The windows were covered over and the keyholes blocked while
a team of specialist embroiderers worked ''vast hours'' on
delicate lacework which was to end up on Kate Middleton's
One of those embroiderers, Jenny Adin-Christie (36), is in
Otago at the invitation of the Otago Embroiderers Guild to
help celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Wanaka Embroidery
School this weekend.
She described the experience of working on the Duchess of
Cambridge's dress as ''fairy-tale'' despite the backbreaking,
''It was absolutely magic to have been part of it. The whole
world wanted to see what the dress was like and we were
working on it.''
The work was done in absolute secrecy, to the point they did
not know who the designer of the dress was until the day
before the wedding.
''I could not even tell my husband.''
She was invited to work on the dress as she was a graduate of
the Royal School of Needlework's intensive three-year
apprenticeship programme, which only accepted six people a
year but had since ended.
Mrs Adin-Christie, who has been stitching since she was 5,
went on to teach at the school for 10 years before leaving to
do freelance work, which included everything from couture
embroidery, to large panels for schools, to embroidering the
royal arms on a pair of gloves to be given to the new Lord
''I'm always a bit snowed under. Embroidery has taken me to
Australia last year, New Zealand this year. I've taught in
France. It's amazing. Really busy.''
She had worked on curtains for Covent Garden's Royal Opera
House, altar frontals for Canterbury Cathedral and an album
cover for Sir Paul McCartney.
There had been a resurgence in interest in embroidery along
with other homecrafts since the recession, she said.
Mrs Adin-Christie will teach embroidery classes at the
Dunedin Art Gallery today and tomorrow before travelling to
Wanaka to take part in the two-day school. She will then
return to Dunedin to take further classes.