The Making of a Scrub Shirt !

Want to make your own scrub shirt??  I used to work as a nurse in pediatrics and it was FUN to make my own scrub shirts… recently my honey found he enjoyed scrub shirt wearing and I knew this was something I could make for him from fabric we chose.  So this post is all about scrub shirt making using cotton fabric 🙂

First have a good understanding of basic clothes making.  THIS video by the Crafty Gemini helped refresh me prior to making this shirt.

What you will need:

  • Scrub shirt that you can use as a pattern with a v-neck
  • Sewing machine with zig zag capability or serger for raw side and shoulder seams
  • Iron with steam on and off function
  • 2 + yards of  quilting weight 100% cotton fabric in a design you like
  • Freezer paper roll (I prefer the name brand)
  • Paper scissors
  • Marker
  • Fabric scissors

First start by washing your scrub shirt you plan to use for a pattern as well as you 2 plus yards of fabric.  When clothes making ALWAYS PREWASH your fabric before cutting it out!!!  Give both of these a quick iron when clean and dry.

Fold your scrub shirt in half lengthwise and lay the fold on the long edge of a yard or longer length of freezer paper.  Write on the dull side of the freezer paper for all your marking.  I used a 1/2″ seam allowance but 5/8″ is standard in the US… you choose as this is your pattern.  Outline the scrub shirt two times… the first time will be a mock of the back neck.  The second time will be a mock of the front v neck.  This will take trial and error to be exact if you have never made a garment before but scrub shirts are fairly forgiving.

Label each pattern piece you make… for my honey he only wanted a chest pocket… so I made a 1 pocket scrub shirt… but I used to make 2 pockets at the bottom instead for my personal use… the pocket design was a bit different on those and if you are interested shoot me a comment about those.  Meanwhile we will just use a basic pocket for this scrub shirt.

Then you have to also make a back neck binding/facing and a v neck piece too… both of these should be cut on the bias instead of the straight of grain…. the shirt front and back and pocket should be cut out lengthwise along the fabric… make sure if you are using a directional print that you lay it out right though! lol

Give all your cut out fabric pieces a good steamy press… serge or zig zag stitch the edge of the fabric on the front and back pieces … specifically the side seams (not the bottom vents if you have those though) and the shoulder seams.  These edges will be raw and would unravel a lot if not zig zagged.  Now fold the top of your pocket down an 1 1/4″ or more to make a decorative finish across it.  First fold down the amount desired and iron in place… then fold the raw edge under and press to hold in place while you iron.  For my scrub shirt I decided to double straight stitch all the seams as a design and durability hallmark.  You can leave a single row of stitching if you prefer though.

You are done zig zagging/serging now so get your straight stitch machine ready for the rest of the assembly.

First add a stay stitching line at 3/8″ in the “V” neck opening on the front panel. Snip the fabric at the V to almost to this line with a single snip to give it ease in the finished garment.  Fold your V neck piece you cut in  half lengthwise then fold the raw edges inside and press so that the front is a scant amount less showing.  This ensures when you sew the v-neck in place that you catch the back edge too.  Now sew this neck in place holding the garment front straight at the V.  Once this V neck is sewn on press well and adjust until the fold is flat on your ironing surface.. stitch a diamond or triangle to hold this in place… you may decide to also stitch the edge of your v neck as well.. this would be your design decision.

Next add the pocket… Line up the pocket to the right of the V neck bottom edge at the position desired.  Fold under the raw edges 1 time 1/4″ on 3 sides (you should have already decoratively stitched that top edge).  Stitch 1/8″ in from the edge around the 3 sides ensuring the raw edges don’t show from the front top edges… run a second row of stitches around this to enclose your 1/4″ seam at 3/8″ from the edge or 1/4″ from your first row of stitching… pockets get lots of wear! lol

Now add the back neck facing… fold in half and each side in half again and press… sew to seam facing area of shirt back.  Press out any puckers.

Assembling the garment is easy now… start with shoulder seams.  Pin right sides together and stitch 1/2″ in on both shoulders.  Then stitch each side seam to the vented area on the bottom part of each side.

Hem the arm holes by folding under 1/2″ then fold the raw edge in again and sew.  Repeat this with the hem across the bottom on the front and back if you are leaving vents … or all around the bottom if you aren’t.

Sew the vents by ironing in place then folding in again to avoid raw edges.  Sew in place and tahdah!!!

Now even though you washed your fabric before cutting into it… wash it all again as a garment and press it well by laying it just like this on your ironing surface and press with a steamy iron.

Enjoy and feel free to contact me personally here if these instructions are just as clear as mud to you … I am happy to help in any way I can!

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