We have area co-ordiantors for all the areas now but many of them are working flat out and would appreciate help. Please message the co-ordinator responsible for your area in the first instance here.
What does an area coordinator do?
The coordinator is the link between those co-ordinating what is needed by the hospitals and the volunteers, making sure the hospitals needs and requirements are met (sizes, more tunics or trousers etc), and that the volunteers have all the information and resources they need.
Sewing & fabric
We are regularly asked whether it is OK to use old Duvet covers and sheets. This is our policy.
Good clean lightly used duvets make excellent laundry bags and can be used for headbands and scrub hats. Please use your common sense.
The Acute Hospitals will absolutely not accept anything other than new fabric.
For other venues including the Community hospitals our policy is this:
Scrubs ideally should be made with new fabric, however, good quality, hardly used fabric may be used if no new fabric is available. The fabric should be thick enough that when held up to the light it is not see through… Think will my underwear be on full view if I was wearing scrubs made from this material? Would I want to wear scrubs made from this material? In terms of buying new duvet covers or sheets to use our advice is that cheaper options will not be of sufficient quality and those that are good enough brand new will be an expensive route.”
If you are in any doubt please check with your area coordinator.
We've been asked to ensure that there are NO LOOSE THREADS on any of our scrubs for infection control reasons. This means that we all need to a)backstitch every line of stitching and trim our threads close. And b)finish the raw edges of all of our seams to prevent any fraying... so what are the options for edge finishing? I'll list them below in order of ease and speed:
1) OVERLOCKING - if you have an overlocker, use it! By far the quickest method, it doesn't matter whether you choose to overlock all your pieces before assembling or overlock your seams after sewing them either is fine.
2) OVERSTITCHING WITH A SEWING MACHINE - by this I mean using a zig zag (wide width, short length) or some form of overstitching stitch right on the edge of your seam allowance so that it fully encased the raw edges. This method takes a lot of accuracy and not all sewing machines like it (in my experience front loading bobbins cope ok, but top loading bobbins have a tendency to chew up fabric when you try) but give it a go on some scraps and if you feel that you can manage the accuracy and your machine is happy then this may be quicker than french seaming. It does however use a lot of thread, so use a large spool and pre-load as many bobbins as you can to speed things up.
3) FRENCH SEAMS - this is the slowest method, but may be the only sensible way to do it for you depending on your equipment. I would suggest french seaming all the straight seams, but the curved armhole/sleeve seam will be tricky to french seam and may be bulky and not sit comfortably for the wearer. If you are finding this difficult, the alternative option is to encase that curved seam edge with a strip of bias binding, just fold the bias in half along the edge of the fabric and stitch it in place.