Two Sisters Growing Up

Two sisters and eight brothers: Mabel and Clara were surely out-numbered in this Borreson family. But of course they made their marks in the world too – the Chicago area – which is interesting in itself. Thanks to Conrad, I have three wonderful photos of these two sisters, allowing us to see them as they changed growing up.

This first photo was taken in 1913, when Clara (left) was nine years old and Mabel 12 years. I look at the details of those matching dresses and wonder if they aren’t crocheted. It would be fun to know more about them. The photo appears to have been taken in a photographer’s studio. Were the dresses for a special occasion?

The second photo comes from 1917 when Mabel (left) and Clara would have been 15 and 12 respectively (depending on the month of the year the photo was taken). Don’t they appear thoughtful? We also catch a fine corner view of the big brick house which would have been just five years old at the time.

The final photo features Clara (left) and Mabel in 1927, both young women (about 23 and 26 years) – in the flapper era, as we can see. I wonder where they were living that year: were either or both in Chicago yet? I learned that a flapper winter coat from the Sears Home Shopping Catalog would have cost $25 that year, and a flapper ladies hat $1.95. Again, the brick house provides a great background.

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2 Responses to Two Sisters Growing Up

  1. judy borreson caruso says:

    I think the dresses are made with “pulled thread” and “drawn thread” techniques. These techniques create a lacy and patterned look and are usually done on even weave fabric, such as linen. Today, you will see some of these techniques added to Hardanger pieces. Here are a couple of pictures of these techniques:

    If you’ve got a day to spare, I can show you how to do it too. Just let me know…
    Thanks for the photos and updates, Glenn.

  2. Glenn Borreson says:

    Okay, now I’m a little more knowledgeable about those dresses. Thanks. Now, about a day I’d have to spare to learn this technique myself, I don’t know…. It’s kind of the same issue that gives me trouble getting going with chip carving… almost like I can’t do anything unless it’s with power tools.

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