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Scrubs pattern: modifications and time saving tips

Updated: Apr 24, 2020

I am writing this post on behalf of my mum, Patsy Burton who is beavering away at her home in Essex on behalf of Sew4Community. She has made some adaptations to the scrubs pattern (available in the files section of the group) to make it quicker to sew, but also researched pocket uses and adapted these in the hope that they will be helpful and useful to the wearer. I offered to create a blog post so that she and others can share this link to help others who want to speed up production of these much needed garments.

Patsy's top tip for scrubs that will last: always back stitch at the start and end of every seam, these garments will get washed repeatedly and at high temperatures, so must be securely sewn.


This means no interfacing is required. Facing is replaced by a bias cut piece of fabric (same as scrubs fabric) to finish the back neck, and a piece cut on the straight grain for the V. There is a YouTube tutorial for this.

Make 2” bias strip from the scrubs fabric and add that to back neck first. Stitch using a 1/4” seam, iron, understitch then fold the bias under and top stitch.

Stitch shoulder seams together. Neaten the raw edges of the seam allowances with overlocker or zig zag. Top stitch 2 rows to neaten and strengthen.


Make patch pockets on the front of the trousers. This saves time instead of making inserted pockets as in the pattern.

Just make one patch pocket on the back of the trousers. This saves time.

Patch breast pocket as per pattern. Patsy added a pen channel, by adding an additional row of topstitching 4cm from the topstitching at the edge of the pocket.

Patch pockets on tunic as per pattern.


Make fabric ties for the waistline so no elastic is required. Research has suggested that the elastic becomes slack over time because of repeated washing. 

Overlock or turn down 1/4” of fabric, then fold down another 1”. Press to keep in place. 

Backstitch, then sew beginning 1/2” off centre of the front centre seam, sew all round, leaving a 1” gap. Back stitch. This is important as the ties will be coming out of the gap remaining.

Cut about 50” x 2” fabric strip on the

straight grain. This can be joined, it does not need to be a continuous piece.

Fold in half lengthways and press. Open out, then fold edges in towards central fold. Press

both outside folded edges together, ie in half again. Stitch down long edge to secure. Thread through casing at top of trousers using a safety pin. Leave a few inches then cut and tie ends off. Secure by stitching through all layers at the centre back seam so the ties don't pull through and come out of the casing.

Update Applies to Large sizes upwards: L XL XXL XXXL From recent experience Patsy has found these adjustments are necessary whilst making scrubs. Add 1” to the top on both both front and back of trousers pattern. Add 1/2” to each of the side seams of sleeves

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