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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Genius ideas: Jalie's Elaine scrub top

There are a lot of nurses in my family - my mother, two of my sisters, my daughter, and now, in training, my nursing student niece.

The uniforms they have worn have changed over the generations- from my mother's white stockings and starched apron and hats, to my sisters' first white nursing dresses, and then to scrub tops and drawstring pants.

It is fair to say that none of our nurses have loved their uniforms (save maybe my mother who I am sure still misses her starched hat).

The reasons the nurses don't often like what they wear to work are these:

1. The almost one size fits all styling means that most scrubs off the rack don't fit anyone (as is the case with garments that are sold to fit everyone) very well. 

Ask yourself. 

When did you notice the nurse or dental hygienist in your life and thought "gee that outfit is a flattering fit"? If you have never made this assessment you can be pretty sure that the female in the scrub feels the same way.

2. The fabric and patterns are often nothing to write home about. Women who are fashion aware after hours would kind of like some quality in the garments they wear most often. I know one of my daughter's joys when she moved into a more administrative role was she didn't have to wear scrub tops any more.

All of which is a lead up to the release of Jalie's Spring release of a scrub top pattern. Here is the line drawing of the Elaine:

Now there are a couple of features that make this a particularly interesting pattern to me and to my nurses:

1. The seaming, specifically the princess seams in the front and back, make fitting, particularly for a larger bust, waist, or hip, very easy. I didn't do that in my version for my niece, but  I did add 2" in length which was much appreciated. We are all so tall.

2. The elastic in the middle of the back adds some flattering shape to what is often a fairly shapeless garment.

3. The V neck is modest but easy to wear and comfortable.

4. There are four front pockets - I hope you can see that there are smaller pockets inside the larger front pockets - a neat little detail that gives more places for more stuff but does not detract from the overall neat professional look of the top.

And of course making your own scrub top means you can choose your own fabric. 

When I asked my niece what she fabric she wanted she said  bright. Right now she is working with dementia patients and bright and cheerful colours are what her patients like best.

I had a lot of fun choosing fabrics. I settled on a combination of seersucker and a loutish print that seemed to say scrub top to this non nurse who has no idea what she is talking about.

Once again photographed by my niece's intrepid boyfriend here are some shots of her scrub top after work, modelled with the leggings I made her I notice, with emphasis on the details she particularly liked:

Hand in the inside the inside pocket shot

A shot hopefully showing how the two pockets are layered together. I also think this shows the vent at the side and the shaping achieved by the simple elastic insert in the back

Such a nice neckline

Isn't this a pretty back?

Finally my niece is very trim but I love this shot because it really shows how not boxy and frumpy the cut of this top is. Huge improvement on RTW scrubs
 My niece is pleased with this top and I was so happy to make it for her. 

Also I am secretly thrilled that I now have a great pattern in the reservoir that I can use  to make her scrub tops for her birthday and Christmas. I am also thinking that she would get a kick out of seasonal prints and this will give me an excuse to indulge my own taste in loud and crazy prints. 

Sarah has an infinite need for tops like these for work. Now I have a great pattern that fits, I think this is could to be the start of quite an interesting sewing partnership ...


sewingkm said...

So glad you reviewed this pattern. With it's trim shape and princess lines for adjustments it is a true winner! The top you made is cheerful and fun. Karen

SuzyQ said...

I'd like to use this as a base for a casual tunic since I really love the seaming through the neck/shoulders. Do you think if the pockets were angled instead of box shaped, it would look less scrubby?

Barbara said...

Suzy I actually think angling the pockets is a genius idea😉

mrsmole said...

If it were lengthened, it would make a practical dress as well.

beckster said...

I'm a nurse and have worn a lot of scrubs. I think this pattern is fabulous, and now that I am retired, I think it would be a great template for a casual top in the right fabric. Think rayon or linen, or maybe even lawn. I don't think it would look like scrubs with that cross over neckline. I think it might even be a nice workout top if it were made out of a knit and sleeveless.

ElleC said...

I have made an estimated 60 scrub tops (husband and I both work in nursing homes), and I agree purchased scrubs are hideous. Standard scrub patterns aren't much better. I agree the Jalie pattern is a much needed major improvement. However as I was sewing scrubs before Jalie anticipated my needs I had to come up with something else. So I had bought Sewaholics Belcarra. Slap a couple of pockets on that sucker and you have an awesome scrub. I always got compliments on my Belcarras. Give it a shot one day, your family might like it too.

Anonymous said...

Another great review of a great pattern. Our lovely lass will be happy to have scrubs that fit.

ElleC said...

I just got an email about this fabric, and I felt you needed to know.


Brenda said...

I had to wear uniforms for years being in the dental profession. Our office wanted everyone to match so we had a schedule for the provided uniforms. Monday we all wore grey, Tuesday the maroon, Wednesday was green, etc. I loved that I didn't have to think at all about what to wear everyday! Being a sewist, I would have loved to make uniforms that fit and with fabric I chose. I did alter some of the uniforms for the girls so they had a better fit. That pattern looks wonderful and has lots of potential for many variations.

birdmommy said...

I'm not in a scrubs wearing profession, but I'm seriously considering making this up as an all purpose woven top.