‘Downton’ costume designers are sewing medical scrubs for UK hospitals

British costume makers have teamed up amidst the coronavirus crisis to help the NHS.

Designers who usually work on TV series and movies including Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, and His Dark Materials are using their skills to sew additional medical scrubs.

They’re busy across the UK, making uniforms in their kitchens, sheds, and attics for returning medics and clinicians.

Launched in 1948, the NHS (National Health Service) is the UK’s publicly-funded healthcare system.

Downton Abbey costume supervisor Dulcie Scott is amongst those leading the new project.

Scott told Reuters: “It went way beyond anything I could have imagined. We have the most phenomenal, world-class network of costume makers helping us.”

She added: “It feels brilliant and restores my faith in people and I think this is wonderful. But also it’s quite heartbreaking when you see what a need there is.”

Helping Dress Medics (HDM), as the team are known, launched a fundraising appeal last month to pay for materials.

Originally aiming to reach £1,500, more than £48,000 has now been raised after a couple of weeks.

The group includes around 150 members from the costume departments on everything from Star Wars to Outlander!

They wrote on GoFundMe.com: “We are liaising with hospital staff directly in the areas we live and taking advice from them about what they need, so that we can specifically help them. The nature of how the virus is spread means that the demand for scrubs is especially high.

“Using our professional contacts, we are buying materials at the most reasonable prices possible, but it is still quite a considerable outlay.

“Any donation you could make would help directly with materials – all our labour is being given for free.”

Over 6,000 sets of scrubs are being made so far and you can support the appeal here!

Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville, who plays Sir Robert, shared his support for the team on Twitter.

He said: “Couldn’t be more proud of our #DowntonAbbey costume team who are #HelpingDressMedics.”

Several period drama projects have had their production postponed due to the current crisis, including this year’s Call the Midwife Christmas special, the next season of Peaky Blinders, and the third Fantastic Beasts movie.

Plans are underway for another Downton movie and the sequel is expected to arrive “within the next year to two years.”

The Downton Abbey movie is available on DVD on Amazon.