Babies' First Garments Give Comfort
Paddey, Patricia L., Anglican Journal
TINY RIBBON rosettes, intricately embroidered stitches, seed pearls and gossamer fabrics; these are the raw materials of a group of local women who call themselves Threads of Love.
A more apt name could not have been chosen. For such delicate resources, when combined with the group's talent and devotion, are transformed into beautiful, miniature garments.
What the women fashion with their careful stitches are infant burial gowns and blankets, preemie day gowns, bonnets, booties and "lovie dolls." But what they actually create is comfort and hope for families in crisis.
One afternoon each month, the dozen or so women who make up Threads of Love meet at the Church of St. Luke in Missisauga, Ont., to work. There is a sense of something almost sacred about the garments they make in purest white, palest pink or delicate blue. The smallest of the gowns, measuring no more than six inches in length, could be used to dress a tiny doll, booties would fit a small finger, knitted bonnets a small orange.
Lovie dolls, crafted from toddler socks, are designed to be worn next to a mother's skin to pick up her scent, and then placed in an incubator to comfort a struggling newborn.
"It's really a labour of love, doing this," said Mary O'Connor, founder of the recently formed group. Theirs is Canada's first chapter of an organization that began 10 years ago in Louisiana.
"We have nine different sizes of burial gowns, from newborn right down to 14 weeks gestation," she said. …