Embroidery quote received!

Embroidery quote received!

Earlier in the week, we reached a moment of truth that I’ve been anticipating ever since September 2012, when I realised that India was my best bet for realising my Peacock Dress dream. The quote for the embroidery, by far the most expensive and complex part of the project, arrived in my inbox.   Facebook followers guessed that the task might take from three weeks to eight months, and cost anything from $1400 to $25,000.¬† My own wild guess just about correlates with the average of all the Facebook guesses – I anticipated 3-6 months and $8000.   Ready for the real quote? Sweta has quoted three weeks, at $8000. So we got the price right, but… THREE WEEKS???   Sweta has yet to answer my question regarding¬†how many people will be working on it at once, but I know you can’t fit more than 62 people around the thirteen pieces of embroidery required. If they’ve got 62 people working at a time for 12 hour days, 7 days a week for three weeks (I hope there are shifts and everyone is not working 12/7)…… and I was going to work 4 hour days every weekday for 30 years… that means they’re working at least twice as fast as me – their total hours would be 15,624 to my 31,200.   So, uh, yeah… a worthwhile exercise.     As for the price, it’s a relief. $8000 is a lot of cash, but it’s not $25,000. It’s a lot, but it isn’t a stratospheric “Well, shit, so much for that idea” sort of sum. It’s within the realms of...
New sample, and pink feathers

New sample, and pink feathers

Photos of the sample have arrived from Indian Embroiderer MkII, and it’s near-as-dammit perfect! I love that not only do the two photos below represent a very, very good approximation of the Peacock Dress itself, but that they also look like pictures I could have taken of my own version of the embroidery. When the email arrived, I screamed maniacally at a stormy, lightning filled sky, “MWAHAHAHAHA!! I HAVE SUCCESSFULLY CLONED MYSELF!!! IT LIIIIIVES!!!” And of course it looks like both the original dress and my embroidery because I provided pictures of both for reference, as well as an actual sample of my embroidery that I sent to India in the mail. (The difference, of course, is that they will have done this in about ten minutes flat, whereas I would have taken days.) The new sample from India   The next step is materials; Sweta is having trouble tracking down just the right bits and pieces, and doesn’t yet know where to find beetle wings. Ebay is your friend, I shall tell her…. Pink feathers Meanwhile, there is also progress on solving the mystery of the pink feathers. If you recall, the original dress features just a few feathers, randomly distributed over the skirt, that look reddish from a distance, and pink up close. What is the cause? It’s not all that easy to see in a photo, but what’s different here, in the feather in the center of this image?     When you look a lot more closely, it appears as though the passing thread (the white thread with a metal strip wrapped loosely around it...
Renewal

Renewal

The reason that the Peacock Dress was always a joke, and the reason I pledged to go ahead and do it anyway if my blog readers sent me to Haiti, was because it was obviously a maddeningly complex project. It teased me from inside the glass case: “Betcha can’t make me.” It has lived up to its reputation: we are now approaching the three year mark since I first pledged to do this. At first, I wanted all the glory myself, but after a year of embroidery, I had to admit defeat and try Plan B. Plan B – drafting in help from all of you – was also far too complex to be likely to succeed, and so we went to Plan C, and as soon as the decision was made to go to India for the embroidery, it seemed to fall into place. Of course we should do it the same way as Mary Curzon and M. Worth arranged it. The first connection in India turned out to be less than enthusiastic enough to provide a good service, even in pursuit of a sample, and so we went to Plan C(ii). And by this time, the momentum had faltered. In 2014, I want to see this thing done. I have been apprehensive about saying that, because of course we don’t yet know what the cost will be, but Barry has always advised me to plan for success, and not failure. So here it is: progress renewed.   First things first The first priority is the small feathers I promised to make for the biggest donors. Not all...