The needle was always at hand exhibition was held at Keats house in the summer of 2011
In the late 1700s Hester Chapone wrote that “absolute idleness was inexcusable in a
woman, because the needle is always at hand”. Yet for women like Fanny Brawne, sewing
was more than just something to pass the time, it was a form of creative expression.
The needle is always at hand installation explored Fanny Brawne’s time at Keats House through her interest in dress. Blurring the lines between costume and art we invited visitors to find each piece for themselves, to discover more about Fanny Brawne, Regency fashions and dressmaking.
All items, though reproductions, were historically accurate to the time Fanny was alive.