For those of you just joining me, I am writing about the process of creating a made to order neckpiece for an Australian bride. The dates at the top of each post show the time period covered in that post.
As you may recall from my last post, I was ready to get the bride's approval on the nearly finished neckpiece. I emailed her the photos and tensely awaited her reply. The news was good. She loved the front, but wanted the back to have a bit more detail. I had already planned on putting a fringe on the back clasp piece. She asked if there could also be a focal piece with a fringe hanging from the adjustment strap. I thought a lot about this. I needed to make several adjustment straps of varying lengths so the fit could be adjusted, at least somewhat. And since I didn't know which strands she would use, I didn't want to make a focal for each one. I tried making a detachable piece with hooks that could attach to any of the strands. But the silver on the hooks stood out too much and I didn't like it. So finally I came up with the solution of beading 2 loops on the component. These were large enough that they could slip onto any of the adjustment strands. I emailed her a picture of this solution and she loved it. Note in the picture, the neckpiece still has an adapter in it so it will go around the neck of the dressmaker form. This makes it look a little off.
The final back looks a bit different- I'll show you later. (there has to be SOME suspense here!)
So on Jan. 10 I put on the final touches and got the final approval from Priscylla. I didn't have time to get professional photographs, but took lots of photos myself. I had a bit of trouble with this as the dress form did not have arms- and shoulders are pretty important in this piece! I went to the nearest small town looking for a mannequin with arms in any of the store windows. I thought I would go in and ask if I could rent it for the day, or if worse came to worse, to take the piece into the store and photograph it there. But no luck- can you believe every single mannequin in the store windows was armless! Funny how you never notice those things.
I did the best I could with what I had and got some good shots.
After doing some research on shipping methods, I found that for about $70 I could ship the piece to Australia in 6-10 days. If she wanted it in 4 days, it would be over $120. Since the wedding was Feb 12, we thought we had plenty of time and decided to go with the 6-10 days. After all, it was 4 weeks until the wedding.
I sent Priscylla a Paypal invoice and I had the money in no time. ( I will add a little note about Paypal later, as a cautionary tale!)
Now for packaging. I wish I had taken some photos, but again I was in too much of a hurry. It was very hard to figure out how to package this. I usually lay my collars on a piece of foam board, put bubble wrap around it, then shrink wrap the whole thing to the board so nothing moves. But this piece was a bit more 3D. I ended up padding the neck part so it didn't lay flat, then layering wrapping between layers of folded over collar. I know that isn't a good description, but its a little hard to explain. I included about 6 adjustment strands of different lengths and some extra beads that Priscylla had asked for. In total the box weighed 4 lbs.
On Jan. 13 I took the package to the post office and tearfully sent it off. It actually was such a relief! I came home and we had champagne. It was now out of my hands. I was very nervous if it would fit right, and if the bride would like it in person, and if it would arrive in time, or if it would arrive at all! But from here on out, there wasn't much I could do. But wait. And wait.
And now you will have to wait too! In 6-10 days I will tell you if it arrived. And if it fit.
I just wanted to end this post with a note. Last week I emailed Priscylla to ask if she had some photos of the wedding that I could post. I only have one that she emailed me. It isn't much of a closeup and I didn't have her permission to use it. I had just about given up and thought that I would not be able to post a picture of the neckpiece on the bride, when she emailed me back. She said she is without a computer at the moment, but will send me some pictures as soon as she gets hooked up. So I am hoping to have some pics of the wedding to show you soon! I also have better pictures of the finished piece I will post when I tell you the rest of this story. Till then....