Sunday, 5 April 2020

Sewing through COVID-19: Handmade Scrubs!

In this completely bizarre period of time, it's nice to hang on to constants and for me one constant is sewing. Having to stay at home is certainly much more bearable with a hobby, and it's even better when that hobby can be put to good use. My mum asked me to make her a couple of scrub tops to wear to work (she usually wears normal clothes) and I have to admit to being slightly reluctant at first (sometimes you just want to sew something for yourself!) but I'm really glad to have made them, especially as she's been wearing them everyday since. 

I should start by saying that this top was actually my second attempt. My mum and I tried to make a patten for the first top together, using a large t-shirt as a base. While the attempt wasn't bad, I made it with ongrown arms rather than having a separate pattern piece for the sleeves so shoulder movement is restricted. The first top also lacks the classic overlapping v-neckband of scrubs and instead has just a v-shaped neckhole with the fabric turned under and topstitched. The next day I used a borrowed pair of actual scrubs to create a pattern which I then used to make this top, a much better outcome. The first one isn't wasted though as she needs two and it's still wearable.

The problem with the request to make two scrub tops was that they require quite a lot of cotton fabric and obviously I wasn't able to pop out and buy some. We managed to find a large piece of this waxed cotton print in my fabric stash which ended up being just enough fabric. My mum was given this as a present a couple of years ago by a friend from Malawi and whilst it felt slightly too far out of my comfort zone to make into an everyday item of clothing, it was perfect for a scrub top. She's bought some navy scrub trousers to go with the top and the overall look is pretty cool! It's fun to have something a bit different to the classic plain scrubs too.

Scrubs are a very easy design and the two tops were really quick to sew. The hardest part was definitely the neckband, to me it's part of the iconic scrub look (if that's really a thing?!) and so I was determined to make the v-neck as precise as possible. I think it turned out rather well! I had to make up the technique as I went along as I didn't have any instructions but I'm very happy with how it looks.

A final detail to make the top look a bit more professional was to add a small slit in the side, this was something that the top that I copied had. The only thing I didn't do was add pockets as Mum thought they wouldn't be necessary, although I think she has since mentioned that they'd be useful so I might go back and add a large pocket to the front.

This was a really satisfying make. It was fun to learn a new skill and make something quite different to what I've ever made before, and it's nice to know that this really useful and will be worn a lot in the immediate future. I couldn't resist adding the stethoscope to the photos on my Adjustoform - it just completes the look!


  1. Everybody who needs to wear scrubs should have them made from some funky fabric. Loving this! I hope you are well, being at home when you really want to be with friends and (maybe more reluctantly so) study for exams must be difficult. My daughter (who I believe is of a similar age than you) does feel a bit down in the dumps just now. If only I could convince her that a hobby would be helpful... keep on sewing!

  2. This scrub top is fabulous! Absolutely love the print! Speaking as a former nurse, she'll definitely need at least one pocket.

  3. The scrub top you made is so nice! I think it was a good use of the fabric. I agree with pockets. When I used to work years ago I always had my pockets filled with things, lol!!