Bespoke Cloth Keepsakes

 

In 2006 I trained to be a Voluntary Children's Bereavement Officer for a local charity and as part of our training we had to accompany the children on a residential camp. It was an incredibly moving and extremely emotional weekend; spending time with children who all needed help coming to terms with the tragic loss of a loved one.  

It was not long after the camp that I felt I compelled to make something for my son and daughter - something to pass on to them, something like a heirloom I guess. So it was a few weeks later when I presented them with a highly personal and unique keepsake each. They were created out of their cherished childhood clothes, the very clothes I had kept 'safe and stored away' for many years. They loved them. 

Did my hands shake when I was nervously cutting up the clothes I treasured? Yes! And yet I instinctively knew this was what I needed to do. I realised that I no longer needed to hold on to all the 'stuff'. I kept a few 'extra special' items and all the rest went to a charity shop. I felt so much better, sort of lighter and more free. 

As a consequence of that residential camp my Bespoke Cloth Keepsake service was born; a service where your cherished clothes are carefully turned into a cushion that can you can hold close, hug and cry with. These keepsakes can bring so much comfort to anyone who has suffered a bereavement or for children after a divorce, or when one parent works away for long periods of time. 

These cushion keepsakes are inspired by your cherished memories that your treasured clothes hold on to.

Each commission is always a privilege. 

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I am reminded of the bright colourful woman Mel was and it brings me joy.

Dawn was a close friend of Mel, my soul partner sadly lost to us. Part of Mel was her love of bright beautiful clothes so Dawn offered to make some things from pieces of Mel's clothes. These items have been so helpful to me on my journey through grief, how they have helped me changing as I have changed. When someone you love dearly passes away unexpectedly, well I can only speak for myself but I wanted to hang to as much of Mel as I could just after she died. Her last voice message on my phone so I could hear her voice for instance, playing it over and over at times trying to fill the huge space in my life her absence had created with something of her. The things Dawn made from Mel's clothes helped me to let go of Mel as slowly as I needed to. Now the items bring me cheer because rather than me clinging to something I am reminded of the bright colourful woman Mel was and it brings me joy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Dawn Ford

Keepsakes for him, his son and daughter. 2016