Dressmakers and hobby sewers across the country are putting their skills to good use by sewing scrubs for frontline healthcare workers preparing to fight the coronavirus.
The Scrubs Co-Op Facebook group connects makers with healthcare workers who need a fresh pair of scrubs.
The group’s mission?
“To provide the only thing worth remembering from the COVID pandemic beyond 2020 – the super stylish attire”, the page reads.
Founder Louise Parry works as a doctor in a specialised COVID-19 ward at The Austin hospital in Melbourne.
She said the hospital has been busy preparing for the coronavirus pandemic to peak in coming months.
“We know what’s going on in other parts of the world, so we’re trying to be as prepared as we possibly can,” Dr Parry told The New Daily.
After relocating to the new ward, she realised she needed to find a pair of scrubs.
“I used to wear normal plain clothes to work but given we’re in PPE all day now, I thought it’d be easier to wear scrubs and save my clothes from getting sweaty,” Dr Parry told The New Daily.
She said she started The Scrubs Co-Op after receiving an “overwhelming response” to a post on Facebook asking if anyone could make her a pair of scrubs.
“I knew it wasn’t just me that wanted them. A lot of people have been struggling to find them,” Dr Parry said.
“Certainly a lot of people have said they’re very happy to be helping, particularly professional dressmakers who thought they couldn’t do anything.”
Some makers are donating scrubs for free, while others are taking orders and selling them for about $30 to $50 per piece.
Victoria Trott from Point Cook in Melbourne is one of those willing makers.
The former nurse rose to the challenge of scrub-making after spotting a post from an ER registrar who wanted a scrub with a rainbow design.
“I thought, I’ve got rainbow fabric so I went ‘OK, I’ll do that for you’,” Ms Trott said.
And it’s not just healthcare workers she’s helping.
After suffering a stroke several years ago, Ms Trott said making scrubs has been a good way to boost her brain’s recovery too.
“The more I do, the better I get at it,” she said.
“I used to make peppermint swirl dresses for girls before I became unwell.”
Her scrubs feature front pockets, including an extra phone pocket tucked inside and a section for holding pens.
Now, Ms Trott’s husband has stepped up to help meet demand by cutting out patterns and fabric.
“I told him, ‘Right, you’re on my payroll for the next four days – you’ll be cutting out scrubs for me and I’ll continue sewing’,” Ms Trott laughed.