Six word Saturday: rabbit-fur trim for the sisters’ outfits?

Mary and Hazel Dove, wearing outfits made by their mother, Isabella. Photo: from Dove family archive, taken in 1927, Southland, New Zealand.

Mary and Hazel Dove, wearing outfits made by their mother, Isabella. Photo: from Dove family archive, taken in 1927, Southland, New Zealand.

Making use of Uncle John’s catch?

After Wednesday’s photo of the rabbit hunt (Wordless Wednesday: a good day’s work), I remembered being told that the Big T’s grandmother had made use of rabbit pelt in the clothes she made for her children. These beautiful fur-trimmed outfits are almost certainly the result of Isabella’s labours and talents.

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15 thoughts on “Six word Saturday: rabbit-fur trim for the sisters’ outfits?

    • 🙂 I bet you’re right. They are lovely outfits. I’ve been told by Mary and Hazels’ youngest sister that Isabella was a very talented seamstress. She was widowed quite young, and also ran the farm with the help of her children and brothers who lived nearby. The Big T remembers his grandmother also as a great baker, cook and gardener. I sometimes lament that we don’t have the range of skills our forebears had to learn.

    • 🙂 Throughout my childhood my mum periodically bought a sewing machine and announced she was going to make clothes. We would choose patterns and fabric and then it would go horribly wrong and we’d end up with a half-finished dressed wadded up at the back of a cupboard. I was always a bit envious of children whose mothers made them fabulous outfits – especially in New Zealand where there wasn’t a lot of choice of bought clothing and you could guarantee that where ever you went someone else would be wearing the same dress. After a while the sewing machine would be sold … only to be replaced a few years later by another one. My first sewing machine was actually one of hers that I appropriated to pretty good use for a while 🙂

      • I am chuckling. At least she tried? I remember at times being envious of other children who did not wear a homemade wardrobe. My mom didn’t make our clothes anymore after I was in upper elementary school. She did however make all of my formal dresses which were always perfect and beautiful.

    • So do I. Ernest Rutherford said, about doing research “we’ve got no money, so we have to think.” I heartily believe that, and expect our ancestors would have taken it so much for granted that they would have been surprised to hear it articulated out loud. 🙂

  1. So beautiful!!! Isabella… (may I call you that? 😉 You are a star!!! The fur trim is pretty but I especially love the velvet… have always loved velvet i.e. black. The dropped waistline is charming and the shoes are glorious. Thanks for sharing Su.

  2. I’m sure she would have been happy to know that we can still look at her work and appreciate its beauty and skill after all these years. 🙂

      • Thank you Catherine. I feel very privileged to be able to share their stories – both because I have time and resources to do the research, but because it gives me such pleasure to write and share and be part of this community. 🙂

  3. How fortunate to have such images, and preserved so well. Light is the downfall of photographs. It always surprises that so many family photos survive. Besides light, glue, tape and acidic paper are their enemy too. Really enjoy your family images.

    • Hi Sally, thank you. I am grateful to my partner’s aunt who has taken on the role of preserving the old photos. She has scanned them for me so all I have to do is look after the electronic versions.

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