Toile for a Wedding Dress

Agonised over. Pinned and fitted and made perfect and worn once. We know where they are, stored in tissue and kept safe but never looked at. There’s something comforting about their presence: a symbol of something good? Something durable? It’s a long process, making a wedding dress.


It started in calico,

in stiff unbending cloth

to get the shape right and the fit.

But you could see the beauty that it could be.

Let it fit, let it fit……

A mouth full of glass-headed pins

pink gold green,

new so as not to snag,

trying not to stab unexpecting skin.

Blue-mottled February skin.

Muttering, ‘turn this way a little,’

‘lift that arm.’

‘Can you sit?’

‘Can you breathe?’

Laugh with relief

at its cheap cotton perfection.

I tear its seams apart:

A rupturing rip of stitches.

Left alone with lace the colour of jersey milk

I unfold it from its tissue,

let it fall across my hands and

hold it up to my face.

Then throw it out


and wrap it round and round,


before I smooth it onto the cutting table and

slice into it.

Raw blades sounding like hammer blows across its deep ridges.



Filed under dressmaking, oddbods, poems, poetry, sewing

2 responses to “Toile for a Wedding Dress

  1. This blog is a rare find. Much poetry online is sapped of identitiy, becoming vague and listless, more concerned with the idea of poetry than any substance. You mix language with a love of fabric. It shouldn’t work, but it does.

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