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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Monday, March 4, 2013

Angel burial pouches

Trisomy 18 angel baby girl Hannah's big sister Cassie made Hunter a "Lilly zipper pull" for his jacket.  He is so proud of it!  This is a great way for brothers of angels to "wear" and remember their sibling.  (Good jewelry alternative!)  So many creative people out there who, like us, find healing in continuing to come up with new memory ideas. 

Something like this can be one more way to get the "face" of Trisomy 18 out in public, as it is a good conversation starter.  (An extra good idea this month, Trisomy Awareness Month!)  Zipper pulls obviously don't just need to be on jackets.  I was thinking I should make one for my purse too.  Maybe a Lilly keychain for my keys.  The possibilities are endless!  :)

Here is an close up view of the Lilly zipper pull:

During Solomon's afternoon nap yesterday, I started making "Angel burial pouches" to include with my upcoming donation to the hospital.  They are for tiny babies - babies too small to fit regular clothes.  Babies too delicate to be handled much.  Some call them "fetal demise pouches" but I think that sounds terribly impersonal.  I've also heard "burial sacks."  I thought of "angel envelopes."  But I guess "angel burial pouch" is probably a pretty good name.

It isn't a happy thing to think about of course.  But I wanted to share how I made them.  Mainly for anyone like me who comes across this post, that doesn't crochet or knit!  (Because most of the patterns I found online were for crocheting or knitting.)  I only found one other pattern online where the person used regular fabric.  I took that particular pattern and tweaked it.

The finished pouches are on the left - Lilly's doll Sunny is demonstrating how a baby would fit, wrapped up.

First, I used two different fabrics.  One is a green toile-like Peter Rabbit fabric.  The other is a soft white flannel.  I wanted to make four pouches so I cut out four squares of the toile, each 12 inches by 12 inches.  (I really wasn't sure what exact size, but they are adjustable in how the baby is wrapped.)  Then I cut out four squares of the flannel, also 12 inches by 12 inches.

Then I cut out two more 12" x 12" squares of flannel.  And then I cut those both in half, diagonally.  So I ended up with 4 triangles.

Each pouch then had a toile square, a flannel square, and a flannel triangle.

Next I took one triangle and sewed a strip of ribbon across the longest edge.  I used a zig zag stitch because it looked more decorative.

Then I laid the triangle on top of the flannel square.

Next I took the piece of toile and laid it on top of the square with triangle.  Note that I laid it on with the print down.  The inside of the toile fabric was on the outside.  I pinned everything together.

Then I sewed everything together using my sewing machine.  Important!  I left about a 3 inch section open on one side.  (I didn't sew it.)

Then I reached inside the pouch, through the part that I didn't sew, and pulled all the fabric through.  (Turning everything right-side out.)

Finally I stitched the little open section together.

And that's it!  Sunny is demonstrating how an angel baby is placed inside. 

Then you fold up the bottom, cross over the sides, and tie with a ribbon.

I found myself a bit teary eyed as I made them and kept praying for the families that may one day use them.  I just wanted to hug them and comfort them in some way.

I thought this quote by John Wesley was a good ending for today's post.  (Thank you B.L. for sharing it with me!):

"All is nothing without love . . . the very image of the invisible God."  (From Sermon 92: On Zeal) - John Wesley


  1. Beautifully done! It does give me pause to think about the way they will be used. Teary eyed...but a wonderful gift for those families.

  2. My son was still born at full term and I didn't know these existed for earlier births. I now am part of a hospital charity and these pouches have came up for the earlier births. I couldn't get my head around how to make them as they always had instructions but no pictures. It made it very confusing.

    Thank you for the pictures as it means I can now make them and help other bereaved parents like me xx

    1. I am SO sorry for your loss of your son. How proud you must be making him by being part of the hospital charity group. I am so glad that this post helped you figure out how to make the pouches. What a great thing to do to honor your sweet son. Thank you so much for your comment, it encourages me. :)

  3. I made one yesterday, it came out great. I didn't know what Edwards Syndrome was until someone at the charity had a baby girl with it. Myla lived a day with Edwards. Lilly was a sweet girl, I'm sure you miss that smile everyday xx

    1. Oh I'm so glad the pouch worked for you! I didn't know what Edwards Syndrome was either - before Lilly was diagnosed with it. I'm glad Myla's parents got to spend a day with her. I wish you had had time with your son too. :(