Masks, scrubs & more: Sew to protect healthcare workers & ourselves!

updated 10th June 2020

The story so far...Nationwide hundreds of sewists have come together to sew for the NHS & healthcare & key workers. Thanks SO much to all of you who have made and delivered to the hospitals via Ash, Katia, Tracy and Elizabeth - they have all they need for now. Mel at East Sussex Crafters group (below) also says you are all amazing and she has received 120 bags from us which are being distributed as I type this!

Whats next....There are lots of sewing groups you can join who need help to fulfil orders from medic and care staff - I've listed the ones I know below, There are also a couple of the care homes I've been in touch with directly who have requested items - they're listed below.

Plus I've added MASK, BAG, HAT, SCRUBS, FABRIC info & tutorials - scroll down to the bottom of the page to see them : )

Happy sewing!
Kat & team at Sew In Brighton Sewing School

If you are looking for our mask or bag tutorials click these buttons or read on for full details of how to help healthcare workers

The pictures above are from various amazing sewers on Facebook groups, all sewing for medical services or sharing their tutorials worldwide

What you can make, groups to join, other ways to help  >>

Updated 10 June 2020

URGENT - SCRUBS VOLUNTEER SEWERS NEEDED! Email Sarah on [email protected], join the group here, or message Sarah Priest on Facebook

MASKS NEEDED: Help make masks for Aspens, a residential, supported living and outreach service for children, young people and adults with a range of disabilities and complex needs inc. the autism spectrum across Sussex and Kent . Join their group here on Facebook to get involved or email [email protected]

TABARDS, MASKS, HATS, SCRUBS, GOWNS + OLD DUVETS/SHEETS NEEDED: email Mel from 'Sussex Volunteer Crafters' group on Facebook at [email protected] saying where you're based and what you have skills to sew or if you have already made items to give. She may be able to get you fabric or you can use old sheets or fabrics to make items. She has lots of requests from care homes. If you have some sheets or duvets you don't need she would love to have them for people to sew into things!

SCRUBS, BAGS, EAR SAVERS + OLD DUVETS/SHEETS/BUTTONS NEEDED: Facebook group Crafting for Covid has several healthcare orders across Worthing & Brighton that they need help sewing. Email them on [email protected] or visit their Facebook page here to get involved. They need old sheets, duvets & fabric too! Any fabric as long as they can be washed at 60. Buttons needed too - ideally above 1.5cm diameter. If you're between Crawley/Burgess Hill  or Wick (Littlehampton area)/Hove they can collect from you. 

SCRUBS, MASKS, HATS, EAR-SAVERS, HEARTS, BAGS NEEDED: Join Facebook group 'SEW SUSSEX - SEAMSTRESSES SUPPORTING NHS & FRONTLINE' who have been given £1000's worth of funded fabric by a large charity & need volunteer sewers to apply here to make scrubs and other items. You can register items you've made that you'd like them to distribute on their online form here

MASKS NEEDED: If you have made or want to make masks:
     >>Head along to Masked Heroes website. They are a new non-profit national organisation linking mask makers with those who need them.
     >>Add yourself to their mask makers map here for key or health workers to get in touch with you to collect your homemade fabric masks. There are several Brighton nursing and care homes on the map wanting masks so please add yourself and get in touch with them.
     >>Their website has a tutorial to make the masks, but a follower of this page says she and friend who have made 100's of masks have  found these tutorials much easier and more robust:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4FB--BOyTiU
https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Cloth-Face-Mask/
     >>Interested in finding out more about these guys? Read an article in the Daily Mail mentioning them here. Read their Press Release for more info here

SCRUBS NEEDED:
 For the Love of Scrubs are the largest (all of UK) group making for healthcare workers. I find their facebook group a little tricky to navigate, but you could use the group's search bar to find and join posts about your area, and also they have a sheet of who is coordinating which areas which you can access on google drive here 

(ps Please let me know if you discover any options on this page are no longer available & I will remove! Thanks, Kat)

Other ways to help:
Got a spare few quid? Please donate if you can and/or share these funding page links on email, text or facebook:
    > Brighton scrubs making facebook group 'Sewing for the Royal Sussex & PRH' (also supplying Worthing areas) are getting lots of orders, have lots of people sewing but always need more fabric than they have! Share & donate to their fundraiser here
    > East Sussex Seamstresses facebook group (supplying Eastbourne through to Worthing) has lots of orders too and needs to buy more fabric for scrubs - help them out and share their link here. Any unused funds will be donated to community charities & the donation button will be switched off once the project completes. They will publicly publish accounts

Chichester area sewers need to email  [email protected] and/or join Chichester scrubs group on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/626560348200334). 
To donate for them to buy more fabric: https://www.gofundme.com/f/scrubs-chichester

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ARE YOU A HEALTH OR KEY WORKER NEEDING KIT?:
>   Do you need fabric masks? Visit the Mask Heroes site and add your details and they aim to match you with local mask makers
>   Anyone working in Sussex healthcare can request here from Melinda by posting on Facebook group ‘Scrub Making for The Royal Sussex & PRH - Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath etc’ 
>   If you work anywhere between Eastbourne and Worthing: Order here from facebook group EAST SUSSEX SEAMSTRESSES NHS & FRONTLINE
>   Brighton Scrub Hub are still taking orders & have capacity. Place an order via [email protected]
>   Post your request on East Sussex Volunteer Crafters Facebook Group or contact group leader Mel on [email protected]
>   Facebook group Crafting for Covid may be able to provide for you. Email them on [email protected] 
>   Have a look through the groups at the top of the page for other ideas of where you could order as they may all be able to help
>   If you have no joy with the above I can add you to this list if you are in Sussex - email me on [email protected]

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TUTORIALS, PATTERNS, FABRIC

LAUNDRY BAGS:
Download or view our free tutorial at: sewbtn.com/nhsbag - optional make them a larger size up to pillowcase size, but the size in this tutorial has been ok’d by a nurse. Use any fabric that can be washed at 60 degrees. You need a piece 110x50 for a bag. Ribbon could be made from fabric or bought at Fabric land or other haberdashery

SCRUB HATS:
Pattern here for scrub hats and YouTube tutorial here

EAR SAVERS TO WEAR WITH MASKS 
View ear saver tutorial video here
If you have been asked for headbands and want to make them for someone else
: Headband with buttons free pattern & tutorial here

FACE MASKS: 
There is still a lot of controversy over these, but some hospitals will wear them over medical masks for extra protection plus makes things less scray for the patient to have cute fabric masks on, so they don't need to be technical masks. Generally a filter is useful e.g. part of a HEPA vaccuum cleaner filter (See FILTERS below if you want to add extra filtration or choose best fabric). Or some masks are triple layer.
Before beginning, find out if the people you are making them for have specific types of masks they are looking for. We’ve heard many hospitals are only accepting specific masks types. Many other groups at the top of the page need masks to distribute to healthcare workers - see what their specification is when you are making for them.

We made a mask and posted the tutorial on this website! Find it here
These are some of the other mask tutorials we've seen:
1. This is the mask tutorial (with vacuum cleaner bag filter inside) that I (Kat) used to make a mask for my partner - see result here on our Instagram, I made straps that went round the back of his head rather than over ears. I also added a dart on his chin which you can see how to do on this tutorial. If you want to know how to make ties, see the nurse tutorial (3.) below
2. Easy-to-make no-sew face mask pattern from Jennifer Maker here (approved by Ash at Brighton Hospital to go over medical masks, but he now has all he needs)
3. Mask tutorial with ties round the back of the head by a nurse here
4. This Youtube tutorial mask is form-fitted onto the face with adjustable elastic ties around the ears to fit a wider variety of faces: tutorial here
5. Jennifer Maker shows how to make the sewn fabric mask in the top right picture above. See the tutorial here
See top of page for who to make masks for
FILTERS: This article demonstrates scientific study done on best filter mask fabrics - sewbtn.com/cvfilters
Another scientific article here on masks if you are curious to know more

HEALTHCARE TABARDS
I have just made a simple Tabard pattern for Mel at 'Sussex Volunteer Crafters' group on Facebook and she is looking for people to make them. She has my pattern making instructions available & lots of requests from care homes for tabards. They don't have funded fabric but you can use old sheets or fabrics to make items. If you are an intermediate to experienced dressmaker and could help sew them, please email her at [email protected]. Say where you're based and what you have the capacity to sew and whether you have any sheets you can use to make them. She also may still need people to make other items like masks and hats
If you would like my tabard pattern making instructions for another group please email me, Kat, on [email protected] and I can send them to you.

SCRUBS PATTERN OPTIONS
Hospitals are saying don't bother including side pockets but one patch pocket on the trouser back is good. Do 2 patch pockets on the top if included in your pattern.
If you are part of a group of sewers they may have a specific pattern they want you to use to fulfil their orders. If you are independently looking to make scrubs for your own healthcare contacts, the most user friendly options for getting scrubs patterns seem to be:

Sew Different Free Scrubs pattern in AO size (84.1cmx118.9cm) is available in the post from one of these printers:
(ps Please double check these options are still available and let me know if they are not and I will remove! Thanks, Kat)
 - £3 Printroom have the pattern in AO size pdf and will post it to you for £3 just to cover the postage. Order it here
- £3.50 - Download the free AO size pdf Scrubs pattern at Sew Different here and have it printed and posted to you by Lisa at the Avid Seamstress - order here 
 - £3.50: Busy Fingers Printing will post you the Sew Different Scrubs pattern for £3.50 delivery (ie they already have the digital AO pattern). You can call them on 01285 656757 to order it or email them here
How to sew the Sew Different Scrubs:
  - View Sew Different Scrubs pants making video tutorial here
  - View Sew Different Scrubs top making video tutorial here

Other patterns and scrubs making tips
> This youtube video shows a good way to do the v-neck on scrubs tops
> See FILES section on various scrubs groups for downloadable patterns including this one here. To see what the pattern should look like once printed and the A4 sheets stuck together and cut out see this post
> see FILES section on your local scrubs group for printable patterns or this web address: www.sandbnhw.org/scrubs from the EAST SUSSEX SEAMSTRESSES NHS & FRONTLINE Facebook group 

FABRIC OPTIONS
 
You will need 3.5-4m to make a set of scrubs (plus tape & thread) and half a metre of fabric per laundry bag
Want to buy fabric yourself to make scrubs for your own medic or care contacts?:
 >  See 'Groups offering fabric/kits' above first if you can sew scrubs for Surrey & Sussex
 > The Bombay Shop Bradford has been highly recommended. Next day postal delivery, £1.99 mtr and £1.99 postage. Polycotton in all colours washable at 60%. 44" wide (120-140 gsm) 35% cotton & 65% polyester. Buy online here
 > Polycotton fabric from 99p mtr from Empee Silks here
 > Judith Anne Mason on facebook is selling Polyester Cotton. 115 cms wide. 45" black. Royal blue. Pale blue. Purple. Navy.  £1.55 metre trade price (usually £3mtr). Making no profit - just doing her bit to help! Messenger her via facebook here or email her at [email protected]

*****

I will update this page regularly as new info arrives

Thanks, Kat Neeser - Sew In Brighton Sewing School
https://www.facebook.com/kat.neeser
[email protected]
www.sewinbrighton.co.uk