A Mount Isa crafter has turned her hand to sewing to help the community demand for COVID-19 prevention masks.
Melonie Poppell is known for her up-cycling and costume designs with Mount Isa Theatrical Society, but has expanded her horizons during the pandemic by learning how to make face masks.
Ms Poppell said the the idea began when Mount Isa Veterinary Surgery were unable to access face masks during the pandemic.
"Jillian (at the surgery) rang me one day and asked me if I would make some face masks for them because of COVID-19 and it was hard to get any," Ms Poppell said.
"She wanted them to blend in with the uniforms as well, so I used some material scraps that I had to design something. I made two for each staff member and each set was different so they would know who owned each.
"She sent me a photo of what design she wanted and I just went onto YouTube and found a tutorial and learnt from there."
Ms Poppell said her design wasn't complicated but definitely generated some attention.
"You could make the ones that fit around the nose which would have been a little bit outside of my skill set, but these were the easy ones to make and still just as effective," she said.
"I put one on my face and posted it on my Facebook page as a joke, and then I had a few other ladies ask to make them some."
Ms Poppell said she had only made about 30 masks and was selling them for five dollars.
"It is just a community minded thing for me. Although I am charging it is really only the cost of the fabric and elastic," she said.
"I can make one in 15 minutes so it's only $20 an hour. That's not much money, but I just do it to help people.
"I like to use my creativity and I wanted to make them cheap enough for people to buy them. I am not one of those people who are going to jump on the band wagon and charge $50 because people can't get them. I just couldn't do that."
Following the closure of Isa Creative Fabrics earlier this year, Ms Poppell said there were limited places in Mount Isa to buy fabric.
"There is Jim Adlington's Curtain and Dress Fabrics, and Isa Creative Fabrics has a temporary pop-up shop on Simpson Street," she said
"If someone is looking to make cheap masks I would go to the Op shops.They all have a section where there is off-cuts of material or old sheets, you just need to wash it and make your masks out of that.
"Luckily for me, because I am a crafter, I have plenty of scrap material. You don't need much but you need right type of material because you wouldn't want something to thick or too thin.
"I already had some elastic, but found it hard to source during lockdown when everyone was panic buying."
Ms Poppell said people across the nation were turning their hand to traditional craft.
"There are definitely people making their own masks, and not just that, but in that personalised touch of doing something for yourself.
"I think lots of people have learnt useful skills during the pandemic."
Ms Poppell said if anyone was desperate for a face mask to get in touch.
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