Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Scrub top from vintage thrifted bedsheets

In the 'real world', I'm a vet, working at the Edinburgh University veterinary teaching hospital.  The hospital is a somewhat serious place, so I decided to bring my own style to the operating theatres in the form of my own personal scrub top.


Image source

I chose Simplicity 4378, described as 'Women's, Men and Teen Scrubs'...completely missing the 'PLUS SIZE' part of the description.  Bollocks.
The material was a vintage thrifted bed sheet I bought from a charity shop years ago.  It's Thelwell, cartoons I was completely in love with as a kid and still adore to this day.  To those who don't know Thelwell's work, check out the website.  Then go buy 'A leg at each corner' for a small girl in your life.


As I cut out the pattern (size S, not that it matters when you're cutting completely the wrong size pattern) I thought to myself, "This seems awfully large...oh well, I'm sure Simplicity knows better than I do..."  Rule number 1 of sewing - trust your instincts.  I guess because I'm not that practised or confident at sewing from a pattern, I just blindly follow the instructions without really thinking about what I'm doing.


So the first top sewed up super fast, I have in mind everything from cutting the pattern to finishing the top stitching only took me about 2 hours.  Folk who follow me on Instagram (@craftandthrift) will have already seen this photo, taken in horror after trying on the first attempt.


Since it sewed up so quickly and I was in a trial-and-error kind of mood, instead of throwing it aside in a fit of petulance as I would have done normally, I decided to have another crack.  I cut into the pattern big-style, hacking 2 inches off either side, which in retrospect was a bit drastic.  I had then managed to create a top that was too small to fit over my bum.


Futher frankensteining followed, wherein I added a triangle at either hip to allow the top to fit over mah junk.  I also took it up too short in the bottom hem (facepalm - will the hilarity ever end?!) so ended up having to add another 2 inches back onto the bottom.  By this time I was gritting my teeth, determined to make it work.  In retrospect, maybe I should have taken this as a sign that my sewing career is never going to take off?





Scrub top in use, pre-surgery

But!  Amy triumphed!  (cue fanfares)  It's not perfect by any means, but for a comedy covering of my upper lady parts in a manner that will ultimately end up covered in doggy bodily fluids, it will serve.  I've had multiple compliments from folk at work, who don't even seem to notice that it's handmade (or at least are good at faking the, "is it really?!  How talented are you?" phrase.

Do you wonder now why I knit more than sew?  Sewing is stressful man!


  1. Wow, how clever. You'll be getting orders from your colleagues. What a lucky child to have had such great bed linen, I was pony mad when I was small.
    S xx

  2. Thank you! Me too! If it had been a double set I would have definitely had it on my bed for a while before cutting into it!

  3. I remember the "before" photo so I am mightily impressed with the remodelling! Laughed a bit at the comedy of errors tho, it's like the time we got new lino in our laundry and the big wall cupboard door kept catching on it. Dad took the door off and measured half an inch to cut off it. The doorbell rang, so he answered it. Went back and measured the door again and the phone rang so he answered it. Went back again and just cut half an inch off. When he came to hang the door it was still catching and there was half an inch missing off the top! it's quite comically short now!

    Also impressed with the scrubs in action shot. Did one of your colleagues take it? I can imagine my colleagues if I had to explain the concept of a "blog"! xx

    1. Haha, brilliant, I'm glad I'm not the only one!

      Yeah, I got one of the nurses at work to take it for me. I mumbled something vague about 'documenting my sewing' and she took the photo with minimal questions which was nice. I always feel a bit pretentious saying I've got a blog, like I'm a 'bloggah'!