Spring ’22 Mood Board | Dreamland Collection by Pigeonwishes Buttons

By Megan Valero

Hello Stitchers!

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…….

Fanciful Button  

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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. 

Neverland Buttons 

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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. 

Surrealist Buttons

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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.

Daydream Buttons

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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.

Lucid Buttons

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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!

Meg

Isla Trench Coat, Named Patterns | Pigeon Wishes Buttons

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.

Folklore buttons

Button Mood Board | Pigeon Wishes, Halloween 2021

Written by Megan Valero

 

Hello Stitchers,

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.

Mystic Meg

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

 

Nightshade

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.


 

Folklore

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. 

 

Wicked 

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,

Meg

By Hand London | Jenna Dress

Written by Megan Valero

Hello Stitchers!

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…….

The pattern

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.

Fabric

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.

Sizing

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. 

Adjustments

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. 

Next time

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

Southend buttons

The Beaches Collection | Pigeon Wishes Buttons

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 

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.

Our Brighton button comes in two sizes the large (25mm) and the small (15mm)

 

Southend-On-Sea

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 

Our Southend-On-Sea buttons also come in two sizes the large (25mm) and the small (15mm)

 

Formby

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.

 

Aberystwyth

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

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.

Happy stitching,

Meg