Johanna was eighty-something when she gave me this dress. I was twenty-five. Johanna and her family were from the Province of Silesia, and in the 1930’s, her mother asked a seamstress in the village to make her something from heavy-weight blue cotton fabric. A blue dress.
For the past twelve years, I have kept this dress in a box, together with a few other vintage garments that I have been given. There are buttons missing, the hem is fraying, the selvedges looked like this. There are moth holes and there are stains that not even bile soap and a gentle cycle in the washing machine could remove.
I don’t have the heart to throw it away, despite its bad condition. Like so many garments that I own, it tells a story. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to finally take the time to mend this dress.