Measure twice, cut once.

Even if I was blindfolded, I could tell what fabric I’m cutting from the sound it makes. This one is heavy, expensive, made to drape like water or snow across a girl’s hips. I know, because I wove it.

I wove it over the winter, a special commission. Pure white, reflecting back the colours of the world. I didn’t use white thread, though – I used the soft grey wool from a lamb’s throat, feathers from a jay, words torn tenderly from the love letters he sent me, whisps of grass, dried violets, a single thread of my own brown hair. I wove them carefully, whispering the old words over them, singing the old songs – songs of snow and ice, of white clouds, of gulls, of sea-foam. I made them white through my own will.

And now, I’m cutting and stitching, to make a wedding gown for a princess. She will look like a rose flowering in the snow. The prince will turn and look at her, and his face will light up, the way it used to light up when he saw me.

I smile as I stitch, a mistress at work. I embroider the smooth white cloth with snowdrops and lilies, with white roses and lily of the valley. When it’s finished, there’s only one flaw – that single thread of my hair, dancing on the surface of the train. I leave it there, just to remind him of me.

Over at Go Dog Go, Tanya Cliffis hosting a series of writing workshops. She’s given us a theme – Measure Twice, Cut Once – and asks us to put up a first draft this week, to be worked on over the next few weeks.

This is my first draft. I think my pronouns are probably a bit baggy, and I’m not sure how easy it is to work out who is who. But it’s a first draft, so I’m not being too fussy.

13 thoughts on “Measure twice, cut once.

  1. This is wonderfully imagined……the beauty of the items woven into the fabric, and the sudden realization the narrator is weaving it for the wedding of her prince – and another bride. Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is quite wonderful! I love how you paint this dreamy picture with words then slap a big, dark twist on the canvass toward the end. That is masterful storytelling! Your protagonist’s solution is brilliant. I can’t wait to see how you craft this through the editing challenges. ❤️⚾️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good heavens, woman. You are mega-talented.

    Gave me chills:
    “I could tell what fabric I’m cutting from the sound it makes. This one is heavy, expensive, made to drape like water or snow across a girl’s hips. I know, because I wove it.”

    Stunning:
    “words torn tenderly from the love letters he sent me, whisps of grass, dried violets, a single thread of my own brown hair”
    “She will look like a rose flowering in the snow.”
    “I embroider the smooth white cloth with snowdrops and lilies”

    You are brilliant, you know that? So beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: WRITER’S WORKSHOP I, Week 2, Batting Practice | Go Dog Go Café

  5. Pingback: WRITER’S WORKSHOP I, Week 2, Batting Practice | Go Dog Go Café

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