can't find one in a store, search the internet, for one. Normally, the costumes come with many pieces, but you might have to or chose to buy some of the pieces separate...like the accessories and stockings. Here are some different shops that have great nurse costumes and accessories. One stop costume shopping is good too. Use the store locator to find ones in your area. If there are none, try ordering through their websites, or look on Ebay. (These links are filtered to a "nurse" search)
Should you want something more sinister or naughty, follow my demon nurse costume guide. Some of the links might be outdated now, so I have updated it with the below photo of me wearing the costume.