Wednesday 6 May 2015

Homemade Evacuee Costume Tutorial...

When Ava brought home the letter inviting us to her Nursery VE Day party, I'm not going to pretend I wasn't a little bit excited. I love history. Always have, always will. I studied it for GCSE, A-Level and as part of my University Degree. I have always been fascinated by the past, and by the Second World War  Era in particular.

And so, last week, Ava and I enjoyed a little project afternoon, which Heidi joined when she awoke, and it was so much fun to see my little ladies developing the same curiosity and fascination that I have always had with that particular era.

But onto the party...

This Friday, Ava's nursery have asked the children to come in dressed up appropriately.

What could be more appropriate than a little Evacuee??!

So here you have it, a little "how-to" on how to turn your budding historian into an evacuee lookalike!
You need...

For the clothing
Ours were from the wardrobe, but charity shops are a cheap alternative
* Blouse and skirt/ dress, cardigan and long white socks for girls
* Shirt, shorts, tank top and long socks for boys

For the gas mask
* A small packing box 
* Brown string
* A black pen

For the label
* A brown label
* Brown string
* A pen

Accessories ideas
* An old style small suitcase 
* A teddybear

I am fortunate enough to have a real gas mask at home, which my childhood babysitter gave to me many moons ago from her own childhood, but I wasn't about to let our three-year-old traipse into school with that, so instead, I folded up a small postal packaging box, punched holes in the sides to tie the string through, and modelled the design on the original, copying out the original text from the genuine children's masks. I then simply adjusted the length of the string, until it was just the right fit for Ava.

The label was easy. I simply googled our local authority evacuee labels and found an exact match for the type of label the children in our local area would have had seventy years ago. I had always thought children wore the labels around their necks, but I discovered on closer inspection that they were, in fact, usually pinned to the collar, or tied through a button hole. Always want to be as true to life as possible!

We didn't own any suitable suitcases, but we do have a little bear who looks fairly old fashioned, so Ava picked him out as her travelling companion.
And there you have it. The transformation was complete. One little lady was delighted as she glanced between her costume and the evacuee pictures in her library books... And then she was off, running around the garden and re-enacting the games her Great-grandmother played which she had read about in her memory book last week. She was utterly thrilled, and it was rather a battle to get her to remove her costume and save it from getting damaged before Friday.

I think it's fair to say, if we were looking forward to it before... We're definitely looking forward to it now!

Hmmm... Now to create a little two-year-old evacuee sister!

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  1. Ok i give in!! Oscar will be there, dressed up!x

  2. I am glad Ava and Heidi have a mum who is always entusiastic to dress them up for what ever situation and this time for evacuation!

  3. Well done Claire! :-)

  4. Rachel Coleman6 May 2015 at 17:05

    Wonder if you have been to the Imperial War museum. Ava will be fascinated

  5. She looks chuffed to bits with her outfit too Claire! Hope you all had a fab afternoon. In response to the above comment, I'm still dying to go to the Imperial War Museum. Have also heard it's very good :)

  6. I love Ava's evacuee outfit and the attention to detail with the gas mask box and the label is superb. Hope she enjoys her nursery's VE day party on Friday.

  7. Wow! Love the details of your costume! The box and the writing are so authentic too! #sharewithme

  8. She is so cute and what a great costume. You are so creative. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  9. This is wonderful Claire, so creative and her outfit is just adorable. x

  10. Oh she's just so cute! I'm another history nut so I'm hoping my lot get a chance to dress up like this! Although my speciality was the Tudors!!

  11. She looks fab! Well done!! X #sharewithme

  12. Love this!! how brilliant does she look! I share VE day with my birthday! my girls would love this! x


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