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The dress that was made to remember

When Ron came into the boutique at the end of August and said he had a challenge for me, I was only too happy to accept. He wanted me to create something special in remembrance of end of The Great War and left me a hand full of poppies as he cheerfully left to play a round of golf.

I could sit here and tell you all about how I trawled the boards of Pinterest, stalked the posts of Tumblr and lost hours to the galleries of Instagram - but that would be a huge lie! I had already planned this window a year ago.  

My Window Fairy (Aimee) and I had been discussing it whilst creating the remembrance window last year. We had decided to create a corset from poppies to represent the restrictions and romance of the era, which was completely lost on most of our audience but we were pleased with it.

As we sat there, hand cutting each poppy, we mused over what a wedding dress made from poppies would look like, and how we would go about making it if we had more time.
Poppy Corset
This got me thinking about the Sweetheart Exhibition I went to see at The Imperial War Museum when I was a 15, a good few years ago now. It was an exhibition of wartime wedding dresses which had been made from parachutes, furnishing fabrics and anything that came to hand (legally or otherwise) and accompanying the dresses were letters to and from the front line. Letters of love, letters of sorrow, letters of longing and letters of joy! 
Margaret Courtney and Joe Hawley
It made me realise that even though it was 100 years ago - time hasn’t changed us at all. In times of horrific hardship, we can still love and be loved. We can still hope. We can still remember! We need to remember.

Four years ago there was the installation of poppies at the Tower of London and it still resonates with me that each poppy was a soul. Each poppy was a son or a daughter who gave their life so that we could live ours, safe and without fear.
Tower Poppies
So, that is when it happened. Mr Boo was away with work for a week and the Window Fairy and I set to with lots of red fabric and some sharpies, (she is excellent at colouring the centres of poppies - she has years of experience). The dress itself is very simple in it’s construction. It has an unlined gathered floor length skirt with added petticoats. Onto this, we have hand pinched and stitched fabric poppies, and kept going until every inch of the bodice was covered.

And here she is ……. Our Poppy! The dress that will never forget.
Poppy Dress in the shop window