Clearing up Copyright and Pincushion Mice

Clearing up copyright?! Well, that is to say for Bustle & Sew patterns anyway!  If I could clear up all global copyright issues in just one post, then I’d be (a) a genius and (b) a super-rich legal expert.  Since I am neither of these, I will simply discuss copyright for my own patterns.  This has come to the front of my mind following Nadine’s (of Thistlepatch) sad experience selling little mice she made using one of my free patterns – the Pincushion mice through her Facebook page…

Here’s one of her Thistlepatch mice.  Isn’t he (or she) adorable?!  If you’d like the free pattern to make your own mouse, then please click here to download.

Anyway, I didn’t have any problems with Nadine’s little mice as we’d already been in touch about it.  I don’t know the exact details of the message she received, but she was very upset when somebody accused her of copying my design.  So I thought perhaps I should clarify my position on use of Bustle & Sew patterns:

  • I sell my patterns on a strictly single license to each individual buyer.  You do not have permission to distribute (for free, or for profit) copies of the patterns in printed, electronic or any other format. (I am sure nobody reading this would dream of doing such a thing).
  • You may personally make items from my patterns to sell through your own shop or at craft shows (if in doubt please ask).
  • Within any written description of the item for sale please credit Bustle & Sew with the pattern design – and it would be super-nice if you included a link back to my site. 
  • Mass production using either free or purchased patterns is prohibited.

Phew … I think that’s all.  It’s wonderful that people like to use my patterns in this way, especially as I don’t make items for sale myself – I love the design side most of all and am always impatient to start on the next project. 


But not until I’ve finished the current work in progress.  Here’s Bear .. on my Rosie & Bear Alphabet Sampler.  It’s coming along very nicely – it’s one of those projects where everything seems to be going right – for the moment anyway! 


The new sampler is going to be amazing, and I can’t wait to see it completed! Just look at that tiny nested bird upon the top of the ‘Z’!!!! I love…love…love it!!!
Thank you for the sweet little mouse pattern….Very cute!
X Linda


Lovely to hear that you are so generous with your patterns; I also let anyone use mine ( I design and make bags and accessories ) , either through my classes or by lending patterns. Its nice to pass on skills and see others success.

Susan Davies

Hi Helen

Been getting your newsletter’s for a while now and am always inspired and amazed at what you do.
Wish I had the drive to do more crafts, but with 3 children our house is mad and chaotic all the time. There is no room to think sometimes never mind have a quiet minute to do some sewing etc.
I have been asked to make something to sell for our school fair. Could I possibly make the mice using your pattern? I thought it might be easier to make little things the children would like as well as the parents.

Thankyou for reading my ramblings
Best wishes


Hi Susan, yes that’s fine – thanks for asking – all I ask is that you credit Bustle & Sew with the design. Thanks for your kind comments about my newsletter – so pleased you’re enjoying it.

Best wishes

Luci Spencer

Hi Helen,

Thanks for this post, I am so sorry to hear about Nadine’s problem! I have just downloaded the mouse pattern (how beautiful is Nadine’s mouse?!) and I would love to be able to sell them at my local craft fairs and on my Facebook page (of course with credit to you!).
I’ll have a look at some of your other patterns too – I love the ducks/geese! – and just want to check that you wouldn’t mind if I sold these too? I only craft in my spare time, and I am always on the look out for new projects :).

Luci x


Hi Luci

Thanks for asking – no I don’t mind one little bit if you sell items you’ve personally made using my design. In fact I’m delighted that you think they’re nice enough! All I request is that you credit Bustle & Sew with the pattern design.

Good luck with your craft fairs.

Helen x


Thank you so much for your generosity in making this adorable pattern available – I’m signed up to do a swap via Instragram (#igpincushionswap), and I plan to make a couple of these to give away – and thank you too for allowing me to sell if I choose! Are you on instagram? I would love to tag you when I post the pictures of these adorable guys.


Hi, I’,m in love with the little mouse but im having an hard time…. after clicking on the link and trying to print, then it says my internet has stopped working. Can you send me the pattern to my email? I’m so sorry to ask but she is to cute. Thanks & God Bless!
[email protected]


Thank you for the free mouse pattern. I plan to make these adorable mice as needle sharpeners with emery in them as gifts for my sewing class. My ladies love little gifts and these would be fun to make as I watch TV in the evening with my hubby. I am not selling them or selling the pattern.

I do so appreciate that you have time to design such wonderful patterns and then since I work full-time I can enjoy making gifts.
Thank you for your talent and for sharing.

Rita Falgoust

love this mouse pattern. I made 3o a few years ago and gave them to my quilt club friends. They loved them. They work best with wool.


Helen – Thank you for sharing your Mouse Pattern. I have made the Pin Cushions for my daughters & Mom. But reduced the pattern to make mice for a mouse house for my Grandchildren. These little mice are well loved and snuggle into match book beds with books before the kids leave. It honestly melts my heart.


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