Bryant House

A Stitch in Time

Before the sewing machine was invented, clothing, sheets and other items were sewn by hand. This cute little bird served as an extra hand when fabric needed to be kept taut while stitching seams. A thumbscrew attaches the bird to the table and the lower body is stationary, while the upper body is hinged. There is a spring in the tail so when the ends of the tail are pinched together the beak opens to allow the edge of the fabric to be placed in it. The beak closes on the fabric, holding it securely while the seamstress pulls it taut for stitching. This how useful this little bird would be when stitching a long seam.

There are many beautiful examples of hand work at the Bryant House. I wonder what part this sweet little guy played inĀ  the construction of those items?