Tag Archives: wedding dresses


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

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