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

Pigeon wishes x Pauline

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?

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