Drawstring bag
Upcycle Projects

How to make a Scrubs bag

A local nurse contacted me to ask about making a simple drawstring bag that could be used to put her scrubs uniform in at the end of the day or shift. Something that would mean her and her colleagues would not be bringing contaminated scrubs into their home and it could all be chucked into the washing machine.

So myself and my awesome neighbour put together a plan over the weekend and we have made over 100 for her and her colleagues on the ward to use. It has felt so good to do something productive at this weird and difficult time. We’re going to continue to make some bags for other local places that might need them. Maybe rope in other neighbours who might have fabric going spare or the time to make some with their sewing machines that might be gathering dust!

Looking into this further, I’ve found that this is something that would be useful to an awful lot of key workers. If you feel like you’d like to make some, contact your local healthcare provider to see if they need some help – it might not even be a hospital, it might be a Hospice or a Care Home for example. Or maybe a friend or neighbour is a healthcare professional who might like one? If you’ve made some, but not sure where to send them, check out this Facebook Page, ‘For The Love of Scrubs’, where there is a co-ordinated effort to get supplies to those that need them.

So, if you have some fabric and a sewing machine and feel like you’d like to give it a go, here’s my step by step guide to make a simple drawstring bag. These instructions and measurements will make a bag approximately 30cm wide and 38cm long – but of course, make them bigger if you’d like.

You will need:

  • A piece of fabric – 33cm wide x 80cm long. You could use a pillow case if you don’t have fabric lying around. It needs to be cotton, something that can be put in the washing machine at high temperatures.
  • A piece of cord, ribbon, or bunting tape. 80cm long. Again, something that can be washable
  • Scissors
  • A sewing machine – or you could sew by hand a running stitch, but of course that would take longer
  • A safety pin – to thread the cord through the top to make the drawstring

Step 1 – cutting out

First step is to cut out a piece of fabric approximately 33cm wide and 80cm long (you can make it bigger if you want to). Fold the fabric in half, wrong sides together.

Step 2 – the sewing bit

Next you’re going to create the hem at the top for the drawstring to thread through. Fold down about 3cm at each short end of the fabric and sew across to create a hem as shown.

Fold over top of fabric
Fold over the short ends about 3cm
Sew along the hem
Sew along both the short ends to make a hem

Next fold the fabric in half, with the right sides of fabric together.

Sew up the long sides, up to the drawstring hem as shown in the picture. It’s important to stop the side seams at the hem, otherwise you won’t be able to thread the cord through!

Side seams

Tie off all loose ends of sewing thread.

Step 3 – insert the drawstring

Tie your piece of cord/string/ribbon to your safety pin and thread it through the hem at the top of the bag.

Tie the ends together into a knot, to stop the string disappearing back into the hem!

Drawstring bag

Remember to take the right precautions when you’re making your bags. Wash the fabric, wash your hands at each stage, clean down your workspace etc. And only deliver your bags at a safe distance.



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