Appletons reap as we sew

Kevin Appleton with a machine he is using to make elastic for Covid-19 masks. 211738_01 Picture: GARY SISSONS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Sewing machine needles started zipping into action when Melburnians were ordered onto Covid-protective masks.

The hot trend hasn’t escaped 74-year-old Kevin Appleton and wife Janiab Appleton, whose Noble Park business Maxisew Data EZY is doing a roaring trade in sewing-machine repairs.

Both have adapted to the times. She is making her line of handmade masks, and he making keenly-sought elastics.

Mr Appleton’s elastic-making machine didn’t stop as he spoke with Star Journal.

“They’re all coming out of the woodwork now,” he said of the parade of new customers who’ve turned to mask-making.

“They all want their machines fixed to make masks – and I get them for elastics on the way out.”

Mr Appleton has been selling sewing machines for 55 years.

He last appeared in the Journal 25 years ago when he ran a sewing-machine outlet at the corner of Warrigal and Centre roads.

These days, his main activity is repairs for all brands of machines.

“It’s because I’ve got the parts and I can source them,” he said – referring to his unique and self-built database of about 32,000 parts.

“I usually know what’s going on with the machines before they come in the door.”


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