April 17, 2013

I moved to wordpress!

Hi! Well, I did it! I moved to Wordpress.org. Here's my new web address...


Everything's over there. Thank you for reading!

:) Shelly

April 13, 2013

a preview of shop scarves!

Chris and I attempted a scarf photo shoot today. To be honest, I'm an extremely awkward model. I can be quite photogenic (sometimes), if I don't think about having my picture taken. However, if I concentrate too much on looking normal, I end up squinting too much and smiling too little - kind of like a smirking Mr. Magoo. Needless to say, for the shop I will be enlisting the modeling help of a very beautiful friend of mine who has a gorgeous, long neck. But, I wanted to give you a preview of a few of my favorite scarves I've made for the shop so far, so here I am in all my awkward glory.

This one is super, super soft and very lightweight. The color is lovely, and the print puts a modern spin on spring flowers. (How am I doing on my product descriptions? I wrote that without even having a glass of wine yet!).

It takes every bit of my self control not to hang this one in my closet. This is a fuller scarf, made with 2/3 yard of jersey (rather than 1/2 yard as the previous one was made from). I like the whole neon trend that is going on, but let's be honest - full-on neon yellow/green does not flatter the complexion of most women. Unless the woman is super tan, that is... and good luck finding a super tan woman in the Pacific Northwest in April. However, this scarf has little bits of neon in it, and when paired the muted colors, it gives a neon pop that flatters and allows the pale lady to participate in this trend. Win-win!

I made one of these scarves for myself. I was totally coveting this print, but I actually did not intentionally make one for myself. What ended up happening is that my quick scissors accidentally clipped the fabric when I was clipping the threads. Quality control required me to keep this one. But, I made two.. so if someone wants to be my twin, this one will be for sale in the shop. Only the top products from starbelly handmade!

My new website should be popping up sometime next week. Hooray!

:) Shelly

April 11, 2013

just call me scarf elf

Yep, I'm still moving forward with starbelly handmade. I've been working into the wee hours in my self-imposed sweat shop in an effort to amass some inventory for my future shop. And, I've been doing some planning for my big website migration. Last weekend I took a little break to pop over to Chicago to surprise my parents on their 40th wedding anniversary. It was a lovely (but too short) trip, and I'm happy to report that I survived the airplane adventure with wiggly little one year-old Morgan. My brother and I even played a little trick on my parents - we put Morgan on their doorstep, rang the bell, then hid. They had no idea I was coming into town, so they didn't immediately recognize their bundled-up granddaughter and thought someone had abandoned a baby on their doorstep. After the initial shock, it was pretty hilarious. 

But now I'm back in Seattle, and back to being hunched over my sewing machine in the evenings like a little elf. I've been experimenting a bit with different fabrics for infinity scarves. I made a linen one, which is light and airy - perfect for spring/summer. I also used some men's shirting to make this one. Jury's still out on whether this works or not. I am actually kind of scared to hear what Tim Gunn would say. I kind of like it, though. I've worn it several times, but I have yet to hear a compliment on it... which makes me wonder. Maybe it is a little too stiff? Should I try seersucker for the same pattern but a more billowy look/feel? What do you think?

Don't worry. My shop will be full of jersey knit scarves. I just made a bunch with some of these fabrics. I also have a couple of bags in the works, too.

More to come soon! And, once I get my new site up and running, I'll launch an FB page and host a giveaway. Exciting times!

:) Shelly

March 29, 2013

camera strap cover

A couple of weeks ago I finally tackled a project I've had on my to-do list for quite a while. A camera strap cover! 

I used LBG Studio's Camera Strap with Lens Cap Pocket Tutorial to make this super cute camera strap cover. It slides right over my existing camera strap for a perfect fit!

It goes without saying that this is a fantastic way to utilize a small sample of my abundance of fabric scraps. But, I can't say this enough: the lens cap pocket is pure genius. I am ALWAYS losing my lens cap. I'm sure that I'm not alone on that one!

Even though I found the patchwork strap to be totally adorable, I decided that I wanted something a little less busy for myself. So, I used just two fabrics for my second strap cover. I wish I could remember the name/designer of the red floral fabric - this was the very last scrap I had of it. I'm happy I'll be able to see it on a daily basis now. The black and white floral is Heidi Grace.

I am very pleased with how the lens cap pocket came out. What a fun little project! And a great gift to make!

You may be wondering what I'm going to do with that patchwork strap.... maybe I'll give it away! Stay tuned!

:) Shelly

March 21, 2013

easy spring cowl

A sweet friend of mine requested a tutorial on infinity scarves. There are a few different ways to make them, but I find this way the easiest. And this one I'm calling a cowl - because it doesn't loop twice. Looping twice makes it an infinity scarf to me. I don't know my definitions are accurate, but those are the facts over here on my blog, folks!

My goal was to make a lightweight cowl to add some interest to my extensive array of solid color tees (this is what I call my spring wardrobe).  The fabric is Robert Kaufman London Calling 3: Celebration. It has an amazingly breezy feel, and the print is just adorable. I bought it at Pacific Fabrics, and all of the lovely women there were doting over it. Anyways, here's the tutorial...

 1. Take your 1/3 yard of fabric, fold right sides together with selvages on ends. Measure out 25" and cut. This is perfect to fit over my 22" head (now you know where my children get their big heads from). You can shorten or lengthen as desired.

2. Pin the long side of the fabric together. 

3. Sew the long edge with 1/2" seam allowance.

4. Press seam flat.

5. Turn cowl right side out. Then line up short ends, right sides together (my photo shows this step in process - does that make sense?)

6. Pin ends together, leaving a 2" or so gap for turning.

7. Sew all the way around using a 1/2" seam allowance, and minding the gap!

8. Turn cowl right side out. Press gap closed and pin.

9. Top stitch gap closed about 1/8" from the edge.

You could also blind stitch the gap closed, but that takes a really long time and you can't really see the topstitches when the cowl is worn, anyways. Sometimes laziness pays off.

Ridiculous picture of me wearing cute cowl. I need some *serious* help with self-photography if I'm going to keep making scarves. I took this one in the mirror with the camera on top of my head. Or I need a model. Any volunteers?

So, this tutorial also works if you want to make a Survivor buff knockoff. Because that is basically what it is. I can't rock the buff any other way than around my neck, but I bet some of you could. Just think of the possibilities if you were to use jersey!

Still working on the site and the shop. I will probably be moving to wordpress.org soon. Thanks for you patience with me!

:) Shelly

March 15, 2013

patricia infinity cowl

 Last week I found a new infinity scarf pattern from luvinthemommyhood. I was looking for a scarf that would transition well into spring - something light around the neck. I found the patricia infinity cowl which uses six fat quarters of cotton fabric (I'm calling this a scarf. I don't really know the difference between a scarf and a cowl, but since I wear this one looped twice (like an infinity scarf), that's how I'll refer to it!). This is a terrific pattern from a fantastic blog!

I typically don't try something totally new when making a gift, but I decided to make my first one for Sam, who watches Morgan while I'm at co-op preschool with Marcus. Happy Birthday, Sam! Morgan was with me when I went to JoAnn's to select some choice fat quarters. The cool thing about this scarf is that it looks different every time you put it on, depending on which side you feature in which spot.

See what I mean? Hard to believe this is the same scarf! I fell in love with the color scheme for this scarf, and the fabrics were okay. I wish I had used some better fabrics for Sam, softer ones especially. But, after a few washes, I bet this scarf will cozy up quite well. Apologies for the nighttime photos (in my bathroom, no less!). Of course, I finished this scarf up the night before I was to gift it.

I made a second scarf at Thursday Night Sewing Club with Anna. Now, I have to admit to you - the color scheme is not really what I was going for. You know how when you're in the fabric store with your toddler (eeek - she's a toddler now!) and it is going great, then she starts to fuss, then cry, then scream? And you are then getting the evil eye from other patrons? Well, that's how I ended up grabbing a handful of purple fat quarters.

It actually turned out okay. I made this one as a donation for the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation auction. I have a couple of bags to make for that auction, too... but those will come later.

I made this last scarf last night. I only used three fat quarters for this one, then I folded the scarf in half lengthwise and sewed it up. For spring, I like that this scarf is less bulky than the others. I also LOVE the fabric - Dearstella Piper Floral, Zig Zag (Punch), and Scallop (Orange). Next time I would probably shorten it a bit - I like my scarves a little closer to the neck. I tried wrapping this one around three times, but I nearly strangled myself!

Marcus also demonstrates how this scarf can be worn as a hood (the original six fat quarter scarf). It looks ridiculous on me, but on Marcus it kind of works, right? Seriously, I think this kid has a future in homemade fashion modeling. I don't even need to get a display dress form (yes I do!).

:) Shelly

March 11, 2013

cowboy cape

Superhero capes are probably my favorite thing to make. The whole process - from conceptualizing, to designing, to sewing, to giving - is a true delight. This one has been in the project pile for quite a while. It is for one of the cutest toddlers I know - a cowboy named Henry. I think he's finally tall enough to wear it!

Marcus is always eager to model capes for me. He just started Karate, like his brother, and he uses any opportunity to showcase his new moves.

The lining fabric is a simple brown-and-white polka dot flannel for JoAnn's. I was pleased with this fabric because it is much softer than they typical flannel I find at JoAnn's.

The main fabric is Michael Miller Yippee Cowboy Retro. It is so charming... and what could be better than a cowboy and a superhero in one?

This little sucker is giving me a real run for my money lately! But he is so darn cute - I think that is his not-so-secret superpower.

:) Shelly