Making fabric iron-ons | How About Orange

October 11, 2010

Making fabric iron-ons

My latest test with the Silhouette machine involved fabric. I ironed Heat'n Bond to the back of some thin cotton, held my breath, and ran it through the cutter. There were a couple places, mostly in corners, where the blade didn't quite cut all the way through, but it was easy to touch them up with a scissors. Then I ironed the shape onto a onesie. The machine will only cut through very light-weight fabrics, I think, and you'll likely need to apply some kind of backing or stiffener to them.

I ironed more fabric onto cardstock to make a matching notecard. The card had to be cut with a scissors since the Silhouette felt unhappy about slicing through fabric and cardstock together. That's okay. I don't want to be too demanding.

11/9/2010 Update: Just got this from the folks at Silhouette support: "Attempts to cut thicker materials or certain materials the Silhouette is not designed to cut that are more dense (such as shrink plastic, foam, chipboard) or fibrous in nature (such as fabric) may ruin the blade or result in the blade dulling very quickly." Um, okay. Sorry little blade. I won't cut fabric anymore.

1/31/2011 Update: Silhouette support now states it is possible to cut fabric using their new interfacing options. See here for more information.

43 comments:

Grandma G said...

Aww... how cute!

So the Silhouette actually has feelings, huh? I don't know if I want one of those or not! ;)

Jess said...

Yes. He's a little sensitive sometimes.

liz @ bon temps beignet said...

Hey Jessica, please don't think I'm a stalker but I had a dream the other night that I met you, but in the dream you looked like the blonde chick from Jackie Warner's Thintervention (on Bravo). I somehow ended up at your house which was in the French Quarter in New Orleans (my hometown). It was a very strange dream... to say the least.

Birgit K. said...

Ohhh now you're giving me ideas! I haven't tried cotton fabric with the silhouette yet, but I did try the silk transfer sheets a while back. Worked really well on those but they are less than paper thin! Will have to try the cotton next. Thank you!

Jess said...

Liz, I'm not blonde, but I did eat a bunch of beignets on Saturday morning. What to make of this?!? :)

Emily said...

THANK YOU! I have not heard of anybody doing this yet, but I JUST KNEW that it would work! Did you try to do a double cut so it could get those corners? I don't own a silhouette YET, hoping to win one, and if not it is at the top of my Christmas list! Now I am even MORE excited to get my hands on one!

Steph and Tim said...

I would LOVE to have one of these! Our Dave Ramsey plan won't allow it right now :( thanks for the opportunity!

Stephanie said...

What a great idea! I never though of using it for fabric...adorable.

Lisa said...

You make such lovely things! (And now the Silhouette lets you do it so much more quickly.) I like that fabric a lot.

KB said...

Too, too cute. I'd love to know how this machine compares with the cricut?

Jennifer Brailsford said...

Love it...such a great project for newborn onesies.

Jess said...

Emily, I didn't try the double cut option. You're right--great idea!

KB, I think one of the commenters on the giveaway left a link for a chart comparing this to the Cricut, but I haven't waded through the comments to find it. You could if you felt ambitious. Or google it.

Erika said...

This machine looks amazing!
and you have gotten great results!
Wow, so many possibilities,
I am so excited to have a chance to win one!

Maren said...

I have a friend with an etsy shop who sells mostly things involving fabric iron-ons, and she was cutting everything out by hand until I stumbled on the idea that maybe a die cutting machine could cut fabric. I work for a magazine and happen to have access to several different machines. The Silhouette gave me nothing but trouble when trying to cut fabric, but the Cricut Expression worked wonderfully - my etsy friend went out the next day and bought one. It saves her countless hours of hand cutting. It's a little pricier than the Silhouette, but it reliably cuts fabric AND it cuts up to 12" wide, which is extremely helpful.

Grandma G said...

I like that fabric, too, Jess! :)

Mum

Jess said...

Maren, thanks for this info! Very helpful.

Mom, uh, hope you didn't want that stuff back.

s. said...

love it.

rilojane said...

Shut up. This is awesome. Just the thought of making iron-ons to cover up random stains on my kids' clothing is delightful enough.

...that sound? Oh, it's just this product going up a few notches on the cool-o-meter.

JDzJane said...

I like how you are completely honest about using the Silhouette. A lot of other blogs don't say this kinda stuff.

Carol & Eddy said...

Hi! I wanted to buy this product from amazon but i read some of the negative reviews and now I am not too sure :-( Sometimes i wonder how reliable these reviews are. And I am always sceptical when the review ends with ".... i should have bought a Cricut instead." - sounds like a competitor wrote a one-star review just to lower the overall rating of this product.

Die kat se snor said...

I wonder if it will cut plastic icing for delicate cake decorating.

EG said...

I wondered if it could do fabric. Fun!

erinmalia said...

Hi Jessica. Would you be willing to share your Silhouette settings for doing this? I have one, but wouldn't even know where to begin for blade selection and choice of material. Thanks!

Grandma G said...

Maybe I do need it back! Cut into some pretty shapes. ;) Not on a onesie, though. I'm not quite into those these days.

Mum

McKenzie said...

Brilliant idea! I think I am transitioning from WANTING a Silhouette to NEEDING one :)

Lisa P. said...

One recommendation--I've done a lot of appliques with heat n bond (although without a cool cutter like that), and for long term durability, you'd want to topstitch the design down after you iron it on or it will come off eventually with washing. Looks great.

Deborah Mahnken said...

Love the projects! Quick question - is there now Mac software for the silhouette or do you still have to buy & use the $500+ Adobe Illustrator???

Jacinda said...

They said it couldnt be done so I didn't even try! Now I will! Thanks!

Jess said...

erinmalia, I used the heavy cardstock setting with the red blade tip and the green extra tack carrier sheet. I didn't check the "double cut" box, but next time I think I'd try it.

Deborah, there's Mac software for the Silhouette; it will either be on the disk that comes with the machine, or if they haven't updated the disks yet, you can download it free from the company's website. You don't need Illustrator unless you're used to working in it and want to make your own designs with it.

Tall Rabbit said...

I'd really want a Silhouette after seeing all the cool things it can do! Unfortunately, they don't ship to Australia ... and I can't afford it either :(

ezeldabeth said...

wow, this machine just keeps getting more impressive all the time...i am really hoping that i win it!

ezeldabeth said...

its interesting to read the comments about both die cutters...does anyone know, can the can you design your own images for the cricut like you can for the silhouette?

littlelatke said...

I was looking at this product on the website and I saw an option to purchase extra software. When you are importing templates for the machine to cut, are you using the provided software, or the extra stuff?

Trish L said...

This is awesome! I already want one but as sewing is my number one craft this is just too cool. I wonder how it would handle fabric that has been interfaced to stiffen it. Ohhh the possibilities!

Jess said...

littlelatke, I haven't bought any extra software. The company provides what you need. You can purchase additional designs to cut for 99 cents each, or less.

Anonymous said...

newbie question here: when decide to wash that finished product, will the thin cotton fray or get damaged? thanks,k

Jess said...

Like somebody said in the comments here, it would be a good idea to stitch down the applique with a tiny zig zag or something, otherwise the edges might start to come loose a little bit.

Sandra said...

This is exciting! The Silhouette FAQ online says that it can't cut fabric, so I've never actually tried, although I wanted to! Definitely bookmarking this.

Margot Madison said...

I have been obsessing over this Silhouette thing and had a question I thought you could answer. How good is the registration? I mean, if I was to print something first, then put it through to cut would it be within say, 1/4" of where I intended it to cut?

And if that is really your grandma making comments, that's hilarious!

Any help would be great! Thanks!!

Jess said...

Margot, that's my mom. She's a grandma now, thus her nom de plume.

I haven't tried testing the registration yet. My guess is that it would easily work within a 1/4" based on other projects I've seen, and the precision with which it cuts other designs. It's pretty smart. But like I said, I haven't tried that yet!

Grandma G said...

I have a "nom de plume"?! WOOHOO! I'm coming up in the world of fancy-ness!

MUM to Jess/Grandma to Courtney

Abbi said...

Looked at the Silhouette site a bit...is it compatible with a Mac? The info I saw said Windows/Vista...advice?

Jess said...

It is. I use a Mac myself.

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