I've shared photos of my sewing table here so many times but I don't think I've ever really shown you where I spend the other part of my working life... this desk on the other side of my work room / studio.
This is where I draw and paint - mostly with watercolour but sometimes with oils or acrylic paint. It looks out into our garden and holds all my precious bits and pieces for illustrating or designing. I found the old desk second-hand and I absolutely love it... lots of drawers and cupboards underneath and it even has a secret compartment (don't tell my kids).
I'm having fun designing new elephant dolls (which are now available as a sewing pattern). Right now I'm trying to perfect their elephant heads by sewing prototype after prototype... using the fabric from an old bed sheet.
This is my favourite stage of soft toy design - looking at pictures of baby elephants, trying out different shapes, testing the scale of the trunk / ears etc... trunk up or trunk down (I've decided to include an option for both). Lots of fun and also a bit of a brain strain, and I'm happy to report that they're coming along nicely.
These guys will be similar to my other animal dolls that can be downloaded as sewing patterns. I also have patterns to sew their little overalls, dresses and coats.
* Edit / update... the digital sewing pattern for my elephant soft toys is now available to download and print. Happy sewing!
I designed a simple barn owl stuffed toy years ago which has been one of my most popular soft toys. I think I've made hundreds of them and have even adapted it to create a larger, more sculptural clawed barn owl that also has wings - which I still make today.
Anyway, I've decided that it's time to offer my little barn owl softie as a digital sewing pattern, so that you can enjoy making them for your little ones. Their cute Babushka-like shape reminds me of the shape of a chubby penguin, so my sewing pattern also includes templates and instructions for making penguins!
I've spent the past couple of months designing the penguin soft toy and putting together a new sewing pattern for both of them. It is now available to download via my online store.
Here are some recent pictures of my work table this past month or so... doll making can be a messy business but also provides me with some surprisingly funny little scenes, when I walk into my sewing room / cabin of a morning.
I'm busily working on some new cloth dolls which I hope to have available by end of November (but probably early December). Looking up just now, I caught sight of these two little heads resting in crochet cotton balls and smiled... they looks so content. So thought I'd share that with you :)
I'm spending this lovely rainy day sewing clothing for my new collection of cloth art dolls. The dress I'm currently working on is Victorian inspired, and I've found that to get that lovely Victorian dress shape, the dolls really need to wear a petticoat and bustle underneath.
This next group of dolls should be finished and available to purchase via my online store by the end of November. To see some of my dolls, take a look at my gallery page or have a look back through the Willowynn artworks category on my blog.
Lovely rainy day rugged up and making things in my NEW cosy work space. I'm now in the tiny cabin in our yard, surrounded by trees. It's the work room of my dreams. Thank you Matt, for sharing it with me (it used to be his).
At work, stuffing fabric snails while warming up in the sun.
My workroom gets the winter sun and is the best place to be when it's cold. I've opened up all the windows to let in the fresh air, as it's been really wet here lately. I'll be closing them and lighting the fire soon though... once the sun disappears behind the trees.
So delighted to find this lovely article written by Janai Velez featuring my workroom in the November issue of Homespun magazine. It really is beautifully written and I love the way Janai has described my dolls. I always draw a blank when asked to describe my work so it's really helpful to hear someone else's words.
Homespun is a treasure of a magazine, if sewing is your thing, and is packed full of inspiring projects, tips and interviews.
The magazine is available from Australian newsagents throughout November and is also available as a digital copy online at www.zinio.com.
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.
There are four little cloth dolls on my work table, that are almost finished. I'm just making some finishing touches to their cloaks and little boots. All four dolls will be available to purchase via my online shop from 10am (Sydney daylight savings time), Thursday 15th December. I'll also have two pairs of my mushroom hanging ornaments available to purchase online from Thursday as well.
Next week is the start of six weeks of school holidays here so I'll be slowing down on the sewing front while my children are at home. We'll be camping and painting mostly...
I hope to have a new collection of work available by early February... maybe some large animals this time.
Wishing you happy and safe holidays,
Oh my goodness... Country Style magazine, here in Australia, have just published a heart-burstingly lovely article about me, my work, house, kids, world... in their December issue (in stores now). Above is one of the photos taken by photographer, Mark Roper. You can actually see a snippet of it on their website (here) along with a little video of me (made by Hattie Morgan) babbling about what I do for a living. The magazine is available to buy online or in newsagents and supermarkets from tomorrow. Hooray!
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...
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.
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...
This little group of foxes and owls is almost ready to go into the shop (just need to finish the stitching on the two fox's ruffs). They will be available in my online shop Thursday 25th February from 10am Sydney time.
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.
Hello and welcome...
My name is Margeaux Davis and I'm a soft-toy sewing pattern designer, doll-maker and illustrator.