My First Angel Gowns

When I was pregnant, I was using a baby app to keep my updated on what to expect throughout pregnancy.  This app also had relevant and interesting articles about babies and pregnancy.  Well, one such article was on an organization called NICU Helping Hands.

Per, the NICU Helping Hands Seamstress Handbook: “NICU Helping Hands is a 501c3 organization based in Fort Worth, Texas that provides parent support and education to families experiencing the hospitalization of their baby in the NICU of a hospital. They gift Angel Gown garments to families and hospitals free of charge and provide additional bereavement support through their One-on-One Mentoring Program and other printed bereavement materials.”

Angel Gowns are bereavement gowns made by volunteer seamstresses out of donated wedding gowns.  At the time, the organization was looking for more volunteer seamstresses, so I applied and a few months later I was accepted and sent some wedding gowns.

I have thus far made 40 Angel Gowns out of 4 different wedding dresses.  It is up to the seamstresses discretion to embellish and create the gowns within the parameters of the organization.  We have 4 sizes of gowns for different size babies and some seamstresses make wraps for really tiny pre-term babies.

The first dress I worked on was definitely an 80s special…I still have some pieces leftover that I can use for embellishments on other AG’s.  I was able to get 14 gowns out of this one dress.

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Girl gowns:

IMG_2859Boy Gowns:

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My second dress was only a partial dress as the front portion of the skirt had been removed(the donors are allowed to remove as much of the dress as they want before donating).  Even though I was working with half a dress, I was still able to get 12 gowns(all girl) out of it.

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The above 26 gowns were sent in before I had Ella.  I didn’t start working on gowns again till March.  I just sent in 14 more gowns this past week.

The first gown post-Ella was a simple A-line dress with a chiffon overlay and some ribboned stripes.  I was able to get 8 gowns, one for each size and gender out of this dress.

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I didn’t manage to get a picture of the fourth gown as my SIL was visiting and helping me deconstructing the dresses and she finished taking all the beading/lace off before I could get a picture.  It was a brand new gown with the tags still attached believe it or not!  This particular gown was 2 separate pieces in a mermaid style with beaded lace along the waist and bodice top and scattered clear beads on the bodice.  The bodice was WAY too small to utilize any of the fabric so I just used all the beading and lace.  I had to do a lot of finagling but I managed to get 6 gowns out of this tiny dress.

The following pictures are the gowns made from these two dresses.

Size Large(1 boy, 2 girls)

IMG_3476 copySize Medium(G, B, G)

IMG_3478 copySize Small(G,B,G)

IMG_3479 copyIf you look closely at the girl gown on the right, you’ll see that I hand beaded angel wings on it using the beads I removed from the tiny dress’s bodice.

Size Micro-Premie(B, G, Neutral, G, B)

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The MP with the lace overlay is my favorite of the bunch.  In fact, it inspired me to make a dress for Ella which I’ll show you later this week.

Well, that’s a big portion of what I’ve been up to while I’ve been gone!  Hope you enjoyed this look at my newest undertaking and if you’re interested in helping out NICU HH in any way, you can check out their website here.

-Tamara