The group of cloth dolls I'm working on right now are taking a LOT longer to finish than I anticipated... and school holidays start next week. Soooo I hope to have five new dolls available here in early October rather than September (as originally promised). Here's one of their tiny dresses...
I made a little video demonstration (below), showing how to embroider French knots. I found this embroidery stitch quite tricky when I first tried it and looking at diagrams in embroidery books didn't really help me. But I've since taught myself how to sew them so thought I'd show you how I do it.
The key is to hold the thread taut with one hand while you wrap it around the needle and insert it into the fabric. Hold on to the thread until just before it is pulled all the way through the fabric (see video below).
This is an example of a singular French knot but you can make them larger by wrapping the thread around your needle twice rather than once. This video shows how I stitch the French knots onto my fabric mushroom hanging ornaments.
... and here is a little diagram showing French knots in more detail. I drew this a while ago for one of my sewing patterns. Enjoy!
This face looking up at me while I embroider his tummy. I know he's not real but I kind of hope I'm not hurting him...
Two new barn owl soft sculptures will be available via my online store from 10am Thursday 31 August (Sydney time).
I've spent ages trying to perfect my platypus soft toy so that I can offer a sewing pattern with instructions on how to make one. The body is pretty straight forward but the feet and bill have really challenged me. I think I've finally figured it out now and I'm really happy with the way it's turned out, so I should have the pattern ready for you to download very soon. I hope you like it. *Pattern can be purchased here.
My son needed a platypus (and this photo of me making it) for something at school. It took me several prototypes to get the shape you see here and there are still things I'd change... but I'm thinking of maybe offering it as a sewing pattern. Would you make a platypus? They're pretty fantastic creatures.
My little Willowynn stamp isn't small enough for these tiny legs, so I hand-draw my label with my ultra fine waterproof pen.
Thanks so much guys! Lots of hanging mushrooms (and fox and bunny dolls) in the post. It might not look like it, but that's a lot of work boxed up right there and it's such a great feeling to see them all finished and heading out into the world. Dolls, owls and whales next...
This is where I work every day... my favourite room in this tiny old house. My boys like it in here too as this is where the buttons, scissors, string and good pens are. Right now I'm working on some owls, whales and four new dolls which will available via my online shop soon.
My messy table is filled with work that I hope to have available via my online store over the next few weeks.
It's been one of those lovely steamy afternoons with the sound of thunder in the distance...
My new letter-pressed 'certificate of authenticity' cards printed by Jo and Andy from Olive and the Volcano just arrived...and I'm over the moon... and thank you Nettie (Ginger Blue Graphics) for helping me with the design!
Some mushroom hanging ornaments on my work table this week. I'm trying to get some sets of these ready for Christmas.
I love it when the perfect material for what I need happens to be rubbish... like the plastic from old milk bottles.
Let's all start wearing cloaks again! This is a little cloak I've made for one of the cloth dolls I'm working on at the moment. It's made of a beautiful mustard velvet I cut out of a curtain.
Busily working on finishing three new cloth dolls by the end of the week. I'm fascinated with historical fashion at the moment...
They'll be listed in my online store soon.
My current fixation is this shell from a giant panda snail. It's helping me with what I'm working on right now.
There are rejected shapes, limbs, heads and ideas all over the place this week. I'm modifying, tweaking, improving and trying for curvier curves. Trying not to obsess or over think...
Sometimes I walk in and wonder if I've just interrupted something...or maybe that's just me. Too long sitting in this room by myself?
For ages now I've been planning to make my own logo and then carve it into a rubber stamp myself. I love making things and thought this would be a fun and not too difficult or time consuming thing to do. I was wrong.
I think sometimes it's good to outsource those jobs that require just a bit of professional experience and skill. Like my logo and stamps.
So I asked the lovely, talented and patient Annette from Ginger Blue Graphics here in the Northern Rivers to help me create this logo which I'm so pleased with.
And these awesome rubber stamps (with beautiful wooden mounts made from Western Australian Jarrah) are made by Scott at Penrith Rubber Stamps in Sydney. I could not be happier.
Busy busy busy... some new pieces will be available in my online store soon.
Arts Northern Rivers are hosting a fantastic pop up gallery space in Lismore this month displaying some beautiful local artwork (including some of mine). I'll be running a workshop called 'Soft Sculpture Creation' at the space on Saturday 22 August.
I'll be sharing some soft toy design and construction techniques, and helping you to transform a drawing into a three dimensional hand-stitched fabric shape.
Click here for more info or to book your spot.
Friday night. In my little room listening to frogs and night birds, twisting wire into owl legs... you can see the finished product here.
A rare photo of me... making stuff in my sewing room. This is where I spend most of my days and it's my favourite room in this old house.
I have just had the best time making this, my first proper barn owl (with legs, claws and wings). He is a commission piece so I'll have to say good bye to him this afternoon. I love making new pieces...looking at illustrations in books, sketching, thinking, planning, experimenting and that feeling you get when something all of a sudden looks just how you imagined :)
Working on something new this week. I'm trying to make an owl with legs, claws, wings and a tail (my other owls are much more simple) and it's turning out to be a bit of a challenge! I'm having a lovely time though. Will show you what it looks like when I'm done.
With a woollen cloak to rug up against the cold, she is in her best forest-wandering dress.
She is made from discarded cotton remnants and wears a mauve silk dress hand-stitched from fabric that reminds me of moth wings. Her grey-blue wool hooded cloak is made from an old woollen blanket...all little scraps I've been saving for something special. She'll be available to purchase here.
Hello and welcome...
My name is Margeaux Davis. I design and create cloth art dolls, textile sculpture and soft toy sewing patterns from the beautiful Northern Rivers region of Australia.