Jenny Harris: MOS’ costumier extroardinaire

Here is an article about Jenny Harris, MOS’ costumier extroardinaire, which appeared in the July issue of NODA’s Curtain Up! Magazine.

“Maidenhead Operatic Society’s Jenny Harris, in charge of costumes for most of the last 30 years, managed only a couple of weeks of tranquillity in lockdown before her daughter-in-law, who works in a local hospital, told her about a group of people based in Ascot who were setting up a voluntary organisation, Scrubs Glorious Scrubs, to source and make scrubs for local hospitals. They were looking people to help with sewing, and Jenny promptly offered her services.

Sourcing through donations, the only requirement was that the material used could be washed at 60º and therefore was not necessarily in colours usually seen in hospital wards. Jenny’s first consignment was in a vivid cerise, followed by patterned, flowered and all colours of the rainbow.

Jenny’s first batch of material arrived along with just one set of scrubs, no pattern, so her first task was to make a paper pattern to use as a template. Her next door neighbours offered to do the cutting out, and before long they had a fast moving production line going, passed from house to house over the hedge via carrier bags and sticks.
By the beginning of June, Jenny had handed over her 100th set of scrubs. It’s a far cry from the long skirted gingham dresses and cowboy shirts she had expecting to be sewing for Oklahoma! but her individualised and distinctive scrubs have reached a much wider audience, ending up in not just in local hospitals as first intended but as far as London and the South East.”