Meet the Maker

Just Jemima inspires us to ‘Spread the Joy’

French Rooms Flavours have been supporting the NI Scrubs Causeway Coast this week as we raise funds to help them continue producing scrubs and protective wear for front line workers during Covid19. The Causeway Chefs 4 NHS was brought together by Chef Derek Steele and we have been cooking dishes which are broadcast on the Causeway Coast Community Facebook page. Funds are coming in, we have another week to go. We are so grateful for the generous donations that have come in to date and we are hoping we will reach our target and at the same time provide our followers with recipe ideas to try out during lockdown.

For this weeks blog I thought we should celebrate the work of the NI Scrubs group and the ladies behind this inspirational initiative. Lorna Kyle who is a regular customer at The French Rooms is one of the talented ladies working around the clock to provide this essential protective wear to healthcare workers. Lorna is an Occupational Therapist and runs a very popular crafting party business called ‘Just Jemima’. We caught up with the lovely Lorna (virtually) to hear all about her efforts.

We asked Lorna to tell us about how she got involved with NI Scrubs Causeway Coast.

To be honest, I was daunted initially with the challenge. I’m an occupational therapist, and run a small creative business ‘Just Jemima’ where I do craft parties in my candy pastel vintage caravan. I’m used to creative challenges in both roles, but  creating a wearable set of scrubs was a big ask! Yes I can make children’s clothing, craft and household items and I have lots of lovely fabric and patterns for dressmaking but have never had the time…………… so no more valuable way to skill up and give something back than scrub-making.

My first set was for an XL Andy-Pandy striped fabric ( those of a certain age!) Causeway Scrubs provides the fabric so it’s always a surprise of what you get to make. Once I’d sussed the pattern, cut, lined up the A-P stripes, and sewed…. I actually did a little whoop of joy when the set came together and resembled a proper wearable set of scrubs… relief and satisfaction simultaneously. All packed up in a little drawstring scrubs bag with a little quirky feature on the pocket and #spreadjoy label hidden in the collar.

We all need a little bit of joy at the moment ..right?!!

A beautiful drawstring bag from Just Jemima #spreadjoy

HOW LONG IS A PIECE OF DRAWSTRING?!

One month on, I can make a set in 3 hours if all goes to plan and I’ve no sewing machine hiccups…. that little bobbin case gets me every time though!

Normally I cut all of the sets at the same time, then sew all of  the bottoms first  (whizzy straight lines) then tops, and finally the little drawstring laundry bags. Drawstring has become like gold dust and I’ve resorted to curtain piping cord which has worked a treat! Sometimes it’s the head scratching and improvising that takes the time.

A RANDOM PPE FACT…..

Other group members have been making amazing  masks and hats in a variety of patterns, some from lovely fabric over at Fabric Yard in Portstewart.

Yesterday I was chatting online with a friend just north of Dublin, she was making protective masks and has set up  a similar group, it turned out we were using exactly the same red fabric!  We use the same craft machine that can cut the masks…. today the company reported that  the pattern had been downloaded and made 650,000 times….. well on the way to a million masks. Love the way everyone is collaborating wherever we are and getting the PPE out to our keyworkers.

KEEPING UP THE CHAT

The Causeway Scrubs NI Facebook group is keeping us all connected whether someone needs elastic, or buttons or is puzzling over a pattern piece. I was having a mini meltdown yesterday as my sewing machine wasn’t playing ball and lost nearly 2 hours trying to fix it. It’s also so lovely to see photos of the finished scrubs  and photos of keyworkers wearing them. It’s great just to support each other as a team….. we are all in this together.

LIFE LESSONS IN LOCKDOWN

So lockdown has been a mix of emotions from fear and anxiety to dealing with that loss of social contact. It brings an awareness of  both our vulnerability, regardless of who we are, and also an awareness of how connected we are globally, whether its Wuhan or the Causeway Coast.

I personally choose joy over fear and anxiety, and use my little mantra #spreadjoy in the projects I’m currently involved in. In the midst of this crisis without sounding simplistic it’s important to find joy in the things around us (the big is in the small) , our senses are heightened at this time as we notice the previously unnoticed …… new walks, our amazing North Coast sunsets, the sounds of spring lambs, birdsong, the smell of gorse, children playing together, new aspects of relationships and family connections. We are learning new skills (all technophobes unite with me!)  and trying all things new ( LIVE videos,  ZOOMing with friends, watching CAUSEWAY CHEFS FOR NHS!)

A friend in the USA, currently in lockdown also, uses a lovely term “collapsing the distance’, where,  despite being isolated we can use technology to collapse the distance between us and keep connected with each other. I love that!!

So for now…….

  • Keep staying at home
  • Stay safe
  • Value those around you
  • Support our keyworkers and NHS
  • Remember #spreadjoy
  • And I will keep sewing!!

Lorna

To find out more about the NI Scrubs Causeway Coast check out their Facebook Page and keep watching the Causeway Chefs, see all the past videos and recipes on the following link :-

https://www.causewaycoastcommunity.co.uk/causewaychefs

To donate to the Causeway Chefs 4 NHS in aid of the NI Scrubs Causeway Coast please do so on the following Just giving link – https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/causeway-chefs-4-nhs

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frenchrooms

Chef owner of The French Rooms restaurant in Bushmills which is a French inspired experience soon to be offering six luxury guest suites.

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