Hello folks, we hope this finds you and your family well.

We are all thinking about how we can help in Corona times. We love a bit of sewing here and being that this is made from a pillowcase, we thought it would be the perfect suggestion for us all to get making and helping out our amazing NHS.

NHS staff use these bags to put their scrubs in after they have been used. The bag and scrubs can then all go straight into the washing machine to avoid cross-contamination. These need to be laundered at 60 degrees, and should be preferably made of 100% Cotton.

This handy guide uses a sewing machine, but the scrub bags could quite easily be sewn by hand if you don't have a sewing machine. Please ensure that all seams are back stitched at both ends.

A big big thank you to our super photographer Tim and his wife Nadia, who made this guide for us whilst staying safe at home. You are wonderful.

Over to Nadia, she will take you through the process.

You will need
  • A pillowcase - preferably cotton
  • Some pins
  • One safety pin (not pictured)
  • Seam ripper
  • Cord or drawstring (we used approx 50 inches, but it depends on the exact size of your pillow case)
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Thread
  • Pencil or fabric marker

Before your start

  • Wash pillowcase at 60º, dry and iron it


Here’s How:

Step 1

Your pillowcase has a fold of fabric at the open end of the pillowcase. The first step is to cut this off. In order to do this, measure from the bottom of the pillowcase up both sides to just under where the fold is sewn into the seam allowance. Make sure you have measured equal distances on both sides and mark a line across the top of the pillowcase. It's roughly at the 22in mark for a standard pillowcase.


Step 2

Cut the top of the pillowcase off at the line that you have marked.


Step 3

We now have a pillowcase left with three sides sewn together and one end cut open. Next we need to unpick the side seam on one side only from the top of the pillow case (the side we just cut) by 2 1/2 inches.

Turn your pillowcase inside out.


Step 4

Next fold over 1/2in of fabric all the way around the top edge of the opening and steam it to get a crisp fold.


Step 5

Once you have gone all the way round, repeat this step, but this time fold and steam another 1in. You now have a double fold which creates a channel for the drawstring.


Step 6

The bottom of the channel that you have just folded should meet up with the top of the remaining side seam. On the side seam where the channel has it's openings, you need to cut a tiny snip, only as wide as the seam allowance, right at the base of the channel.


Step 7

Next, you need to double fold the two ends of the channeling (which previously was part of the seam allowance) - by about 3-4mm each time. You should now have a double fold on the end of the channeling which ends right above the seam line of the bag below. Pin these folds in place on each end of the channeling and secure with a line of stitches - don't forget to back-stitch at the beginning and end.


Step 8

Now is the perfect time to secure the top of the side seam which we unpicked earlier. Sew over the seam line under the channeling for about 1 inch. Go back and forth a few times.


Step 9

With the end of the channel secured, you can now fold the channel back into place (along the folds ironed in steps 4 and 5). Pin the channel down and you're ready to sew it down. Sew with a seam allowance of approx 3/4in, so you catch all the layers of the fabric. Don't forget to back-stitch at the beginning and end.


Step 10

All that's left to do now is to attach the drawstring to your safety pin. Feed the safety pin and drawstring all the way through the channel. You could cut the drawstring before inserting it - it needs to be twice the width of the top of the bag plus another 10 inches or so. However, it's just as easy to pull it through first and then make sure you have enough extra at the end to knot the drawstring and handle the bag, before you cut it.

Knot the end of the drawstring and your scrub bag is done.

Don't throw away the fabric we will cut off the top of the pillowcase - it's the perfect scrap for making headbands for the NHS.

You can contact your local hospital to see if they are taking donations, or you can send it off to the Crafters Companion, They are compiling bags and sending them to the NHS where they are most needed.

Scrub Bag Campaign, Crafter’s Companion, Horndale Avenue, Aycliffe Business Park, Newton Aycliffe, DL5 6DR

If you would like some printable instructions, please e-mail molly@secretlinenstore.com and we will get something sent over to you.

Happy (stay home and safe) sewing all