Written by Marie Lawlor
Linen has had a makeover!
For ultimate comfort and style, you don’t have to look much further than linen as your fabric choice. I generally prefer a blend to make it slightly more drapey, but a new to me blend is Tencel-Linen. Can you think of a better partnership?
This specific blend from Pigeon Wishes is 70% Tencel and 30% Linen. If you have sewn with and worn Tencel, you will know that it has a gorgeous fluid movement and a cool hand. But, this has so much more going for than superficial good looks and a cool touch!
Sewing something in this blend will provide you with a durable garment, suitable for many occasions. Most of us do not live a hand wash or dry clean lifestyle, and this fabric has a lower dust absorption as well as a higher abrasion resistance; so you don’t have to keep your me mades for best. The strength and durability of linen/tencel will withstand some rough and tumble.
Linen creates an excellent UV protection while the the blend will offer superior temperature regulation, so you can cover up without heating up. This will make an excellent choice for making children and baby clothes, to protect their delicate skin.
Tencel/Linen offers great versatility in terms of garment choice. It will press and hold pleats well, and give volume to gathers without being too bulky. It has enough weight to to be used as trousers, skirts and jumpsuits as well as tops and dresses.
There are some lovely colours available, with more to be added soon! Sometimes it is hard to resist the lure of all the new printed fabrics on offer. However, I have been sewing a lot more in plain fabrics recently. Having some plain options in your wardrobe makes choosing daily outfits and packing for weekends away so much easier.
Here are some patterns we think would provide the perfect base to show this beautiful fabric at its best, giving you the ultimate summer wardrobe.
By Hand London Hannah wrap dress/top sizes UK 6-24 and 16-34 (up to a 63.25” hip).
Sewhouse seven Free range slacks UK 6-22 and 20-38 (up to 65” hip)
Friday Pattern Company Hughes Dress XS-7X (up to 63”)
Halfmoon Atelier Strand Dress and top UK 6-38 (up to 67” hip)
Amy Nicole Patti Pocket Skirt UK 6-32 (up to 61” hip)
I can’t wait to get my hands on some and try it for myself. Available at Pigeon Wishes Shops.
Written by Megan Valero
It’s almost the most magical time of the year! SO, I thought it might be nice to do something a bit different when it comes to our newest, most magical, button collection. Our Halloween collection will be available to buy on the 1st October and here’s a bit of a sneak peek.
I usually only show the finished button but recently I’ve really enjoyed seeing the behind the scenes of other indie businesses like the new Selkie Patterns Video and Charlotte Emma Patterns videos. We wanted to show our inspiration and who doesn’t love a mood board? You’ll get to know exactly where each name inspiration comes from and get a feel for the overall look.
Most people from the UK, from a certain *ahem* generation will recognise the inspiration for this button.
I loved Mystic Meg as a child and yes, having the same name helped, however it was mostly because of her style, presence and apparent attunement with the otherworld. She gave me my first glimpse into that subculture, there was no internet after all and all the 90’s Witch films hadn’t been released yet. Mystic Meg appeared during the lottery and it was family tradition to watch the lottery every week to check our ticket. Sadly we never did win the lottery! But I did get my first taste of astrology, not exactly a million pounds but……..something? lol
Black doesn’t always have to be basic and every forest/hedge witch knows Deadly Nightshade is a pantry essential.
The main inspiration for this button actually comes from The Nightmare Before Christmas. When the character Sally picks some of the plant to slip into her creators/enslavers soup, to comatose him for a while so she can slip out and escape. The whole scene of her going to collect the plant, knowing its properties and brewing a soup is mesmerising. I personally would love to know more about botanical herbs (not to poison people lol) and have heard amazing reviews about the book Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.
Dried flowers seem to have exploded over the past few years, not complaining! I prefer a dried flower bouquet that seemingly stays good forever than looking at fresh flowers slowly, and sometimes not so slowly, wilting and dying. Dried flowers are a Witch’s kitchen staple and, sans having children on the menu, a witches kitchen is a place filled with strange plants and herbs ready to produce and bottle potions.
I wept real tears when I saw Wicked in the theatre. No spoilers but I went into the musical knowing a few of the songs and left needing a warm drink and a few hours to process my emotions. Elphaba is the ultimate Witch, finding her power and voice and using it to be true to herself. YAS WITCH. Cue me listening to the Wicked Soundtrack and badly singing along to Defying Gravity until the end of October.
This is definitely the most sombre collection we have ever released, we wanted something different in terms of colour palette and feeling. In comparison to our Halloween collection from last year, this moodier and broodier collection come together really naturally and as a bit of a surprise since I’m usually the first person to drift towards a bright and bold colour!
There’s only one button from last year’s collection that is being re released and that’s Witches Brew. Pink and green forever!
This collection marks a year of us releasing our buttons in collections and officially launching our button business. It’s been wonderful! Everyone says this but it’s still true, I never thought our button business would grow into what it is today and I’m truly grateful for all our consumers, the reception, the makes, the reviews. Thank you!
Happy stitching and happy soon-to-be spooky season,
Written by Megan Valero
Welcome to our new blog home and shop website! Now that my toddler (Olimi) is in nursery for 30 hours a week I’m hoping to finally spend time writing blog posts. Something I love to do but always seems to fall to the very bottom of the to-do list. This post feels like a blast from the past as I’m doing a pattern review. My old blog was pretty much solely dedicated to indie pattern reviews and was used as an informal diary for my makes. I don’t keep notes for my makes and it’s seriously frustrating not having a record of changes and to look back over. I hope my review can help you as well as myself!
So after about a year in the sewing, I finally finished sewing the By Hand London, Jenna dress. It was a long and winding sew! Here’s my rundown…….
I fell in love with the Jenna dress pattern as soon as it was launched. However I was breastfeeding at the time, so I waited until I was only breastfeeding at night before I attempted sewing it up.
It’s a very cool little dress inspired by the 90’s. I was definitely not cool in the 90’s. To me, this make was trying to redeem myself from the questionable belly tops, ring watches, white pedal pushers, branded boring t-shirt and well.….you get the idea! The list goes on! Flashback to when my life goal was to have a 3 piece set inflatable furniture set….
Anyway about the pattern! Like most By Hand London patterns the dress has a romantic air about it. The dress comes with two variations but I (along with everyone else) fell in love with the sleeves of variation 1, a cute tie cuff. I also loved the square neckline and how this dress is just casual enough to pair well with trainers just as much as ankle boots. The dream.
Heavily inspired by Janene’s (@oobop on instagram) tester version I knew I had to use a check or gingham fabric. Cutting check or gingham on the bias is such an effective way to make a bold statement with the print.
The fabric I used was a Walthamstow market bargain I bought a few years ago during a sewing meetup. I love this fabric and had been saving it for something special, however when I got it out to start cutting it I noticed it had this faint, spluttered stain all throughout the fabric. Now, the fabric already kinda looks like a tablecloth so to have this pasta sauce, splattering, staining was not the look!
Walthamstow does a lot of deadstock fabric and the price was cheap so I felt I couldn’t be too mad but I was disappointed. This has been the first time this has ever happened to me and usually the fabric I buy at markets is great but now I would recommend you make sure to check your fabric when you buy from cheap markets. The staining isn’t noticeable unless you look extremely closely at the fabric thankfully.
The gingham on this fabric it rectangular, which doesn’t look as neat as a square on the bias but I think also has an appeal. I personally think that if your fabric is drapey enough you don’t have to cut the skirt on the bias. Cutting on the bias does take up more fabric and I’m not entirely sure it would be worth cutting and wasting so much fabric without the print adding to the dress. However, that is a personal opinion.
OK, so this is why I desperately need to keep a blog for my makes. I can’t remember! I think I cut a UK size 12 for the bust and UK size 14 for the waist and hips…….but again my weight and proportions have fluctuated more than usual since my body was adjusting to weaning off breastfeeding.
Never cut into your good fabric without doing a toile. I have continued to not learn this lesson many times BUT this time I was determined to do things properly, I did a full on toile (I’m shocked too) doing a full toile for this dress really isn’t necessary and actually only the bodice is fitted, I would recommend just doing a toile of the bodice….which I did with my second toile.
By Hand London are supposed to draft their patterns for a B cup, unless you buy their extended size range which is drafted for a D cup. HOWEVER I would say their patterns are too generous for a standard B. Which for me at the time was perfect. My first toile at the bust fitted the best. I was a small D cup and perfect. I have been a bit spoiled when it comes to not having to do bust adjustments. Since most pattern companies draft for a B cup I’ve never had to do any bust adjustments.
The main adjustment was an armscye adjustment for better mobility, which I seem to do a lot. I always use the Threads tutorial, their video is very clear and useful. I didn’t have to do a broad shoulder adjustment which is something I have to do with certain pattern companies.
The bodice of this pattern took some tinkering with and could probably use a bit more. I started this pattern when I was still breastfeeding and the final version was finished when I stopped breastfeeding completely and during that time my breast size fluctuate and while I still measure as at 36 inches, I’m most definitely back to being a B cup.
Unfortunately this needs more toiles. I’ve not cracked the fit on the bodice and am sorely tempted by the By Hand London Fitting eBook. I don’t want to be too much of a perfectionist but the shoulders slip about too much for my liking and with only the bodice needing a nice fit, it would be a shame for it not to be as good as possible.
I’m not gonna lie when I saw how stained my fabric was I kinda did an internal sigh, gave up a bit and treated this make as more of a toile, a nice one but my heart was half out! The zip insertion is not the best and I should have spent more time pattern matching the back bodice but no ragrets (know that’s spelt wrong, it’s just a nod to the film We’re The Millers lol).
If I make this again I might make the skirt longer. The skirt feels a bit too short for me? Still in two minds about that, I love the length when I’m walking around but when sitting or bending over the coverage is minimal!
I still love this dress and it really encompasses a period of my life where there were lots of changes. It also doesn’t hurt that this would make the most perfect running through a meadow dress.
Best Pigeon Wishes, Meg
Written by Megan Valero
Welcome to this side of the blue. We’ve gone back to our original blue Pigeon Wishes packaging for this collection. The Beaches Collection was inspired by my childhood local day trips to the coast. Being in the UK the coastline is never too far away and while the beaches aren’t tropical! They do hold that magic and beauty a seashore just seems to possess. Coronavirus has halted most international flights and I’m sure more people than ever, since cheap flights became available, are spending their holidays locally.
For us that meant embracing the unpredictable weather, fish and chips and seagulls. We spent our summer holiday this year in North Wales going along the coast, only going inland to spend a few nights in Snowdonia. It was wonderful.
With this shared grounding experience in mind, we reached out to our followers for inspiration (and possibly to get some recommendations for future travel destinations) with a competition. We asked for a description of their favourite local beach/a beach they went to often and we would design a button from our favourite entry. It was tough narrowing it down!!!! Really tough! We want to thank everyone who entered and made it so difficult! It was a pleasure and a joy reading through all the replies and picturing what each button could look like. The winner, comment and winning button design are featured below.
Now let me introduce our Beaches Button Collection……
Brighton is an obvious coastal day trip from London (where I grew up) and when I finally visited at about 12 years old, I stood on the pebble beach of Brighton, on a gloomy day……. and beauty wasn’t the first thing I noted! Sand and sun are still a top requirement for a great beach for me personally! However, I slowly came around to the fun and vibrancy of the city which came through from everywhere. I visited again a few times (on sunnier days!) and I like walking around the actual city rather than hanging out on the beach.
Filled with nostalgia, Southend-on-sea was an annual trip my mum’s friend took a group of us kids on. Roller coasters, that weird penny falls arcade game, too much sugar and pure excitement. I’ve not been in over a decade and don’t want to, I just don’t think the reality will live up to the rose tinted memories! Just thinking about the amount of rock I would consume on the day trip and the days after make my teeth hurt! No pier will ever be as colourful, no sky as blue or crooked house so….crooked. The crooked house was my favourite attraction and I’m happy to say it’s still there! Not so happy that it’s described as one of the oldest
Now my local beach, Formby is a place I’ve just discovered since my move to Liverpool last year. A northern secret and treasure. From the pine woods, to the sand dunes to the beautiful sandy beach. I’m so thankful to be such a short train ride away from such a beautiful part of the coast. Spontaneous days to the beach are possible and inexpensive. Formby will be place my son (Olimi) will have his first beach memories and the place he will go with his friends when he is older. I wanted these buttons to have a special, magical whimsy since it’s a place that will be full of new cherished, childhood memories. I absolutely LOVE how Art Deco these buttons came out and expect them to be part of great makes.
This button set has 13 buttons as opposed to our usual 15 in a set. This is because our Formby buttons are more detailed and take more time and money to produce.
The competition winner! Thank you Jennie (@jenjen.bollands) for giving us the inspiration to create this button!
Here’s her description.
“I would suggest Aberystwyth in Wales. It faces directly west so you get a beautiful rich sunset over the horizon in the middle of the ocean every evening – burning oranges and reds over blue sea. My boyfriend went to university there and tells stories of their bonfires on the beach. These stories are filled with so much joy and nostalgia, and are so vivid, you can almost feel the heat of the fire.”
We hope we’ve encapsulated the feeling right in you Aberystwyth button!
Pure shores and pure vibes. Instead of a place, these buttons were inspired by the All Saints 90’s classic song. We couldn’t have a beach collection without some actual real shell buttons! Our Pure Shores buttons are iridescent and beautifully natural in their bumps and crevices.
So loved imaging and bringing this collection to life. We absolutely cannot wait to see what creations they end up on.