How to Make a Nurse Costume for a Little Girl

by Rosenya Faith

If your little gal spends more time nursing her stuffed animals back to good health than she does visiting her imaginary royal court or venturing to faraway lands on an imaginary ship, then a nurse costume may be the perfect addition to her dress up wardrobe. Show off what a budget savvy mama you are with a homemade nurse costume for your preschooler or toddler. Keep it in good shape for next Halloween and she'll be the envy of the preschool playground.

Nurse Dress

Try the shirt on your little gal. If she's swimming in the shirt, pin along the outer edges to mark a better edge. If she's too wiggly to insert sewing pins safely, bribe her to stay as still as she can, draw around the outline of her body with tailor's chalk and pin it once you've taken it off her.

Remove the shirt carefully and sew new seam lines for her dress by turning the shirt inside out and sewing a straight stitch down both sides and underneath each arm. Try the dress on her again to make sure it fits. If it does, cut off the excess fabric. If not, rip out the new seam and try again. Maybe you thought you weren't a crafty mama before, but look who's tailoring clothes like a pro now!

Sew a row of red buttons in a straight line down the front center of the newly converted T-shirt dress or the child's T-shirt dress to make it look like a button-up nurse dress.

Unravel your spool of red ribbon. Pin ribbon around each sleeve opening and then sew it to the dress using a straight stitch.

Cut two pieces of ribbon, each about 2 inches long. Arrange the ribbons into a cross shape and pin the cross over the chest of the dress. Sew these in place.

Cut two more pieces of ribbon, each about 3 inches long. Pin one near the left side and one near the right side on the front of the dress at about hip level and then sew the ribbons to the dress to make faux pockets.

Nurse Hat

Cut two diamond shapes from white felt, each about 5 inches long by 4 inches wide.

Stack one on top of the other and lay them with one long side in front of you. Cut off the point directly in front of you from both layers to form the flat bottom of the nurse hat. Round the remaining three points of the diamond shapes.

Lay the top center of the headband on top of the flat edge of one piece of felt. Lay the other felt piece on top and sew along the bottom flat edges. Sew around the outer edges of the felt to join them together and keep the nurse hat on the headband.

Unravel some red ribbon and fold it in half lengthwise. Iron along the crease to keep the ribbon folded.

Sandwich the outer edges of the felt in between the folded ribbon and pin the ribbon all the way around the outside of the felt nurse hat. Sew the ribbon in place.

Cut two more pieces of ribbon, each about 2 inches long. Arrange the ribbon pieces into a cross and sew these onto the front center of the nurse hat. That's it -- you've just completed an entire nurse costume for your kiddo.

Items you will need

  • Adult white T-shirt or kid's T-shirt dress
  • Sewing pins
  • Tailor's chalk (optional)
  • Sewing machine (or sewing needle)
  • Red buttons
  • 1-inch-wide red ribbon
  • White felt
  • White headband


  • Easy Halloween Costumes; Martha Steel
  • Illegally Easy Halloween Costumes for Kids; Leila Peltosaari

About the Author

Rosenya Faith has been working with children since the age of 16 as a swimming instructor and dance instructor. For more than 14 years she has worked as a recreation and skill development leader, an early childhood educator and a teaching assistant, working in elementary schools and with special needs children between 4 and 11 years of age.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images