It’s been an odd week. Sad really. I was inspired to write these poems by the the end of a marriage. Someone for whom I had made a wedding dress just a few years ago. She was an easy client. Delightful. It was a joyful time and it now seems pointless. A dress which took months to make and which was nurtured, now not wanted. I know that most people only wear their wedding dress once and then it’s put away in tissue but it’s still felt wherever it’s stored: on a shelf in a linen press, in a bottom drawer, in a mirrored dressing room. It has its place. But when things go awry, it’s a reminder of all that is wrong and the bond breaks.


Wedding Dress


There was another fitting after that first one.

Then another and another and then it was done.


Hanging, waiting in its white cotton case

for her.

Seams steamed open and bound with satin.

Bones anchored with tiny stitches

by hand,

a silver thimble protecting punctured skin

pushing again and again

to make that curve,

that wasp waist.


Your dress is my dress too:

lived with me,


become beautiful.


And I send it away with you and feel it gone.


My wedding dress was black silk velvet and I wore it ’til it fell apart. I still have my coat (it was February and cold) which is wrapped in pink tissue and lives in a box in my wardrobe. It’s made from black and gold Chinese silk with a filigree gold button that belonged to my grandmother.



Filed under dressmaking, oddbods, poetry

6 responses to “Inspiration

  1. So sad about the dress; that being said, it’s still a beautiful wedding dress that may see life elsewhere. 🙂 Who knows what will happen to it somewhere down time’s road! The fact is, you made something wonderful, and you’ll always be able to remember it with the beauty that it intended.

    And that silk coat is stunning! What a wedding outfit that would have been to see – so unique!

  2. I remember that coat – so beautiful, Like fireworks.
    The wedding dress is a good metaphor for the marriage – sometimes they last longer than the relationship, depends on the fabric, the pattern, the quality of the stitch. Sometimes a relationship is cut on the wrong bias, or was only ever pinned rather than properly sewn.
    I love that you wore out your wedding frock – and that your union is still going so strong…

    • You know, the more I think about it, the more I understand how symbolic the dress is. It’s really made me think. And yes, looks like mine was made properly from good stuff!!

  3. This coat against the cow-parsley paper is perfect!

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