Learn to Sew with Palisades’ Shane LaLonde

by Laurel Busby
Staff Writer

Shane LaLonde offers her young kids play dates with a twist. After school or camp at Palisades Elementary, her daughter, Sierra, 9, and her son, Avery, 7, can go across the street to her small shop, The Sew Chateau, where they and their friends might create anything from a decorative pillow to a skull zipper pouch to hold Legos. Sometimes a friend might join them, and they all relish the creative results.

“Kids love to sew,” LaLonde said. “They come in with an idea and leave with something they created. It’s empowering for them. I like seeing them have fun and the sense of accomplishment that they leave with.”

Shane LaLonde with her son Avery and daughter Sierra. Photo: Lesly Hall

Shane LaLonde with her son Avery and daughter Sierra.
Photo: Lesly Hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These play dates have been transformed into a business where up to three kids at a time can visit The Sew Chateau to learn to sew. For $25 per child, which includes the cost of any materials they might use during a 1-1/2-hour session, the young creators can make a variety of items, such as totes, pillowcases and apparel.

“Anything you can think of, we can pretty much make,” said LaLonde, who also has two older sons, Sage, 20, and Elijah, 19. “Emoji pillows have been a big hit. It’s an endless opportunity for the kids to be creative.”

LaLonde never intended to open a sewing shop for kids. The former model and cable show host originally rented her space at 855 Via de la Paz in January so she would have a creative spot to produce projects for her Etsy shop, also called The Sew Chateau. “I needed a space to be creative and have all my fabrics and notions and machines,” she noted.

However, her kids’ play dates soon expanded to paid lessons, and she has now been busier with those than her online store. Eventually, she imagines enlarging the operation to a bigger storefront that would provide more space. Because of her current space constraints, she can only accommodate only three children at a time.

However, for those kids, she has an ample amount of supplies and four machines— three sewing machines and one serger. “It’s small, but definitely efficient,” said LaLonde, who moved to Pacific Palisades with her husband, Larry, seven years ago. “Kids can think of anything they want, and we have it here.”

The lessons are also fun for both girls and boys. “It’s a great skill that everybody can use,” LaLonde said. Boys at lessons “have had the greatest time. It’s not just a female skill. There’s machines involved,” which she has found often intrigue boys, and she has varied fabrics, including Star Wars pieces that have appeal for both genders.

LaLonde’s own interest in sewing grew out of her modeling career, which began at 9 years old when she became an Adidas model. She later hosted a kids show on Fox Sports and was one of the Barker Beauties on the game show The Price Is Right.

During these years, she was regularly fitted for costumes, and so she worked closely with the wardrobe department, clothing designers and stylists. “Being around that, it’s an easy buzz to catch,” LaLonde said.

When her first child was born, she started sewing, and it became a hobby that grew. “Anyone who sews knows it’s a rabbit hole,” LaLonde said. “You can make this and this and this. Before you know it, you’re making everything. It’s just a fun hobby, and now it’s growing into something else and I’m really loving it.”

To contact The Sew Chateau, call (310) 508-9940 or email thesewchateau@gmail.com.

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