Home Inspiration Pam Makes Precious Burial Gowns for Babies

Pam Makes Precious Burial Gowns for Babies

by Beth Cooper

Sewist’s Name: Pam Baker from Ohio/West Virginia border

Type of Project: Garments

Pattern: Original Design

Featured Date: 5-10-23

Hi, I’m Pam Baker and I want to tell you about memorial gowns that we make for babies.  We take donated wedding/prom dresses and create beautiful burial gowns for pre-term babies.  Below is an article that was featured in a local company’s newsletter. The company provided the plexiglass to make our patterns.  We are located on the Ohio/West Virginia border. 

Thank you!

Pam Baker

MOV Memorial Gowns was started in 2016 by a Marietta, Ohio, resident, Nicole Fortune, in memory of her son Samuel. Samuel was a full term baby, but unknown circumstances caused him to pass away in utero.  The number of losses is extremely surprising.  One in four pregnancies results in the loss of a child.  

Nicole felt a calling to reach out and provide services that would help other families during this devastating and emotional time.  Since she had no experience with sewing, Nicole contacted experienced sewers, Lesa Casto and Pam Baker.  Both of these ladies became very passionate about the ministry.  They quickly modified an existing gown pattern, recruited friends to help cut and sew, and asked the community to donate wedding dresses.

Some babies are too small for commercially made, off-the-rack clothing, so the group decided to make three sizes of burial wraps (S-M-L) and four sizes of burial gowns (XS-S-M-L).  The wraps range from 8” to 10”squares and have a pocket to hold the smallest of babies.  The gowns are for babies weighing two to eight pounds.  These garments are specifically designed to aide in the ease of dressing a baby, protect their fragile bodies, and provide a beautiful covering for these sweet angels.  

Pre-COVID, the group met at least twice a year to cut, design, and sew gowns.  The group comprised of 10 volunteers with all materials being donated by a community member or paid for by the individual group member.  Seeing the increasing need for this type of garment, the group is now meeting once a month in a local church.  

The process of cutting gowns and wraps was recently made more efficient and consistent when Plaskolite donated acrylic for the master patterns.  Previously, the group was using thin, flexible plastic film as a master pattern for the gowns and wraps.  This plastic material was easy to cut with scissors, therefore, altering the pattern with nearly each use. Since using the acrylic, the hard edges of the acrylic master pattern allows for uniform pattern pieces to be cut and, therefore, true to size gowns are sewn. As an added benefit, the clear acrylic facilitates optimum placement of the master pattern to utilize the decorative elements of each individual wedding dress.  Instead of pinning and cutting with scissors, the ladies now use rotary cutters which expedites the cutting process.  

The gowns and wraps are donated to hospitals, funeral homes, and midwives. Many parents have expressed gratitude to see their angel in a beautiful gown and/or wrap, instead of buried in an impersonal hospital blanket or something found in a hospital donation bin.

Current MOV Memorial Gown members include:  Pam Baker, Lesa Casto, Jan Cooke, Christy Hockenberry, and Pat Ralston.

Remember, if you want to submit YOUR project to Sew & Tell, all you have to do is send an email! Read more about how to enter here.

Want to see past Sew & Tell submissions? Click here!

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Barb Kramer
9 months ago

Your gowns are beautiful! I too sew burial gowns from wedding dresses for Little Angel Gowns out of Indianapolis. They provide gowns free of charge to hospitals and individuals throughout the United Sates. If anyone wants to sew for them they provide the patterns as well as wedding dress materials. You can contact them at littleangelgowns.org

Dawn Kramer
Dawn Kramer
9 months ago

How can I donate a dress to this wonderful project?

Pam Baker
Pam Baker
9 months ago
Reply to  Dawn Kramer

Please email movgowns@yahoo.com
Thank you!

Dee
Dee
9 months ago

Can I buy the pattern for the Burial wraps and gowns?

Pam Baker
Pam Baker
9 months ago
Reply to  Dee

Please email movgowns@yahoo.com
Thank you!

Rebecca Bunke
Rebecca Bunke
9 months ago

The infant gown project is so wonderful. Our DIL and son lost identical twins at 19 weeks last November. The gowns would have been a loving tribute to have for them.

Mary
Mary
9 months ago

How can we get started in making these baby burial gowns and get a pattern.

Mary Grantski
Mary Grantski
9 months ago
Reply to  Mary

I too would like the pattern

Pam Baker
Pam Baker
9 months ago
Reply to  Mary

Please email movgowns@yahoo.com
Thank you!

Cindy Smith
Cindy Smith
9 months ago

Are you accepting wedding gown for this wonderful project? My dress is satin and lace and is 62 years old. I would like to donate this if you are interested. I live in Katy, Texas and would be more than happy to ship it to you.

Pam Baker
Pam Baker
9 months ago
Reply to  Cindy Smith

Please email movgowns@yahoo.com We will answer any questions you may have.
Thank you!

Barbara
Barbara
9 months ago

I also would like to have the pattern for this lovely gown, how can I obtain the pattern?

Pam Baker
Pam Baker
9 months ago
Reply to  Barbara

Please email movgowns@yahoo.com
Thank you!

Debra Miller
Debra Miller
9 months ago

This program needs to go Nationwide. Please MSQC, help it get to all of us!

Janet Morris
9 months ago

I also make burial gowns for NewBorns in Need. Our group meets in Valrico, FL. I also use donated wedding gowns, I feel that it is a special ministry and feel honored to be able to contribute my talent to this worthwhile cause.

Betty Jennings
Betty Jennings
9 months ago

I think the gowns are amazing. I lost a stillborn granddaughter. What a wonderful project.

Elayne Lofthouse
Elayne Lofthouse
9 months ago

This is a project I would love to join and participate in. Please le me know how I might get involved. I love to sew and this would be a project I could take to heart.

Nancy Barger
Nancy Barger
9 months ago

I would love to have this pattern. How can I getbit?

Pam Baker
Pam Baker
9 months ago
Reply to  Nancy Barger

We can answer all of your questions if you email us at
movgowns@yahoo.com
Thank you!

Leann Stites
Leann Stites
9 months ago

Oh My – your gowns are absolutely beautiful! What a precious and thoughtful gift. I too would love to have the pattern!

Karen Nellen
Karen Nellen
9 months ago

Like others, I have 1 wedding gown, as well as 1 bridesmaids dress to donate. Would love to donate them somewhere. They are quite plain; no sequins or lace. Just beautiful fabric. Please tell me where I can donate them!

Pam Baker
Pam Baker
9 months ago

Ladies- thank you for your interest in our project! We are a very small group that enjoys making these gowns for grieving families. To make things easier for everyone involved, please email any questions to us at
movgowns@yahoo.com

We will gladly answer any questions you may have!

Nancy Battersby
Nancy Battersby
27 days ago

the link below is not working, I have a wedding dress that is just hanging in the closet, it would be nice to know it has some use, if I had the pattern I can sew it myself

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