Would you like to donate a wedding gown?
Do you have a wedding gown sitting in a closet? We would be honored to lovingly recreate your gown into burial garments. While not all of the garments will be used by Rest in His Arms for our abandoned children, they will be donated to families in need at area hospitals who experience the tragic loss of miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant death. What an amazing gift to wrap a baby in a gown that knew nothing but love!
Start by opening up your gown from its current packaging. If it is in a large preservation box, please remove it from there. Then look at your gown. If it is yellowed or shows signs of dry rot where the fabric has become stiff, we will not be able to use it. Also, if the material is stretchy polyester, jersey, or spandex blend, we will not be able to sew with it. If your gown was not preserved, we ask that you wash it on the gentle cycle and hang it to dry before sending.
We gratefully accept wedding gowns and bridesmaid or other formal dresses that are made from bridal satin or other sturdy fabrics as long as the dress is white, shades of white, silver or pastel. You can cut off the netting/ crinoline from the underside as we are unable to use it.
Then tag your dress with your name. Pinning on a small piece of paper works well for this.
Dresses can be mailed or dropped off to us at:
Rest in His Arms Angel Gowns
1016 Woodland Drive
Wheeling, IL 60090
If shipping your gown, we recommend folding/rolling it up to fit into a small box. It can be shipped via regular ground mail at the post office or via UPS or FedEx ground.
Then look for pictures of your dress and (eventually) the complete angel gowns on our Facebook group page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/RestinHisArmsAngelGowns/. It does take us some time to transform a wedding gown into angel gowns - sometimes as much as 12+ months – as all of us our volunteers.
We cannot return a gown once it has been received and we are unable to return parts of the gown or make hankies or other items for you. If you should wish to keep a portion of your wedding dress, please do so. Just cut off the portion you’d like to keep and we will work with the remaining fabric. Some people like to keep a piece that is about 30-36" long by 3-4" wide so a future bride could incorporate it as a belt or wrap it around her bouquet. Please note that not all dresses can be used for angel gowns but we will certainly try. If we are unable to use a dress, we will re-donate it to another organization.
Thank you for your generosity!
Would you like to help make angel gowns?
The angel gowns are not terribly hard to make. If you can sew a straight stitch, you can do this!
And yes, we do need help from people who do not sew. One of the most time consuming jobs is deconstructing the wedding dresses, ironing/steaming them, and then laying out the patterns for the angel gowns. The patterns are traced onto the wedding dress and then need to be cut out. We welcome teenagers who need service hours for Confirmation to help with this as well as anyone who wants to help but does not sew.
We host monthly Sewing Saturday workshops in the Chicagoland area and invite all volunteers to come and see the process. We provide the wedding dress material, patterns, trims and supplies, as well as examples, guidance and encouragement . . . and lunch!
Want to support us in other ways?
We are so grateful for the monetary donations that allow us to complete this work of love. You may mail a check to Rest in His Arms, 1016 Woodland Drive, Wheeling, IL 60090 or use the donate feature on this website.
Or, if you prefer, our “wish list” of supplies includes plenty of 3/8” and 5/8” satin ribbon in white, cream, silver, pink and light blue. This is the item in biggest demand. We also appreciate disappearing ink fabric pens, cones of white and ecru thread, and small gold-colored safety pins.