Written by Megan Valero
It’s here! Our Dreamland collection has landed (see here)!!! Our first collection of 2022, I’ve written about the influence of this collection (over on this blogpost here). We almost called this collection the Wonderland Collection, I even rewatched Disney’s animated film version of ‘Alice In Wonderland’ to get palette and colour ideas. Whilst this wasn’t meant to be in the end, I do feel like some inspiration stuck. Which can be felt in the the photos taken. Speaking of which, these are our first products professionally photographed. When it comes to photos I’m just a keen, amature with a smartphone! It’s been in-credibly difficult for me to put how I feel about our products and our collections into pictures.
Having Leesha (Onyx Branding Co) take the reins and producing images which really capture our buttons is such a big and fantastic step for our business. I’ve never felt happier and more excited to present a new collection to you all! As a company we really want to inspire making and creativity and we hope these new buttons put a spring (sorry, not sorry) into your makes.
Pink and yellow together has been becoming a favourite for quite some time, call it the Battenberg cake effect. The colours paired together are just so dopamine inducing and we wanted to bring some joyful buttons to you for Spring. In fact these buttons reminds me of a very specific scene in the film ‘Miss Congeniality’
‘Miss Rhode Island, please describe our idea of a perfect date.’
Cheryl “Rhode Island”: ‘That’s a tough one. I’ld have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.’
These are the buttons for that light jacket! Screaming light Spring jacket and perfect days.
Blue and green together is very much our theme and with lilac added. What a winning colour combination! Who knew! Something is just so fantastical about these buttons, I cannot help thinking about lagoons, mermaids, magic and fairies. Surely these buttons will be for a garment worth adventuring in! Summer is around the corner, sunny days and holidays will soon be rolling around. I cannot wait to see where these buttons will go and who they’ll go with!
This is the slight ‘wildcard’ of the collection. The colours aren’t neutral and maybe a little unconventional? I personally love how they look like the colours of the sky, when it’s a particularly beautiful sunset. Sometimes a fabric dictates a make and sometimes it’s the button that takes mainstage. I have plans for this button, which involve vivid sky blues an indie patterns…… I’m curious to see who else feels drawn this button and what fabric is used!
I think these buttons would look perfect on a picnic dress. I’m thinking Tilly and the Buttons Seren dress? Really any dress which inspires running through fields and picnicing. These buttons are close cousins of our ‘Fanciful’ buttons. Which feature Pink and Yellow, these are less Battenberg and more strawberry jam sandwiches. I’m so thankful the sun is shining again and hope we’ve got lots of opportunities for bare legs and days spent outside.
In our blogpost about lilac and purple (read here) I got to deep dive into the colour and the accompanying connotations. Purple has always been a colour steeped in the unknown. It was natural to have this colour in a collection based on the realms of unconsciousness. We wanted a button for people who wanted deeper colours for Spring and were more Wisteria and deeper colours lovers. This button was my husband’s choice and he loves that periwinkle was the colour of 2022 (he’s a purple fan) and liked how this can be more for those makes which feature richer colours.
We actually made these buttons last year. Whilst I really loved the vibrancy of them, they never fit in with the original collection there were made for. After looking at them again and again for each new collection they finally seemed to fit here. Something about them seemed to remind me of the Artist Edith Rimmington and the whole Surrealist movement in general. Something about the colour combination and the way they seemed abstract yet set in a real garden. These buttons are so eye-catching and seem to make a statement with whatever fabric paired, we hope adds a bit of art to a garment.
We love our collection and enjoy sharing more about each button with you! To shop our collection click here
Our buttons are available for wholesale purchase so if you are a shop interested in stocking out products please register here
It’s almost time for our new button collection, The Dreamland Collection. In this post (like our last button mood board) I won’t be revealing the buttons but I will be sharing some inspiration we’ve had for the creation of this collection. Each collection pivots around a central idea. It’s now March and while Spring is the overarching theme; the colours, the vibe and the general tone is a little more specific. Florals for Spring is always a classic, however I wanted to go with a different twist. Keeping Spring’s colourfulness and sense of renewal, the collection is meant to have a dreamy haze.
I am so excited for this new collection, it’s been MONTHS since we’ve released anything new under our own brand, the last collection was October ‘21! Winter has come and gone, and I think we are all eager for the sun to bless this cold Island with some warmth!
Now here’s a taste of what’s to come…….
Fondant Fancy? Or just Fanciful.
These buttons remind me of the two best flavours of fondant fancies. Pink and lemon. One of the few times Chocolate flavour is just lacking! Heading towards Spring and (dare we say) picnics and general alfresco eating, this desert is best enjoyed amongst the flowers. We are colour enthusiasts and the rise of pink and yellow together is a joy inducing dynamic.
Colours that make you either want to take flight into a magical twilight sky or go into the depths of a lagoon filled with mermaids. Seems like there will always be at least one blue and green button in our collection!!! I actually cannot help myself! The next button in this colour combo saga is the Neverland button.
Unfazed by a collision and colour. We love the art movement that wanted to take a glimpse into the human mind. This button is the most ‘Spring’ like but also the most brash.
Always a believer.
These buttons remind me of a dreamscape colour palette. Somewhere between sunset and the surreal. Blue and pink are our brand colours and have a special place in my heart. The colours together always seem a bit unexpected but they just work so, so well. These buttons are not an understatement! Meant for the dreamers.
The galaxy is deep, beautiful and inexorable. It runs forever. Looking up at the colour and patterns gives people infinite reverie. From ancient times to the present, purple and dark blue always represented dreams and mysteries.
I hope this has made you a bit intrigued! Happy stitching!
By Emma (@SewDoItEmma)
You will never know how long I procrastinated cutting into the beautiful fabric provided by Megan at Pigeon Wishes … let’s say it was painful.
Why you ask? Well, I was scared, to be honest. Scared of making a mistake but that’s ok, isn’t it? Sometimes I tend to overthink and then my mind goes into overdrive about what could go wrong and then common sense usually taps me on the shoulder (thank goodness!), tells me to chill the heck out and “you’ve got this”. It indeed happens to the best of us but sometimes we gotta cut into that beautiful fabric!
This collaboration has been on the back burner for a while, Megan and I have been quietly chatting via DMs on Instagram about how and when we could work together. It’s been such a lovely time getting to know her and talking about our plans.
I’ve caught glimpses of the fabric that is stocked at Pigeon Wishes HQ via Instagram stories (one of these days I’ll pop in, if I can and stay forever!) let me tell you it’s a feast for the eyes and that’s only in the 2 dimensional form … I’m imagining me stroking all the fabrics in real life.
My love of the buttons, which apparently was only meant to be a side burner for Megan – yes I hear you (what!?!) has only grown stronger … I try and reason with myself every button launch but the prettiness takes over and before I know it I’ve order maybe two or three packs/cards or buttons. Let me be honest here, if I could get one of every packet or button card – I’d do that in a heart beat!
Let’s talk about the chosen pattern, like the title suggests it is the Pauline Dress by Closet Core Patterns. When it first came out, I have to be honest here – it was like a “marmite moment” but slowly after the release I was seeing beautiful versions that were teasing me. For me, this is usually a good sign that a. I’m going to like the result and b. I’m going to enjoy the sewing process. I don’t know how I know, it’s just my good old intuition.
The Pauline Dress has really cute features in it’s design like the knife pleats, square neck line and a key-opening at the back. For this collab, I’ve chosen to go with the version b, which shouldn’t really come as too much of a surprise if you’ve been following me for a while! I’m a lover of puffy and billowy sleeves and gathers so version b just sung to me. I think both versions have so many options when it comes down to choosing the fabric, whether you’d like a more structured look with a cotton or chambray or a softer look with a viscose or tencel, the Pauline could be seen differently in so many fabric options.
Before I give away what fabric I went for, I’m going to say the Pauline is quite advanced, especially with the bodice. Getting the knife pleats in the right position and direction was no easy task. The square neck line needed precision to get the straight lines. Sure, the instructions were there every step of the way but I had to keep focused.
Lately, I’ve been loving the soft feel and look of drapey fabrics but choosing from Pigeon Wishes Shop was no easy task when it came to the crunch.
So, After much deliberating I opted for this gorgeous dark green Bemberg cupro bark crepe satin which is real life is so silky but it’s not silk. It’s absolutely gorgeous. A really nice drape and handle. The bark jacquard on it is simply stunning, subtle but strikingly beautiful.
I’d say the Bemberg Cupro is the same weight as standard viscoses and I feel it’s more slippery which helped put the fear into before I cut into it. I was literally dancing back and forth with the rotary cutter in my living room at the table, just full of jitters thinking if this goes wrong, what the heck I’m I going to do?
Fortunately it didn’t. Are you relieved? I am, once I finished the dress I let it hang for a minute, whilst I stared at it in disbelief that I made it. Why, you ask? Well, sometimes there’s that element of self doubt (yes, I get it – believe you me).
I’m chuffed with myself, the finished dress fits perfectly but the weather hasn’t been playing fair for cool photos in amongst Scots pines. That vision will just have to wait until the wind and rain dies down. In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the dress and details with that beige wall behind me and hearing about my thoughts on the fabric and the pattern.
Although the fit is bang on there was a slight mis alignment after I put in the invisible zipper in. The seam ripper had to come out so I could align the back seams, fortunately it was only one side that was wonky (I’ve got an idea how I did it and the fabric was fairly shifty) and it was easy to fix. I think I may have to go in again as I noticed that the fabric at the bottom of the zip in bumpy, perhaps it’s the overlocker stitches that are causing the bumps? But other than that, I have to say it was fairly straightforward and not stressful.
I’m taking something from this, actually quite a few things. I have a good skill set now and my head needs to remember that.
Ok, I need an occasion to wear this or do I?
By Megan Valero
It was the best of times…it was the worst of times. I think a lot of small businesses have this quote in their mind every time a year ends! 2021 has definitely been filled with serious highs and the corresponding lows. We’ve had amazing opportunities and customers come our way and have really felt our business grow. However, the lingering effects of Covid has shaped our year in ways we didn’t expect (or want lol) and will do so even into 2022.
Last year really feels like a game of two halves. I was certain at the beginning of 2021 that everything would be back to ‘normal’ again. It was just about having faith and waiting it out. Half way through the year I think we all had to come to terms with Coronavirus being a continued presence and the new normal.
Here’s a rundown of some major highlights of 2021. We couldn’t include everything but hope you enjoy the insight and the behind the scenes of the business.
Pigeon Wishes Buttons
What started as a tiny offshoot, to earn ‘pocket money’ for myself and Olimi has turned into one of the cornerstones of our business. 2021 was our first, full year of releasing our buttons. We had our classic buttons, which are the buttons that have been around since the beginning, plus released four independent collections (Think Pink, Spring Fling, Beaches and Halloween) and two collaboration collections (with Paige Joanna and Cut One Pair).
The response has been overwhelmingly amazing and I cannot imagine our business without our buttons now! Each collection has been such a joy to produce and put out into the world. A massive highlight this year was having a competition to help create and name a new button! The Aberystwyth button (thank you for the inspiration @JenJen.Bollands). It’s a massive pleasure and privilege that Pigeon Wishes can be a part of so many of your makes.
Paige Joanna X Pigeonwishes
Our first button collaboration! I am beyond thankful that Paige said yes to collaborating. Reaching out is always scary, the fear of rejection is real! However, as you can feel through her instagram, Paige is incredibly lovely, kind and open. It was a joy to work with her and I am so happy with our first collection together. Keep your eyes peeled for our next collaboration collection coming Spring 2022.
Pink and red forever it seems! By FAR our best selling fabric was our pink and red cotton seersucker. The pink and red combo shows no signs of abating and this colour combo is looking to still be incredibly popular into 2022. We have a new pink and red fabric ready to bring out for 2022 we are pretty sure you’ll love! Our cotton ginghams also proved to be popular. Gingham is always a classic but its popularity exploded last year. We were able to source some gingham in fun, unusual colourways, I especially loved the battenberg-esque gingham.
When it comes to our buttons, Painterly tops the charts continuously. Painterly is such a versatile button and there’s not much it doesn’t pair beautifully with. Our surprise hit was our Nightshade buttons, I thought it was a bit of a gamble bringing out a black button but it’s such a lovely twist to a basic we did anyway. It was a good call!
Opening a Fabric Retail Shop
As I’ve said Covid has really changed our business model. On a personal note, not being able to go back to China and see family has been incredibly difficult for Yuhao. On a business one that meant sourcing fabric has pretty much completely halted and the escalating shipping costs means our wholesale plans have to change due to the increased price point. In our original business plan we were ideally meant to visit China twice a year on sourcing trips. We wanted a business that allowed Yuhao (and Olimi) a chance to spend more time around family and flexibility when it came to taking long, frequent breaks. Which at the time was a pretty good plan! Now, not so much.
We still want to be closer to family and right now that means something completely different. We have a warehouse full and access to amazing fabric so retail is a part of the business we opened last year and this year will really lean into. This year we are also welcoming my mum to the team and while what’s happening next is for another blog, we are really hopeful and excited.
The Knitting and Stitching Show
What a massive highlight of the year!!! Exhibiting at The Knitting and Stitching show was not even remotely in our plans. Not just for this year but ever. Since the beginning of the year we had been anticipating attending the CHSI Stitches trade show. Originally scheduled for February, the date kept being pushed further and further back until it was cancelled for the year entirely in September. Around that time we were seeing more advertising for the K&S show and thought we might as well participate since we wanted to take part in a show this year. I cannot say how wonderful it was to meet customers, talk to makers again and just to spend whole days surrounded by other small craft businesses! Becoming an exhibitor was one of our best decisions ever and I really hope to participate in more shows in the future.
Cut One Pair X Pigeon Wishes
Our second collaboration of the year and our second ever. I have long admired Jenny and Louise’s style and creativity. They have such a distinct point of view and I knew that would translate beautifully into buttons. I wasn’t wrong. It was wonderful seeing them open their shop and doing an instagram challenge with them. And yes! There is plans for another collection!
Yuhao Working for the Business Full Time
By the end of 2020 we realised that it was time to make the leap. Yuhao was working full time and working on Pigeon Wishes whenever he could and I was spending the majority of my time looking after Olimi and working on Pigeon Wishes whenever I could. It was chaotic, sometimes unproductive but necessary when starting a small, bootstrap business. Luckily we were doing well enough that the situation was completely unsustainable and the only way to grow the business further was to have a full time worker. YuHao handed in his notice in October 2020 and by January 2021 we had to rely on Pigeon Wishes to be our sole source of income! Scary! I handle our social media so people mostly know me (Megan) however Yuhao is the true backbone of the business. The business wouldn’t be possible without him and I’m so thankful we can be part of this together. He’s camera shy and a bit conscious of his English (since it’s his second language) but I’m working on getting him to show his face on the socials more.
We Are Still Here!!!!
We are beyond grateful to still be open and running. Every single purchase, recommendation, mention and word of encouragement is greatly appreciated and keeps us running. Being able to add to our team has also been a highlight and blessing! Having Marie (Marie_StitchedUp) write our monthly newsletter, keep blog posts steadily come out when I’m busy and just having someone to bounce ideas off has helped shape what we’ve offered this year. No business can survive and expand without continuous support so a big thank you to everyone who has extended theirs.
That’s still a little up in the air! We’re still a relatively new business and even now every month comes with uncertainty. Ultimately we want to create products people love, use and inspire them to sew. 2022 holds new products, new button collections, new fabric and new collaborations!
Happy New Year and best wishes!
by Anna Kaminska of Anna Tries to Sew
Like all good love stories, this one started with the details… I have been obsessed with Meg’s buttons from the moment they became available for sale. I am pretty sure that I have snatched some in every single button drop and I always have a very hard time restraining myself. And this whole story started with Meg’s buttons too.
I had this vague idea that it would be cool to make a trench coat – a challenging make to push me out of my comfort zone. I had been looking for a trench in the shops, but nothing really spoke to me as even the pricier ones (around £200) were not flawless. Then one day in October, as I was scrolling on Instagram to procrastinate from work, I came across some Pigeon Wishes buttons again and I just KNEW that I needed to make a trench coat with Meg’s buttons. That started a flurry of looking through patterns online and looking for the perfect one that is worth the effort. Finally, I reached out to Meg to ask if she had some similar buttons in 2 different sizes (large and medium) as that’s what the pattern asked. Alas, she did not have the Ocean Leopard buttons (my all-time faves!), but she offered to show me some other ones. When she showed me these – I just fell in love! (Side note: I mean, I fall in love with all those buttons… but these were just so perfect). I love that they are transparent in some places, I love the irregular shape which reminds me of pebbles at the Stonehaven beach and the colour is just gorgeous. Before I even got the chance to ask how I could get them (they weren’t on sale yet), Meg offered to send them to me. I was over the moon and the crazy planning commenced!
First of all, I knew that I wanted a semi-classic trench. I wanted all the details of a classic trench (the cape, the neck fastening, double breasted, belted…) but I also wanted some drama. Named Patterns Isla trench brings just that with its extra length and beautiful construction details. I ended up ordering some cotton twill from the New Craft House and viscose twill lining from Selvedge and Bolts (by the way, the name of the lining fabric is ‘As I Mentioned Earlier, I Am Luxurious’ and, oh my god, that’s such an accurate name!). When both fabrics and the buttons arrived, I actually squealed from excitement – I was just so happy with how all the materials went together. I quickly pre-washed the fabrics, printed and assembled the PDF pattern (lol, almost 100 pages…), I even cut the pieces out! …and then life kicked in… Whoever works in academia will know that November and December are just marking, marking, marking.
I finally had the time to get started with sewing at the end of January. Slowly, over 2 weeks or so, I put together the Isla trench coat. Sewing it was such a pleasant experience. I did not use to be the biggest fan of involved projects, but lately I’ve been really craving the escape of sewing, and Isla did just that for me. Most of the seams were overlocked, sewn, pressed, then top-stitched twice. So, you can imagine how long each seam actually took. But I really enjoyed the process. I enjoyed seeing the pile of pattern pieces become smaller, and the ‘amount of trench coat’ on the hanger becoming more substantial at the end of each day. The most difficult part for me to sew was the vent. It was only my second one, and the first lined one. I think I had to rip the stitches 4 times before I finally decided that it will be good enough and no one actually cares about it apart from me. As usual, it turns out that I don’t care either, it’s not like I can see the inside of my vent when I’m wearing it…
When it finally came time to sew on the buttons, I decided that these ones deserved to be sewn on by hand (yes, all 16 of them…). It was the only fitting way to end such a lovely project. It was my first time creating a thread shank, but I think it went well as the instructions in the pattern were great.
It’s now been 2 months since I made the trench coat and I’ve worn it lots. It’s the perfect piece for my spring wardrobe (and to be honest all year round in Scotland…). As the second semester is winding down (marking hell again!), I have finally had time to write about it. I can honestly say that I could not be happier with how this trench came out. It all started and ended with these stunning buttons. They really make me smile every time I wear the trench. I think it’s so cool that they are lighter than the fabric and that you can see the rusty brown colour peeking through. And even if I move away from Aberdeen someday, these buttons will always remind me of pebbles on the Stonehaven beach, bringing back beautiful memories.
Written By Megan Valero
Hello Party People!
Week Two prompt for the Lilac Lovers Party is colour pairing. Diving into lilac means diving into colour! Lilac, at first glance, looks like a colour which can be a bit tricky to pair with others. Not the case and this blog post (here) by One Cut Pair will have you combining lilac with an assortment of colours.
The Cut One Pair duo (Jenny and Louise) are committed to the lilac life. They made sure all their brand colours matched with lilac. This got me thinking about the Pigeon Wishes brand colours and how our colours work with lilac. Turns out lilac is much more versatile than even I imagined.
Lilac and black
Because who doesn’t have black in their wardrobe? Expanding a wardrobe doesn’t have to mean an all new outfit. Working with what you got is just as fun. Plus, it turns out lilac and black is more than a bit rockin’. Black toughens up lilac and adds an edge that is casual and cool. A dark plum lipstick seems to pull everything together and you are one lilac loving rockstar.
Lilac and Dark Blue
There is something so striking about this colour combination. Especially an Ultramarine blue with a lilac. I see this as a wonderful way to add lilac to an Autumn/Winter outfit without reaching for traditional colours. The seriousness of a dark blue seems too tame the lilac slightly and make it slightly Autumnal.
Lilac and Light blue
Get those faded blue jeans on, grab your lilac top, we’re going to Brunch! That’s the kinda feeling I get when I see this combo. Light blue and lilac together give off a dreamy, carefree aura. I hear a Sophia Coppola soundtrack in my head and think of hazy, lazy days. This colour combination does give off a playful energy, which can be embraced by all.
Lilac and Red
Not the first two colours that come to mind right! Already mentioned in the Cut One Pair blog post, the packaging from our upcoming button collection made us all see how shockingly good these colours are together. It’s bold but brilliant and I think this is what they mean by power dressing.
Our aim for these prompts is to not only look at lilac but also to become more aware of colours in general. What colours you are already drawn to and what colours you think will add a bit more pop to your life!
Now get to your wardrobe and start planning.