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Our local village Facebook group put up a request last week for people who can sew to make a variety of things for the front line workers in healthcare professions. Bookham Butterflies WI members have done a brilliant job since last week and I am pleased to say we have so far made about 165 laundry bags. Many NHS workers have to take their uniform off at the end of a shift and take it home to wash. We have made laundry bags, like a square pillowcase with a drawstring, so they can safely pop the whole thing in the wash without contaminating their homes.


I wish I could say we are done but I’m afraid we need many more bags and other items. The lady I gave the first batch to have so far passed on over 500 bags but the more people hear about these things the more the requests keep coming.


I am now in contact with the admins of a FB group who are co-ordinating requests from lots of hospitals, GP practices, nursing homes, etc. in the local area. Not only do they need laundry bags but also sets of scrubs, headbands with buttons on the side, possibly they will need theatre style caps and gowns. 


If you are not already doing something to help, could you liase with your members and either join this FB group - Scrubs for Epsom & St Helier - or email me to join the group I am co-ordinating. Below is the latest email I have sent to the group with details of what is needed. If your members have a sewing machine and are keen to help they can sew, if not they might have old bed linen or fabric they could donate. If they are strictly isolating I can collect made items or donations from doorsteps and distribute donated fabric.


If you are confident with sewing and can follow a pattern we can provide you with fabric to make scrubs for doctors & nurses. The group have crowd-funded money to buy the fabric as it has to be quite specific weight. I have attached the pattern for you to look at. If you want to go ahead, the full pattern can be printed on A4 paper and assembled in order to cut out. Email me if you want some fabric and I’ll send you the full pattern. 


If you have any stretch jersey material you could make Button Headbands. Wearing the facemasks with elastic over the ears is very uncomfortable as they rub so these handy headbands with buttons can sort this very easily. Unwanted t-shirts or similar would be fine so long as they still have a good elastic stretch. I have attached a pattern with a link to a YouTube tutorial. You will need a piece of fabric about 15-20cm x 50cm and 2 large buttons for each one. They are super easy to make if you can sew a straight line with a machine :)


We still need Laundry Bags, I have some donated bed linen that I can share out if you need it. I’ve attached a tutorial for these in case anyone wants to have a go but didn’t know where to start. They need to be about 60-65cm square if you are starting from scratch or you can convert old pillowcases. The tutorial says use ribbon but I’ve been told ribbon doesn’t hold up so well in the wash so a fabric tape or strip of fabric folded in half and stitched to make a ribbon will work better and one drawstring per bag is fine, they just look prettier with two. 


Finally if you have any more fabric, tape or buttons you can donate for any of these projects please let me know.


Kind regards and stays safe


Jill Jackson

Treasurer Bookham Butterflies


Instructions for
Please click to view


Instructions for
Button Headbands
Please click to view


Instructions for
Laundry Bags
Please click to view

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