10+ Tips to Use the Cricut Maker for Sewing
I just got home from a quick but super exciting trip to the Cricut Make-a-thon where they revealed their brand new machine! The Cricut Maker is a total game changer and you are going to want one in your arsenal to make your sewing life even easier. This post will break down all the new features and how they can help you with your sewing. Here are 10 tips to use the Cricut Maker for Sewing.
10+ Tips to Use the Cricut Maker for Sewing
I have an agreement with Cricut and this post was created as part of that agreement. All opinions are my own.
FIRST! Get your machine!! On the Cricut website. Or on Amazon!
If you are new to Cricut I recommend THIS course from Cori at Hey Lets Make Stuff. She is the master of all things Cricut and this is the perfect place to start learning to use your Cricut machine before you start sewing with it.
Check out all my fun Cricut inspired tutorials HERE.
What do You Use a Cricut Machine For?
Let’s start at the beginning shall we? A Cricut machine is used for cutting various materials. Before the Maker was introduced it was difficult to find a machine that cut fabric. But the machine is great for cutting all sorts of other materials that aren’t fabric. You can cut vinyl, iron on, scrapbook paper, stickers, stencil material, and the list goes on and on. The Maker cuts hundreds of materials and when the knife blade is released you will be able to cut balsa wood and some thicker materials!
So the Cricut is used to make intricate cuts on various materials. These can then be used for crafting and scrapbooking. People often customize shirts with iron on that they have cut on their machine. You can customize just about anything with vinyl or iron on. Or by creating a stencil for paint or glass etching.
Tips to Use the Cricut Maker for Sewing
Washable Fabric Marking
This washable fabric marker goes into the slot next to the rotary blade and marks the patterns before cutting them. It marks the seam allowance and numbers the pieces. The marker also numbers the pieces to help show the direction of the grain of the fabric.
**More marker tips:
-Use the marker to draw embroidery patterns.
-Use the marker to mark quilting on individual quilt blocks to create intricate quilting details.
This blade is seriously amazing! It was always difficult to cut fabric with these cutting machines because of the fixed blade. The fabric always had to be stabilized and circles never really cut the correct way. With this rotary blade you can now cut tons of kinds of fabrics without stabilizing them. This can turn and move to cut intricate details in an amazing way.
Cuts Countless Fabrics
The new rotary blade means that you can cut countless numbers of fabrics. Leather, silk, tulle, burlap, and more. You name it and the machine can cut it. This opens up a whole new world of cutting possibilities. See my post on how to cut fabric with the Cricut HERE.
**Update: I have now tried out tons of different materials. The Maker cuts them all with ease. There are some fabrics that I have found that don’t cut as well. Fleece cuts well but doesn’t hold up well to being removed from the mat. Felt is also great to cut but a thing felt is hard to remove from the mat as well. Try placing transfer tape face up on the mat and then placing the fabric to help easily remove the fleece or felt from the mat. See all my tips for cutting felt with the Cricut HERE.
Cricut has paired up with Simplicity to have hundreds of patterns loaded into the design space. These patterns are already planned and ready to cut. Just hit Make It and load your fabric onto the mat then cut! It couldn’t be easier.
There are also lots and lots of bloggers who are creating amazing patterns: Coral and Co. – Knotted headband, Sweet Red Poppy – Stitch Happens Pillow, and See Kate Sew – Zipper pouches just to mention a few! You can also search Cricut here on my page to find lots of great projects made with the Cricut Maker.
Riley Blake Designs
If you want to learn to quilt this is the EASIEST way imaginable. Cutting the squares and triangles is the most tedious part of quilting. When you cut these squares by hand there is always the possibility of error. When the squares are the exact right size there is less room for error and you will have more success making an amazing quilt! No more guess work. These quilt patterns from Riley Blake are already loaded into the design space.
Printable PDF Patterns for all Designs
In the image below you can see the grey printer at the bottom right of the beauty shot. This will automatically print the PDF directions for you on any sewing pattern. So you basically have a paper pattern and the digital pattern in your arsenal. These PDF’s are a helpful roadmap to help even the most beginning sewer.
All New Design Studio
The new design studio allows you to create your own appliqués and monograms with very little work! The design studio is easy to use, but don’t worry I will create a tutorial for using the studio ASAP so you will have no problem creating your own customized images. P.S. the design space is also on your phone or tablet so you can design and plan your projects right from your phone no matter where you are.
Plus, you can create and design on the Cricut App. Check out my tutorial on that HERE.
Fabric Mat Prevents Fraying
The fabric mat has been specially formatted to hold fabric down while cutting and keep it from fraying. Use the flat head tweezers to take the fabric off to further prevent fraying.
Certain materials, like flannel, still fray with the mat. If you still have trouble with fraying try placing transfer tape face up on the mat before you place your fabric. This will make it easier to remove the fabric.
This may seem like a small thing but the fact that you can connect to the machine via the bluetooth in your computer, phone, or tablet is huge! No more cords or wires (you still can use a cord if you don’t have bluetooth on your computer.) The tablet below is using the charging port, not a wired connection. Did I mention it has a charging port for your phone or tablet? They seriously thought of everything!
This also means you can use your tablet or phone to design and create projects. It is so easy to do with the phone that my son recently designed and cut a project all on his own. This machine is very user friendly, even an 8 year old can figure it out.
You can see how I use some of the app features in THIS post.
Now you can design and cut a project that uses fabric and iron on quickly and easily in the same program. The design studio has some adorable stuffed animal projects that use iron on as the face on a fabric stuffed toy. There is also an adorable globe that is made from fabric and the countries are made from iron on. The iron on has a seam allowance built right into it so you can add the iron on and then sew the project. They have seriously thought of everything!
So this isn’t strictly necessary but they have designed a special sewing kit to go with the new capabilities of the machine. There is a brayer for when your mat is older. This tool will help to push the fabric into the mat for clean cutting. It helps to extend the life of your mat which saves you from buying tons of new mats, we all love to get our money’s worth right? Need more tool tips for the Cricut. Check out these must have Cricut accessories.
My friend Cori and I talked all about it in this fun live video, and check out her post all about the Cricut Maker and check out her Cricut course HERE. What other questions do you have on these tips to use the Cricut Maker for sewing? Share with me in the comments below.