This site is dedicated to the love of patterns from the past. I enjoy the styles, history, artwork and unique fashion.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Call The Midwife - Fashion

I recently watched "Call The Midwife" a BBC mini series of a woman working as a midwife in the poorer district of east end London in the 1950's. Beautifully told and filmed, it inspired me to take a look at what they were wearing.

The three midwives looking so smart in their Nursing uniforms.
They would get on their push bikes and see their patients in the community.
Simplicity 4084.
I have had this pattern for a while, but really love the style - so classic Trench.
Butterick 3007.
Double breasted coat with or without belt.
I adore the model here with her hat on !
Simplicity 9612.
Double breasted Trench Coat. Short or long.
Can be used as a raincoat trench or wool coat.

 The Skirt suit. I love the detail on the front faux pockets, princess cut jacket &
front side pleat. I would say its almost late 1940's.
Butterick 3084.
Versatile options for a skirt suit pattern (1960's).

Simplicity 8474.
Butterick 8298.
A very cute skirt suit. Curved jacket front hem with darts. Collared with single button closure.


Roll neck dress with full gore skirt.
 I imagine this has a low cut back

McCalls 4303.
Full gore skirt with or without roll top collar.
Beautiful party dress !
McCalls 9611.
1953 full gore skirt with roll neck collar.
V neck back collar with bow.

Three quarter length coat, single breasted with turned cuffs.
Jenny wears this so very well. Scarf finishes the look off.
Id suggest white gloves too !

Du Barry 5088.
1940's coat with reversible hood. Really cute this pattern.
McCall 6450.
1940's single breasted coat in 3/4 length.

Lastly, how could I forget the all important nurses uniform dress.
Always a dress, never pants or culottes unlike today.

..and cape...

I like all the variations in this pattern. The detailed pleats are so cute !

I'd like to dedicate this entry to my great great grandmother Margaret Shields
who was a midwife in the 1950's.



  1. Love the cape and roll collar v back dress...I saw the dress on the show and had to find it online and it brought me to your site!!! Really great blog

  2. Thanks Sarah for your kind words.
    I hope you find your dress, it really is gorgeous ! x

  3. I remember in the "old days" when I first started nursing, our Director of Nursing would still wear her cape. These were the day just before pants became the thing to wear. I must say that Pants were easier to work in, but not as stylish.

    What a lovely dedication to your great great grandmother.

  4. Thank you Debs :)
    Nursing uniforms have changed a lot over the decades along with the variation of the role. Pants are more practical and modest when handling and attending patients. The original uniforms are kinder to the "look" and I think more recognised than today.

  5. Thanks for the enlightening article. My brother is running a hospital and he was looking for someone who could design stylish and comfortable scrubs for his team. After much effort and research he chose They created fresh, new pieces which made everyone at the hospital look and even feel great. Their line is best described in three words; functional, flattering plus fashionable. They are known to work wonders.

  6. My Mother was a Public Health Nurse in the 40's and 50's and as your article stated, she always wore a white nursing dress and starched cap. I love the new PBS series, "Call the Midwife" and I know my Mother would enjoy watching it with me.
    Your site gave me the number for the uniform pattern but I was hoping to actually find a template so I could become a "miwife" for next Halloween!
    You've created a nice remembrance of your Grandmother. I enjoyed reading it immensely.
    Thank you

    1. Thank you Mary. Its a lovely series especially for those of the era or in the industry.
      The Nursing uniform pattern is the nicest one I have seen to date and not many about.