I'm Back!! A Cocktail Dress Project Update

Posted by Suzanne Gutierrez on

Happy Blog Day! I'm sorry that there haven't been new blog posts in the past few weeks. I had a sinus infection that brought all Siouxsiequeue's work to a halt. Happily, thanks to my excellent doctor, I'm running at 100% again and am (finally) back to work, which brings us to the reason for today's blog, The Cocktail Dress Project!

Since I've been back to work, I have focused on the dress's bodice. As of today, I have completed the front of the bodice and most of the left side. I plan to leave the back of the dress open and bring up the collar to form a bit of a mock turtleneck. I've had to rework a couple of pieces since the last update, but overall I'm pretty pleased with how this project is taking shape.

violet chainmaille dress, front facing, on ivory colored mannequin


Violet chainmaille dress, left side facing, on ivory colored mannequin

Violet chainmaille dress, back facing, on ivory colored mannequin

This week I expect the workflow to be more of the same; our slogan is "One Ring at a Time" for a reason. :) I've ordered an additional half-pound of the violet-colored rings, which I believe will be all I need to complete the bodice and half a pound of the pewter-colored rings. The pewter rings will make up the dress's waist and serve as a transition color between the violet and black rings. I've also been mulling over ideas to help the color transitions be less blocky; more on that later, though.

I'd also like to take a moment to discuss the project stats and costs. The cost of my supplies has changed since the summer. I also wanted to identify how I came up with these figures.

Project weight, the total number of rings, and the cost of rings are pretty straight-forward calculations. I'm using 16 gauge 1/4" inner diameter anodized aluminum rings, of which there are approximately 227 rings per ounce, and each ring costs $0.02. Each week I use my postal scale to weigh the project. I also used a stopwatch to time how long it took me to add an ounce of rings to the project and multiplied that by my usual hourly rate. Finally, I add the cost of the rings and the price of my time to find the total project costs before applying my formula for finding the retail costs. It's a lot of math, but I've set up all the formulas in a spreadsheet, so I only have to input the weight.

With all of that in mind, here are this week's stats for The Cocktail Dress Project:

  • Total Weight (in ounces): 15.4
  • Number of Rings: 3496
  • Total Number of Hours: 9
  • Project Costs: $244.71
  • Retail Project Costs: $611.77

I'll be back next week with a project update and my ideas for color transitions. Don't forget, I'd love to hear your comments or questions about the project so far!

See you then!


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