Project Description

Erin Vandewalle
Erin VandewalleStudio 102B
Fiber Art/Sewing/Tailor

Fashion is my passion!

Even from an early age I loved to design and sew clothes for my Barbies.  I have a vivid memory of making my first blocked quilt at my grandmother’s, at the age of nine, out of her old house dresses.  When I use that quilt today, I can still see her in the garden in those dresses.  That’s the feeling fashion can evoke…it’s a time, a place, a feeling!

I’m the oldest of four and the only daughter of Jim and Kathy McGuire.  My mom taught me how to sew at a very young age; in fact, I cant remember not sewing.  We grew up in the Air Force and mom made more clothes for me than she bought.  Dad’s old shirts became toddler dresses, old coats became Easter coat and hats.  Reinvention was our convention!  By high school I was ignoring my Home Ec. Teacher and doing my own things; a C proved she didn’t appreciate my independence!

After high school, I wanted to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC.  However mom & dad felt that a bit too far, so I settled on Northwood University in Michigan.  I received my BBA in Marketing & Management with an AA in Fashion Merchandising.  Several years in the business world proved a creative environment was more my desire.  At the age of 27, in order to follow a dream, I left Minneapolis and oved to Englewood NJ to become a nanny.  This afforded me the opportunity to put myself through school part-time at ITT, and receive the training & degree I had always wanted.  In addition to my degree in Fashion Design, where my specialty was couture wear, I developed a love of tailoring.  I took every class available, taught by wonderful Italian tailors, and received my certification in tailoring.  During my last year in NYC, I worked on Seventh Avenue for a wonderful opportunity to see designs transform from sketch, draped, to completed garment.

In the fall of 1990, I moved back to Indiana to be closer to family.  During my first year home, I was the store manager for Gantos in Castleton Square.  Afterwards, I worked for King Sports, owned by drag cars’ Kenny Bernstein, where I designed and coordinated the racing apparel for Quaker States nationwide fulfillment program.  QS trademarked the racing logo that I designed!

In 2000, I married Joe Vandewalle and quickly became the mother to Eliza, now 17, and Finnegan 15.  We moved to Martinsville from Indianapolis in 2003, to be even closer to my parents and brother Kevin’s family.  Several years ago, I made an attempt at a bridal alterations business, out of my home, working in conjunction with The Formal Touch.  After a mere 3 months, they closed their business and I realized the kids were still too small for me to handle both responsibilities.

Timing is usually everything and I knew the time was right in the fall of 2009 when I stumbled upon the fledgling Art Sanctuary.  I now occupy Studio 102B and am growing my business more every week!  I love the challenges my client bring and look forward to being able to do some original designs, as well as my favoritie, reinventing old clothes!