Lockdown, Uncategorized

Sanity Sewing #3: Done Scrubbing

It is 10 weeks since lock-down started, and restrictions are being eased. The commercial supply chain of scrubs has been in place for a few weeks now, and the national network of scrub hubs is winding down.

Personally, I had to retire gracefully from scrubbing for the NHS a couple of weeks ago, as six weeks of non-stop production line sewing triggered a bout of cluster migraines – the first in over a year. It lasted over 10 days, and took a good fortnight to fully recover.

Anyway, during my time as a proud #NHS #Scrubber I managed to complete:

  • 31 scrub tunics (ranging in size from S to XXXL)
  • 27 pairs of scrub trousers (ranging in size from S to XXXL)
  • 10 surgical gowns
  • 244 scrub laundry bags
  • 137 scrub hats

That’s a total of 449 items of PPE in just 6 weeks. No wonder I made myself ill!

Thanks must go to Joan E for collecting unwanted bedding from her neighbours for making into bags and hats, and to Judith H for helping with cutting out bags and hats.

Thanks also to the scrub hub coordinators who worked tirelessly fundraising and sourcing fabrics for the scrubs and gowns, and to the drivers who delivered fabric and collected finished items for distribution.

What a team. I am proud to have been a part of this amazing effort during the pandemic.

Salford Scrubees

Bury, Oldham and Rochdale Scrubs Hub

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Lockdown, Uncategorized

Sanity Sewing #2: Scrubbing for the NHS

About a week ago I was cruising Facebook, and saw a post from the Manchester and East Lancs Scrub Hub. Intrigued, I clicked through, and saw that this is part of a national network of professional and home sewists beavering away sewing scrubs for use in the NHS. I pondered this a bit. I signed up.

Patterns for scrub tops and trousers are in desperately short supply. Companies like Blue Sky Printing are offering to print these on A0 size paper and post out, and mine should be here any day now. IMG_1074Meanwhile I have been making scrub hats (Tie-Back-Hat-Pattern-Pieces (1)) and laundry bags. IMG_1043These are very straightforward to make, and I have fully raided my fabric stash for any suitable weight fabrics – regardless of colour, print, or whether I had bought them for use in a ‘special’ project. After all, what is more special than helping to ensure that our front-line staff are adequately protected?

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is single use, and includes scrub tops, trousers, hats, face masks, gloves and aprons. “Single use” means change after every patient interaction, not after every shift. Some hospital and GP staff are getting through over 20 sets of scrubs every day.

So, I’m a Scrubber Bee, and proud to be so.

But I need your help. A lovely friend has offered to help with cutting out so that I can focus on sewing. There’s more to do. Tops and tunics need to be made from regulation fabrics, and the Scrub Hubs need help with funding these. Hats and laundry bags can be made from any polycottons, and old (clean!) bedding is ideal for these. Do you have any sheets, duvet covers or pillow cases that you no longer need? Please get in touch!