Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Simple felt phone case tutorial

I thought it was time for another quick tutorial, this time for a basic felt phone case. This case is so quick and simple to make that you can get your children making them as gifts!


Stiff paper or card to make the pattern
Short piece of ribbon

Step 1.  Make your pattern by measuring your phone. Double the length and add 10 cm, add 3 cm to the width. At the top mark  0.5 cm either side of the centre  and 5 cm down from the top at each side, join these marks to form a blunt point, this will be the flap. You now have your basic pattern.

Step 2. Lay the pattern piece on the felt, pin in place and cut out.

Step 3. Fold up the bottom of the felt to about 3 cm below the bottom of the flap and check that your phone will fit with a bit of room top and bottom, pin in place.

Step 3. Cut a piece of ribbon about 2 cm longer than the width of your case and place it on the felt about 1.5 cm down from the top edge. Tuck the ends between the two layers of felt and pin in place.

Step 4. Sew up the side edges. This can just as easily be done by hand.

Et voila! Your case is finished!

Just pop your phone in and..

..tuck the flap under the ribbon to secure

Thanks for stopping by


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Procrastination and a New 'Luxe' Range

Well, it's been a fair few months since my last blog post. I've not been as organised as I should be and I'm not using my time properly. This really has to to change! I need to set out a proper schedule for the things that I have to do, and stick to it. I spend too much time procrastinating and too much time on the computer/iPad/iPhone with not much to show for it. I've been stuck in a bit of a rut and now it's time to become more professional in the way that I structure my day. Onwards and upwards!

One thing I have already started on is a new 'Luxe' range of bags and jewellery. This range will be much closer to my original vision for Wild Rose Designs. Bags and jewellery that are extra special, luxurious fabrics and opulent trims and decorations and jewellery for that special occasion. Fabulous!

Thanks for stopping by,


Friday, 28 March 2014

Top 10 Basic sewing tips

With the resurgence of the Nation's passion for sewing and all things crafty - due in no small part to programs like 'The great British Sewing Bee' - lots of people are dusting off their sewing machines and are starting to enjoy making their own clothes. I thought I'd post my top ten tips to basic sewing.

Here goes...

  1. If your finished article is likely to be washed at some point, then it is a good idea to wash the fabric first as most fabrics will shrink a little on the first wash. Also make sure that you press the fabric before using, as any little crease can alter the shape of pattern piece once it is cut out.
  2. When pinning the pattern pieces to the fabric, make sure the pattern is the right way up, there's nothing worse than finding that the pattern is upside down on some or all of your component pieces.
  3. Unless you are cutting out bias binding or the pattern tells you to place the pattern on the bias, make sure that the pattern is placed on the straight grain of the fabric. If you don't then your finished item will not hang correctly. We've all bought cheap clothes that twist and warp after the first wash haven't we? This is because in order to save money they twist the pattern pieces round in order to get as many garments out of a piece of fabric as they can.
  4. Check that everything is correctly placed on the fabric before cutting.You've heard the old saying 'measure twice, cut once'..
  5. Make sure your cutting shears are sharp. Blunt blades will snag your fabric.
  6. Pin or tack your fabric pieces before you sew - this will help stop your fabric creeping and ensure that all notches and markings are held together.
  7. When sewing make sure you use the correct needle and thread for your fabric. You don't want to be using heavy thread on your fine fabrics.
  8. Pink your seams once sewn to prevent fraying, but if they are going to be exposed it is better to over-lock or over-sew them.
  9. Press those seams open - it will give a much better finish, and clip any curves to help them sit flat.
  10. Top stitching or stay stitching is really important. They will both stop edges from rolling out and will give a really professional finish.
Lastly, relax and enjoy your sewing, it should be fun!

Thanks for stopping by


Friday, 28 February 2014

Sewing tools, gadgets and gizmos

Wow! I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted on here! 

To ease myself back in gently I thought I'd revisit an old post from my previous blog. It's all about the simple gadgets that make a sewers life that much easier.

Sewing Machine

It goes without saying that my trusty sewing machine is an absolute must, along with good quality all purpose thread.

Pencil and ruler

I use these when drawing the pattern pieces and for marking the positions of fastenings and trims. A disappearing marker pen is also invaluable for marking fabric.


Good quality, sharp scissors are essential. At a minimum, dressmakers shears for cutting out and embroidery scissors for snipping threads and cutting buttonholes etc.


Where would I be without these? I prefer to use these large coloured, plastic headed pins as they are easy to see, and easier to find if you drop them!


Sewing machine needles need to be changed frequently, as blunt needles can damage the fabric and can result in skipped stitches. Different fabrics also need different needles, some need sharp points while others require needles with a rounded tip. So always use the correct needle for your fabric. A good selection of needles for hand sewing is also essential.

Zipper foot

This enables you to sew up close to zips and piping.


This saves fingers and means you won't bleed on the fabric - not a good idea!

Seam ripper

For those times when you've made a mistake and need to unpick (don't you just hate it when that happens?), this little gadget makes it so much easier.

Loop turner

great for turning tubes of fabric the right way out. ie: for bag handles.

Point turner

For pushing out corners, gives a nice crisp edge to inside pockets and to the corners of  the bag.


For attaching decorative items such as sequins, diamantes and rosettes.

Plastic clips

Great for holding together fabric that would be damaged by pins - faux leather for example.

Teflon foot

For sewing with faux leather or other fabrics where a normal foot will not slide smoothly over.

This is obviously not a comprehensive list, there are lots of other handy little gadgets around that are nice to have but not essential. but if you know of any other essential tools, please let me know.

Thanks for stopping by,


Friday, 2 August 2013

A new addition

At a recent craft fair I was asked if I had any bags for little girls... oops! not a one. I realised I was neglecting the younger bag users among us. After all, what little girl doesn't want to be just like her Mummy? And today's little girls could be my customers of tomorrow! So I decided to spend a little time designing a couple of bags for children.
 The first one would make a lovely gift. It's fully lined and interfaced and even has a slip pocket inside and it comes with a lovely stretchy Fimo fruits bracelet.

Also in the pipeline is a much more basic, unlined, and therefore cheaper bag. It will be interesting to see how much demand there is for these in the run up to Christmas, and whether buyers go for the cheaper one or the more expensive bag.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Gimme that bling!

Just had to share these blingtastic  pieces of jewellery. They're a little different to what I've made before but I LOVE them! What do you think? A little ostentatious maybe? Yeah, possibly, but if you're dressing to impress ...

Friday, 21 June 2013

Elysia's Oreo Cake

I recently made a cake and posted a picture of it on Facebook that attracted quite a few likes, and Facebook even went so far as to add " This post is more engaging than many of your others"! Well that told me... So I thought I'd share the recipe. I call it 'Elysia's Oreo Cake' not because it contains Oreos but because  my granddaughter (Elysia) says that it looks like a giant Oreo.


For the sponge
8 oz Butter
8 oz Caster sugar
8 oz Self raising flour ( Minus 4 Tablespoons flour)
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 eggs

For the butter icing
8 oz icing sugar (sieved)
4 oz butter
few drops of vanilla extract
tablespoon milk


1. Heat oven to 180 degrees - I never use a fan setting when I'm baking 
2. Grease and flour two 8" sandwich tins
3. Beat together the butter and sugar, the longer you can beat the mixture the lighter the sponge will be.
4. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Don't worry if the mixture starts to curdle slightly, it will all come good.
5. Add 2 tablespoons of the cocoa powder to the flour and stir in. Add enough hot water to the remaining cocoa to make a smooth slightly runny paste and beat into the cake mix, this will make the sponge nice and moist.
6. Fold in the flour and cocoa powder.
7. Divide the mix between the two sandwich tins and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until the sponges are cooked ( the sponge will come away from the sides of the tin when it is done).
8. Cool for five minutes then turn out on to a cooling rack.
9. Beat together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract, again the longer you can beat it the better.
10. Add the milk a few drops at a time till the icing is nice and soft but not too runny.
11. When the sponge is completely cooled sandwich together with the butter icing and dust the top with icing sugar.

Voila!     Elysia's Oreo cake  - enjoy!