How to Make a Wedding Dress with Monique Sandoval
Andrew Pielage Designer Monique Sandoval puts finishing touches on a wedding dress.
Monique Sandoval made her wedding dress the night before her big day.
She sewed up the gown, which she describes as Mexican bohemian, with her step-grandmother, who taught her to use a needle and thread. She remembers the late night fondly. With antique crocheted fabric Sandoval found on Etsy and silk tulle, she completed the one-shoulder frock just hours before her Halloween ceremony at The Icehouse.
That was about three years ago. The marital bliss has endured -- and so has the dressmaking.
Of course, the Phoenix-based designer who heads up special-occasion label Ouma wouldn't necessarily recommend that course of fashion action to the average bride-to-be. For plenty of gals, picking out a wedding dress is a top priority when planning nuptials -- not something to save for tying-the-knot eve.
Andrew Pielage Designer Monique Sandoval works in the back room of Cleo & Clementine.
"Your heart knows when you find what's right for you," Sandoval says of finding the perfect dress, whether it's in a store, online, or a sketch in a notebook.
She hopes when women come to Cleo & Clementine, her boutique and workspace bedecked with a neon sign on the Melrose Curve, one of her handmade designs will affect them in that romantic, splendid, this-is-your-destiny kind of way. The pieces have an ethereal, delicate look. When brides put the dresses on, they appear to float.
The designer describes her creations as classic but contemporary. She doesn't keep close tabs on fashion trends in the wedding world. "I just make what I want to make," she says.
Textures, silhouettes, and movement all play into how Sandoval looks at the world and what she designs. Ballet has been particularly impactful on her creations of late.
Sandoval, seamstress Rachel Regan, and Anna "Director of All Things Sparkle" Romero round out the team at Cleo & Clementine.
They all agree that Sandoval's design process begins with the fabric, which is crucial in creating Ouma's trademark light and lovely look.