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UP CLOSE: Family Turns Wedding Dresses Into Baby Gowns

Jun 27, 2019, 1:01 AM | Updated: 1:56 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A Utah family who underwent a devastating loss with the stillborn death of their daughter has found a way to help others by turning wedding dresses into burial gowns for babies.

It was February 27, 2014 when little Harper Yeafoli came into the world. She was just nine inches long and weighed seven ounces. Unfortunately, she was born about four months early and never took her first breath of life.

“It just shatters your world. It’s just devastation, especially when it’s unexpected,” said an emotional Eliza Yeafoli – Harpers mother – about the unexpected birth. “She was tiny, tiny, but she was perfect. Perfectly formed arms, legs, fingers, toes. I could see her facial features.”

The memories of that day were the motivation behind Eliza and her two sisters’ new charity called Heaven Bound Gowns  beautiful burial gowns for still born babies.

Eliza wanted these precious children to have more than just the plain white piece of cloth her child was placed in.

“Because they are perfect. Just because they didn’t spend or spent very little time on this earth doesn’t mean they don’t count or they shouldn’t matter,” she said.

“I think just having something that someone else made for you makes those women feel a little less alone,” said Jessica Lindquist, the designated seamstress. “It’s just so nice to have something beautiful to put on your baby to take pictures to bury them.” 

One wedding dress can make more than two dozen gowns, and the outfits come in four sizes from 20 weeks to full term, and they are not just for girls. Boys styles are also made.

“This makes it so you can put it over their arms very delicately and it also accommodates for more size babies,” said Eliza’s sister, Audrey Rock, as she demonstrated what a boy’s outfit looked like.

All the wedding dresses are donated, and the women have about 50 of them in storage.

They come in all shapes and styles. With a simple glance at a full-size wedding dress the sisters can already start to see the tiny gowns appear.

“It feels really good to know that we are helping (the families) in that terrible situation,” said Audrey. 

“It’s such a sweet feeling to me, to be able to provide a service to them,” said Eliza.

The sisters have made around 100 dresses, and delivered about 30 of those to families.

They would love to make enough to one day deliver outfits to hospitals.

They said they have plenty of dresses in current inventory, but need seamstresses that may want to volunteer their time. 

Those interested in helping go to their website at fb.me/burialgowns.

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UP CLOSE: Family Turns Wedding Dresses Into Baby Gowns