Gabriola artist Elizabeth Shefrin and some friends sewed 75 nurses’ surgical scrub caps to donate to graduating VIU nursing students. (Photos courtesy Eliabeth Shefrin)

Gabriola artist and friends sew 75 nurses’ caps to donate to VIU nursing grads

Elizabeth Shefrin hopes to continue project on a larger scale

The need for personal protective equipment for health-care workers is well documented, but thanks to a quartet of Gulf Island artists some nurses won’t have to worry about one piece of hygienic headgear.

After viewing a Facebook post about nurses needing surgical scrub caps, Gabriola artist Elizabeth Shefrin saw an opportunity to support those heading to the front lines of the COVID-19 fight.

“I feel better when I’m useful,” Shefrin said.

She reached out to University of Victoria nursing professor and VIU instructor Wendy Neander, who advised that a good project might be to make surgical caps for the 75 nurses graduating from VIU this spring, but who won’t get to have a big celebration.

“It was a suggestion from a colleague who noticed that a lot of the nurses were starting to wear caps and that would be something that would be useful for them to protect their hair, especially in the emergency department or your first contact with someone,” Neander said, adding that the caps can also prevent the nurses’ hair from falling in their faces and keep them from inadvertently touching their faces as they brush their hair away.

Shefrin then recruited her friend Wendy Lewington, a fabric artist on Hornby Island, who modified and wrote step-by-step instructions for a nursing cap sewing pattern Shefrin found online. She said “it’s nice to be able to give back in some way.”

“For me it’s a relief from the stress of it to just feel like I have some small thing to do that could be helpful,” Lewington said.

They each brought a neighbour into the project and over the course of a few weeks made the caps from bits of fabric and elastic they had lying around their studios. But the work was not without its challenges.

“We had sewing machines break down and that sort of thing and of course you can’t take them in to be repaired easily these days and especially not from Gabriola,” Shefrin said. “But I think we worked on it for a few weeks and just encouraged each other to do it and it gets easier and faster as you do it.”

Shefrin said it was a satisfying project, but she wants it to continue on a larger sale and is inviting others to participate. Lewington said their cap pattern has an “advanced beginner” difficulty level and Shefrin has drop-off points in Nanaimo and can collect finished caps on Gabriola.

“I’d love it if people just started taking this up as something they did and even made six or a dozen and sent them on,” Shefrin said. “Because when you’re making them it’s really good for you and then of course it’s good for the nurses as well. It’s kind of a win-win.”

Those interested in sewing surgical scrub caps or enrolling in Shefrin’s free online drawing sessions, Drawing Together Around the Salish Sea, can reach her at simaelizabeth@gmail.com or 250-247-7476.

This feel-good story is part of the #WereInThisTogether campaign by Black Press Media. Have an uplifting story that you think would bring joy to readers? Email your story, photos and videos to wereinthistogether@blackpress.ca.

READ ALSO: Stitching promotes a better world



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

#wereinthistogetherCommunityCoronavirus

Just Posted

Pauquachin First Nation calls on North Saanich to help restore shellfish in Coles Bay

The nation identifies ‘residential onsite septic systems’ as one of sources of contamination

VIDEO: Community generosity helps Courtenay Elementary school replace stolen bikes

Community compassion, coupled with school connections, helped Courtenay Elementary restock its inventory… Continue reading

Greater Victoria tourism industry ‘can’t wait any longer’ for financial aid

Saanich mayor, business owners call on provincial, federal governments for tourism-specific aid

OPINION: Universal basic income is a good thing

‘I’ve always loved change, so I’m rooting for a different way of life altogether’

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Gold River ready to welcome visitors and restart local businesses

In contrast to single-industry remote communities, Gold River’s diversified economy might help it better survive after reopening

UPDATED: Playgrounds reopening throughout mid-Vancouver Island

Health guidelines in effect as Nanaimo, Cowichan join the Comox Valley in lifting restrictions

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

Craft vendors allowed to re-join Goldstream Farmers Market

Dr. Bonnie Henry lightens restrictions, approves non-food items to be sold

Most Read