*This post has affiliate links. Read my full disclosure HERE.
Electronic cutters are gaining popularity not just with paper crafters, but for those that sew and craft for American Girl® and other dolls too. I have had a Cricut machine since they first entered the market and have owned just about every version at one time or other. I currently own three of them! I also have one Silhouette Cameo and recently sold an older one. I added the Brother Scan n Cut to my craft room in 2020. All three machines have a place in my craft room. Read on how you can use your Cricut Machine to cut out your paper pattern pieces in a snap!
Use your Cricut Machine to Cut out Your Paper Pattern Pieces
What are some advantages to spending the time to load your PDF sewing pattern into the Cricut Design Space and cutting them with your Cricut Machine?
The truth of the matter is that you can do pretty much the same things on all the machines. Which one you choose will likely depend on the ease of the associated software, the content libraries available, price, and whether or not you want to cut fabric “straight off the bolt”. The Cricut Maker and the Cameo 4 are the only machines on the market that can cut fabric that has not been bonded or stiffened. I’m not a fan of that extra step, so it was worth it to me to get the Maker.
- Pattern pieces storage- with your pattern pieces just one cut away, there’s no need to hang on to the paper after you sew. When you want to use the pattern again, just open Design Space and cut a new set.
- Pattern pieces are cut with precision
- Save wear and tear on your hands and muscles
- If you own a Cricut Maker, you can easily cut the fabric pieces as well using the same file
Cut your paper pattern pieces with your Cricut Machine
When you purchase a PDF pattern from Oh Sew Kat! you will receive a digital PDF file. There are a few ways to get this pattern into your Design Space software for cutting. I outline how to use Adobe Illustrator in this POST. You can find a full tutorial on how to adjust your PDF patterns in Adobe and Design Space to cut your fabric pieces on the Cricut Maker HERE.
Here is another method if you don’t want to tangle with fancy and expensive software.
- Print out your pattern pieces as usual
- Using a scanner, scan the image into your computer as a JPEG (photo) file (if you have software that will do this, it’s easier to do it that way. Print and scan it if you don’t.)
- Open up the Design Space Software
- Start a new project
- On the left hand size, choose the UPLOAD button
- You will see your image and it will ask how complex it is. Choose the bottom choice, COMPLEX
- You may have to zoom out. Use the magic wand tool and touch it to the background. The entire background will likely disappear. (Shown by a gray and white checked pattern). Continue to zoom in and out, erasing anything but your pattern pieces and the one inch square.
- Click NEXT and choose CUT FILE. Give it a name and keywords to help you find it later
- Highlight the file you just imported and add it to your design canvas.
- In the top left corner of your grid, you can click the square to toggle between a blank canvas, one inch grid, or smaller grids. Choose the one inch grid.
- Zoom out and resize your piece (or pieces as one group if you have more than one piece) until your one inch square matches the one inch grid lines.
- Once it is correct, you highlight the group again, choose CONTOUR (bottom right) and turn off the one inch square if you don’t want it to cut.)
- Save your project
- Choose MAKE IT and load your paper or cardstock to cut your pattern pieces out. Please note: If you use this method for cutting the fabric pieces, you will have to duplicate pieces you need two of (ie sleeves) and create adjusted/full pieces for any pieces cut on the fold, as the machine can only cut one layer at time.
Prepare your PDF Pattern to cut the pieces on a Circut Machine
See more ideas to use your cutting machine with your doll crafts HERE, HERE, and HERE. After cutting your smaller pattern pieces, you can use THIS tutorial to make a paper pattern piece for your gathered skirts.
Do you have a Brother ScanNCut machine? See this VIDEO TUTORIAL for quick and easy paper pattern cutting.