Cricut Maker Review

Several years ago, my Sister-in-law was really into the Cricut machine craze.  She used to scrapbook, and had several kids.  At the time, I didn’t have any kids, and scrapbooking was something that I just wasn’t into.  Fast forward to a couple of years ago and I started sewing, I mean really sewing.  I saw people customizing their makes with iron-on vinyl.  I loved seeing the cute sayings or shapes that were being placed just about anywhere.  Then fast forward to a few weeks ago.  One of my friends contacted me about the Cricut Maker.  Now that I’ve been using mine for a couple of months, I thought I’d sit down and give it a review.  cricut

I think the main thing that people notice, or talk about, with the Maker is the fact that it has a rotary cutter.  This is such a neat feature!  It can cut through a multitude of different fabrics and materials.  Quilting cotton, knit, leather, felt, silk, cashmere, tulle, you name it.  The other Cricut machines could cut through fabrics too, but they had to be bonded, meaning they had to have a backing, like heat and bond.  Because the dragging motion of the blade didn’t allow for the fabric to just sit on the mat without the backing.  With the rotary blade, it doesn’t drag like the regular blades, but rather rolls and then completely lifts up to change directions.  This allows the rotary blade to cut through all the fibers rather than dragging across the fibers.cricut9cricut4

I could see several applications in which the rotary cutter would come in very handy.  If you were a quilter, and needed to cut out several of the same size and shape pieces out of the same fabric, then the Maker could easily do the job for you.  One hundred hexagons, forty cresents, or even fifty diamonds.  I could see how this could come in very handy.  Below, I used it to cut out a heart on a polyester blend knit fabric. cricut10

Despite being very cool, there are a few disadvantages.  You’re limited to a 12″ wide cutting space.  For someone that does smaller crafts, or quilting, this might not be all that bad.  For someone like me that does apparel sewing, this really limits what I can use the rotary blade for in my sewing.  I could see cutting out an appliqué to sew on, especially for the perfectionist that I am.  Another disadvantage is that you can’t cut anything on the fold.  It has to be lying flat on the cutting mat, in a single layer.  Many of the sewing patterns that I use have several pieces that are cut on the fold, so it’s not advantageous for me to use it to cut out my sewing pattern pieces.

Another thing that I noticed about the Maker is just the sheer weight of the machine.  It’s actually quite heavy.  It’s slated to start using a knife blade as another blade later this year.  This means that the Maker could cut materials up to 2.4mm thick.  Because it can cut such thick materials, it needs to be able to apply more pressure than your regular die cut machine. The Maker is up to ten times more powerful than other cutting machines, and they can typically only cut a thickness up to 0.8mm.

The Cricut Maker doesn’t just use the rotary blade to cut, but can also use the regular blades and the deep cut blades.  I’ve honestly used the regular blade more than I have the rotary blade.  I use it constantly to cut out iron-on vinyl for shirts, or other projects.  I’ve also used it to cut vinyl sayings or decals for use around our house, like our “No Soliciting” sign that I put on our door.  Using these blades, you can cut a multitude of different vinyls and papers, like tissue paper, printable vinyl, flocked iron-on, etc.  I used my Cricut Maker and Cricut EasyPress to make my son his shirt, using this design from Thread & Grain. gamer

Did you know that the Maker has the ability to detect color so you can print and then cut?  You can also connect your phone or tablet via Bluetooth, so there’s no wires to deal with.  There’s also a handy docking slot at the top so your device can rest at the top while you’re working.  The convenient storage tray at the bottom of the Maker helps to hold additional blades or the washable fabric marker.  Speaking of markers, did you know the Maker will hold a regular marker in the slot?  It doesn’t need an adapter to hold a pen or marker for writing. cricut5cricut7cricut6

Overall, the Cricut Maker is way ahead of the competition when it comes to the materials that this thing can cut.  With the new knife blade that’s set to release, the rotary cutter, regular blade, deep cut blade, and bonded fabric blade, the Maker just has so many possibilities for the at home crafter.  You really can’t go wrong with this innovative machine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Made for Mermaids Bridgette and Victoria

I’ve always been a weird size when it comes to bras.  Anytime I was younger and would go into Victoria’s Secret and get measured, the bra that I bought would fit for a couple of weeks and then just get too big.  I’ve always had a small underbust (29-30″) and then a bigger full bust.  They would always just measure around my full bust and then my upper bust.  Well come to find out, I’ve recently discovered that I have very broad shoulders meaning that my upper bust measurement is very large compared to most “normal” people.  This is part of the reason why getting measured at VS never really worked out for me.  After much discovery and getting measured and fitted the correct way (for me), I usually wear a 32DDD-G/H in a RTW bra.bridgette8

While in testing for the new Bridgette pattern, I went off of my measurements and used the size chart.  I measured into a 36A.  You might see my problem here, but since my upper bust measurement is so large (because of my broad shoulders) the chart didn’t really work well for me.  I made the 36A, but I needed WAY more cup than an A.  I had about 2″ from the bottom of the cup to the bottom of my breast that wasn’t covered.  After some help from Judy and Megan, I decided to make a 36D which was very close, but I still needed a little more coverage.  I then went back and went up to the 36F which came out perfect!  I also realized that I preferred to have my cups lined.  I didn’t like having any of my breasts poking out of any of the holes on the lace.  I lined all of my cups with cotton lycra to match, and I just like the softer feeling of the lining too.   I’m so in love with the fact that I can now make a bralette that actually fits.  There’s no way that I would be able to get one in a store. bridgetteflat

The Bridgette pattern goes from size 30-50″ for the full bust measurement, and cups from A-G.  There’s a full back, racer back, and cross back option.  The Victoria has cheekies or thong options.  I made all of my cheekies 6″ high on the rise, as I just preferred that rise height better.  I finished the top of the undies with picot elastic and just top stitched it down.  The patterns can be bought in a bundle ($13.00), or individually ($7.50).  Both of my lace fabrics came from Surge Fabrics.  Cream colored lace is here and the teal and coral is sold out sadly. bridgetteflat2bridgetteflat3

Full disclosure pictures below:

 

 

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Love Notions Trendy Tunic

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The look of this cute tunic couldn’t be more perfect!  My daughter loves pockets so that she can put her toys in her pockets, not just her hands.  She just loves carrying around anything that she can, so pockets are always a win.  This Trendy Tunic from Love Notions got an update.  Previously it didn’t include some of the smaller or bigger sizes, and it now goes from 2T to 16.  She also added a cowl and hood option!trendy6

I chose to make the new cowl neckline, since it’s finally getting cold enough here.  This french terry from Raspberry Creek Fabrics worked out perfectly, and I just love bright and bold colors on her.  I used their eggplant solid and the eggplant dots on oatmealtrendy8

Although it might look like a complicated pattern, I was happy that it came together quickly.  The instructions were clear and easy to follow for adding the pocket.  Grab the Trendy Tunic while it’s on sale until January 30, 2018 for $7.00. trendy2trendy7

Phat Quarters Camas Top and Tunic

camas4My daughter is growing so fast!  I realized the other day that she’s grown out of most of her plain, every day tops.  I love having a pattern that has lots of options for different finishes.  Then I know that if she wants something just a little different, then it’s easy to use the same pattern to make something a little different.  I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this thinking.  The Camas knit top and tunic has lots of different finishing options.  It can be a great plain top, or add some ruching to the sleeves or hem to give it a cute finish.  There’s also the option of a thumbhole cuff.  I made the plain top with a curved hem.  There’s a neckline facing and although it takes a little longer than a neckband, I love this finished look.  I feel like a binding or a facing always gives a cute, and more polished look to tops.  camas

I also just love this Eggplant color on her.  Her red hair can really go great with some fun colors.  Anything in the blue or green shades tend to do wonders, and I just love it!  This was a cotton lycra that I grabbed at Simply by Ti fabrics.  It’s Ti’s Eggplant cotton lycra, and like I said in my post yesterday, I also grabbed this in her $5/yard cotton lycra sale she had a bit ago.  camas5

This cute Camas top and tunic pattern can be short, 3/4, or long sleeved.  It can have a curved hem, or a straight hem.  It can have a banded hem too with the ruching in the sides.  Grab this cute top pattern today!

Wardrobe by Me Draper Polo

I love sewing for my husband, because he’s usually very grateful for whatever I make for him.  He also says though that I never make him anything.  I beg to differ, but if you look at how much I make for my kids and myself, as compared to him then yes I rarely make anything for him.  Wardrobe by Me lately has been doing more men’s patterns, and I love it.  My husband is finally getting some clothes that he likes, and will actually wear.  The most recent addition to her pattern line-up is the Draper Polodraper4

There’s another great thing about this pattern, and that is you can make a plain t-shirt instead too.  Since the placket and collar are separate pieces, there’s the option of just making it a t-shirt with a banded neckline instead.  You can do the placket with or without buttons, I went without only because I didn’t have any buttons that I liked at the time.  draper7

I used some lovely olive green cotton lycra from Simply by Ti Fabrics.  She has some wonderful prices on her cotton lycra, and it’s a good weight.  A few months ago she had a Friday sale and all of her solid cotton lycra was only $5 a yard, so I scooped up a bunch.  Boy am I glad that I did, because I’ve been on a solids kick lately.  My husband is excited to have another great fitting shirt in his wardrobe.  The Draper Polo is on sale now until January 26 for $10. draper5draper6

New Horizons Riviera Raglan

What an amazing holiday break!  I hope you all had a great time with family and friends. I’m back at it today, after a short break from blogging, with the Riviera Raglan from New Horizons Designs.  I bought the pattern some time ago, but I just hadn’t gotten the chance to sew one up.  This pattern is the ultimate raglan pattern.  It has anything you ever wanted in a raglan.  You can make a sweatshirt, one with a hood, a placket, a swing top, you name it.  With all of these options available, I decided to sew up 3 different styles all stemming from the same pattern.  First, I made a comfy, cozy sweatshirt out of quilted knit. riviera10

This pattern comes with two different sleeve cut lines.  There’s the standard cut, that goes from the collar bone and cuts down to under the arm.  There’s also a high cut sleeve.  The high cut goes from where the neck and the top of the shoulder meet down to under the arm.  This is with the banded hem and the cuffed sleeves.  I used the standard cut sleeves for this version.  I got this gorgeous fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics last year.  Quilted knit is so in right now, and I love that I can make a sweatshirt look with this pattern.  Next, I made a more swing style top.  I used the high cut sleeve line on this one.  You can see that the sleeve starts much higher on the neck, giving a deeper angle to the sleeve.  I did the handkerchief hem, and made it in rayon spandex.  I knew that I wanted a more flowy top with this hem style. riviera16riviera20

Right before Christmas, we went to see the new Star Wars movie.  I just had to make this last shirt to wear when we went to see it.  I made your typical raglan.  I used some cotton lycra for this one from my stash.  I got the Star Wars fabric from So Sew English last year when they had it.  I added the saying using my new Cricut Maker (blog post to come) and EasyPress.  riviera11

Below, I’ve added the line drawing from the pattern to show all the different options that are available with the Riviera pattern.  I’ve collected raglan patterns, but who knows why when I’ve had this pattern in my stash.  womens raglanriviera15riviera13riviera12

 

Made for Mermaids Catherine pattern

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You might be familiar with the Holly pattern from Made for Mermaids.  It’s a cute pattern made with woven fabric that released last year with the Dreamy Collection (Noelle, Holly, and Joy).  Well, this year the Holly was drafted for knit fabrics and women’s sizes were added.  Meet the Catherine!  I couldn’t resist making several of these.  I made the curved dress for me, and the dress with ruffle for my daughter (pictured above). catherine2

The pattern features a yoke height bodice.  There’s a square, or scoop neckline that’s lined.  The scoop neckline can also be unlined and has a single fold binding to finish.  The yoke piece requires medium weight knit, like cotton lycra, brushed poly, or even stretch lace.  The sleeve lengths include short, 3/4, and long sleeve.  Flounce sleeves are also included with the pattern, and can be hi-low or a regular even length.  catherine51

The skirt also has several lengths.  It can be a top, curved tunic, straight dress, curved dress, or a dress with ruffle (girls only).  The skirt fabric suggest rayon spandex or brushed poly.  The patterns are on sale for $7.50 each, or bundle them together at $13.

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I used cotton lycra for the yoke for all of the versions that I made.  The skirts were all done with rayon spandex.  All of these fabrics came from Simply by Ti.  She’s currently having her Black Friday sale with 33% off your entire order with the code STOCKUP.  She also has nine fabrics for $3.89/yard (including the coral aztec print here in my post).

Sew Thankful Blog Tour

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!  I love having an excuse to eat myself silly, take a nap, watch some Christmas movies, and then eat some more.  Last year was the first year that I made my daughter a Thanksgiving dress.  It’s so hard to not resist the cute holiday fabrics when I see them in the stores.  This year was no exception!  I grabbed this cute turkey woven fabric at Hobby Lobby earlier in the year when I saw it.  turkey3

I love making a quick dress for her, and one that she can run around in and not feel constricted.  I’m always drawn to a pattern that has a knit bodice and a skirt that can be either woven or knit.  Either one with it attaching at the natural waist, or an empire waist.  The Brooklyn pattern from Made for Mermaids was the perfect match for this dress.  turkey5

The pattern has a neckline facing instead of doing a neckband, but I prefer having a neckband, so I modified the neckline a little to have a neckband instead of the facing.  I used burgundy cotton lycra from Raspberry Creek fabrics for the bodice.  turkey4

I also used the same pattern to make my friend’s daughter a Thanksgiving dress.  I also did a neckband, but I added a sash at the waist.  I used another pattern to get the lengths for the sash ties, so I knew it would be long enough to tie it.turkey

Make sure to check out the other bloggers from this month’s Sew Thankful Blog tour!  And enter the giveaways!!

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Our Thankful Sewing Bloggers are creating something special to share with you to celebrate this month of Thanksgivings! As an extra special surprise, we also have a couple giveaways during each week of the tour. Share your thanks with Petite Stitchery who has a new pattern to share with us, a free pattern giveaway from Sew by Pattern Pieces, and a chance to win a shop credit each week from Simply by Ti!

Intro to the tour

November 1st:

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Sewing with Sarah

Week 1:

Nov 1st: Tenille’s Thread

Nov 2nd: Candace Ayala

Nov 3rd: Hazelnut Handmade

Nov 4th: Musing of a Seamstress

Nov 5th: Sewing Portfolios

Monday Nov 6th: mahlicadesigns

Nov 7th: Seams Sew Lo

Week 2:

Nov 8th: Margarita on the Ross

Nov 9th: Stitched by Jennie

Nov 10th: Sewing with D

Monday Nov 13th: 5 outof 4 Patterns

Nov 14th: Tales of a Southern Mom

Week 3:

Nov 15th: Hazelnut Handmade

Nov 16th: Octaves of Color

Nov 17th: Kainara Stitches

Nov 18th: Kutti Couture

Nov 19th: The Petite Sewist

Monday Nov 20th: My Heart will Sew On

Nov 21st: Needles to Say

Week 4:

Nov 22nd: Back 40 Life

Nov 23rd: Lovemade Handmade

Nov 24th: Sewing by Ti

Nov 25th: On Wednesdays We Sew

Nov 26th: Paisley Roots

Monday Nov 27th: Mermaid Mama Designs

Nov 28th: Sew Haute Blog

Nov 29th: Ma Moose Handmade

Nov 30th: Everything Your Mama Made & More

SLPco Paisley Dress

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I think there are probably quite a few of us that are thinking about the holidays, and not just about finding presents for everyone and all the events we have to attend, but also about the clothing we’ll wear.  As someone that sews, I like to plan in advance.  I like to stalk Pinterest, look through my pattern stash, and scour the fabrics.  Simple Life Pattern Co. started a blog tour specifically for the special occasions that everyone is likely to attend.  All of the bloggers in the tour used SLPco patterns to create a special occasion look.  After looking through all of the patterns, I decided on the Paisley open back dress paired with the Juliette capelet.  slpcotour6

The Paisley dress pattern calls for knit fabrics.  Because of the knit, I knew that she would be comfortable in her dress while she ran and played.  The capelet is for woven fabrics and is a free pattern with a code from the SLPco Facebook group.  Although, I didn’t see any tester pics with fur, I knew that was the look that I really wanted.

I got both of the royal blue stretch velvet and the white faux fur from Hart’s Fabric (the fabric sponsor for this tour).  Dana was amazing to work with, and my fabrics arrived so fast!  The tissue paper pattern that they wrap their fabrics in is such an awesome and fun touch when you open your package.  The quality and feel were both top notch!img_7440.jpg

The Paisley has a circle skirt option, or a gathered skirt.  I went with the circle skirt, as I knew she’d love to be able to twirl.  I also did the neckline with a binding, but if I did it again with stretch velvet I would do the neckband option, as it was tough to do the binding since I couldn’t iron the velvet.  This was a surprisingly quick sew, and I had it finished in one day.

The capelet was also a quick and simple design that only took me a few hours to complete (after cutting out the fur and vacuuming up all of the fur that decided to take over my sewing room).  The white fur is so amazingly soft that I want to make one for myself too, even if I’ll look like a caroler.  slpcotour4slpcotour2slpcotourslpcotour5slpcotour3

These patterns were definitely perfect for what I had envisioned her wearing this holiday season.  Be sure to check out what all the other bloggers made, and follow along with the blog tour this week.  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway that is going on as well!

 

November 13 – Kainara StitchesAmmon Lane

November 14 – Sew and Tell ProjectLace and Pine

November 15 – Sunflower SeamsSewSophieLynn

November 16 – Wonderfully HandmadeIdle SunshineI am Mami de Sofiona

November 17 – Pear Berry LaneIt’s Liesel

 

 

There are TWO ways to win in this giveaway!

While both giveaways are open to everyone, contestants outside of the U.S. will be responsible for any excess shipping and fees and subject to the sponsors’ shipping guidelines.

Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win the following. One winner will be chosen at random after Rafflecopter closes.

1 winner of Rafflecopter of will receive:
5 Patterns of choice from Simple Life Pattern Co.
$50 Gift Card from Cotton Coterie with FREE shipping
$50 Gift Card from Little Feather

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Already sewing for the holidays with Simple Life Pattern Company? Share what you made for a chance to win the Link-Up prize! One winner will be chosen at random after the link-up closes.

1 Winner of the Link up will receive: 5 Patterns of choice from Simple Life Pattern Co. $50 Gift Card to Harts Fabric $50 Gift Card to Sincerely Rylee $30 Gift Card to Punkin Head Threads

 

Love Notions Sloane Sweater

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I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that gets inspiration from Pinterest.  I saw a color blocked top on there a while ago and it gave me the inspiration for this Sloane sweater that I made. Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 9.07.55 PM

This was the top, and I felt like I came really close to recreating it with the Sloane without having to color block a pattern that I already own.  I’m really lazy and would prefer to have a pattern close to, or exactly like what I’ve envisioned.  The only thing that I had to add myself was a pocket, which was easy to make myself by cutting a rectangle and sewing it where I wanted it.  sloanew3

I used brushed poly for the top, and I found a suede-like knit at Joann for the elbow patches and the pocket.  The only issue I had was that the knit from Joann was really thick, which is why I did a twin needle stitch around the pocket instead of turning it under and hemming it.  The one thing I wish I would have done differently would be to add length and make the top a bit longer next time.  I usually don’t have to add length to my tops, but this one came out a little shorter than I prefer.  sloanew4

The Sloane pattern has two different views, one is more of a traditional sweatshirt, whereas there is this view which looks more like a relaxed shirt.  There’s only one sleeve length, and it can be made with or without the color blocking at the shoulder.  The elbow patches are included with the pattern. It’s not on sale during this blog tour, as it was just re-released recently.  And don’t forget to check out what the other bloggers sewed up!