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DIY: Try This Free Scrub Cap Pattern

DIY: Try This Free Scrub Cap Pattern

A free scrub cap pattern is now something people are more actively making to support workers on the front lines.

This has become especially important as the pandemic continues to challenge health care providers across the world.

So I created a simple DIY scrub cap pattern along with a step-by-step tutorial on how to make it.

I started making scrub caps for a large, local hospital Emergency Room back in March.

I did this because their administration felt they had enough masks.

The adminiation would not accept fabric mask donations. Even if, at the time, they didn’t (really) have enough.

And while we can spend hours discussing the merits (or lack thereof) of that logic, I feel it’s better to spend time making things people want and can use in a clinical setting than arguing who is right.

I also feel very strongly that health care providers should feel as safe as possible when they are treating patients.

OK, I’ll get back to why I focused on making scrub caps…

The Emergency Room that I was supporting was quick to recognize that they wanted as much coverage as possible at work.

When patients came into the ER, they never knew who was or was not positive for COVID-19. The uncertainty was extremely stressful.

This uncertainty also meant that most of the teams who were in contact with patients wanted to be super careful to keep their heads covered.

They didn’t want the virus getting into their hair and on their heads.

So the ER managers went looking for scrub caps of all kinds.

Like with most PPE, howeer, they found there were not only long wait times, but the caps were expensive.

A dear friend of mine works in that ER and I told her I would to support her in any way I could.

I told her I would make anything she needed.

It only took her a couple of minutes to ask for a scrub cap.

She even had some fabric she wanted me to use that she felt would make her smile (below).

My first scrub cap

A Free, Easy Scrub Cap Pattern To Sew

So I got to work finding and testing a bunch of free scrub patterns.

Initially I landed on the above pictured style for her.

Then, my friend took her new cap to work.

People immediately started asking where she got it and if there were more.

Some even asked for something that would better fit their long hair.

Fortunately, I had found a pattern for that too.

Over the course of two months, I made A LOT of scrub caps.

Most were the reversible, “standard” style scrub caps but I also made handfuls of the ‘long hair’ version.

Why Create A New Scrub Cap Pattern?

At the time, I was more concerned about cranking out as many caps as possible.

I didn’t try to improve or alter the pattern, even if there steps that took a longer than I liked.

Now I have some perspective, and scrub caps continue to be a must-need item.

So I created my own hybrid pattern that requires less materials and less steps.

I decided to make the free scrub cap pattern single-sided since most of the feedback I received was that a reversible scrub hat wasn’t a priority.

Since there is a very obvious right side and wrong side of the fabric, the person wearing the scrub cap will have the necessary visual cue of which side may be contaminated after wearing it.

I also didn’t include any elastic because it was an extra cutting and sewing step that added time but, again, not a ton of value.

It’s certainly a nice touch, but not necessary to hold long hair inside the scrub hat.

Lastly, when I am sewing this pattern, I am fast and loose with finishing the edges.

There is no ironing necessary since you can easily finger press any edges you want to finish.

Some, I have even left basically raw and merely finished with a zigzag stitch.

Materials For An Easy DIY Scrub Cap

As I mentioned before, this hat is designed to be straightforward and simple.

So there is no flair at all with the materials list.

For this project you need:

A piece of fabric sized 11″ x 44″.

You will cut both the top of the scrub hat and hat band from this piece of fabric.

If you are working with larger scraps and not one single piece of fabric for this project, you’ll need 7″ x 32″ piece of fabric for the scrub cap band and an 11″ x 9″ piece for the top part of the cap.

The 11″ length should be with the grain of the fabric.

The Create To Donate simple DIY scrub cap pattern.

You will need to tape the band pieces together to create a single pattern piece to cut on the fold. (Pics are below.)

Scissors or a rotary cutter.

If you don’t own a rotary cutter and self-healing mat yet, they are well worth the investment for almost every type of creative project.

I use my rotary cutter for all kinds of media – fabric, cardboard, card stock, heat transfer vinyl, duct tape, etc.

A sewing machine.

This should go without saying. I added it to the list to be very clear about how this will get done.

Pins or sewing clips.

Sewing clips are my friend and an inexpensive treat that make sewing life a lot easier.

Recommended Products

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Make The Scrub Cap

This scrub cap pattern requires cutting out only two pieces of fabric and no additional binding or supplies.

The intent of this pattern is to produce a scrub cap that can be created quickly and efficiently, so I didn’t always make this as elegant or “proper” as some other people might.

As always, you can tweak as you see fit. So let’s get this scrub cap started!

Step One: Cut and assemble the scrub hat pattern pieces.

Printing the pattern pieces will only require two sheets of paper. For the band of the scrub cap, you will need to tape the labeled two pieces together.

In making sure to keep the two pattern pieces for the scrub cap band to only one piece of paper, I had a slight hiccup.

As you go to tape the two band pieces together, they won’t be writing-side up.

Instead, when you piece together the band parts, the explanation text will be writing-side (almost like a fabric’s “right sides”) together.

Line up the slightly curved end of the rectangular(ish) piece to the marked “overlap” line of the angled piece then tape them together.

Then, all will be right with the pattern piecing world. At least for today.

Step Two: Cut out the two fabric pieces for the scrub cap using the pattern.

Cut out the free easy scrub cap pattern pieces.

Free Scrub Cap Pattern Items of Note

It must be said that I am FAR from being an expert at patterns or pattern making.

In fact, when I first started downloading and using patterns, I made a lot of mistakes until I realized some people included the seam allowance in the pattern and some didn’t.

Honestly, I still get confused sometimes, because not everyone is clear.

To make life easy (for me at least), this free scrub cap pattern includes the seam allowance.

All you have to do it set it down and follow the shapes.

The only reason I note the 1/4″ seam allowance on the pattern piece is as a reminder of the measurement you must use once you start sewing.

Now, Start Cutting The Pattern Pieces

To cut out the top of the scrub hat, merely set the pattern piece down on the fabric, then cut.

Placing the piece to cut the band, however, is a little bit different. As I said from the beginning, the whole point of this pattern is simplicity.

So, I intentionally created the band piece so that it would only use one piece of paper and one piece of tape.

Really, all we need for the band is to make sure that we get the angled part right for it to help us form the hat shape.

Plus, we’re working with a straight edge on one side of the fabric.

And, since that remains untouched, just make sure to double check your measurements before cutting.

The measurements for the band piece are: 7″ x 16″.

This means placing the top edge of your pattern piece 7 inches away from the straight edge as pictured above. Remember: this piece should be cut on the fold.

The picture below is what the pieces look like after they’re cut.

Make a scrub cap tusing a free DIY scrub cap pattern to donate to front line workers.

Step Three: Finish some, but not all of the edges.

Take the straight edge of the top piece, fold over 1/4″ and stitch however you prefer. I used a straight stitch, but a zigzag stitch will work too.

Take the straight edges of ends the band piece, fold over 1/4″ and stitch down.

Don’t worry about the band’s long straight edge – that will get folded up and sewn down soon enough.

Step Four: Clip or pin the top piece to the band piece to form the shape of the scrub cap.

As I’ve been making more and more hats, I have come to understand they are a particular bunch.

When working with patterns, many of them have specific divots or dots to show you where pieces should attach to each other.

After using this free scrub cap pattern, however, I didn’t want you to have to mark anything or refer back to the pattern.

And a cut out slip at the front of the cap wouldn’t work.

So, I created a quick, little video to show you how I easily work all that out.

This is what the completely clipped scrub cap pieces look like once formed complete before sewing.

Step Five: Sew the pieces together using 1/4″ seam allowance.

Now that the two fabric pieces are fastened together, it’s time to get sewing.

You want to sew the pieces together using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Pay special attention to the front curve of the cap, because sometimes the fabric pulls away from the needle.

Sew the scrub cap pieces together.

If the seam doesn’t catch both pieces equally, you will end up with tiny holes at the top.

Tiny holes that you will have to go back and fix. (Yes, it happened to me a lot when I first started.)

Step Six: Finish the bottom edge of the scrub cap.

The scrub cap is almost done! Now it’s time to finish the bottom edge.

To do this, fold the bottom edge 1″ toward the wrong side of the fabric.

Then, fold it again using the 1″ measurement and clip around the whole hat. This traps the raw edge and provides a nice size tie at the end of the cap.

Finish the bottom edge of the free scrub cap pattern

To secure the folded edge, stitch 1/4″ away from the inside edge starting from the end of the scrub cap ‘tie’.

When you sew this part of the cap together, part of the bottom fold will meet the angled part of the band.

That will be addressed in the final step in making the scrub cap.

Step Seven: Finish the angled edge of the hat.

The final step in making the scrub cap is to finish the angled edge of the band. Instead of folding it over to create a soft edge, since it’s so little fabric I just used a zigzag stitch.

This will help to prevent fraying over time.

This stitching is also used to finish the little bit of overlap with the folded over bottom edge of the hat.

Once you finish this last bit of sewing, you’re done!

free scrub cap pattern for long hair

Donate Scrub Caps To A Local Hospital

If you don’t have an immediate family and friends in need of scrub caps, you can search for a local hospital using the American Hospital Directory to contact hospitals in your area.

As a show of support an appreciation, many hospitals would be thrilled to receive handmade scrub caps.

Share The Goods

Do you know of hospitals in need of scrub caps?

Please share the information in the comments below so I can create a list of needs and communicate it on the blog. Thank you!

Share ideas for good deeds!

Sara Gordon

Friday 7th of August 2020

Hi, Our senior University of Washington dental students will be returning to the Geriatric Dentistry clinic to provide free or highly subsidized dental care to low income seniors beginning in mid-September 2020. This non-profit dental clinic at a senior center needs 20-30 washable n95 respirator covers and 20-30 scrub caps for the students. If anybody is still volunteering to make these items, especially the scrub caps, we would deeply appreciate it. Protective equipment is still periodically difficult to buy here, and stretches the budget of this sweet little community clinic. Without it, our students can’t keep helping our seniors. Thank you for your wonderful work and website. Sara Gordon Associate Dean for Academic Affairs


Friday 7th of August 2020

Sara - Thank you so much for the kind words and for letting me know about your needs. I would love to help however I can!

Shall we connect so that I can do a blog post about your specific needs and requirements? Drop me a line on the contact page to get in touch directly and we'll get the ball rolling. Kind regards, Dana

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