The Sew Chateau moved from 855 to 833 Via de la Paz in 2018. Owner Shane LaLonde had initially rented office space on the street in 2015 to start a children’s accessory clothing line. The space had room for designing and sewing.
After LaLonde had hosted her daughter and friends for several fun sewing parties, she was asked to give sewing lessons to kids. That evolved into LaLonde asking friends if she could borrow their kids to come in and sew and try new projects — to see if it worked and if the kids liked it.
It was an overwhelming “Yes and yes!”
“Before I knew it, I was giving lessons almost every day,” said LaLonde, who moved to the Palisades with her husband and children 14 years ago. “My students were regulars and often asked to bring a friend or two to sewing class, and even requested sewing birthday parties.
“And we did it. Even though my space was very small we managed to have a great time,” LaLonde said, who realized a larger space was needed. That’s when she moved to her current location.
Born in Northern California, LaLonde moved with her family to Southern California the summer before fourth grade. Although she doesn’t remember the first thing she ever sewed, she received her first sewing machine, and lessons, from her dad and stepmom when she was about 10 years old. “I loved it,” she said. “But once my bobbin thread ran out I couldn’t remember how to rethread it.”
She later became an Adidas model, hosted a kids show on Fox Sports and was one of the Barker Beauties on the game show “The Price is Right.”
She resumed sewing in 1995, when she was in her 20s. “I picked it up again when I started to sew for my first-born son, Sage,” LaLonde said.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, LaLonde hosted sewing classes, camps and parties for nearly three years. But in March 2020, everything closed. During one of the brief County openings, she held limited classes, but “again, we were shut down.”
During that time down LaLonde came up with an idea for people who had a sewing machine at home: “The Sew Chateau to Go.”
It included sewing project kits that residents could bring home.
She also offered a monthly sewing Subscription Box complete with projects, directions, sewing notions and fabric to complete several projects. Some of the kits include skirt, mask and scrunchie, happy doggie pillow, mask making and a unicorn cross stitch.
“I am in love with the adorable boxes the items come with and having a good time creating new content for the monthly projects to come,” LaLonde said.
Now, the business is slowly opening back up to in-person lessons. One can also email to join the monthly newsletter and to order kits or subscription boxes at TheSewChateau.com.
“I hope our kits will continue to grow and people will enjoy sewing from home, having creative fun making awesome things for themselves and gifts for others,” LaLonde said. “I know it’s difficult for my kids to hop back on a screen after Zooming for school a big portion of their day, but this is a real creative experience with no screens attached!”
How about adults? CTN shared that she was required to sew something in Home Economics in high school, but the projects always looked homemade.
LaLonde noted that there are tips for helping a product look finished. “We utilize techniques such as top stitching, hemming, sewing on the inside of your item, sewing rough edges, to help achieve a finished look,” she said. “Making things look finished is important.”
She is also a proponent of upcycling. “You take gently-used, already-purchased items and make them new again by evolving it in some way,” LaLonde said. “I like the idea of using what we have. It is kinder to our planet and can also create such unique items.
“We are grateful to be part of such a beautiful and family-oriented community,” said LaLonde, who with her husband Larry has four children: Sage, Elijah, Sierra and Avery.