St. Wendreda's

March Cambridgeshire


Having watched a couple of YouTube demonstrations for re-using pillowcases to make NHS Scrub Bags I have produced the following instructions re-using pillowcases

It is advised to use either cotton or poly/cotton fabrics that will take a 60°c heat to be able to kill bugs and dimensions are loosely given as 18” - 20” wide and up to 30” long, finished.

Bags can also be made out of fabric you may have in your sewing kit, and essentially make a large drawstring PE bag. 

Place the pillowcase on a flat surface and cut off the top 3” across the open, top end. This gives you a circular piece of fabric. Cut down one of the short side seams to give a long piece of material which will make the pull cord for the bag.

Fold this 3” piece of fabric in half, wrong side of material together. Sew under a machine where the edges come together. Neaten each end. Press with iron.

Turn the pillowcase inside out and turn over the top cut edge about 2.5” down. I found it easier to then fold under the raw edge by ¼” and press with an iron. Now put in a few pins to hold in place and machine that piece of fabric down which becomes where you thread the cord. Start to sew ¾” away from one side of a seam and carry on all the way around and finish ¾” away from the other side of that seam. Ensure you run over the start and end of the stitches at both ends 3 times – easy if you have a reverse stitch function. This ensures it won’t come undone. Give the bag a press with iron.

Remember, this bag will be washed endless times and the stitching need to be really secure. The machine sewing doesn’t have to be exactly straight and if the fabric puckers or pleats up – this is OK. It’s the function of the bag that ultimately matters.

Put a safety pin into one of the cords ends and slip it into the gap left as you sewed. A nappy pin is ideal as you can feel this quite easily as you push it around and come out the other end of the gap.

Place ends of the cord together and tie a knot at the end of it, as strong as you can. Shuffle the fabric at the top end of the bag to make it even along the top edge. If you are not happy with the gap area, put a few hand stitches to neaten it up on the inside.

Turn the pillowcase right side out and press again if wished.

This should finish off the Scrubs Bag.

If you have time and wish to, you could add an applique Thank You/TY on another odd piece of fabric and sew it to the outside of the Bag.

Very quick to make and will make an NHS worker very happy to be able to just put the bag into their washing machine.

Once completed please telephone Ruth Bryant  on 07479 652578  and she will arrange for them to picked up.