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Meet the Melbourne couple who sew face masks and put them on the street for others to take with them

Meet Melbourne’s ‘masked crusaders’ who sew their own facials and put them on the street for others to take away for FREE as demand rises in Victoria-ravaged Victoria

  • Janet and Steve Tesoriero sew face masks from leftover material at home
  • They built a clothesline on their nature strip to advertise their DIY masks
  • They produce 70 a day with donations from the Albert Park community

Once it became known that face masks would become mandatory, a man and woman from Melbourne started threading the needle.

Janet Tesoriero took out her sewing machine and quickly used seven masks from around the house.

Her husband Steve Tesoriero taped the bagged masks on the fence of their Albert Park house last Wednesday and offered them to those who needed them for free before the new rules went into effect in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire a day later.

“Knowing that we live in a neighborhood with a slightly older population, we wanted to make masks accessible to people who might not be able to come to the store or afford them as easily as others,” said Tesoriero, an musician from the work during the pandemic, AAP told Monday.

Janet and Steve Tesoriero (photo) sew face masks from leftover material from their home in Albert Park

Janet and Steve Tesoriero (photo) sew face masks from leftover material from their home in Albert Park

“I am a sewer and we have a lot of dust in the house, so I thought it was an opportunity to take some time and help some people.”

Within minutes strangers picked up the handmade masks and it was back to the Tesorieros tool to cut more fabric.

Then Mr. Tesoriero decided to raise the bar, build an old fashioned clothesline on the nature strip and attach the masks to it, along with signage advertising their colorful wares.

In just six days, the pair made about 500 masks – the first taking 30 minutes each before perfecting their technique and reducing it to 20 minutes.

They now produce up to 70 masks per day and the customers keep coming.

The couple have only gone to bed at 3 a.m. since they started their cottage industry, and strangers come in five hours later wanting the custom facial covers.

The couple produces 70 face masks per day with donations of fabric and elastic from the Albert Park community

The couple produces 70 face masks per day with donations of fabric and elastic from the Albert Park community

The couple produces 70 face masks per day with donations of fabric and elastic from the Albert Park community

“Well, since musical theater is likely to stay on the back burner as long as it’s going on, we’ll make them (masks) as long as people need them,” said Tesoriero.

The local community has boarded to donate fabrics, elastics, bags and even healthcare packs to support the smart couple while they work into the early hours.

People even call to request different sizes.

As an added bonus, Tesorieros’ generosity and community spirit has taken people out of the woodwork.

“We hear a lot from the neighborhood – the neighborhood needed something like this right now, something to feel good about,” said Tesoriero.

“More than the masks themselves, it’s just this camaraderie or spirit that we didn’t notice in the neighborhood until this happened.”

For those eager to support the project, masks can be ordered online for $ 10 each, with the money raised going back to production costs.

Pack a reusable mask https://curiousand.co/masks.

It is mandatory for all residents aged 12 and over in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire to wear a face mask in public. Pictured: Pedestrians outside Melbourne's Spencer Street Station abide by the rules on Monday

It is mandatory for all residents aged 12 and over in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire to wear a face mask in public. Pictured: Pedestrians outside Melbourne's Spencer Street Station abide by the rules on Monday

It is mandatory for all residents aged 12 and over in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire to wear a face mask in public. Pictured: Pedestrians outside Melbourne’s Spencer Street Station abide by the rules on Monday

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