Sew Illustrated – Toni Bowater

07 Aug

I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to magazines especially cookery magazines.  As we are well into Winter in the southern hemisphere there is a real emphasis on slow cooked and homely food… That together with a focus on the Olympics, the good old British winter pies and stews are the forefront of most of these magazines.

As I flipped the pages of Rick Stein’s Lamb Curry, Sticky Asian Honey Ribs and Walnut Stuffed Pork ( all pretty damn good by the way!!!) I stumbled upon the seasonal section on cooking with apples…. and whilst the Apple Tarte Tartan and Sticky Apple and Caramel Slice may have to be tried and tested, it was the “illustrations” on the page that caught my little eye (above and below).

British Illustrator Toni Bowater, is the magic behind these beautiful embroidered illustrations. Toni draws her inspiration from everything, from a knitting pattern and baking to old dusty cameras and that stock pile of glossy magazines…. see there is a reason to keep hold of these things!!!…..self portrait???

I love her website too, her “About” just gives us a little insight in to the playful character that comes through in her work……

“I like: British Shorthairs, the beach and nature.

I hate: Tea, tomatoes and going red when I get embarrassed.”

 It is just that tea thing that I need to sort out!!!! But I am completely understanding the going red when embarrassed!

Source – – Blog (I think that should say TEA by the way!)

Inspired by Fashion

Her love for the glossy fashion magazines is evident with an array of work reflecting fashion and it’s icons.  Some of her work has also been commissioned to go into these magazines…



An illustration from the Bunmi Koko A/W 2011 show for Amelia's Magazine

An illustration from the Bunmi Koko A/W 2011 show for Amelia’s Magazine

Editorials… from food to problem relationships

Toni’s work as featured in a number of magazine editorials, such as the UK and Australian Delicious Magazine,  and an article about the benefits of greenery in an urban development (below) to name a few…

Editorial piece about the benefits of greenery in an urban environment
Editorial piece about the fame of european hams and meats in comparison to their British counterparts
Mock-editorial from a Waitrose Food Illustrated article about the joys of keeping a larder!

Children’s Book Illustrations……

Toni’s has also written a children’s book “A Goat in Sheep’s Clothing”, which she has illustrated..

A spread from my children's book "A goat in sheep's clothing"

As well as “Maxwell Want’s Your Clothes”

Double page spread from my childrens's book "Maxwell wants your clothes!"


And if all else fails, the quirky little statements are sure to put a smile on your face… especially if you are a male Ukulele player….So what is your favourite???

Only real men play the ukulele
A greetings card design
…and on that note…. on with the colourful journey…..



Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Art, Things I love, Travel, UK, UK designers


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 responses to “Sew Illustrated – Toni Bowater

  1. This Sydney Life

    August 7, 2012 at 9:18 am

    BCD – I love, love, love this work by Toni Bowater. I shall have to investigate further – just magical. Thanks so much for the introduction

    • birdcagedesign

      August 7, 2012 at 9:26 am

      I know I might have to get the sewing machine out and have a practice… although I sense it may end in tears! 🙂

  2. twoblackdoggies

    August 7, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Gorgeous, my favourite is the dog one of course – I have a dog that likes to sneak up on chickens 🙂

    • birdcagedesign

      August 8, 2012 at 9:34 am

      They are very cute…I seem to recall my great aunt’s boxer dogs loving the chickens! but they usually gave themselves away before they got anywhere near them 😉


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