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Mumbai for kids: The Hab in Khar

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Mumbai for kidsThe Hab Khar (W)
A decorated sewing machine is all that you get to see when you pass by this prominent space on Linking Road, Khar. In the fairy tale world, much can turn around with the prick of a needle. At The Hab, a sewing studio set up by Usha, it’s a fairy tale world of magic, colour and creativity.

There are many things I learnt at The Hab. For one, sewing does not necessarily mean fabric. And, that with technology at our tips, all you need to be able to do is imagine and it can actually be at the tip of your finger.

But wait; let’s begin at the beginning. The Hab (short for haberdashery) is a place where you can pick thread, a mean sewing machine, baubles that you want to add to your creative idea, a sewing kit, wool, crochet gear, zips, buttons, beads, tassels and pins… you name it — and put it together to make something unique and designer-like. A haberdashery is a one-stop-shop for all sewing needs, a concept fairly familiar internationally. The idea is to curate and make accessible raw material for people with a creative streak who prefer adding a personal touch to their outfits or accessories.

The Hab offers undivided attention where kids can spend hours learning to make cards, gift items and other handmade products

The Hab offers undivided attention where kids can spend hours learning to make cards, gift items and other handmade products
The Hab offers undivided attention where kids can spend hours learning to make cards, gift items and other handmade products

When you enter The Hab, you will notice that central to the space are the workstations. Everything else is woven around them. On four central workstations, there are sewing machines, a tray of beads and sequins. Assistants who help you conjure up what you want to make. The Hab is not for children only. This experiential store invites people from all age groups to re-look at contemporary sewing and accessory-making, while offering a host of new experiences. While at store, we notice adults, children, teenagers, and the aged walk in, and stay.

Gift

I was sure my daughter Vani would be delighted to be at The Hab because she has been tinkering with fabric and needles for some time. But I was unsure about my eight-year-old son Ammol. After examining the range of things that they could do, both settle to make — I should say sew — Father’s Day cards. Seated on different machines, they choose patterns and material. I see them cut shapes and launch their machines, with the help of the in-house hab assistant. Vani makes a card and its matching envelope, while Ammol makes a guitar card. Once the paper is chosen and cut, the kids work meticulously on the embroidering and accessosizing.

Getting their work of art takes close to two hours and is a thing of joy.

Rating: 4/5

Guide book

How to get there Opposite Sahib Khatwara Darbar, Linking Road, Khar (W).

Getting there
Bandra (W) is the nearest railway station.

Timings
Thursdays shut, 11 am - 8 pm

Charges
No entry fee. Charges are as per the products you buy or the workshop you choose, and the material you use.

Food & drink
No. Outside food is not allowed. Carry drinking water.

What’s good
Unlike other activity centres, The Hab teaches something tangible in the long run. Anyone can walk in and do a workshop on the spot. There are structured sewing workshops for beginners to advanced. The children were absorbed for two hours during our visit. Staff is very patient.

What’s not good
It’s expensive. Each card that the kids chose to make was for Rs 350 each; they were the lowest and simplest in the range that could be made.

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