La Petite Maison Couture (Elaine) and I fell head first into sewing garments and dreaming up sewing plans. Leading us to take pictures of ourselves and explain our creations and everything that went into the project on the internet, from the fabric to the seam finishes. This is how we first found each other and connected. We’ve followed each other on instagram for years and years. I was first and foremost Elaine’s fangirl! Her makes, style, outfits, photography skills and just that Paris girl something!
I nervously reached out to Elaine (sliding into her DM’s) last year on a wave of optimism hoping she would be open to collaborate with Pigeon Wishes to create her own button collection. Elaine made me wait nervously for a few months before replying! But it was with a big yes and much enthusiasm! Elaine has such a strong vision and sense of style. I knew whatever she would design would be so utterly beautiful, sophisticated and with that……je ne sais quoi. Spoiler: I wasn’t wrong.
We found, we wanted to create those perfect finishing touches. Elaine’s business (LPMC) focuses on labels and Pigeon Wishes focuses on buttons. The finishing touches of a garment that bring something special, makes you smile a little more and make you want to gaze more closely at the details. We have almost opposing styles, that somehow overlap. I definitely lean into the excess and Elaine is sophisticated elegance. However, colour, pattern and detail is at the core of our fashion styles and preferences.
The Heritage Collection
We knew straight away that we wanted to create outerwear buttons, drawing inspiration from English roots and Parisian aesthetics. Both of us having experience creating physical products, we knew exactly the feeling we wanted people to have when holding our buttons and as sewist we wanted our buttons to work with as many patterns as possible. Ultimately we want our buttons to inspire and create joy. Sewing has been a massive part of our lives. Enabling us to make friendships and connection, give us focus and respite in times of stress and release our creativity.
That’s our story but now the rest of the story is yours! Buttons will be released 16th November, we cannot wait to show you the collection in full!
This year’s Valentines collection theme choice seemed obvious, Barbiecore! Pink and Valentines just go together and even I feel swept away in the buzz of the Barbie film. However, I couldn’t shake my lack of enthusiasm for the Barbie brand as a whole and what really interested me boiled down to the feminine construction.
So this year our collection is veered towards celebrating Galentines day and all that it represents. Strong connections, deep friendship and how we uplift each other.
We have four new buttons set to move you through the end of Autumn and to the start of Spring. With new sizes ready for overshirts, jackets and (of course) dresses. In colours to match the trepidation of Autumn before the explosion of colour.
Now for the collection……
Named for the idol that is, Barbie.
The swirl of Cream and Pinks help match this button with a range of Pink from Baby Pink to Fuschia. This button also pops against Whites and Creams. I personally like Pink and Brown together and I would put these buttons together with Fawn tones for a 70’s vibe.
Made for dopamine dressing and embracing all that is cute and girly. In sizes 15mm and 25mm.
Flashes of metallic Blue and Green on a smokey Grey background. The Sublime buttons calls for sparkle and a bit of the feminine. Blue and green are always an exceeding combination and this cloudy button looks great against Grey’s, Blue’s and Greens with a colder colouring. In sizes 10mm and 20mm.
Deep Crimson with flecks of Pink, Purple, Green and Blue these buttons are for those who love the detail. The many colours of this button make it perfect for pairing with a print, you want to pick a colour out from. This button is great with Reds that have a Blue undertone, Pinks, Creams, Purples. Beloved has true versatility.
Beloved refers to the Toni Morrison book of the same name. In size 15mm.
With stark black splashes against a soft brown and a lilac, this button is for those going into (or are fully) into their Purple Era.
The Beguiled button looks stunning against all shades of Purple. A button that can hold its own due to its stark nature but also surprisingly warm. We’ve also paired this button with Browns and dark colours and the Beguilded button really brings something a bit something special.
THE perfect buttons for a lighter coat for the changing season. In sizes 10mm, 15mm and 20mm.
Hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know the collection a bit more and it’s perhaps inspired some sewing!
A sense of Heritage is important to us. Between our families we represent East, West and North Africa, China, America and Scotland. Living and making a home for ourselves in England and France. Our children will be rooted with a sense of belonging that comes with the beauty of difference. We wanted this Heritage Collection to reflect parts of our world, taking heavy inspiration from the Tailoring history of England and the impeccable detail of French couture. With, of course, a twist.
Shaped especially for outerwear and utility wear, based partially on a vintage button to give a slight retro nod. These buttons came from connecting our personal histories and the history we made within the sewing community. We want these buttons to be part of your wardrobe, your world and your memories. Our shared makers history and Heritage.
Paige and I were so happy and thankful for such a successful first button collection, there was no way we could resist another! Being able to work with Paige and seeing her create such gorgeous buttons has been a highlight of our button business. This second Spring collection holds so much of Paige’s style, inspirations and general joy we know they will add extra happiness to whatever they are added onto. Here’s a little introduction to each buttons……
Blossom is a delightful button reminiscent of cherry blossoms and pink striped skies. Paige has already used these buttons on a pink Patina Blouse and who doesn’t love a bit of pink on pink? I also see these looking fabulous on lilac, baby blue, mint and other soft palette colours.
Available in medium and shirting size these buttons will add a pink pop to shirts and Sping jackets.
The bestseller from Paige’s last collection, I’m sure, needs no introduction. These buttons are back and in a new size. The buttercup buttons are the perfect fastening for summer dresses with slight cottagecore vibes, I can see picnic swishy picnic dress and woven baskets.
Was it just me or did everyone hold a buttercup under their chin to find out if you liked butter? I always connect buttercups with picnics, slow summer days and childhood.
Now the Ophelia is my personal favourite button amongst this collection. I’ve already put a few aside for my own project. Paige was inspired by wildflowers and the Ophelia painting by John Everett. These buttons have an interesting abstract shape and are perfect for a romantic leaning make.
Paige’s little girl is called Willow, so these are her official button. Inspired by the William Morris Print, Willow Boughs, these sage toned buttons draw nature and renewal to mind. Sage as a colour has had a huge surge in popularity, especially in interior design, I’m pretty sure the increase in green paint made and sold has been dramatic! Hands up who has new green walls (me!)
These buttons can either be matched by a similarly Sage coloured fabric, we stock a beautiful Tencel/Linen which would match beautifully here. I’m also thinking about truly being inspired by the Willow Boughs painting and having an off white fabric to match with these buttons.
All these buttons are available from Paige’s Etsy store and in some of the loveliest sewing shops (one day I will put a list of our stockists together!) If you are a shop and wanting to stock these button, please visit our wholesale shop 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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
While we are one the subject of finding your lilac, I thought it would be interesting to sit back and understand a bit more about the colour and its history. Living in a time where literally every single colour and every minutely different hue is freely and cheaply available has made the appetite for colour a less zealous affair. The sheer volume of choice is overwhelming and easy within reach!
The days where, ounce by ounce, some dye colours were as expensive as gold are long gone. Exclusivity amongst colour might have disappeared but the history lingers.
Purple used to leave a trail of dead snails before synthetic dye became readily available. The Royal Purple, Tyrian purple, was a dye so expensive only royalty could really afford the colour. In the sumptuary laws of the Elizabethan period it was against the law to wear purple if you were not royalty.
The heavy connotations of darker shades of purple have a burden. Purple represents royalty, wealth and mystery. Villains are often cloaked in purple and the decadence, once envied, can seem full of malice and greed. The maturity of a dark purple is not of wisdom but of corruption, unwillingness to adapt and entrenchment in a broken system. That’s heavy stuff!!!
Purple is a colour that seems somewhat overlooked in the modern world. It doesn’t sit as reliably as blue, as frivolous as pink or as alluring as red.
It’s not all negative and no one can deny the beauty of a jewel tone purple, the positive connotations to purple include loyalty, magic and bravery. While fashion and trend are cyclical, the strong history of subconscious connotations is something to consider, navigate and embrace.
After that pretty dismal conclusion to purple, where does lilac fit in? Named after the flower, lilac was given its long standing name in 1775. The paler shades of purple present a completely different set of connotations, the connection to Spring and flowers mean thoughts of renewal, innocence and love. So lilac brings an entirely different set of values and ideals to the table. Whimsy, natural beauty and imagination.
This means lilac has spent time being regarded as an immature, somewhat childish colour but the emotions it elicits such as kindness, innocence, vulnerability and optimism make this colour strangely disarming and charming.
Lilac VS Lavender
I have to admit, I didn’t exactly know why Lavender and Lilac were different and frequently confused the two! I know, Blasphemy. Purple comes about from mixing together red and blue. Lavender is colder and has more Blue to its mix while Lilac is warmer and has more Red/Pink tones. It’s been said that lavender is the more mature colour, while lilac is the playful younger sister.
Find Your Lilac
Where Mauve blends in, Lilac stands out. Where Lavender is cool, Lilac is warm. Lilac is a bold colour and even a colour lover like me sometimes gets overwhelmed by how much it seems to clash and call attention! However we firmly believe there is a lilac for everyone!
Lilac comes in enough shades that I’m confident you will be able to find your perfect hue. Cut One Pair did an amazing blog showcasing lilac in all it’s variations, hop over (link here) to see what they’ve done. I’ve also quickly put together some shades of lilacs to think about. I took all the images from our Pinterest board (here) for the Lilac Lovers Party. I’ve been adding to this board regularly and I think I need far more lilac in my wardrobe!
I am personally drawn to a classic lilac colour or a bright lilac. I find paler lilacs just don’t make me feel as comfortable and don’t pair with the other colours I’m naturally drawn too. Picking a colour for yourself does in part include what compliments your skin tone but it also includes looking at how you view yourself and how you want the world to view you. I’m a bit less chic and a bit more lively.
This challenge is not only about lilac but exploring your own personal tastes. Throwing aside trends and thinking about what colours make you feel good. I encourage you to create a moodboard for yourself. Look through your fabric stash. Go to shops to try on colours you might not originally gravitate towards. You never know what you might like when you step out of your comfort zone.
Fashion favours the bold and the true to themselves. Have fun finding out what lilac works for you.
Hello Lilac Lovers (and soon to be converted Lilac Lovers)!
Winter is here! We are waking up in darkness and leaving work in darkness. The urge to hibernate and retreat to the darker side to the colour spectrum has never been stronger!!!! But we are dreaming of a Lilac Christmas over her at Pigeon Wishes HQ and together with Cut One Pair, we think it might just happen!
On the 4th December we will be hosting a virtual party, wearing lilac is your ticket in.
Yes! A Christmas party that involves staying at home, crafting and dressing up in lilac. Possibly the dream?
Lilac has been steadily gaining traction as THE shade of purple to be seen in. Royal purple is no longer the ambition! Lilac is a colour that has been in the public consciousness, not always for trend leading reasons! Lockdown and coronavirus in general has people looking at colour and their day to day lives in a more introspective way. Finding joy in where you live, the colours you dress in and the little choices you make each day.
Each week for the month of November we will be giving a prompt to dig deeper into lilac and how you see yourself with and in it!
For now we will leave you with our Pinterest board. Click here to look further.
We’re pretty loose with this party. Use the tag #LilacLoversParty throughout the month and be in with a chance to win a prize.
We do want to inspire a new lilac make but understand time constraints and snail seamstress tendencies! December 4th is the day to share your party outfit. Be it a new make or old make, as long as it’s lilac, we welcome you to the Lilac Lovers Party.
Yes! Prizes!!! We will be announcing the prizes throughout the month. You do need to have a public account to be in with a chance of winning a prize.
Winners will be chosen at random.
If you are a business that would like to be involved please contact us.
We encourage a day full of frivolousness, fun and as much lilac as you can fit in!
“Colour can change how we feel, change how we view the world, reinvent the bland, provide spectacle and help us tell powerful stories. Colou can seduce us” (Franklin Till Studio, Editor’s Letter. The Power of Colour)
We hope you enjoy the party and everything leading up to it!
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,
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.