Surrey wedding dress designer makes NHS scrubs

For the last few weeks, like you, I’ve been out on my doorstep on a Thursday night at 8pm, clapping for carers along with my family, neighbours and the rest of the country.

The frontline NHS heroes are constantly in our thoughts, and most of us would do practically anything (isolation permitting) to support them.

I think most of us all feel the same helpless anxiety surrounding “what can I do to help” when we’re stuck at home. Especially when we know those in the caring community are putting their lives at risk through lack of protective equipment.

And gradually the news starts filtering around our own networks of family and friends who are desperately ill with COVID-19.

My couture brides know the moment isolation is over, I’ll be right there ready to fit their beautiful gowns. I’m in touch with each of them, and have done everything possible to support them and re-schedule their fittings if needed, where weddings have sadly been postponed.

But for now, I’m swapping couture silk wedding dress techniques for cotton and poly-cotton mass production. I’m a one-woman band, so never going to hold a candle to the excellent impact of the likes of Barbour and Burberry! But as the people at Tesco say… “every little helps”.

By chance, I happen to be able to sew, and could join the monumental effort to make enough scrubs and equipment for the NHS. I don’t understand why it is that some hospitals seem to have enough kit and others don’t, but I can see that the scrubhub is working. They’re getting the scrubs, scrub bags and isolation gowns to the people that need them.

The same neighbours with whom I clap for carers on a Thursday nigh every week, rallied round yesterday when I put the shout out on the Whatsapp group for our road, they dug out their old bedding, washed it – even ironed it (!), and it appeared on my doorstep a few hours later. For scrubs, you need a particular spec of fabric it seems, but for isolation gowns you can make them with old sheets and duvet covers.

My resident man-of-dreams printed out the paper pattern from my local scrubhub, and then made me lunch, while my 8 yr old Holly helped me cut out each part of it and stick it together, and then sat with her colouring pencils, decorating an envelope for the paper pattern, whilst I made up the first gown. Man-of-dreams tried it on to check the fit and boom, we’re off. It’s our 20 year wedding anniversary in a few days’ time, and I don’t think either of us expected to be doing this to celebrate, but honestly, I can’t think of anything more worthwhile.

A buddy from my old NCT group, Olivia, was instrumental in connecting me with scrubhub.org, as well as sourcing and donating the elastic I need for the cuffs. And then I was flooded with messages of encouragements from @Witstock (my local village fair organisers and generally a group of local champions who support anyone in need within the village), and also from friends in my bridal community on my @carolinearthurbridal Instagram and facebook. This was what has got me out of bed at the crack of dawn this Saturday morning, ready to get on with the next batch of isolation gowns for delivery on Tuesday.

Have a lovely weekend and please support your local scrubhub with any donation you can spare. https://scrubhub.org.uk/donate/

Love Caro x

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