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15 Aug, Monday
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Montreal Families

I Spy Montreal Interview: Emeline and Annabelle

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I have always wanted to learn how to sew my own clothes. My experience is limited to some geeky projects in Mrs. Beadie’s Grade 6 home ec class and homemade hair scrunchies in the early 1990s.

Sewing is not the kind of hobby that’s easy to take up with two young kids in the house; if you had a) a sewing machine and b) any time to use it, it seems like it would be tough to keep the pins, scissors and haute-couture-in-the-making from getting into the wrong hands.

This is part of the reason that two local moms, Emeline Villedary and Annabelle Agnew, decided to open their own crafting workspace on Monkland Ave. earlier this year, called Emeline and Annabelle. You can drop in and sew using their machines, buy fabric and supplies, attend a workshop or have a coffee in the café. But, this is not just a space for grownups looking for a creative escape. They are also offering children’s classes!

Annabelle has the details below, plus a great tip on how to do an easy family boat ride in Montreal (no boating experience necessary!).

A reversible handbag made during Emeline and Annabelle's summer camp.

A reversible handbag made during Emeline and Annabelle’s summer camp.

ISM: Emeline and Annabelle has been running a summer camp for kids, and will be offering an after-school program and Saturday drop-in classes for kids. What age should kids be to start sewing, and what kinds of things will they be making? Are parents welcome to stay and hang out (or sew) while kids are taking classes?

Annabelle: The kids should be at least 8 years old, parents are more than welcome to stay and have a coffee. Most of the projects are child led – they’ll have all the in-store patterns to work from. Pajama pants, bags, skirts, zippered pouches etc..

ISM: What has been the response from kids so far in terms of learning how to sew and seeing what they can make? Can they make cooler stuff than, for example, an apron or tote bag (like I made in Grade 6 home ec)?

Annabelle: Kids are super proud of themselves to make anything. In the sewing camp they’ve been making headbands, reversible bags, pajama pants and pleated skirts. Some bring in thier own projects and breathe new life into old stuff: boot-cut jeans into skinny jeans, oversize tees into cute tops …

Teen skirt made during a workshop at Emeline and Annabelle.

Teen skirt made during a workshop at Emeline and Annabelle.

ISM: Will either of you be sewing your own children’s Halloween costumes?

Annabelle: Hopefully! We’ll be hosting a few evening workshops to get moms started on their projects as of the first week of October!

ISM: For grownups who are interested in sewing something that they can actually use/wear, what would you suggest as a beginner project?

Annabelle: A bag is the easiest, most functional beginner project.

ISM: Can you share a favourite weekend family destination or activity?

Annabelle: We’ve recently taken a boat ride on the Lachine Canal – a small electric boat from H2O Adventures. We rented the boat for $25 per half hour. No boating experience needed and life jackets included. Soooo much fun to look at the city from the water!

ISM: Great to meet you Annabelle!

Emeline and Annabelle
Address: 6050 Monkland Ave., N.D.G.
Telephone: 514-439-4550.
Workshop schedule
Photos courtesy of Emeline and Annabelle.

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