They're called angel gowns: beautiful garments for deceased infants, crafted from donated wedding dresses. Allison Hampton, from Rancho Cordova, Calif., is just one of an army of seamstresses from around the country that volunteer their time to make the heartfelt gifts. "I feel like sometimes, some babies are just too good for this world," Hampton told KCRA News
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Many of the babies needing gowns are so tiny or delicate that the garment is more of a pocket or wrap than a gown. In years past, hospitals wrapped infants in blankets or even wash rags or diapers because there simply weren't any garments available in an appropriate size. 

Michelle Matthews, a seamstress in Marysville, Wash. sewed her first angel gown in 2011, from her own wedding dress. Since then, she's crafted hundreds of of gowns and has shipped them all over the United States; sometimes to individuals, sometimes to hospitals. She is glad to relieve grieving families of the emotional burden of shopping for their baby's final journey, an experience difficult enough without taking place in a store likely to be full of other people shopping for healthy babies. "There are times when what is a small act to one person is such a huge gift to the other," Matthews told the Seattle Times.

NICU Helping Hands' Angel Gown Program also provides angel gowns free of charge. Their network of more than 700 seamstresses is being kept so busy with a recent flood of donated wedding dresses that they are temporarily unable to accept more. They are asking instead for assistance with shipping costs.

It seems fitting that a wedding dress can be so transformed and yet retain its purpose as a symbol of everlasting love.