Creative young seamstress turns to mask-making

Rosie Mitchell, of Mosgiel, holds some of her homemade masks. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Rosie Mitchell, of Mosgiel, holds some of her homemade masks. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Rosie Mitchell is not your average 12-year-old.

The young Dunedin seamstress has channelled her talent into mask-making, and has received more than 170 orders in the past four days.

Her business, Rosie’s Handmade, has been flat out since a reminder was issued by the Government to have face masks on hand in case of a second Covid-19 outbreak.

"We’ve been getting a lot of orders. A few people have ordered up to 10 masks and some have ordered just one," Rosie said.

Each mask took about 10 minutes to make, and with the help of her cousin, who was being paid $1 per mask to cut the fabric, she was flying through orders coming in from across the country.

"I just love sewing and making things.

"If I can get up early enough before school to sew, I will."

Mother Debbie Mitchell said after she bought a sewing machine for her daughter for her 11th birthday last year, Rosie had been sewing non-stop.

"She’s always been a crafty kid, but she’s completely self-taught when it comes to sewing.

"I’m very proud of her. She keeps me busy as her personal assistant and fabric cutter."

Rosie would sit and sew for hours at a time in their entranceway, which doubled as her sewing space.

The Taieri College pupil was also using her talent for good, donating one dollar from every sale to Heart Kids Otago, a cause close to her heart.

"My sister is a heart kid ... I like helping people."

With the fabric off-cuts, she made wheat bags to donate to foster children in Otago.

Scrunchies, beeswax wraps, aprons and wheatbags were also part of her sewing repertoire, but she said masks, particularly ones for children, had taken over as the most popular product.

Rosie has no plans to slow down production.

"I’ll keep going until I have nothing left to do."

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