Nurses Scrub Caps – community project!

Scrub Caps for Campbelltown Hospital Staff

A friend of mine @liz mackey noted that @sue Gay shared a post from @Adopt a Healthcare Worker Sydney about the urgent need for scrub caps and looking for people to donate cotton material and others to make them. She sent me the contact info, I rang Sue but was not able to down load the pattern and instructions at the time. Eventually computer obliged then I sorted the material from my “collection” of found materials and began the project.

Completed! Yesterday I dropped off 30 scrub caps to Maternity at Campbelltown hospital. The same day I got a call back thanking me for the caps I dropped off and a further followup call from Maternity Nursing Unit Manager thanking me. Of the 30 delivered, there were only three left this morning and now they have found new homes. They are very keen to fill an ongoing need for these scrub caps thru volunteers. This was a lovely project to support my community and continue downsizing my textiles collection 😉

So a real and ongoing need. And I am helping some real heroes IMHO. If you want to get involved adopt a nurse yourself 🙂 The pattern instructions are below but I have not fully tested the instructions so could have some gaps…

MAKING SCRUB CAPS – Step by Step and useful hints for the new or experienced person including high school level students. Requirements: A basic sewing machine, any colour thread, use up your bits and pieces, marker, tape measure, suitable cutters, reasonable supply of pins. NOTE ALL MEASUREMENTS ARE IN INCHES.

There are many patterns and visuals available on the internet. However, this is a ‘step by step guide’ given freely.

Please join in and enjoy this experience by community helping and helping the planet by using off-cuts and remnants that may end in landfill.

See patterns and measurements below.

Draw master on drafting paper (optional) and two copies on newspaper -Hint 1* Newspaper is easy to pin through all layers. Hint 2*-Cut two of each pattern piece and store one away so that there is always a spare on hand for later use!

Name each pattern piece, a) Long tie b) Front c) Back. These will be used throughout construction.

Write instructions on pattern piece. ie ‘fold’, arrow for grain, centre of pattern and any other instructions as you go.

Hint 3* Cut material pattern pieces on the grain as much as possible as this allows better fabric control throughout and a longer wearing life.

Fabric collection. All new materials. Using interesting colour combinations. The odd joining seam is fine (when this join in not too near another seam). Have a good sort out at home, friends, etc. for light weight new cotton material, dress fabric, shirts, off cut dress lengths. Ask neighbours that sew. Any local dressmaker? Local shops often have ends of rolls that they will donate for charitable causes.

Hint 4* Blends can be used but too much polyester is harder to machine sew.

Hint 5* Have the paper patterns ready while collecting. Use them to check that the material being collected, will cover one of the pattern sizes with the correct fabric grain. Put aside pieces that can be joined to makethe required size for the pattern piece. Join these before step 4.

Wash all material; Reduce washing powder; Warm or cold wash and limit spinning; Semi dry the materials.

Hint 6* -To make ironing easier, remove items from the line and the dryer before completely dry. Iron and ‘sort as you go by laying out, handy to the iron, the three paper master pattern pieces. As the collected pieces are ironed, place each on the correct pattern shape and the sorting is done at the same time.

NOW FOR THE REAL WORK. These are the three pattern pieces.

Long tie. Front shape. Back shape


Assembling of cap is photographed. Write notes on pattern piece for referencing.

Making the first cap. Select Long tie pattern piece. See attached images of process.

CONGRATULATIONS AND FINAL HINT* It is Great that your first Scrub Cap is completed and the first one always takes the longest time but it is hoped that you will continue as the need goes on.

Decide the best construction style for you. Either cut and sew one cap at a time or cut several colours of each pattern shape. This provides a larger choice and more interesting colour combinations. it is an opportunity to ‘production line’ the process of assemblage and dramatically reduces overall production time. In other words, work on three or four at a time.

The local High school could be interested when it is all together, I think it should be put on USB.

After initial practice of cutting one out and practicing making it, I made some small adjustments to the process and I’m well on the way to making as many of the caps as I have washed fabric for. Also I will increase the size of the pattern to make a larger size for other heads.

As I finish each one I fold it and place it into a medium plastic bag with another smaller plastic bag holding two new buttons. These can be sewn onto the fabric at the most appropriate place to hold a mask in place.

It is only my time and material I am providing. The nurses are putting their lives on the line.