Miltonvale Resident Transforms Old Building into Sewing School

By Payton Tholstrup

Cyndy Monier has been sewing for decades, creating her first dress when she was just eight years old. Now, she is the owner of Einstein Sewing Workshop in Miltonvale where she gives sewing lessons to children and adults. She teaches a bit of everything; from the basics of operating a sewing machine to creating hand stitches.

Monier is an experienced sewing teacher, previously running a sewing school out of her home in Illinois for many years. Originally from Kansas, Monier met her husband in college, and they moved back to his home state of Illinois. Her grandparents farmed outside of Miltonvale, so they returned every summer to help with the wheat harvest. Eventually, they decided to move back to Kansas permanently, purchasing the home where her grandparents had lived.

Soon though, Monier realized her new home in Miltonvale didn’t have enough room for all her inventory and sewing equipment. Someone suggested purchasing a building in Miltonvale and applying for a grant to create the space for a studio. “I did apply for two separate grants and was fortunate to be awarded two grants to help renovate the building and the rest is history as they say,” Monier said.

The new building needed extensive renovations. Monier and her husband did most of the demo work themselves, along with the cleanup. They added new windows and doors, updated the plumbing, and added new lighting and lots of outlets. Her grandchildren pitched in, helping her finish the outside painting in March over spring break. “I hope to have an outdoor classroom at the back of my building for messier classes like fabric painting, fabric dye classes, and wet felting,” she said. This part of the dream is still a work in progress, but she hopes that maybe by the end of summer, it will be a reality.

Sewing is Monier’s passion. Girls in her family were expected to learn how to sew, and fortunately for her, she enjoyed it. She still recalls begging her grandmother to let her iron. Her grandmother finally gave in and let her press her grandfather’s handkerchiefs. Now she gets to pass her knowledge on to her students.

“Sewing is just so fun and such a valuable and useful skill,” she said. Her favorite part is watching students improve their skills and seeing their sense of accomplishment when they complete a project.

To Monier, sewing machines are power tools with thread.

“Garment construction is probably my very favorite, but I enjoy piecework, creating handbags, hand stitching, embroidery, and even mending. I find mending to be a challenge at times, and making an item that is torn or wearable again is a good thing,” she said.

The Grand Opening for Einstein Sewing Workshop is on May 17th at 1:00 p.m. There will be a ribbon cutting and community members are encouraged to stop by and see what the shop is all about. “People can check out the classroom machines and take a test drive if desired. I want everyone to know about Take it Easy Thursday where anyone can come in and sew, regardless of ability. It is a way to learn to sew while making simple garments that are donated to mission projects,” said Monier. There is no cost to attend Take it Easy Thursday.

Monier said the support from the community has been heartwarming. Sewing friends from Illinois, Miltonvale, and Morganville have all donated items for the school. She said the Miltonvale community seems to be happy that the old building has a new life as a sewing school and studio.

“My goal is to have the studio become a place where makers gather to learn, share, and have so much fun they can’t stay away.”

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