About Us

Hi, I’m Helen.

I live in deepest rural Devon in an old farmhouse near the sea with my naughty newfies, Ben and Daisy.  I haunt our local charity/thrift shops to find vintage textiles to recycle for my items and love to use patchwork, applique and embroidery techniques. (Sometimes all at once!)

The name … well … I was stuck for ideas until I remembered my names for the two newfies that lived with me back in 2009 when Bustle & Sew was launched.  Amy, who sadly is no longer with us, used to bustle around looking very important and girly whilst Ben could slink through even the smallest space (not bad for 11 stone of dog!) with his young, flexible body.

Clearly Bustle and Slink wasn’t really going to be suitable, but what about “Bustle & Sew”? I thought. Especially as Amy liked to sit with me while I stitch.  So Bustle & Sew was born …

I don’t have any formal design training, but come from a long line of skilled needlewomen, learning most of my skills as a youngster.  I don’t produce complicated patterns, though my designs do need some basic skills, but love to create designs that everyone can enjoy making.

Meet the team: 


Me:  (trying to remember to smile(!)- it’s hard to hold your camera and take your own photo – well, it’s hard for me anyway!)  I’m the crafty designer, stitcher, dog-walker and general doer of most things.

Ben:  stops me spending too long at work and provides a wonderful excuse for time spent on the beach.  Plus is always willing to provide large quantities of black hair and speckles of mud which he feels make my patterns look much better.  Since January 2013 Ben has had a new young helper – young Daisy – a miracle of perpetual motion covered in a black fuzzy coat!

And of course there’s my lovely daughter Rosie – my design and social media consultant (she understands how Facebook works(!) and is always happy to tell me what she thinks of my designs – the highest accolade is when a completed project disappears into her bag and is whisked home to Bristol with her!) Seen here plotting more mischief with the youngest furry one!

What Our Magazine Subscribers Say About Us

“Dear Helen, I knew I was going to love your site as soon as I saw your dog and puppy photos, ( I have six myself, all rescued ), and the patterns are just what I’ve been looking for. I’m afraid the more complicated bits of computer technology have passed me by, and Facebook, twittering, and Flicker, well, they have passed under my radar as well. But finding you has opened up a whole other dimension for me ! As well as being delighted and inspired by your beautiful work, I’ve loved reading your blog, looking at your photos, and hearing about you and your family – its like being invited round to a dear friend’s for tea ! I hope to enjoy our friendship for many years to come. Kind regards, Linda”

“Absolutely, positively a fantastic issue! Simply don’t know where to start … the birds on a wire or the owl pillow or . . . the whole issue is jam packed with great reading, too! Just when I think Bustle and Sew can’t get any better, you outdo yourself … AGAIN! Thank you for sharing all your creativity! Karen”

“Wow i have put off having the magazine as i thought it may be like a few others i have had, but no WOW is all i can say i am snowed in as just subscibed to your magazine and can’t wait to start some projects so if any one is like me putting off subscribing all i can say is DON’T the magazine is GREAT thank you Helen wonderful magazine one very happy new subscriber! Debbie”

“I am so hooked on this magazine! Laura-Jane”

“I simply had to write to you and say how much I am enjoying your magazine – I can’t think why it has taken me so long to subscribe! Pauline”

“Just took a brief page through on this months magazine. It has to be your best so far! Terri-Sue”

Try The Magazine For $1

To try out the magazine for $1 simply click the subscribe button below and get immediate access to the current issue of Bustle & Sew and your free copy of the ebook ‘The Stitcher’s Companion’. And remember there is no minimum period, you can cancel at any time and keep the book ‘The Stitcher’s Companion’ as a thank you for trying out the magazine.

Or if you would prefer to use your Paypal account please click the button below


“Hello Helen, I’ve just read the magazine, it’s gorgeous! Well done! Regards J”

“Hi Helen, Congratulations on your first issue! I just love the new magazine, and I’m so glad I subscribed! I’m already looking forward to the next issue.”

“I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy having you enter my creative world by sharing your talents! I am a subscriber to the newsletter and have truly enjoyed it and your debut of the magazine is just lovely! I can’t wait to try my hand at the sampler. *and the other projects.”

“Thank you so much for the magazine – excellent, you must have the patience of a Saint!”

“I just want to let you know I love your first issue of Bustle and Sew…it is beautiful and a big Congratulations to you on this first issue and I know many, many more. Rosie and Bear will be my first design to stitch but then I would also like to make the clutch…but they both will be fun. Once again, thank you for a beautiful publication…so take a little time to relax and enjoy all the wonderful compliments that will come your way….and they will.”

Thank you so much Helen! The issue is gorgeous (as always) and I allways download them! Whenever the magazines arrive I’ll go and watch them very quickly then, I download them to my computer and my pen and I like to review them very slowly! (sometimes even in my work, that’s why I have a pen, I watch the beautiful pages just because…but shiiiuuu don’t tell anyone!!). I like to imagine that someday I’ll have the time to do all your patterns!!!