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How to Upcycle a Scrub Top

The Janome Sew Mini: A ReFashionista Review
Elephants on Parade: MuuMuu to Top Refashion

About a month ago, a nurse friend of mine asked me to feature a few scrubs refashions on this blog.

She has tons of old scrubs that she can’t use for work anymore, but she hated to just toss them out or donate them if something else could be done.

I love a challenge!

Scrub Upcycle Before
I don’t want no scrubs!

Is TLC’s “No Scrubs” running through anyone else’s head?  🙂

A scrub is a guy who thinks he's fly...
A scrub is a guy who thinks he’s fly…

I have no use for this scrub top, as rather than going into medicine, I chose to major in Theatre and English (a far more practical option, no?).  

I also had no use for this funky stain on one of the sleeves.


But where to begin?  I knew I didn’t like that hospital green, so I grabbed some dye supplies!

Now we're talking!
Now we’re talking!

I folded my top into a small rectangle, like so:

So foldable!
So foldable!

Then I soaked it in its dye bath for about an hour or so.

It's in there.  I promise!
It’s in there. I promise!

I was wanting a funky irregular dye pattern, hence the foldage.  🙂

After my top was dyed, rinsed, and dried, I chopped the sleeves with my pinking shears, leaving just enough fabric to sew under.


Then, I stitched the pinked edges under!

First you pin...
First you pin…
Stitching armhole for scrub refashion
…Then you stitch!

I chose a fun, graduated red thread for a nice contrast.

graduated red spool of thread on sewing machine
Pretty, eh?

I think it looks quite nice!

decorative red zigzag stitch
The stitch that zigs!

With my armholes nicely redone, all I needed to do was take my new top in a bit!

taking scrub top refashion in on sewing machine

I cut off that extra material, gave my new top a good press, and was ready to head off to the farm!

scrub top refashion in field
Welcome to the farm!

A friend of mine hosts an annual Oktoberfest party at his family’s farm.  It was delightful!

Getting a tour of the house.
Getting a tour of the house. Douglas is fascinated!
refashionista in refashioned scrub top with friend
The farm at twilight!
Upcycled Scrub Top After
I prefer the city life!
Fresh air, a sweet guy, and a tasty brew!
Fresh air, a sweet guy, and a tasty brew!
Sitting pretty in my new top!
Sitting pretty in my new top!
Douglas the Dachshund
farm view
What a view!

I had so much fun with this refashion, that I can’t wait to try other ideas to re-do more old scrubs!  🙂


Scrub Top Upcycle Before and After
Refashion Old Scrubs
The Janome Sew Mini: A ReFashionista Review
Elephants on Parade: MuuMuu to Top Refashion

27 thoughts on “How to Upcycle a Scrub Top”

  1. with another one you could chop it off horizontally under the arms, then fold over the cut edge and stitch it to make a casing, then insert a bit of elastic and you have a skirt! I did this to a big old ugly t-shirt recently and it looks great.

  2. Love this shade … I tried to predict what colour you’d get and I was wrong, but the beauty of the end result made up for that 🙂

  3. YAY!!! I AM a nurse with lost of old scrubs I can’t wear anymore. They’ve been sitting in a corner for donation for a LONG time. I just may have to pull some out and give this a shot. Thanks so much for this idea!

  4. Super cute. Can I make a request. I would love to see what you would do with some Catholic school uniforms. Janitors jumpsuit. Army camoflage. Or a biohazard suit. That would be fun!

  5. It’s cute and the color turned out great. I’m a nurse so have too many scrubs and will make some of these. I like how you cut the sleeves up to the neckband but for me I think it will be cuter to leave the body of the shirt more “belled” and “flouncy.” (No other words come to mind) Thanks for the clue….great job

  6. I have a black garbage sack stuffed full of old scrubs I refuse to part with, although they are no longer used! You need to stop by for a visit! **wink, wink**!

  7. did you use both the purple and blue die mixed together? If so, it’s a LOVELY shade. And I totally never would have thought to MIX dyes. wow.

    p.s. I love the photo bomb on the “mwah” pic


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