Students sew scrub caps for local doctors in ‘virtual sewing bee’ Students sew scrub caps for local doctors in ‘virtual sewing bee’

Five students from St Rita’s College Clayfield have given Netflix the flick these school holidays, instead doing their part to provide much-needed resources for frontline workers.

After learning there was a severe shortage of personal protective equipment for medical staff, Imogen, Lottie, Sophie, Lara and Olivia knew they wanted to lend a hand.

The girls, in Years 7, 8 and 9, hatched a plan that would combine their sewing skills and also allow them to catch up via the online platform Zoom during the holidays.  

“We all sewed many scrub caps and donated most of them to Family Doctors Plus, a local doctors’ surgery,” they said.

“The caps are made with quality cotton fabric, come in two sizes, tie at the back for easy adjusting and each is unique with vibrant, contrasting coloured thread.

“We all thought giving back to the community by sewing scrub caps, which were much needed, was a generous way of spending our holidays and a way to stay connected as great friends.” 

Sisters Imogen and Lottie Burns get some fresh air while working on their protective scrub caps.

Imogen and Lottie’s mum Carla Burns said while having their annual flu shots, the family was surprised to hear that Family Doctors Plus had a greater need for protective scrub caps than masks, as their suppliers were all out of stock.

“I have been sewing since I was 13 and started teaching the girls when they were eight and nine,” Mrs Burns said.

“We printed a scrub cap pattern out on an A4 page and I showed the girls how to scale it up to size.

Year 9 student Sophie Simms works on the caps at home.

“The girls then wanted to catch up with their friends on Zoom while teaching each other how to make the scrub caps; it was fabulous - a virtual sewing bee!” she said.

Mrs Burns said the girls created around 20 caps between them that day.  

Lara, Lottie, Imogen, Olivia and Sophie catch up over Zoom while working on their scrub cap project.

“We arranged to deliver them to Dr Fiona Raciti at Family Doctors Plus and she was so happy to accept the colourful caps for her team,” she said.

Dr Maria Boulton, whose daughter Lara is part of the group, said the Family Doctors Plus team was extremely grateful for the girls’ efforts.

“They sourced the pattern on their own and are using left over material; the results are colourful, happy and gorgeous,” Dr Boulton said.

Dr Maria Boulton (Family Doctors Plus) with daughter Lara.

The girls will now prepare for Learning at Home, as St Rita’s College moves to an online learning platform.