Thank you for volunteering to make scrubs for your local hospital at this difficult and challenging time.  We appreciate your help.  Please read through these instructions carefully before beginning.

You can download these instructions in Word or PDF

Health and Safety

  • Please do not put yourself or others at risk by making scrubs – you need to continue to follow government guidance on social distancing at all times.
  • If you believe you might be suffering from Covid-19, or are living with someone who is, please do not make scrubs for us at this time. If you have started, but then you or someone in your home becomes ill, please stop working on the scrubs.  Wash the fabric you are using, dry it, bag it and store it in an area where it will receive a lot of sunlight, like a conservatory. 
  • Always wash your hands before working on your scrubs, and please avoid coughing or sneezing on the fabric – if you can, wear a mask. Store the fabric, completed and semi-completed garments in plastic bags away from people and domestic pets when you are not working on them.
  • Please be mindful of your physical safety when cutting and sewing scrubs. We cannot take any responsibility for accidents which occur, and we really don’t want you to hurt yourself!  Always work safely and at your own pace.

What you will need

You will need to be experienced and confident with dressmaking patterns, and with sewing to a professional standard. You will also need to have access to an overlocker, so that garments are durable and will withstand being frequently laundered at high temperatures.

Fabric and Materials

Many online suppliers will post fabric out to you.  Do shop around.  If a number of you purchase together you may be able to secure a reasonable discount. 

All the following materials must be washable to 60oC

  • Fabric – this must be minimum 115gsm (optimum weight 150gsm), 100% cotton or a cotton blend (minimum of 35% cotton) in plain, dark colours. Patterned material is NOT suitable as it is harder to inspect for staining or damage.  Please prewash at 60 before cutting out the scrubs to allow for shrinkage.
  • Cotton tape for drawstrings – please do not use elastic as this quickly goes baggy after repeated hot washes. You can make tape from the fabric, which is less expense and won’t shrink or fray.
  • Fusible interfacing (“Vilene”) for the facings.
  • Thread

Quantities of fabric and tape

This table has been worked out by an experienced dressmaker, but are a guide only.  Please check the quantities yourself before ordering.


Fabric (based on standard 115cm width)

Fusible vilene*

Flat tape for the waist band (or make a tape from left over fabric) **





1.5M finished

1 reel




1.75M finished

1 reel




2M finished

1 reel




2.25M finished

1 reel




2.5M finished

1 reel




2.75M finished

1 reel

What size should I make?

Any size you can! The most popular sizes amongst our staff are medium, large and x-large, but we would also like some small sizes as well.  As donated scrubs come in and we identify a shortage of certain sizes we may issue special requests.  In the meantime, please do what you can.

The Pattern

There are two patterns approved by the Trust.  Please only use one of these patterns and not any other one found on the internet or elsewhere.  Thank you. 

  • The PDF Patterns Boutique” Scrubs pattern:

the print-at-home files can be found here PatternsBoutiqueScrubs (“Doctor’s Scrub for men”) and includes the instructions. It can sometimes be challenging to get the correct scale when printing at home. Be sure to do a test print for accuracy.  will print the pattern and instruction booklet for £7.50 with free postage. Orders take 2-3 days to despatch.

  • The PDF “Sew Different” Scrubs pattern:

This is a very similar pattern and you can download it here to print at home. (Download A0 size pattern with inset sleeves.) Please ONLY use the “inset sleeve” and not a “grown-on” sleeve version.  Please see Note 1 on page 4 of this booklet for information on how to improve the pattern layout to maximise the use of fabric for this pattern.

You’ll be able to preserve the multi size use of the pattern by tracing individual sizes from the pattern to cut out many scrubs of all sizes. You can trace each size onto dressmaker’s tissue paper or a decorator’s dust sheet from the pound shop, rather than cutting up your pattern and not being able to use it again.


  1. TROUSERS: Both patterns show the use of elastic in the waist of the trousers, but flat cotton tape is preferred, or you can make tapes from strips of the fabric. Button holes will need to be added to the centre front trouser casing to accommodate the tying of the tape. Please see Note 2 on page 4 of this document.
  1. SLEEVE: The sleeve design in both of the above original patterns (in 2020) was too short to correctly form the sleeve/armhole seam. As far as we are aware the patterns have not been adjusted at source, which is beyond our control. Please check your particular download to check the sleeve fit.  If there is an issue, please see note 3 on page 5 of this document to see how it is easily remedied.

If you have issues getting hold of a pattern,  or there are  any other technical issues please contact [email protected] and we will try and help.

Once you have made your scrubs

  1. Please embroider the size (S, M,L etc) into the back neck facing and waistband of your scrubs.
  2. Please wash your finished scrubs at 60oC and tumble dry or hot iron them.
  3. Once the scrubs are dry, please wear clean rubber gloves to fold them and place them inside a plastic bag (like a large clear food bag). Please seal the bag with tape and label it with the size of the scrubs and the date of laundering.  Please package each pair of scrubs separately.
  4. To arrange for collection of your completed scrubs, please contact your sewing group’s co-ordinator, or email [email protected]. Please do not deliver your scrubs to the hospital yourself.

We thank you for all the trouble and any expense you have gone to in making scrubs for our clinical staff.  Your help and support are so valuable to us and are greatly appreciated.  Our thanks also to the Haberdashery in Hitchin and East and North Herts Scrubbers for all their assistance and technical know-how.

If you feel that making scrubs is not for you, and would still like to sew for us, please consider making uniform bags so that each one of our NHS workers can use a bag to carry and wash their uniform in. The dimensions of these are minimum 20” x 25” finished, with a double drawstring through the top casing. Poly cotton fabric is preferable for these. Please follow the same protocol for the finished bags as for the Scrubs, washing at 60 and bagging up with the date on.

Note 1: Sew Different – suggested layout for pattern

If you are using the "Sew Different" pattern (NOT the “Patterns Boutique” pattern):    The tunic front and back pattern pieces are printed as if folded in half, showing a foldline down the centre front and back. We suggest you copy this out onto pattern tissue paper, or a decorator’s dustsheet (Poundland), or other large piece of paper, onto a fold, so that the front and back will be flat and symmetrical. This enables a more efficient layout on a single layer of fabric, rather than folding your fabric in half and placing the pattern pieces along the foldline. This little sketch might help.

pattern for making scrubs

Note 2: Adjustment for TROUSERS – both patterns

The finished length of the rise is coming up a bit short on all sizes and pattern types, due to the change in method from elastic to drawstring.  To accommodate this, please add 4cm to the top edges of the back and front trouser patterns. (If you've already made scrubs without this alteration, please don't worry, but if you can, please make your next ones with this method.)

Overlock the waist edge.

To form the waist casing, press a fold, 4cm deep to the WS.

Open out the fold.

To make the casing openings for the tape: Stitch two buttonholes on the right side of the trousers, on single layer of fabric, vertically. The top of the buttonhole will be approx 1cm below the fold you made (finishing approx 1.5cm long) and approx 2cm either side of the centre front seam.

Fold the casing allowance back to the WS. Stitch 3.5cm from top edge , and again, 5mm from the top edge. This leaves a sufficient casing for a 2cm wide tape.

detail of scrubs

Note 3: Adjustments for SLEEVE if necessary (please check your pattern by measuring).

The update below explains the changes and how to apply them. Printing the update is the easiest route,  but it can be applied without doing so by increasing the width of the sleeve/armhole seam by 25mm (1”) on the front and back edges of the sleeves, grading back to normal size at the hem of the sleeve. Use this link for all this information:

For technical advice please contact [email protected].

To arrange for collection of your completed scrubs, please contact your sewing group’s co-ordinator, or email [email protected]. Please do not deliver your scrubs to the hospital yourself. Thank you.