A stitch in time

New Cowgirl Museum acquisition shows off Annie Oakley's skills with needle and thread

Cowgirl Museum acquisition shows off Annie Oakley's needlepoint skills

Annie Oakley
Annie Oakley was about the most famous female sharpshooter in history. Photo courtesy of National Cowgirl Museum
Annie Oakley belt
Annie Oakley created and wore her own belt. Photo courtesy of National Cowgirl Museum
Annie Oakley
Annie Oakley belt

In the famous song "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better" from Annie Get Your Gun, Frank Butler brags to Annie Oakley, "I can knit a sweater." To which she retorts, "I can fill it better." Turns out, Annie herself wasn't so bad with a needle and thread, as evidenced by a new acquisition on display at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.

The Fort Worth museum announced August 13 — which would have been Oakley's 159th birthday — that it has acquired a needlework belt created and worn by the famous female sharpshooter.

The belt is on display now in the "Hitting the Mark: Cowgirls and Wild West Shows" exhibition, which showcases female performers from these popular outdoor events.

The belt was created during Oakley's third European tour in 1891, the museum says in a release. Oakley would often do needlework in her tent between performances, they say, adding that the belt has the tour year, “1891,” and her initials “AO,” on opposite ends of the belt.

The belt measures roughly 33.5 inches in length.

“We have a few artifacts from Oakley that are singular in their ability to tie the public Annie Oakley to the private Annie Butler,” says Diana Vela, associate executive director, in the release. “This belt is one of the objects that she worked on in her private time while she was on tour.”

Oakley, born on August 13, 1860 is a Cowgirl Hall of Fame Honoree. The belt is one of several Oakley objects on display at the museum.