A New Routine – Scrub Hub

As I write this, we have been in quarantine for 42 days. That means (apart from 2 very short trips to the local pharmacy to collect a prescription) I haven’t left my tiny flat for 6 weeks. It feels strange how this new normal just feels “normal”. My days and weeks now have a semblance of structure. During the week I teach. Although teaching Product Design over Google Meets and via Classroom is challenging, my teenage pupils have embraced learning how to draw and modelling architecture out of loo rolls and other cardboard packaging they find around their homes.

My weekends are spent making scrubs for the NHS. I found out about the Scrub Hub initiative on social media and waited to see if a local hub would be set up in my area. I knew I wouldn’t have time to run one myself (planning online lessons takes a long time). But as soon as a Wandsworth one was set up I joined. I was amazed by how the local community came together, fundraising on GoFundMe so that the hub could buy fabric.

Within a few days of signing up, I had a delivery of Gabardine fabric in royal blue and an order to make 2 sets of large scrubs. We have a network of volunteers who make deliveries and collections between members of the hub. I hit a bit of a problem when I didn’t have a printer to print out the pattern, but one of my neighbours offered to print all 68 pages of it for me.

Taping and cutting out the pattern took an evening, while the fabric had a wash and tumble dry. The first set of scrubs took me 3 days to make (I made the 2 sets at the same time). All the seams had to be overlocked and topstitched down, as the finished clothing would be washed a lot and had to be sturdy.

I finally had a reason to use all the sewing equipment the boyfriend had bought me for Christmas. The tailors ham proved to be very useful for pressing all the seams!

I also finally learnt how to use the automatic buttonhole foot on my sewing machine, to make a sturdy entry point for the waistband tape.

The second weekend I was asked to make scrubs again, but this time I tried out a different style neckline I had found online.

It has on overlapping v-neckband, so it is easier to take on and off. I found this tutorial on YouTube very useful when making the adjustments.

I also got a lot faster at making the scrubs, perhaps unsurprisingly! Although this shade of royal blue is very hard to photograph.

This weekend I am making purple scrubs, requested by a nurse. This time they are out of polycotton, so not as sturdy at the gabardine. But they are sewing up well.

I may not be producing scrubs at the rate that some of the other people in the hubs are, but I feel like I’m helping. I just hope that these scrubs last – and help to make the NHS workers who wear them feel able to do their job in comfy well made clothes.

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