Charity Sewing,  How To,  Sewing Tips,  Tutorials

Simple Preemie Angel Gown: Free Pattern

Update June 2018: Interested in making a vested gown for boys? Please check out this YouTube video for an easy pattern draft and instructions for a boy’s vest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t9uCNdZVOg.    Thanks Rachel Ann!

………………………

How to make the easiest,  fastest “angel gowns” for newborns and preemies

In my previous post about sewing angel cocoons, I promised to write about sewing angel gowns.  If you sew for charities that provide angel gowns for  the tiniest of babies who won’t be coming home from the hospital, then I’m sure you are familiar with the classic infant kimono,  turned around so that the closure is in the back (this is necessary for all bereavement garments). Although this seems to be the simplest of patterns, it can be tricky and frustrating to sew, especially when using slippery fabrics (many sewing groups use donated wedding gowns for these projects). I’ve researched many tutorials and videos online, and seen the struggle of hemming tiny sleeves, and binding tiny necklines.

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(Pinterest link: https://www.pinterest.com/7pinedesign/free-sewing-patterns/)

 

I’ve figured out a faster, easier method for sewing this design:

  • no hand-sewing
  • no seam allowances to finish (no need for overlocker/serger)
  • no raw edges against delicate skin

Why hasn’t everybody been using this method? Because it is harder to explain.  Paper patterns for infant kimonos have been published  since the ’40’s,  with instructions that can be reduced to a few phrases and tiny line drawings.  So if you’re ready to try a new sewing method for this traditional style, here we go. I’ll show you how to do this, using 2 different printed cottons (outside fabric and lining)  for clarity, and then again in white wedding dress fabrics .

kimono1  ..kimono6kimono3

Capture20

  • Now that the pattern file is loaded into your computer, you can open it for printing: click on Files/Downloads/AngelGownIllustrator and open in Adobe Acrobat reader, then print.
  • Every computer is different so the steps might be slightly different on your computer, however if you have any problems printing the pattern pages, I always have extra copies printed out and can easily send them to you in the mail!  Just send me a request at my email: [email protected]

The pattern prints out in four pages:

  1. Front top half
  2. Front bottom half
  3. Back top half
  4. Back bottom half

Tape or glue-stick the Front pieces, top to bottom.

Tape or glue-stick the Back pieces, top to bottom.

 

  • Cut out the size you need . The pattern comes in four sizes:
  1. Newborn
  2. Preemie
  3. Tiny
  4. Micro

If you would like to print the instructions, please click on this file:


 

Ready to cut out and sew? First I’ll show you how to make a Velcro-back style (the second one will be tie-back):

1. CUTTING OUT and MARKING:

  •  Layer the body fabric (blue print) and lining fabric (pink stripe) together on your cutting table so that you can cut both layers together, ensuring they will match in size and shape.
  • Cut out 2 fronts (1 of body fabric and 1 of lining fabric) on the fold
  • Cut out 2 mirrored-pairs of backs (1 of body fabric and 1 of lining fabric)
  •  Mark your notches on all fabric pieces, from the triangles on the paper pattern.  This will be very helpful when stitching, to avoid confusion. Either snip 1/8″ notches (seam allowances are 1/4″) or use a fabric marker or a plain pencil.

IMG_8533

2. EMBELLISH:

  • (Optional): Decorate front of gown on the body fabric. Often angel gowns are made of donated wedding dresses, and using decorative trim elements from the original gown can make each gown distinct and special.  (I’m skipping that part here, because I’m just showing construction).

3. SHOULDER-SEAMS:

  •  Pin left back and right back to front at shoulder-seams, with right sides of fabric together, matching SINGLE-notches.  Stitch, and press open.  Repeat for lining:

IMG_8534

 

4. STITCH BODY TO LINING:

  • Pin lining to body, right sides of fabric together.
  • Stitch center-back, leaving a 2″ opening for turning inside out later.
  • Stitch neckline
  • Stitch sleeve hems together, body fabric to lining:

IMG_8537

 

5. TURN INSIDE OUT:

  • Clip the inside curve of the neckline, and trim off the center-back neckline corners:

IMG_8536


 

  • Turn the garment inside out by pulling the back pieces through the shoulders into the front.

IMG_8538…..


 

  • Press. Your neckline and sleeve hems are already finished!

.IMG_8539

 


Now it gets a bit tricky, but once you get it, it will make sense, I promise!

6. STITCH SIDE-SEAMS:

  • Pin  side-seams front to back, right sides of fabric together, matching the DOUBLE-notches. Start by “pinching” the sleeves together and pinning at the sleeve underarm seams. Then pin along the sides, down to the hems. Your fabrics should be pinned outer-fabric-to-outer-fabric, and lining-fabric-to-lining-fabric:

.IMG_8540


 

  • Stitch side-seams, starting at the hem, going up around the underarm, and down to the other hem. Go slowly, since this step is not “flat” sewing….its very curved and 3-dimensional at this stage, so you’ll need to stop and adjust the fabric under your presser foot every half-inch or so.

Capture copy


 

  •  When you are done sewing this seam, clip the under-arm curves so that the underarm will lay flat after turning inside-out:

IMG_8543


 

  • Press the side-seams open as far as your iron allows.You should now have sort of a mish-mosh thing that looks like this:

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This^^^ is the reason that traditional patterns don’t use this construction method!  It’s not difficult to DO, just difficult to EXPLAIN in tiny line drawings. Trust me, this is how apparel is constructed in factories, as they are always looking for the most efficient methods.

July 2017 Update: you can watch a video made by DIY Danielle, to see how to sew this tricky part.  The video goes fast through the easy steps, then slows down for this one step.  Thanks Danielle!!!

2018 Update: another video is available here.

 

 

7. HEMMING:

  • Pin the hem front to back, right sides of fabric together, matching TRIPLE-notches.
  • Stitch across the hem, clip off the corners:

IMG_8545


 

  • Pull the garment inside out, using the opening you left in the center-back seam, and voila!  Totally clean-finished seams throughout:

IMG_8546..IMG_8547


8. FINISHING:

  • Final press, then stitch the turn-about opening shut. You can edge-stitch the entire outside edge, closing the center-back opening as you go.

IMG_8548.

  • Next stitch on Velcro at center-back.  The nurses like Velcro because it is easier to dress the little angels.  I use Sew-On “Soft and Flexible”, and cut the strips lengthwise to half their width.  Be sure to sew the “fuzzy” side facing the body, and the “scratchy” side away from the body.

IMG_8549


 

Now I’ll show you again, this time with ribbon ties for the back, and fabric cut from a wedding dress. First step is to wash the dress. To make washing easier, separate the bodice from the skirt and the petticoat. Straight into the washer (gentle cycle) and then hang up to dry:

IMG_8553IMG_8571


1. CUTTING OUT and MARKING:

  • Cut out all angel gown pieces as before:
  •  Layer the body fabric and lining fabric together on your cutting table so that you can cut both layers together, ensuring they will match in size and shape.
  • Cut out 2 fronts (1 of body fabric and 1 of lining fabric) on the fold
  • Cut out 2 mirrored-pairs of backs (1 of body fabric and 1 of lining fabric)
  • Mark your notches on all fabric pieces, from the triangles on the paper pattern.

2. EMBELLISH:

  • Decorate the Front, using lace appliques or trim from the wedding dress:

IMG_8552

3. SHOULDER-SEAMS:

  •   Pin left back and right back to front at shoulder-seams, with right sides of fabric together, matching SINGLE-notches.  Stitch, and press open.  Repeat for lining:

..IMG_8570


(Optional Back Ties: if you want to close the garment back with ties, add the ribbons now.  If you prefer to use Velcro, that will be added as the last step after the garment is complete):

  • Cut six pieces of narrow ribbon, each 8″ long, and pin or tape to the right side of the center back edges; I use plain old  Scotch Tape to keep the ribbons out of the way, and take it off immediately after stitching. The top ribbon pair can be placed about 1/2″ from the neckline, the next pair 3″ down the center-back, and the last pair  another 3″ down:

IMG_8555


Continue construction same as the first sample:

4. STITCH BODY TO LINING:

  • Place lining on top of outer body, pin along center back, neckline, and sleeve hems.
  • Stitch center back, leaving a 2″ opening for turning inside-out later.
  • Stitch neckline and sleeve hems:

IMG_8556IMG_8557


5. TURN INSIDE OUT:

  • Clip inside curve of neckline seam allowance, being careful not to cut into stitching:

IMG_8558


 

  • Turn inside-out by pulling the backs through the shoulders towards the front:

IMG_8559..IMG_8560


 

  • Press lightly…look how pretty with the neckline and sleeve hems already finished!:

IMG_8561


6. STITCH SIDE-SEAMS:

  • Pin  side-seams front to back, right sides of fabric together, matching the double-notches.  Start by “pinching” the sleeves together,  and pinning at the sleeve underarm seam.:

IMG_8565

IMG_8566

  • Then pin  outside fabric front-to-back  all the way down to the hem, and pin lining fabric front-to-back  all the way down to the hem:. Your fabrics should be pinned outer-to-outer and lining-to-lining:

IMG_8568

If that sounds confusing, or you’re just not sure, look at the print fabric picture again; you should have outside-fabric-to-outside-fabric (front to back), lining-fabric-to-lining-fabric (front to back):

Capture copy


 

  • Stitch the side-seams starting at the hem, going up and around the underarm, and down to the other hem. Slow and steady as you stitch the underarm area.
  • Clip under-arm curves:

IMG_8572


  • Press the side-seams open as far as your iron will allow:

IMG_8573


Now you should have your weird mish-mosh shaped thing:

IMG_8574


If you’re worried, you can lift up the skirt and flip it inside out to see what it’s going to look like:

IMG_8576..IMG_8577

7. HEMMING:

  • Turn it back outside in again….time to finish the hem: pin all the way across, stitch, clip corners.

IMG_8578


 

  • Now go back to the center-back where you (hopefully) left a 2″ opening in the seam for turning.  If you forgot to do this (it happens) just get a seam ripper and carefully un-stitch the center-back seam for about 2″.  Pull the garment completely inside out, press:

IMG_8579..

IMG_8580

 

8. FINISHING:

  • You can  machine-edge-stitch (or hand-stitch if you prefer) the center-back opening, and you are done!

IMG_8581


 

Some notes about sewing for hospitals: every hospital has different needs, so be sure to check with the NICU department before making items to donate.  I have read so many stories about groups and individuals putting in time and energy sewing items that weren’t exactly what was  needed for their local hospital.  The nurses know best, so check first!

  • GARMENT TYPES:  Bereavement apparel usually must open completely in back; sometimes side access is required in final stages of life for access to tubes and wires, especially for infants in the cardiac unit.
  • CLOSURES: Some hospitals prefer Velcro for ease of dressing. Some hospitals prefer snaps (plastic such as Dritz Clear or KAM snaps; never metal as it gets too hot/cold).
  • BLANKETS and ACCESSORIES: hand-sewn blankets or hats to match angel-gowns are a thoughtful touch, as parents like to take them home as a remembrance
  • FABRICS: For bereavement items, soft and smooth fabrics such as those from donated wedding gowns are fine.  Some hospitals have a need for bereavement apparel in cotton, and some for bereavement apparel in colors, depending on regional ethnic groups.
  • APPAREL SIZES: depending on the size of the NICU, the hospital services offered,  and regional factors, some hospitals need more items for Micro-Preemies (under 2 lbs), others need regular Preemie sizes, or full-term.
  • GENDER:  There is a greater need for male than female infant bereavement apparel: “In the U.S. in 2013, the overall infant mortality rate for male infants was 6.51 per 1,000 births, 21% higher than the rate for female infants (5.39%)” (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_09.pdf)

If you are interested in joining a group dedicated to charity sewing for little angels, check these websites, or Google “angel gowns” and then the name of your state. Some groups that I know of include (please right-click link and open in new window):

In the U.S.:

  • https://newbornsinneed.org (throughout the United States)
  • http://angeloutfitters.blogspot.com/ (throughout the United States)
  • http://www.carewear.org/ (throughout the United States)
  • http://www.threadsoflove.org/ (throughout the United States)
  •  
  • http://www.angelgowns.chauglie.com/ (Washington State)
  • http://www.thepreemieproject.com/ (Iowa)
  • http://mikaylasgrace.com/ (Wisconsin)
  • http://www.nicuhelpinghands.org/(Texas)
  • http://www.marymadelineproject.org/ (Nebraska)
  • http://www.littleangelgowns.org/(Indiana)
  • http://www.touchinglittlelives.org/ (Ohio)
  • https://www.facebook.com/pg/Angel-Gowns-Capital-Region-NY-541850205965043/about/
  • https://www.evefoundation.org (Montana)

In Australia:

  • http://angelgownsaustralia.org.au/

In Canada:

  • http://angeldressescanada.com/
  • https://www.facebook.com/ManitobaAngelDresses/
  • http://www.manitobaangeldresses.com/

In the U.K:

In Ireland:

  • https://www.facebook.com/pg/shannonangelsisters

In Germany, Austria and Switzerlnd:

          https://sternenzauber-fruehchenwunder

Wie es entstand

In South Africa:

  • http://www.erikrhouse.com/angel-gowns

If you, or somebody you know, is facing an angel loss in late pregnancy or early delivery, a lovely and helpful booklet full of information is found here: http://angelbabiesinfo.com/docs/pamphlet.pdf

LinedAngelGown copy

 

 

 

115 Comments

  • JustGail

    You’re right, it’s very hard to explain! I think I’ll have to sit down and actually do this. After pulling through the shoulder seams and pressing the first time, it looks like the gown is turned back inside out (?) or does it just look that way due to the way the pieces are flipped around to pin the side seams? Ack! I can’t even think how to word the question of what I’m trying to ask :-/ 🙂

    Yup, gotta sit down and do this one for me to understand! Thank you for the pattern to do so.

  • [email protected]

    Hi Gail! After pulling through the shoulder seams and pressing the first time, it should look sort of like a finished garment (outside fabric out, lining inside) …except with unfinished side-seams and hem. It’s definitely a “hands on” procedure, and you will have the “Aha!” moment when it’s done. It took me MANY experiments with “sequence of stitching” to figure out how to do this with all machine stitching!

  • Delia Gonzalez

    Hi Ms. Gail
    I was looking for a pattern like this and finally. Thank you for posting and explaining.
    Now what kind of items do you recommend to decorated them. Specially for boys.
    Again thank you and may God bless you.

  • [email protected]

    For boys I use light blue fabric and blue/white ribbons in stripes or checks. Sometimes the parents are okay with a simple white gown for a boy but no lace, and no shiny fabric, so I use cotton. The hospital volunteers enjoy making the girls’ gowns from wedding dresses with lots of trimmings, but sadly there is a greater need for boys’ Christening and baptism apparel.

  • Delia

    Good Evening Ms. Gail

    I just made my first gown, I have a question regarding the sleeves are they supposed to look like 2. I know I did something wrong.

  • Delia Gonzalez

    Ms. Gail.
    Sorry to be a pest. After 2 hours trying, I finally made it. I was able to figure out the instruction. Now I have my first gown. Can I make the boys one using light blue cotton fabric? I will send you a picture of the fabric I want to use for the girls. Please let me know if this is appropriated. You are awesome, thanks.

  • Delia Gonzalez

    Good afternoon Ms. Gail
    I will like to know if you have a tutorial video on how to applied the decorations on the gowns. Thank you

  • Monica Marie Ellis

    This pattern is very easy once you finally figure it out. What confused me the most was the stitching the side seams and under arm holes. The picture you have is great but looking at all the white fabric is over whelming. If you would add the dots to the picture maybe that would help. I’m so thankful for this pattern. It so beautiful once its finished. Thanks

  • [email protected]

    That is a great idea! I will see what I can do. Thank you for the input, it’s very much appreciated. It IS quite difficult to visualize, and I’m convinced that is why the pattern companies avoid this type of construction: it’s almost impossible to do a line drawing that makes sense. At some point you think “no way is this going to work”..and then it DOES!

  • Judy Wacker

    Could you please send me the patterns for the angel robes. I would lime to make some gor our local hospitals.

  • Sandy Caskey

    Thank you so much for the patterns.
    I have just started doing the gowns and have had a explosion of interest. I started with the Funeral Home that did the burial for my premature Grandson. They have gotten me in touch with several organizations. I will be setting up a table at a 5K run, sponsored by one of the groups, to accept donations of the wedding dresses from the Mothers of these precious baby’s. I am praying this will help with the healing process for them.

  • Alison Cosshall

    Could you please email me the pattern for the dress/gown? I recently had an angel baby and I would like to make these gowns for other parents.

  • [email protected]

    It’s really rewarding. The important first step is to contact the hospital volunteer office and get the name of the head of the NICU ask what their needs are. They may already have a sewing group that you can join, or they may not have volunteers yet and would love to have anything you can make!

  • [email protected]

    I’m so sorry for your loss, I’m sure that it is devastating….hopefully this sewing project may give you some peace. I have emailed the file to you, if it doesn’t open please let me know, I can always print it and mail to you.

    Best, Janet

  • Maureen Wilson

    Thank you for your pattern &’easy to follow instructions ,
    today I have made the tiniest size for little Issac born too soon at 24weeks.
    I hope it will bring some comfort to my daughter in law’s friend & her fiancé
    I made the gown in white , with a little oblong of fine blue ribbon to indicate a yoke ( the trickiest bit ) & a little ribbon bow tie at the throat.
    A knitting exhibition group I belong to have been making tiny cardigans & shawls & one of these shawls is for issac Thank you once again
    Maureen

  • [email protected]

    Oh Maureen, I’m so sorry to hear about little Isaac…how sweet of you to make such a lovely gift for his family. I’m sure it was appreciated more than you know. I love the idea of adding blue ribbon. Very best regards, Janet

  • Dee

    Great pattern and easy to follow instructions
    tell me do you wash the gowns when complete?
    Dee x

  • [email protected]

    Hello Dee! I pre-wash the fabrics (even when I cut up wedding dresses!) so no, I don’t wash the gowns after sewing….but you definitely could. Dreft is very gentle….the tiny angel-babies often have “weepy” skin, so you wouldn’t want any added irritants.

  • Lyne Côté

    I am a grandma who losted her first grandson 3 years ago. I sewed angelgowns since one year for “Tissu d’elle” and I am very glad to found your “7 pinedesign ” today! I will try to sew my next project with your tutorial, it will be very useful to do a better “job”! Sorry for my english, I am french canadian, from Quebec (Canada).

  • [email protected]

    Bonjours Lyne! I cannot imagine the pain of losing your first grandson….I would be dreaming of this little angel and wonder “How old is he now?” and “What would he look like?” I hope that it helps, to sew angel gowns in his memory. Very best regards, Janet

  • Carolyn Waind

    Hi Janet,
    Thank you for posting such detailed tutorials for sewing angel gowns and cocoons.
    I am in the process of creating a web page and facebook page to consolidate angel gown group information for all of Canada. I will be including a tips page for seamstresses and would love to have your permission to share this post as well as your post about the cocoons.
    Thank you for your consideration.

  • Linda

    I had no idea such gowns were made, I think this is a wonderful idea and hope try some patterns out for our local hospital.

  • [email protected]

    Hi Linda! I had no idea either, until somebody asked me to help out with such a sewing group. Maybe we always assume that every child will be healthy? Sadly some little angels are too fragile for this earth. Check with your local hospital, they may already have a group you can join.

  • jenia holtz

    I am wanting to see if you could mail me the patterns to my mailbox as I don’t have a printer but I need to do this. It’s touched my heart tremendously.

    Thanks so much for all you do!

  • KATHY HAYDEN

    My daughter sent me her dress and I made my first gown – just have to sew on applique and top stitch – will be making more and donating them to Riley Children Hospital in Indianapolis, In – thank you for the pattern and instructions

  • June Arnold

    Hello Janet,
    I have been trying to print the free Angel Gown pattern. It will open but I can not get it to print at the correct size. I have done everything I know to do.

    Thank you
    June Arnold

  • Mrs Jane Whatley

    Thank you so much for your great tutorial, I have been making some little dresses for some time but have had to make up my own patterns, very slow going. I have tried and tried to print your patterns but with no success, please would you be so kind as to send me copies so that I get the sizes right. I have been making them for a lovely lady who donated her wedding dress and I am trying very hard to do her credit. I will be taking them down to Poole in August when I go to visit my children. She will then be able to pass them on to the Hospital.
    Bless you Kind regards Jane Whatley

  • Joanne Doornenbal

    i have been trying to download and print the angel gown pattern…but can not seem to do it….
    i do have the actual pattern pieces…
    could you email the instructions as a download…i have a apple computer….
    i understand my sewing machine really well…but the whole computer thing !!!!what a great concept….

  • [email protected]

    Hi Joanne! I’d love to help out….can you explain a bit more about what information is missing from the blog post? I’ve tried to show each step of instructions with photographs (I don’t have line illustrations because I do not have access to Photoshop Illustrator, it is a very expensive program).

  • Melissa

    Gail, I’ve tried twice now and I’m still not getting it. Do you have a video that I can watch? Once I see it being done I have no doubt I can connect these dots. 🙂

  • Linda

    I sew for Cherished Gowns UK, someone shared your construction of the gown to our group. Please could you add them to your list for the uk. They have just acquired charity status.

  • Sandra Coley

    Do you have the instructions that can be e-mailed to me. I got the pattern, but when I try to print the instructions, it wants to print 28 pages, comments and all. I am trying to start a group to make the burial gowns for our local Hospice.

  • [email protected]

    Hi Sandra! I don’t have printed instructions at the moment, because I imagined that people would follow the steps on the computer…however that is a brilliant idea for group sewing…..I’ll need to transfer the information to a new file format and it is a process, however I will put this on my “to-do” list.

  • Consuelo

    I ran across your instructions a few months ago and I tried it and I have not used anything since! Everything works out great. thanks so much for posting this for us.

    I have made almost 100 gowns since finding the kimono pattern. I played a little with the pattern so that now I can make high waisted aline gowns or gathered gowns. Also, if you close the bottom up, you sort of have a sleeper bag.

    My son made me plastic template pieces that I use when cutting the wedding dresses. The template is acrylic so that I can see through to the wedding dress to see where laces and other designs may fall before cutting.

    If anyone is interested in the templates, the company who made them for me has the pattern and they will make them over and over for anyone willing to pay for labor and parts. It cost me about $150 but it was certainly worth it.

  • [email protected]

    Hi Consuelo! Wow, 100 gowns, how fantastic! You had a template made? Coincidentally I did get a request for that, can you give me the contact information for the company? I would appreciate it so much!

  • Consuelo

    The company we used was Ponoko. They have a clear material which can be used instead of the acrylic and it is less expensive. They should have the cut out submitted, by my son, on file. His name is Sebastian Stewart. I can explian the template to anyone who ends up using it.

  • DEBBY ROSSER

    Angel Robes Alabama is nearing the launch pad. I have downloaded the Angel Gown pattern and have a question for my new friends. We will make decorated pouches for the smaller angel babies. The 2-4 lb. pattern looks too large when I print it to 100% with my square correct. I do not sew and am preparing a pattern for senior seamstresses. Which pattern would anyone recommend? We will not be making different sizes at this time. One gown that would work for 3-5 lbs. Thanks so much!

  • Beverley McDonald

    Hi I make Angel Gowns in the UK, and came across your patterns a while ago, I printed out your patterns and use every day, thank you for providing them for us. What I cant do it the all in one way with a lining, I just couldn’t make it work but having gained a bit more experience I am going to give it another try. Please take a look at @lindsayangelgowns on facebook Thank you xx

  • [email protected]

    Oh Beverley your work is lovely! Amazing that so many people want to donate dresses for you to use….we have the same problem at one of the hospitals I work with….too many dresses, not enough time! We have a waitlist same as you. Regarding the pattern, I realize that the lining procedure is tricky to understand…my daughter promises that as soon as she can figure out how to videotape and transfer to MP4 files, that she will help me make a short tape!

  • backlinks

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn’t
    disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to
    read through, but I actually believed you would probably have something interesting to
    say. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you could
    fix if you weren’t too busy looking for attention.

  • Cappriell McQuiston

    So frustrated, I have made two wrong now…..I was trying to make one of the micro gowns for my 8yr old Granddaughter’s American Doll as a gift for her Birthday 25th of Aug. Now I won’t have any more time……

  • [email protected]

    They’re very sweet, aren’t they? I surely did not invent them, plenty of sewists around the world have been making angel gowns, the only thing I can take credit for is drafting a pattern that fits the best and having it tested by NICU nurses for ease of dressing….and figuring out a way to make them completely lined and seam-free inside. I hope you give it a try! Best regards, Janet (I make cocoons as well for the extremely tiny angels….also a labor of love and sometimes a few tears….)

  • Carol Britton

    What a fabulous idea, I tried one, and immediately made two more. This is so simple, thank you very much for sharing. <3 <3 <3

  • Marie

    I am so thankful for this pattern. I have my sister’s wedding gown. She passed away 28 yrs ago and she loved babies. I know she would love for me to make angel dresses for the sweet angel babies. Thank you for sharing your patterns.

    Marie

  • Debby Rosser

    Hi! I am the founder & executive director of Angel Robes Alabama and we will be using your micro preemie pattern for our robes. I found boxes of overhead transparencies at a yard sale and bought them to print patterns! Also, have you created a pattern for vest fronts for boys? It would help to have size matching from you to go with your pattern. Thanks for all that you do. Debby

  • [email protected]

    Debby that is a brilliant idea, I never thought of overhead transparencies! Thanks so much for sharing, so clever. A boy’s vest-front is on my “to-do” list for sure…sadly more boy babies never make it home than girl babies. Heartbreaking….

  • Iris Von Bargen

    Thank you for the pattern and instructions for making Angel Gowns. I belong to a volunteer group in Minnesota, Andrew’s Angel Gowns, that is very new. Our group leader, Tess Soholt, created this group in memory of her stillborn grandson, Andrew. We have had so many wedding gowns donated, but find we’re short on seamstresses. These patterns and directions will help me demonstrate how to deconstruct a wedding gown and make many needed Angel Gowns. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.

  • Natalija

    This is an absolute treasure of a post and I will sharing this link with our volunteer seamstresses. We are in Ireland, and part of Irish Neonatal Health Alliance ongoing campaign to make angel gowns from donated wedding dresses. I think one of your posts on cocoons is the one we use already 💜💜

  • Robin Jones

    Thank you for this pattern. I’ve been making Angel Gowns for 2 1/2 years, I volunteer with West Coast Angel Gowns. I usually sew my gowns using traditional methods, I’m in love with your way!! I appreciated the video, it helped with understanding how to accomplish the goal. I recommend starting with the large size gown, it’s much easier to handle.

  • Pat

    I have just made 6 gowns from a wedding dress from your pattern. They are for a local group which makes lots of things (sewn, knitted and crocheted) for angel and premature babies. I have emblished them all differently. I found the sleeves stressful so I now leave the sleeve seam unsewn from the top of the side seam. It only takes a few minutes to hand sew these seams, joining the lining and outer fabric and I find it much quicker in the long run. Love your patterns. Thanks.

  • [email protected]

    Hi Pat! How clever of you to figure out a better method of construction! A professor of mine said “There ALWAYS another way”. As for hand-sewing versus machine, I feel the same way about buttons: I know that I “can” sew them on by machine with a zigzag, but often the placement gets pushed just enough to make me pick the stitches and sew on by hand where I can get the placement perfect. I guess the only reason that I designed the angel gown with all machine stitching is that some people do have an aversion to hand-stitching…while of course others find it pleasant and fun. Thanks so much for sharing! Best, Janet

  • [email protected]

    I’m so thankful for the video, I don’t have the tools to make one so I was appreciative that somebody else did! Yes good point, it’s easier to start with the larger sizes, I’m going to add that to the post. Thanks Robin!

  • [email protected]

    Hi Iris, I have heard that situation many times….groups get inundated with donated gowns, which sounds like a “good” problem to have….and yet storage becomes a real issue. Often there are volunteers willing to take the dresses apart, but fewer who have the confidence to cut into the fabric and sew the gowns. Sometimes the patterns they are using are quite complicated…hopefully this one is simple enough to be non-intimidating. I did have a comment recently that it’s a good idea to try sewing the large sizes first.

    I wish your group the best of luck, and hope that sewing gowns provides peace and purposeful creativity to Tess and her team. Best regards, Janet

  • Angela

    I will be trying this out soon! I’ll probably do a couple trial runs with cotton before starting on my wedding dress. We lost our son, Noah Lee, at birth February 27th 2016. I have been looking for something to do in his honor for our local hospital and came across Angel Gowns and my hunt for a pattern began. I will be looking for something a little more “boy” too… maybe a simple pants and shirt.

  • [email protected]

    Oh Angela how heartbreaking….I’m sure you keep wondering what Noah Lee would be doing at two. I hope that sewing angel gowns helps keep his memory alive for you. You are so welcome for the pattern….yes try using remnant fabrics or old sheets to “practice”. I do have plans to make a boy’s style vest this year..thank you for the suggestion to make pants as well, great idea. Best wishes, Janet

  • Elaine

    This is a great pattern, I am continuing my grand-daughters Girl Scout Gold Award Project “Angel Outfits” and love this no hand sewing pattern. Now to try it out … Thank you!

  • [email protected]

    Wow, Gold Award!!! That is quite an achievement, good for her! I hope that you find making the angel gowns satisfying, even fun. Isn’t that lovely that you and your grand-daughter will have this project in common!

  • Deb McCleary

    I would not mind hand sewing the laces and embelishments after the gown is turned. Would this be alright to do ? I am able to sew a very fine stitch using silk threads.

  • [email protected]

    Yes absolutely, actually that would be the preferred method in many cases. The reason I didn’t include hand-sewing was that many volunteer seamstresses prefer all machine-sewing, but if you love hand-stitching then yes that’s lovely!

  • Sue Walker

    Hi Janet,
    Thank you for posting the pattern and directions for Angel Gowns. I would appreciate it very much if you would please mail me the printed patterns. My printer and computer are both out of service right now. I have 25 wedding gowns waiting to be made into Angel Gowns, all I need are patterns so I make the right sizes. I will gladly PayPal you reimbursement for printing and postage.

    Sue Walker
    214 4th Street NW
    Chisholm, MN. 55719

  • [email protected]

    You can print the pattern on standard 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper, from any home computer printer, any office printer, or at any office supply shop (Staples, Office Max, etc). If you have any difficulty just let me know your address and I can print and mail to you.

  • Janet F.

    Thank you for this informative site
    I’ve been looking for a way to give back
    By using my sewing skills. This site has everything
    Patterns and links to groups that will distribute outfits!
    Thanks.

  • Brenda Davis

    I just started making the Angel Gowns & I have to say it was a little tricky at first but I finally got it figured out. I was wondering if putting the embellishments on after it was done with fabric glue would work or is it something that should be done before, & the gowns don’t seem to be long enough, is that maybe my print? For the little boys I have little bow ties but I do like the idea of a little vest. Thank you for the sweet little pattern.

  • [email protected]

    I’m so glad you persevered and figured it out! It is a bit tricky at first. Yes you can definitely put on embellishments after sewing using Fabri-Tac, especially since the gowns will not get wear-and-tear or washing. Even the bridal industry uses Fabri-Tac. As far as the length, these are actually a bit longer than most angel gown patterns available online, however they can easily be lengthened by extending the side-seam as far as you’d like. I do plan to draft a little vest!

  • Lynn emfinger

    As I don’t have a computer but want to help Lynn emfinger. Post office. Box 118. Seminole. Texas. 79360. Please send pattern in mail. Thank you I have sewn all my life and will. E a great grand mother on Wednesday. But would love to start doing this for others in need thank you

  • Katherine

    Do you have the pattern for the boy’s vest? I have just received my first wedding gown donation, and am in the beginning phase of making these for my local hospitals. Thank you so very much for your tutorials, they were wonderful and instrumental in constructing these beautiful little gowns.

  • Marylou Ferreira

    Thanks for taking the time to explain this so we’ll. I’m just starting to make these and you’ve made it so much easier. God bless. Marylou.

  • Carol Ann JS Selkis

    Hi, I love the info you shared. We are always looking for help and appreciate any support….Please check out our Facebook page…”Angel Gowns-Capital Region, NY”. God Bless all who help this cause!

  • Laura Snowden

    Thank you Janet for your pattern. I have been making these for the past year and find that each are unique in themselves. Also thank you for the link to how to draft a vest – boy gowns are needed as well so this is very helpful. Will you be uploading a pattern for this in the near future? Thanks again.

  • Theresa Stapleton

    I have been thinking about doing this for a few years. I have some one that has donated a few dresses and I just started cutting the first dress. I getting ready to start cutting my patterns. I can’t wait to get going. Thank you for this information.

  • [email protected]

    Theresa you are so welcome! I hope that you find this a wonderfully fulfilling hobby. It never gets boring because you can make each gown unique, and every new wedding dress presents opportunities and challenges!

  • pam YOUNG

    I would love to have the patterns mailed to me. I still have my wedding dress from 62 years ago. thought my daughters would use it but they did not. I can’t bear to toss it but I think using it in this way would make me feel so much better about it. I have sewn a lot and I think I understand how to do this. this would be great to use up a lot of the fabric I got when my mother in law passed too. this is an awesome idea. I would love to help. don’t know how to do this on computer so patterns would be very helpful. I will send my address. just want you to know I think you are awesome for sharing this with everyone. thank you and blessings to you!!!!!!!

  • [email protected]

    Hi Pam! I’m putting your patterns in the mail right now. Thank you for your kind comments….I imagine there are thousands of wedding dresses just waiting to be used by daughters and nieces….but then they decide on a new dress instead. I hope that you have fun with this project! Best regards, Janet

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