Sizzix: How To Die Cut Fabric
You remember that time I told you I got an awesome new gadget for my sewing room? Well, me and this handy machine have been pretty much inseparable lately! I mean, how many times have you been about to make something and realised that you need just shy of eleventy billion fabric shapes, and suddenly feel like you can face spending hours cutting and trimming only to discover that a hefty chunk of your yield is wonky or, worse still, slightly too small or too large despite all the maths and rulers in the world! The reason that I’ve been hanging out with the Sizzix Big Shot lately is because it makes pretty light work of snipping and cutting fabrics.
Getting to grips with a completely new gadget might be a little daunting at first, I mean I can’t be the only one who wonders if a gadget can really can’t be as simple and easy to use as folks make out, can I? But, my friends, here the rad part! Using the Sizzix Big Shot to cut and trim fabrics for quilts, accessories and a whole heap more stithcing projects is quick, easy and most importantly, extremely accurate!
With a fair few new stitching makes and projects underway in my studio making use of this super efficient Sizzix system, I thought that – first things first and all that – I’d share a Quick-Start Guide for How to Die Cut Fabrics With a Sizzix Big Shot!
Start by picking out the fabrics that you want to use and your chosen die – sweet, we can all do that! The Sizzix die has two very different faces – one is hard plastic and the other has a foam surface which houses the super-sharp cutting blades (so don’t go pressing or pushing your fingers on there too much!) The die is used with the blades positioned uppermost and the hard plastic base facing downwards. The fabric that I am using is a quilting cotton, because my stash indicates that I have something of a soft spot for it – although this can be used with a wide range of fabrics – the fabrics need no special treatment or preparation before cutting, unless like me you like to give everything a press before you begin!
Begin to place the fabric onto the cutting surface. The die will safely cut through eight layers of fabric, so start by positioning the fabric over the die and then make a fold in the fabric at the opposite side of the die to bring the fabric back over. Aligning the folds on each side will help to get a really neat finish. Fold again in the exact same way, this will create four layers of fabric.
Ensuring the remaining length of fabric is following these neat folds, bring the fabric back over the die to create a second layer. There will now be eight layers of fabric neatly aligned on the cutting surface, smart huh?
Die cutting fabrics with a Sizzix Big Shot is a super efficient way to cut shapes due to the clever placement of the individual shapes on the cutting surface – but, you know what? It can’t do it entirely alone, you’re going to have to ensure that you position the fabrics so that there is little waste on the edges of the die and if you cut the shape from slapbang in the centre of the fabrics, chances are you’re going to end up with lots of bits to add to your scrap pile!
Place a Cutting Pad on top of the folded fabrics that are positioned on the die, allowing a slight overhang, and position the second Cutting Pad underneath and neatly squared up to the plastic base of the die. This sandwich of •Cutting Pad•Die•Folded Fabric•Cutting Pad• is now ready to put through the Sizzix Big Shot!
Position the die and fabric sandwich into the Sizzix Big Shot, apply a little pressure to push it fully into position and begin cranking the handle.
As you turn the handle the die and fabric sandwich will be fed through the machine, cutting the shapes neatly as you go. When the sandwich begins to emerge from the other side, the clear Cutting Pads reveal the crisp cut shapes – this my friends is where it all get’s pretty addictive – you’ll be wanting to crank out zillions of accurately cut fabric shapes just because it is so quick and easy!
When the die and fabric sandwich has been fed completely through the machine it will disengage from the mechanism and can be easily lifted away. Now is the time to deconstruct the sandwich and reveal the shapes. There might be some static on the Cutting Pad, so slide it slowly from the top and begin to remove the shapes.
Tad Dah! Lookie -look at that awesome, and most importantly super-neat, bundle of fabric hexagons! By folding the fabric into eight layers, with a die that has four shape on it (as this one does) I was able to snip 32 hexagons as quick as a wink…and it’s not often that you can say that!
It probably won’t come as much of a surprise to you if I tell you that I’m already planning on making a whole heap of new hexi quilt projects! In fact, I have are a number of new projects underway that have made use of this awesome gadget, so stay tuned for more Sizzix projects!
Sizzix Big Shot, Dies & Accessories c/o Sizzix