Angel Gowns – my first transformation

This was the first wedding dress that I was given to transform for Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies Inc.  It was so beautiful that it made me nervous!  Then I felt a bit silly about being nervous … I mean … I’ve been sewing since I was 10 years old!  But there’s something about someone donating their wedding gown, and entrusting you with such a special dress, that brings with it a crazy range of emotions.  There’s the thrill of holding this beautiful dress, then the paralyzing fear that I might mess it up, then the mini motivational chat where I reminded myself that I’m pretty darn good with a sewing machine (I sew for a living, for goodness sake!), then the tiny nagging doubt that you can do it justice, and that terrifying moment when you rip that first seam as you take it apart.

Transformed by Dawn Lewis, donation Rhiannon Grant 33

But then something amazing happened.  This dress spoke to me.  The fabric told me which way it should go, and suddenly the way to embellish the tiny gowns I was making became crystal clear.  Before I knew it, and with a little help from my friend Sewing B, there were 31 tiny gowns cut from the dress, with lining left over to be used on wraps and other gowns.  Keeping with the beautiful and elegant simplicity of this wedding dress, I kept the angel gowns simple and elegant as well.

Transformed by Dawn Lewis, donation Rhiannon Grant 2

I desperately wanted to do nothing else but sew, but alas, work deadlines and family activities meant I could only do a little at a time.  All up it took 6 months to transform this dress, and at the end there was another mixed batch of emotions.  Delighted that I was finished so that this beautiful bride can see the transformation.  Proud to have finished this monumental task.  Sadness at the necessity of providing so very many angel gowns, and for the families who will use them.  Peacefulness that I can use my skills to help others.  You can view the full transformation on the Facebook page HERE.

Transformed by Dawn Lewis, donation Rhiannon Grant 29

I am honoured to be involved with this amazing organisation.  We have volunteers who help us with administrative tasks, seamstresses, knitters, crocheters, our keepsakes and deconstruction teams, Area Reps, State Managers and our wonderful Board members.  Then there are the incredible people who donate to us.  We are a non-profit organisation.  Nobody draws a wage for their services, and we do not charge for our angel packs.  Everything is made with care, donated without cost and sent with love to families grieving the loss of their baby, gone way too soon.

If anyone feels moved to help us in any way … well, there are so many ways to do so, big and small.  After being asked for suggestions for suitable donations, I’ve consulted with the Board and compiled a wish list.  We use a lot of white & cream and pastel colours, so things like thread, ribbon, lace and yarn are incredibly useful to our seamstresses.  For our two amazing HQ ladies, pre-paid post satchels help us get angel packs into hospitals and funeral services all over Australia.  Even the donation of a few stamps to the volunteer induction & mentoring team helps us sending training packs to our volunteers.

Donation wish list flyer

If you are a seamstress, knitter or crocheter and would like to help, it is so easy.  Just visit the website HERE, and click on ‘Become a Volunteer’ tab at the top.  There is also a tab for ‘Make a Donation’, and you can always contact me if you have any questions.


4 thoughts on “Angel Gowns – my first transformation

  1. I never showed you the dress and bonnet I ended up making for our little girl did I? Sadly Australia Post didn’t deliver the pack on time and I spent the day before the funeral sewing. I found a pattern on Google, some fabric left over from Rachel’s deb dress (that I didn’t sew) and set about making something for Suzanne.
    I gave the pack from Angel Gowns to the local hospital a couple of weeks ago when we met with them to discuss caring for those who have lost a baby. Suzanne was a new experience for them and now they are putting together packs for parents with contacts etc for the times that they might need to access their services. They are a low-risk hospital though so these events will be hopefully few and far between as they pass many expectant and labouring mothers on to the closest city hospital nearby.
    I wish I were a better seamstress as I would volunteer to make gowns. I already sew toys and other items for Angels for the Forgotten.
    Bless you Dawn for the wonderful work that this organisation does. ❤

    • Ah, I wish that the postie had been early that day 😦 If the hospital would like us to supply them with some packs, we are very happy to do so. I can pass their details on to our Qld state manager, or they can contact us through the website and someone will come out and see them 🙂 Hopefully they won’t need them, but we are always happy to help just in case they do.

      • After Suzanne’s birth, the hospital procured gowns and things from the Mater (now Lady Cilento) Hospital so they have some now. Thanks for the offer.
        I’ve given them the contact details for Angel Gowns though just in case.

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