June 2nd, 2020

Words and Photos by Becky Goddard

Medics worldwide are changing their scrubs more regularly in order to slow the spread of coronavirus. Hospital staff use drawstring bags to transport and wash their dirty scrubs, in order to avoid contaminating anyone else before they are washed. The idea is that scrubs they are laundered inside the bag, so the fabric used has to be suitable for a 60 C wash. I used old cotton bed sheets (pillow cases are ideal) and medium-weight calico. I thought I would share below the simple steps I followed to pattern-cut and create the bags using old sheets, in case you'd like to donate your own or make some for friends or family working in healthcare.



- Fabric (suitable for 60 C wash)

- Fabric scissors

- Sewing machine

- Cotton thread

- Tape measure

- Pins

- Safety pin

- Fabric, tape or string for the drawstring (I used cotton bias tape)

- Iron and ironing board


1. Cut out your piece. (I did individual pieces at 50 x 56 cm but if your fabric is big enough, do double that, fold it in half and just sew the one side together).


2. Cut 5 cm down from the top (50cm) edge and 2.5 cm in. Press seam under 1 cm and then over again 1.5 cm and top stitch down as shown here. Repeat on the other three top corners.


3. Next is sewing the two pieces together. As I don’t have an overlocker I did french seams so that the bag wouldn’t come apart after washing.


4. Now that the seams are sewn together, next create the casing for the drawstring. With the bag inside out, press in 1cm with an iron along both top edges.


5. Turn over a further 2 cm (trapping the side seams). Iron and pin in place.


6. Stitch around the width of the top of the bag 0.5 cm to create the casing, trapping and hiding the side seams.


7. Now that the casing is complete, turn it so that it is the right way round. Attach safety pin to the end of one of the 100 cm pieces of string (or whatever you’ve chosen for the drawstring) and pull it through the whole width of the casing.


8. Tie the ends together in a knot. Thread the next string through the casing and tie the ends of the opposite side.


9. Iron it. Cut any loose ends. And there you have it! Your wash bag is complete!


Optional: Stitch your friend or family member's name on the wash bag, or even the words "thank you".


Becky Goddard is a fashion design graduate from Surrey. Since graduating, she has worked as a fashion intern in London, while making accessories and garments in her spare time. You can find her work @rebecca__goddard