pigeonwishes Tencel-Linen

written by Marie Lawlor of @marie_stitchedup

Linen has had a makeover!

Finally, the thermometer is breaching 20c in the UK and we can really break the seal on the summer wardrobe! It feels extra special this year, as many of us are returning to offices, and seeing people in person for the first time in a long while.

As well as the lure of restaurants opening, I am imagining some summer BBQs followed by lazy evenings around a fire pit. What could be better?!

For the ultimate summer comfort and style, you don’t have to look much further than linen as your fabric choice.  I generally prefer a blend to make it slightly more drapey, but a new to me blend is Tencel-Linen. Can you think of a better partnership?

The lowdown

This specific blend from Pigeon Wishes is 70% Lenzing Tencel and 30% Linen. If you have sewn with and worn Lenzing Tencel, you will know that it has a gorgeous fluid movement and a cool hand. But, this has so much more going for than superficial good looks and a cool touch!

Sewing something in this blend will provide you with a durable garment, suitable for many occasions. Most of us do not live a hand wash or dry clean lifestyle, and this fabric has a lower dust absorption as well as a higher abrasion resistance; so you don’t have to keep your me mades for best. The strength and durability of linen/tencel will withstand some rough and tumble.

Linen creates an excellent UV protection while the the blend will offer superior temperature regulation, so you can cover up without heating up.  This will make an excellent choice for making children and baby clothes, to protect their delicate skin.

By Hand London Hannah wrap dress/top sizes UK 6-24 and 16-34 (up to a 63.25” hip). 

Inspiration

Tencel/Linen offers great versatility in terms of garment choice.  It will press and hold pleats well, and give volume to gathers without being too bulky. It has enough weight to to be used as trousers, skirts and jumpsuits as well as tops and dresses. 

There are some lovely colours available, with more to be added soon! Sometimes it is hard to resist the lure of all the new printed fabrics on offer.  However, I have been sewing a lot more in plain fabrics recently. Having some plain options in your wardrobe makes choosing daily outfits and packing for weekends away so much easier.  

Here are some patterns we think would provide the perfect base to show this beautiful fabric at its best, giving you the ultimate summer wardrobe.

Sewhouse seven Free range slacks UK 6-22 and 20-38 (up to 65” hip)

Halfmoon Atelier Strand Dress and top UK 6-38 (up to 67” hip)

Friday Pattern Company Hughes Dress XS-7X (up to 63”)

I can’t wait to get my hands on some and try it for myself. Pigeon Wishes Shops is a wholesale fabric supplier, here is a list of their Tencel Linen stockists

Sew Me Sunshine

Lamazi

Fibr and Cloth Studio

Stone Fabric

Isla trench Coat by named | with PigeonWishes 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.

pink and red party sponsors

Tomorrow is #PigeonPinkRedParty Day!

Are you desperately by your sewing machine stitching those last seams? That would usually be me before a sewing event! I was almost, completely last minute, gonna sew together a whole new outfit for the party and then I realised stress sewing never ends well for me! To reiterate, you do not need to sew a new garment for the party, though I am absolutely loving seeing people inspired to make for the theme! Your outfit can be an old make or not me-made at all.

Galentines Day is all about treasuring the present moment and the little things. Like how wearing colours can change your mood, how great it feels like to get dressed in clothes you love, having an excuse to wear lipstick, putting some time aside for self care and ultimately how awesome online communities can be.

To Enter

Post a picture of yourself wearing pink and red on 13th Feburary AKA Galentines day (in your time zone). Those don’t need to be the only colours you’re wearing, we love discovering new colour combinations……….and that’s it.

Winners are chosen at random so don’t stress about the photo. Concentrate on having a good day with a bit of online fun.

The only rule is there should be no desperate stitching party day!! Relaxed sewing (if sewing is on the days plan) is however endorsed.

And now onto the sponsors…….

Sew Me Sunshine is full of joyful fabrics, haberdashery items and accessories. Harriet personally selects all the fabric she sells and she alway manages to find fabric that makes you feel happy and treasures from indie businesses. Learn a bit more about Harriet on the New Craft House Podcast

Harriet runs her fabric shop from London and once it’s possible open days to browse in person have been confirmed.

In the Haystack is a digital subscription pack, every month you’ll receive one indie PDF, discounts and articles with tips and tricks. Soon you will be able to choose between a menswear or womenswear pack. I love how Kate champions small business and makes emails exciting again. It’s like a ‘You’ve Got Mail’ moment but for sewing.

Following Kate’s personal sewing and linen making journey are inspirational. Kate is literally growing flax to then process and weave into linen fabric. Mind blown.

New Craft House save fabric from landfills and bring it to us home sewists. Hannah and Rosie are truly doing the lords work! They have a wonderful array of locally sourced designer fabric, including a special Valentines drop launched yesterday! When circumstances allow, they also run some of the most exciting sewing workshops.

Check out their podcast to know more about them and hear some wonderful guests (including moi)

Pink Coat Club is a slice of accessory goodness for every sewist. Joy creates amazing pins, labels, and fills the spot when you need something special for a sewist friend/partner……or yourself!

I really loved hearing how Joy started her business and a bit more about her on Uncut Podcast.

Stitch Crafts UK is a little treasure trove of beautiful sewing machine covers. Natalie is such a has a variety of fabric and pattern kits, liberty buttons and gift boxes. Natalie’s picks the most amazing fabric and she definitely has my sewing machine longing for a nice home!

As soon as Sew Dainty launched I was pretty much in love with everything. Kathy created jewellery perfect for every maker. All her pieces are delicate and fun. As an incredibly talented maker herself all Kathy’s jewellery is very much from the point of view of a maker.

I keep eyeing up her PDF cross stitch patterns, not that I know how to cross stitch! Her designs however might make me learn.

Ethel and Joan creator Louise, who you might know as one third of the Pattern Pals or you might have spotted Louise from her time working at Sew Over It. Louis now works a non sewing related job but she’s still whipping up gorgeous creations and hand casting beautiful buttons and buckles for us sewists.

Louise is a fantastic maker, boss babe and print lover. 

Specky seamstress is a fairly new sewing business but thanks to Laura I might never need to make bias binding ever again! (One of my top hated sewing tasks for sure) Laura will be releasing some faux leather patches for jeans in March and I can’t wait to see what other products she’ll comes up with!

Keep up with Laura and all her makes on her Youtube channel, which I love and have been a long time viewer of.

Run by Elisalex, By Hand London is THE pattern company to go to for a party dress. I love just how fun, glamorous and beautiful all the patterns they put out are. Always sewing something that inspires Elisalex personal instagram account is a much follow! We see get sneak peeks into future BHL patterns and of course drool over all the her makes.

Elisalex has been on multiple podcasts! Here are a few! Love To Sew Podcast, Fashion Half Cut, While She Naps

Alice and her daughter Lilia have created an exciting and distinctive pattern company based on Alice’s style, love of travel and comfort. Alice and Co patterns are pretty dreamy combination of great silhouettes with a comfortable twist. They’ve fully embraced zoom life and have some amazing classes available from pattern drafting to style sessions.

They have two free patterns inspired by Mary Quant available on the V&A website.

Sew sustainability enamel pins are an excellent reminder of why we make and the power of repair. Vicky is an immensely talented maker and her maker philosophy is something that really resonates with me.  

Browse through all her incredible makes on her Blog and Instagram, I’m just wishing for the day I’m half as good at knitting as her.

Sew Essential is my go to shop for all sewing accessories and sewing machine feet, along with their gorgeous fabrics they really stock everything you’ld need to kick your sewing up a gear. Sew essential is a family business and whilst you might all be familiar with Lucy she works along her husband and mother-in-law.

Lucy runs their youtube channel and it’s a must watch. So much advice and so many amazing makes.

Like Sew Amazing is a brick and mortar shop in Bristol and while the pandemic means the doors have temporarily shut, not only can you browse their beautiful fabric, haberdashery and accessories. Sarah always stocks striking, bold and fun fabrics. She also is a bit of a superwoman as she manages to find sewing time whilst running her business.

Stuck on a project? Sarah is running a sewing clinic and will be ready to give help if it’s every needed! Perfect.

Cocowawa patterns always have a whimsy, level of comfort and a lovely detail that makes them special. I love how she mixes playful dressing with practicality and how defined she is in her personal style. Seeing Ana embrace colour and creativity is inspiring and she always makes me smile and think.

Ana has a youtube channel where she does sew alongs to her sewing patterns, tells you about her plans and makes AND you also get to see how beautifully she’s decorated her home.

Now it’s on to me! Hello! My name is Megan and I run Pigeon Wishes Shops with my husband (also our toddler! He’s almost an expert at putting stamps onto things!) We are a fabric wholesale business and button suppliers. We source modern deadstock fabric, sustainable fibres and beautiful buttons.

You can find our buttons in a few fabric shops and directly on our Etsy shop. 

And that’s it! A massive thank you to all our sponsors and may the odds, be ever in your favour.

Happy night before Galentines,

Meg

Think pink collection | buttons by pigeonwishes

It’s coming up to the most emotionally confusing day of the year! 

I personally never quite knew what to do with myself on valentines day. Whether single or in a relationship. When I was in a relationship going to a busy, overcrowded restaurant (actually seems like a dream after lockdown) didn’t appeal. When I was single the excuse to eat chocolate was nice but not anything special as I have a sweet tooth. Either way the day felt like a hyped up let down!

The only aspect I could fully get behind was the colour scheme forced onto us. The colours ushered in the hope of spring and the promise of colour to come. Our new button collection available on Etsy is, of course, very much inspired by valentines day. Each button has a little personality and giving them an introduction only feels right.

Bloody Valentine

These buttons would be on ‘Brina Spellman’s cardigan and if Morticia Addams was ever to need a non black button I suspect these would be the ones to appeal. They have a slight gothic undertone and would add a lovely, subtle interest to anything they were paired with.

Speckled Pink

These buttons have such a beautiful shape and a real sense of texture. Terrazzo has become increasingly popular and these buttons have the same effect. Larger and more of a statement these buttons would be perfect with the new pattern by True Bias, the Marlo Sweater.

Love Potion

I absolutely love how these buttons have an inner sparkle and seem to have a slight magic. They are elegant and interesting which is always a beautiful combination. They remind me of Rose Quartz, the stone of love which is how they got their name.

Cherry Bomb 

These buttons are so cheerful and it does look like cherries exploded! Pink and a bit punk is the vibe. These buttons will add a dash of energy to anything they are put on and have proven to be the most popular of the collection since released.

Ringwald

My homage to Molly Ringwald. Molly was the girl to make pink edgy and this button does have a bit of a simple edge. The unusual shaping, lighter pink and the silver glitter also give a nod to the 90’s, think early Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera days. Pink is a colour coming back without the overbearing subtext of softness and femininity and it’s great to see.

And that’s the Think Pink Collection. 

We have some other newcomers to the button shop but these five seem the most appropriate to introduce first. For our seasonal collection releases the buttons won’t be replaced when they sell out. 

We loved creating this range for you and the reception so far has been amazing! Thank you so much and we can’t wait to see how you use them!

Happy Stitching,

Meg

Youtube. Social Change Creators

I found it really difficult to title this blog post. Never has there been a time when so many marginalised voices can be heard. It’s empowering and it’s amazing. 

I’ve put together a little list of must watch videos which go deeper into racism, the black experience and Brexit. These creators are talented, funny and engaging. Black Lives Matter content should take up space on your YouTube feed, if it doesn’t this should get you started.

D’angelo Wallace

Bhad Bhabie, Bhlack Bhabie 

I chose this video of his because……blackfishing. If you’ve never heard of blackfishing, this video will enlighten you.

Amanda Mary Anna

The Awkward/Quirky Black Girl

Black women as shown by mainstream media *sigh* I feel super lucky I grew up at a time when Moesha was running. Unpacking the Hollywood trope black female character. Once you see it, you can never unsee it. 

Watch ‘I May Destroy You’ from Michaela Coel (available on bbc iplayer) and appreciate her even more for creating what she does.

For Harriet

WAP and the Spectacle of Sexual Liberation 

Kim, and her content, is actually the place I learnt about intersectional feminism. Before watching her videos, in 2017, I never considered myself a feminist. Some people might find that shocking but it’s hard to connect with feminism when the majority of issues black women face have historically and consistently been erased or ignored by the feminist movement.

Kim really focuses on the nuance of being a black woman whilst involving social media, pop culture and trashy tv. A big yes to all of it.

Kelly Stamps

Why I’m leaving Boston.

Watching Kelly Stamps being Kelly Stamps is an education and I am fully enrolled. This video is especially important because when you are black; before you go on holiday, decide where you live, just before you think about existing somewhere you have to google ‘is (insert place) racist?’

Sometimes you experience that hard yes yourself and it’s refreshing to have it told so well.

Leena Norms

Go Back to Where you Come From | Creators for Change

Leena Norms. Finding her Channel was a highlight of 2020. The only Brit on the list. There are few people that can express my level of frustration with the UK currently. She is one of them. Leena is a masterclass of how to talk about race, as a white person, on the internet.

So I think I’ve given you enough for today.

All the channels I’ve recommended are amazing, loads of content to get lost in! Go forth. Youtube will get us through this lockdown collectively.

Let me know what you think, have you heard of all these creators before? Would a part 2 be of interest? Open to feedback.

Happy Youtube and stitching,

Meg x