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A Bustle & Sew Publication Copyright Š Bustle & Sew Limited 2019 The right of Helen Challenor to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means, without the prior written permission of the author, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. Every effort has been made to ensure that all the information in this book is accurate. However, due to differing conditions, tools and individual skills, the publisher cannot be responsible for any injuries, losses and other damages that may result from the use of the information in this book.

First published 2019 by: Bustle & Sew The Cottage Oakhill Radstock BA3 5HT UK


Welcome to the 100th Issue Celebrations! Hello everyone! I am so pleased, happy and grateful to be here today typing the introduction to this, our very special 100th issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine. To have published one hundred issues was something I could only dream about way back in February 2011 when I sat down at my (then very new) laptop and began to assemble the first edition, which I sent out to a grand total of 29 subscribers. I owe a great deal to those first subscribers (some of whom I know are still part of the Bustle & Sew story) as without their support I would never have gained the confidence to begin the journey to where we are today…. Our one hundredth issue and subscriber numbers in the thousands. So I’d like to say an enormous “thank you” to each and every one of you - old or new - thank you for all your support over the last 8 years. Someone else I’d like to say a huge “thank you” to is my daughter Rosie who joined me here at Bustle & Sew in 2014, and has been such an enormous part of the business for the last nearly five years - I couldn’t do it without her! You’ll see this issue is a bit different to our regular format - we’ll be back to normal next month - but for now we’re celebrating and I do hope you’ll enjoy this special edition. In particular you will see that the templates for all the projects are provided in a supplement as the file sizes simply became too large for convenience. We’ve included a project from every year - please excuse the photo quality of some of the earlier ones - 8 years is a long time in IT developments! And finally, here’s to the next 100(!) Editions - I wonder if I’ll still be using the same trusty laptop for Issue 200!!

Helen xx


Tips for Stitchers Long and short stitch is useful for filling shapes and it may be worked in two different ways. If you work your stitches all in the same direction with the grain of the fabric you will create a smooth area of colour that is useful for large areas and backgrounds. For a more realistic effect you need the stitches to look more natural and enhance the shapes of the design. To do this you can adapt the long and short stitch to give it direction and create natural shading. It’s better to start stitching on a wide area of the design, such as the outer edge of a petal and work downwards, decreasing the number of stitches into a narrow area such as the base of the petal rather than the other way around.



23 8


29 23

Between this month’s covers … Tips for Stitchers

Page 4

Nature Notes: Bluebells

Page 50

May Almanac

Page 6

Lovely Idea: Celebration Cake Bunting

Page 51

Blossom Time Hoop

Page 8

Little Matroyshka Dolls

Page 52

Lovely Idea: Clay Wall Hanging

Page 12

Sewing Machine Needles

Page 54

Making Merry in May

Page 13

2015 Don’t Look Back Hoop

Page 57

2011 Three Hares Embroidery

Page 16

2016 Mandala Hoop

Page 59

2012 Coastguards Cottages

Page 19

A (very) Little Look at Cross Stitch

Page 62

In the Garden: Sweet Peas

Page 22

Lovely Idea: Mason Jar Vases

Page 63

In the Garden: Herbs

Page 23

Out and About

Page 64

Demystifying Pre-cuts

Page 25

Bumble Bee Hoop

Page 65

Poetry Corner: Shakespeare Sonnet 18

Page 29

2017 Trio of Cactus Cushions

Page 67

Yin and Yang Kittens Hoop

Page 30

Tips for Machine Applique

Page 71

2018 Hello Sunshine Banner

Page 74

Embroidery Stitches Quick Reference

Page 77

Link to Templates

Page 78

A (very) Little Social History of the Sewing Machine Page 32 2013 English Cottage Tea Cosy

Page 35

2014 Florence Flamingo

Page 40

Poetry Corner: The Land

Page 43

Meet the Makers

Page 44

A (very) Little Look at Seam Rippers

Page 48

A Country Diary

Page 49


May The name “May” is probably derived from the ancient Sanskrit word “mah” which means “to grow” and if so, then the name is certainly appropriate to this month of blossom and bloom. In Britain however, dawns in early May are often characterised by fog which descends as moisture-laden breezes from north Europe condense over much of the land. These early morning mists and fogs are soon burned off however by the rising sun which has real month in it now. Even so, as there’s still a good chance the weather may be inclement in early May, many May Day celebrations may be postponed until later in the month. The offset in season can be squarely blamed on Pope Gregory who introduced his new Gregorian calendar to Europe in 1582. Designed, totally correctly, to lose eleven days from that year to make up for previously unaccounted leap

years, the effect was to drag May 1 back earlier into the season. In Protestant England there were riots,

“In the sixteenth century it was customary to go forth at an early hour of the morning on the first day of May in order to gather flowers and hawthorn branches which would be brought home at sunrise with all possible signs of joy and merriment. With these spoils they would decorate every door and window in the village. This ceremony was known as “the bringing home of the May.”

as people claimed they would lose eleven days from their lives.


At Magdalen College, Oxford, there is a medieval bell tower that stands within the college grounds and on the first day of may, just before sunrise, cassocked choristers climb the narrow stone stairs that lead up to the open roof. Here, high up above the city, the view can be spectacular, though more often than not, the view on May Day is one of fog. On the last stroke of six o’clock the pure sounds of the choir sing a joyous chorus in celebration of spring, while beyond the spires the rising sun slowly burns away the gloom and heralds the start of another May. The natural dawn chorus of the birds also reaches its peak this month with our resident birds now joined by migrants from the south. The purpose of their song is not to joyously welcome the spring however, but to defend their territory and attract a mate. The birds put their best efforts into singing before the day is fully

broken. This is partly because the sound carries further on the still quiet air and partly because there is not yet enough light to find food which of course is the main daily activity for birds. Among the spring arrivals are swifts and swallows returning from their winter homes in Africa to raise their chicks during the British summer. They are dependent upon a plentiful supply of insects and are masters of the sky, soaring higher and higher on fine days in search of another meal, whilst on cold damp days they swoop and dive just a few inches above the ground. In May many of our woodlands are carpeted with bluebells, perhaps Britain’s most famous and charismatic plant. The Atlantic climate bestows relatively mild, wet winters on our country, especially near the coast and these favour the growth and spread of bluebells. On the continent of Europe, where winters are cold and dry, bluebells are very are. In Britain they are everywhere! Confusingly however, many Scots call the English bluebell a ‘wild hyacinth’ and reserve the name ‘bluebell’ for the summer flower that south of the border is called a ‘harebell’. Although May is traditionally a time for merrymaking, there are some rather gloomy superstitions

attached to the month. It is considered a bad time to marry “marry in May, rue for aye,” or to give birth “May chickens come cheeping” meaning that children born in this month are sickly. Strangely however, ill health in May can be a good thing “whoever is ill in the month of May, for the rest of the year is healthy and gay!” In contrast to these ill tidings however,

“To the greene Wood they speeden hem all, To fetchen home May with their musicall: And home they bringen in a royall throne, Crowned as king: and his Queene attone Was Lady Flora, on whom did attend A fayre flocke of Faeries…”

May dew was thought to have particularly beneficial properties for the complexion. The most potent May dew was that considered on the morning of May 1 and women who washed their faces in this would be restored to beauty. In modern times May 1 is also celebrated as Labour Day by trade


unions, socialist movements and others. It is marked by rallies and marches in countries across the world. The Labour Day celebration originated in the USA in 1867 when the working day was reduced from ten hours to eight hours with effect from this date, first in Illinois and subsequently elsewhere. In other countries trade unions and socialists began to demand a day’s holiday on 1 May - this is the original of the UK public holiday on the first Monday of May which was introduced in 1978. May both begins and ends with a public holiday here in England, the first Monday of the month is in lieu of Labour Day, whilst the last Monday of the month is a replacement for the former public holiday on Whit Monday and is officially known as the Spring Bank Holiday. This day sees the spectacular annual cheese-rolling event at Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire. Each year a large Double Gloucester cheese is released at the top of the hill and competitors chase after it. Many injuries are suffered, andfew people remain upright but the fastest down the hill wins the cheese and this tradition remains very popular.


Cuddly Sock Sheep

Making Merry in May!


Blast from the Past: May 2011 - Issue 5 Three Running Hares

Blast from the Past: August 2012 - Issue 19 Coastguard Cottages Draught Excluder


In the Garden: Sweet Peas One of the easiest annual climbers to grow, sweet peas possess the most wonderfully sweet fragrance and are beloved of butterflies, bees and other pollinating insects. Grown in full sun and well-drained soil they can scramble up pea sticks, cane wigwams or trellis to a height of around 8’ or 2.5m, filling the air with fragrance all around them. They come in a wide range of colours from pinks and whites to the deepest purple. It’s important to keep picking the flowers regularly though to encourage new blooms to form. If you don’t keep picking then they will run to seed very easily.


Demystifying Precuts


Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? (Sonnet 18) Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate. Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date. Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimmed; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed; But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st, Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade, When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st. So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616


Yin and Yang Kittens Hoop

A new member of the team has arrived at Bustle & Sew HQ - my partner’s feline - a small black and white cat named Inca. I’ve never had very much to do with cats before, and though she can be charming and affectionate, she can also be wilful and demanding - characteristics which I’m assured a common to just about all cats! This little hoop shows both sides of Inca’s nature - the yin and the yang as it were, and combines simple applique and embroidery. Shown mounted in a 6” hoop.


worked at an angle to a centre ‘vein’ and the smaller springs are fly stitch and detached chain stitch with a line of back stitch running down the centre.

happy with the positioning fuse into place with a hot iron using a cloth to protect your work ● Add the stripes and features to the cats with your temporary fabric marker pen.

● The cats’ stripes are straight stitch. The shapes are not secured around the edges as this is a decorative piece and the stripes ensure the shapes won’t come loose

● Now work the embroidery Use two strands of floss throughout except for the cats’ whiskers which are worked in a single strand of floss.

● When finished press lightly on the reverse and mount in 6” hoop for display

● The leaves are worked in a mixture of greens. The larger leaves are satin stitch


A (very) Little Social History of the Sewing Machine Every garment we wear has been sewn together to form its shape - using seams - joined together with a needle and thread. For the whole of human history (and indeed pre-history) this process was undertaken by hand, creating garments for warmth, modesty and later, fashion. Through the centuries stricter dress codes developed to reflect the societies and customs of the time and clothing was a key element used to demonstrate the wearer’s wealth - or indeed lack of it! In 1876 a book was published called “How to Dress Well on a Shilling a Day” in which the author advised the readers that ‘poverty must, above all things, avoid the appearance of poverty’ So for wives and mothers much time was spent stitching - making and mending clothes for their husbands, children and households too Sewing was a slow and laborious task, and yet an absolutely vital one.

Lower class women and girls had very few respectable options for earning their own livings and needlework, such as dressmaking, millinery and shirt making were often their only options, despite the long hours and very low remuneration. Much of this garment-making was piece work, collected from the employer on a regular basis and then stitched at home by women and children. The hours were appallingly long, as they would often work from dawn until midnight, straining their eyes and damaging their backs by bending low to stitch by inadequate candlelight. The problem of low pay was made worse by the custom of women having to pay a deposit to their overseer for the materials, which was only repayable upon delivery of the finished items. The concept of a machine that could ease the burden of all this stitching was just a dream for the less well off woman.


Blast from the Past: August 2013 Issue 31 English Cottage Tea Cosy

Blast from the Past: March 2014 Issue 38 Florence Flamingo


Meet the Maker - 100th Issue Special

Coral started her business Velveteen Babies from her home in 2014 whilst on maternity leave. At the time there was nothing like her designs in the marketplace and word quickly spread through Instagram. Each garland, cloud or mobile you’ll find in Coral’s shop are lovingly made by hand, to her own original design. You first appeared in Bustle & Sew Magazine in September 2015, could you please tell us how your business has changed since then? Back then I was using Etsy and only managing to ‘open’ for orders for an hour each week whilst I managed working part time, Motherhood and doing all my making! It seems crazy now. After the birth of Willa in 2016 I took the decision to create my own website and to become fully self employed. I set Velveteen Babies up as a Limited Company and went from there! It’s still very intense but all the things I’ve learnt along the way have been invaluable. I’ve grown my online following through Instagram consistently and am very lucky to see some of my original customers still buy from me as their own families expand.

Just to have faith and belief in yourself - if something doesn’t work then don’t let it grind you down, just try something new. People love to give opinions so don’t be scared, ask for help when needed. Think about your brand name and how it will appear in search results - I’m not sure I’d chose mine now, but it is easily searchable and is recognisable. Also, yes it’s lovely to have thousands of ‘followers’ but actually, you’re better to have fewer people who are more invested in you and what you do - thousands of ‘likes’ don’t mean thousands of immediate sales so try not to feel ‘comparisonitis’ and just focus on what makes you unique and special. What advice do you have for anyone wanting to start their own business? Stay true to your own unique USP and focus on building a recognisable brand as well as creating beautiful products. If you build a gorgeous brand then it’ll allow you to expand and grow more easily- invest in others and yourself where possible and it’s good to build solid relationships with others and create a community around what you do.

Be sure to visit Coral’s website here, you can also find her on Instagram!

What do you wish you’d known when you first started Velveteen Babies that you know now? 18


Turn your cake into a summer celebration with these cute little mice and their pretty cake bunting.

a lovely idea ---------------------

Celebration Cake Bunting



Little Matroyshka Dolls

These little dolls were great fun to make - and a good idea for using up any scraps of leftover fabric you may have from previous projects. The largest measures around 4½” tall and they use very little fabric and felt - they’d be perfect little extras for any charity stalls or craft shows you may be attending this summer. Keep the hair, faces and hearts on aprons consistent in colour so they appear as a set, otherwise they’ll seem bitty and not as though they belong together.



Blast from the Past: September 2015 - Issue 56 Don’t Look Back Hoop

Blast from the Past: August 2016 - Issue 67 Festival Mandala Hoop


Embroidered Bumble Bee

Spring is now well advanced, and there are plenty of blooms in my garden for the early bumble and honey bees to enjoy, and so I thought it would be fun to stitch my own little bee with silver wings on a piece of vintage eiderdown fabric. You could use plain fabric if you wish of course, but I think using a small and delicate floral print helps to enhance the country garden feel of this project. Shown mounted in a 3� hoop.


Blast from the Past: August 2017 - Issue 79 Trio of Cactus Cushions

Blast from the Past March 2018 - Issue 86 Here Comes the Sun Pennant


Tips for Great Machine Applique

I was a bit apprehensive about trying machine applique for the first time - after all my sewing machine was running smoothly so why would I want to mess things up by doing something as scary as dropping the feed dogs? And in any case how exactly should I do that? I am so glad I persevered though as this is such a speedy and simple technique that’s great for using up scraps and gives ( I think) very attractive results too!



CLICK HERE to download full size templates for all the projects in this issue (disabled for preview) 27

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Bustle & Sew Magazine Issue 100 Sampler  

A peep between the covers of the bumper 100th edition of the Bustle & Sew Magazine. To find out more and subscribe please head over to our w...

Bustle & Sew Magazine Issue 100 Sampler  

A peep between the covers of the bumper 100th edition of the Bustle & Sew Magazine. To find out more and subscribe please head over to our w...