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A Bustle & Sew Publication Copyright Š Bustle & Sew Limited 2017 The right of Helen Dickson 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 2017 by: Bustle & Sew The Cottage Oakhill Radstock BA3 5HT UK


Welcome to the May Issue May is one of the loveliest months of the year with its bounty of spring blossom, new life everywhere, and the promise of the warm summer months to come. There are flowers to enjoy in my garden and in the evening the sound of a busy lawnmower and the scent of new mown grass wafts across the fence between my own and my neighbour’s plot. In this month’s issue we celebrate the season with a garland of daisies - I am sure that many of you will remember making daisy chains as children, a pleasure I’m revisiting many years later now I am a grandma! Then there’s our Herbs & Spices Wall Chart and Beautiful Bugs Cushion - after all bugs can be very pretty to look at and many do positive good in our gardens too. We chat to two very talented makers and are delighted to showcase a pattern from Sweetbriar Sisters new book, “Hopeful Hatchlings,” and enjoy the season’s bounty with a look at the freshest ingredients which Rosie uses in some light and delicious recipes - an antidote to the over-indulgence of Easter last month. I do hope you’ll enjoy this issue - it’s packed full of everything I love about May! And finally, the June issue, welcoming in the summer, will be published on Thursday 25 May.

Helen xx


Tips for Stitchers Here’s a tip to help you keep your machine stitches neat and tidy when you’re turning a corner. When you reach the corner be sure that your needle remains in the fabric when you stop stitching (you may need to adjust this manually). Lift the presser foot, rotate your fabric and then continue sewing. Keeping your needle in the fabric ensures that your stitching line will be continuous.







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Between this month’s covers … Tips for Stitchers

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A (very) Little Guide to Seam Rippers

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May Almanac

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Unicorn Softie

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Daisy Chain Embroidery

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Rosie’s Simple Seasonal Recipes

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Bellis Perennis: The Common Daisy

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Seasonal Ingredient: Carrots

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Lovely Idea: Patchwork Bag

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Hopeful Hatchlings and Penny Platypus

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Meet the Maker: Jocelyn Gayle

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The Countryside in May

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A (very) Little Guide to Pinking Shears

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Instagram Inspiration

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Wildflower Needle Book

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Beautiful Bugs Cushion

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Poetry Corner

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A Country Diary (2)

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Felt: All the Colours of the Rainbow

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Meet the Maker: Emma Giacalone

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A Country Diary

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Dinosaur Softie

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Lovely Idea: Wine Cork Succulents

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Home Comforts

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Herbs & Spices Wall Chart

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In the Kitchen: Conversion Tables

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Seasonal Ingredient: Chives

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The Herb Garden

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May If not at the beginning of the month then certainly by its end it’s warm enough to sit outside in the garden enjoying the sights and scents as all around flowers are coming into bloom. The evenings are lengthening daily and at dusk the swooping flight of swallows and house martins is replaced by the fluttering of bats hunting for insects in the night air. Swifts have also arrived after their long migration from their wintering grounds in Africa, and their characteristic screaming calls announce their presence as they wheel and dive overhead. These birds are astonishing aeronauts since, apart from the breeding season, they remain constantly airborne, even when sleeping! Walking the Newfies is no longer a chore (as it can be during the cold winter months), but a positive pleasure, especially our trips to the woods when the bluebells begin to bloom this month. Bluebells are a commonplace sight across most of the UK but globally these flowers are fairly scarce with a restricted range in those countries that border Europe’s Atlantic seaboard: north-west Spain, France, the Low Countries, Ireland and of course ourselves. Indeed our mild, damp climate supports more than half the total world population of this beautiful intense blue flower. Bluebells are a classic indicator species of ancient woodland, and have attracted a wide range of folk names, including fairy bells, bellflower, wild hyacinth and fairy thimble. The English bluebell is under threat though from hybridisation with a non-native species, the Spanish bluebell. This is a popular garden flower that has spread into the wild where it crossbreeds with our native bluebells. These hybrids have taller, straighter stems and the flowers don’t droop in the same way as those of the native variety. They also have a less powerful scent. The month of May probably derives its name from the ancient Sanskrit word “mah” which means “to grow”. More recently in classical mythology the name “Maia” was given to the brightest of the three heavenly sisters that made up the star

constellation of Pleiades, a conspicuous feature of the night sky at the beginning of May in southern Europe. Here in England sadly, daybreak in early May is often characterised by fog which descends as moisture-laden breezes from northern Europe and condenses over much of the land. Because so many May Day celebrations are likely to be dampened by fog many towns and villages postpone their celebrations until later in the month. At Magdalen College, Oxford, there is a medieval bell tower standing within the college grounds and on the first day of May, just before dawn, cassocked choristers climb its narrow stone stairs that open onto the roof. Here, high above the city, the view can be spectacular and, on the last stroke of six o’clock the pure sounds of the choir sing a joyous chorus in celebration of spring. More prosaically perhaps, 1 May is celebrated as Labour Day by trades unions, socialist movements and others. It is marked by rallies and marches and sometimes by protests and riots, in countries throughout the world. The Labour Day celebration originated in the USA in 1867, when the working day was reduced from ten to eight hours from this date first in Illinois and subsequently elsewhere. May 3 is Rood Day or the Invention of the Cross. The word “rood” is of old English origin and means gallows or cross, with holy-rood meaning Christ’s cross. This day commemorates the supposed discovery in AD 326 by St Helena (mother of Constantine the Great) of the cross on which Christ was crucified. Napoleon I (born 1769) died on 5 May 1821 at the age of 51. His last years were spent on the island of St Helena where he had been banished by the British government after his abdication from the throne of Emperor of France in 1815. On St Helena his health deteriorated and towards the end of 1817 he began to show signs of stomach illness possibly cancer or an ulcer. Conspiracy theorists have claimed that he was poisoned with


arsenic, traces of which were found in his hair, but there is no firm evidence that this is the case. Along the hedgerows now, the hawthorn is coming gloriously into bloom, creating billowing ribbons of may blossom as far as the eye can see. This beautiful event actually has its origins in our social history. The lines of white blossom mark what little remains of the 200,000 miles of hedgerows planted in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Enclosure Acts of that time created much of the patchwork of fields and hedges that we recognise today as the quintessential English countryside - and hawthorn was its mainstay. Quick-growing, tenacious, and covered in thorns, the tree was ideal to form part of a hedge intended to contain livestock and mark ownership. May 19 is St Dunstan’s Day. Born here in Somerset in the early tenth century Dunstan studied at Glastonbury Abbey and became abbot there in 945. He is the patron saint of goldsmiths and his emblem is a pair of metalworker’s tongs. According to Devonshire legend he was also a keen brewer of beer who made a pact with the Devil to ensure the destruction of the apple crop on which his rivals, the cider makers, depended. In exchange for St Dunstan’s soul, the Devil agreed to blight the apple trees with frost on 17, 18 and 19 May at the height of their blossoming. 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 cheeserolling 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.

Bellis perennis: The Common English Daisy Bellis perennis I’m sure that nearly everyone reading this will have made daisy chains as a child? Perhaps they were a little wonky rather like the Daisy Chain embroidery - which I wanted to make as much like my childhood chains as I could. I remember at school sitting with my friends trying to make our individual chains as long as possible, then joining our lengths together and twining them round the old elm tree at the end of the playground. They didn’t last long though - all that handling by little hot fingers as well as the warm summer weather meant that they withered and died by the end of the day. Daisies traditionally represent purity and innocence, whilst the Latin name of our common English Daisy is Bellis perennis which translates as “pretty” and “everlasting.”The name “daisy" itself is probably derived from the words “day’s eye” as the flower closes at night and opens its petals once again in the morning. There is saying that once you can place your foot upon seven daisies in the grass then spring is definitely here. Chaucer called the daisy the “eye of the day". In Medieval times, the daisy was commonly known as "Mary's Rose". Daisy is used as a girl's name and as a nickname for girls named Margaret, after the French name for the oxeye daisy, marguerite. The daisy itself is an edible flower and its young leaves can be eaten raw in salads, or cooked, though they do become increasingly bitter and astringent with age. It’s also used in making teas and as a vitamin supplement.


Some of Jocelyn’s creations for PetitFelts. She also offers kits if you’d like to have a go yourself - visit her on Etsy to see her full range.

Felt: All the Colours of the Rainbow


â—? Trace the chilli pepper and onion shapes onto the paper side of your Bondaweb using the REVERSED pattern. Fuse to your felt then cut out carefully. Peel off the paper backing and fuse into place on your design.

Method â—? Transfer the design to the centre of your background fabric using your preferred method.


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A (very) Little Guide to the Seam Ripper Seam rippers are a very important part of your sewing kit - after all, nobody’s perfect and we all make mistakes sometimes! They come in various sizes - below are the large and small versions that I possess - the small white version that Miss Poppy Mouseling is holding actually came with my sewing machine. The larger one is great for heavy fabrics and they both have very sharp points used to pick up and cut stitches. Their blades are very sharp for cutting threads and the ball-tipped point is there to protect the user from the sharp point of the seam ripper. To use your seam ripper for its primary purpose of removing a whole seam the you can either lay the seam flat and run the ripper along it (but this does run the

risk of cutting into your fabric). A more time consuming but safer approach is to lay your work on a flat surface then cut every third or fourth stitch by inserting the point into the stitch you want to cut, then pushing it beneath the stitch until the blade cuts the thread. Then turn the seam over and pull out the whole thread in one go. You’ll be left with snipped threads on your fabric that can be removed with a lint roller or sticky tape. Seam rippers are also great for cutting a neat accurate slit between the two lines of stitching on machine made buttonholes. Push a pin through either end of the buttonhole to stop your blade cutting through the bars at each end.


Rosie’s Simple Seasonal Recipes 14




A closer look at some of the accounts we love…



Chloe makes hand embroidered hoop art incuding pet portraits as well as designing embroidery patterns. We love all her hoops, especially her gorgeous birds!

Lizzie lives in a little cottage in the Bedfordshire countryside. She has a vintage, country style and loves sourcing old bits for the home - we adore the treasures she finds!


@leslie_sauce Leslie is a photographer, fiber artist and explorer. She creates the most wonderful embroidered hoop art and is opening her own shop soon - be sure to keep an eye out!

It’s us! If you don’t already follow us on Instagram please do be sure to pop over and say hello. We share lots of behind the scenes snippets as well as updates from HQ!


Clockwise from top left: Emma’s garden studio; hand stitching details; Liberty print scraps; simply lovely Easter bunny!

Home Comforts Make the most of supermarket herbs by avoiding the packets of fresh precut herbs (they’re often imported with high food miles) and instead choose pots which are much more likely to have been grown in this country. The main reason these plants die after around a week to ten days in your kitchen is because too many plants have been stuffed into one pot and there simply isn’t enough room for them to grow. If you take the time to split them, not only will they live longer but there will be more for you to harvest over the weeks ahead. To split these herbs, gently remove them from the pot (you may need to turn it upside down and tap the rim sharply - don’t try to pull them out by the leaves) then push your thumbs into the roots and ease the plants apart. Splitting into two is good, but three or four clumps is even better. Repot these smaller sections into individual containers using fresh compost.

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Bustle & Sew Magazine Issue 76 May 2017 Sampler  

A peep between the covers of issue 76 of the independent (and slightly eccentric!) English magazine that celebrate all we love about home li...

Bustle & Sew Magazine Issue 76 May 2017 Sampler  

A peep between the covers of issue 76 of the independent (and slightly eccentric!) English magazine that celebrate all we love about home li...