Tag: Cricut projects

How to Make a Paper Butterfly Dress

How to Make a Paper Butterfly Dress

This Paper Butterfly Dress was part of a local fashion show to raise money for books for children. It was a lot of fun and an entirely new adventure in sewing!

How to Make a Paper Butterfly Dress

 

How to Make a Paper Butterfly Dress|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

This post contains affiliate links. By making a purchase I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. Thank you for your support!

Each year a local charity, Madison Reading Project, has a fashion show to raise money for books for underprivileged children. I decided to make a paper dress for the challenge, meet new people and step out of my comfort zone a bit. It was a lot of work, but a fun project!

How to Make a Paper Butterfly Dress|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

The first step in creating this look was a tulle underskirt. The skirt has 10 yards of gathered tulle that is gathered around a simple 2″ elastic waistband, then zig-zagged in place. The underskirt has a total of 3 layers of material and nearly reaches the floor. It’s easy to shorten this underskirt if needed, as it is not hemmed. (I had also considered using tissue paper for this portion of the dress but decided that the dress would have more structural integrity with a tulle underskirt.)

How to Make a Paper Butterfly Dress|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

The bodice of the dress is next. I used a roll of 24″ wide medical paper, and interfaced the pieces with Pellon mid-weight fusible interfacing to give it some structure. The bodice design is simple with just a waistline dart and a round neckline. The skirt is made with the same paper and interfacing, just gathered at the waist with a simple 1″ grosgrain ribbon for the waistband. Bodice and skirt are separate pieces to make it easier to put on.

How to Make a Paper Butterfly Dress|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

How to Make a Paper Butterfly Dress|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

The first fitting went surprisingly well! It was finally time to decorate the dress with the butterflies!

How to Make a Paper Butterfly Dress|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

Making the Butterflies

 

The paper butterflies were cut on the Cricut Maker. It cut 108 of them so quickly! Each easy butterfly reminded me yet again why I am in love with this handy tool.  You can find the butterfly design that I used here. I was tempted to leave the butterflies white, but I thought a bit of color might make them standout even more and add a whimsical feel to the finished product.

How to Make a Paper Butterfly Dress|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

I spread 108 butterflies out on a piece of canvas in our attic for colorizing. Our attic is big, open and has plenty of room to work. Using the layout with an ombre coloration in mind, I began to spray the ink on the butterflies.

How to Make a Paper Butterfly Dress|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

How to Make a Paper Butterfly Dress|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

I created the ombre effect by working with light, medium and darker inks from left to right on the butterflies. After they were completely dry, I used a hot glue gun to attach them to the finished dress.

How to Make a Paper Butterfly Dress|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

My paper dress turned out even better than I could’ve hoped! It’s always exhilarating when a vision for a project comes to life and the final result exceeds your expectations.

My friend Kathy and her daughter Abby helped me make this vision come to life on the runway.
They had a team of people doing hair and makeup for the fashion show.

Professional hair and makeup artists were on hand to make the models even more beautiful for the fashion show!

A very impressive catwalk set up made the show come to life!
The dress really came to life on Abby, runway ready!

 

The dress looked beautiful on Abby, posing on the runway! Photo credit jondercin.com photography
Photo credit jondercin.com photography

You can see the entire process, including the dress on the runway coming soon to video!

 

 

More Inspiration

If you enjoyed this project, here are a few others from the blog that you will love: 

3 Step Buffalo Check Cardigan

Top Nine Makes of 2018

Sew Along Dinner Date Dress

Sewing a Clutch with Cricut Maker

Easy Cut and Sew Sweater

 

 

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How to Make a Paper Butterfly Dress|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

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Self Draft a Simple Sequin Skirt

Self Draft a Simple Sequin Skirt

Self drafting a sequin skirt for a special event isn’t as hard as you may think. Here is my step-by-step process for sewing with sequins.

Self Draft a Simple Sequin Skirt|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

This post contains affiliate links. By making a purchase I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. Thank you for your support!

Self Draft a Simple Sequin Skirt

 

Sequins are always a popular choice, especially in the Winter season. I made this simple skirt in just a few steps using basic body measurements. The matching t-shirt was also incredibly easy to make with the help of my Cricut Maker. This beautiful gold sequined fabric was even on clearance after the holidays at Hobby Lobby! Although this was my first time sewing with sequins, it certainly won’t be my last. They aren’t nearly as hard to sew as you may think. (I think a sequin pencil skirt would be a fun addition to my closet!)

In order to self draft the skirt pattern, you will need waist and hip measurements, as well as the total length from your waist to the floor.

 

Self Draft a Simple Sequin Skirt|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

Sequin Skirt Drafting Directions:

  1. Fold a large piece of craft paper in half lengthwise. Place the paper on a table so that the fold is closest to you. Be sure the paper is both longer and wider than your basic measurements, but not larger than your piece of sequin fabric. My fabric was 48″ wide so my pattern could not exceed that width.
  2. Divide your waist measurement in half. If your waist is 40″ divided by 2 = 20″.  Jot this down on a piece of paper. Next, mark this measurement with a straight line using a pencil across the top edge of the paper. This will be your skirt front, we will also use the same piece for the skirt back.
  3. Decide how many gathers you’d like in your skirt. My skirt has 6″ of gathers in the center. To calculate the gathered amount of fabric, multiply this measurement x 2. So 6″ x 2″ =12″ of fabric needed for the gathers. Because you are working on the fold, you will be making half the pattern. Draw a vertical line near the left edge of the paper, starting at the fold and going toward the other edge for the waistline. Mark the 6″ point for the gathers on the line measuring from the fold up the line. Continue the line adding the additional amount needed for the rest of the waistline, 20″ as in step 2. The total length of the line would be 26″ for the waistline.
  4. Next, draw the side seam making the line as long as you need for the skirt to reach the floor. The hem and seam allowance will be included in the skirt measurements.
  5. Make another line for the hem along the bottom edge, the same length as the waist measurement. Your rectangle is now complete!
  6. Using another piece of paper, make another rectangle for the waistband. My waistband is 4″ wide, with a total circumference of 41″ (including seam allowance). Make your waistband 4″ wide x total waist circumference +1″ for seam allowance. You will cut 2 of the waistband, one of the sequin fabric, and one of a lining fabric.

Self Draft a Simple Sequin Skirt|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

Sewing Directions:

  1. Lay out your fabric. Cut the front and back pieces of skirt with a rotary cutter. Cutting the sequins is so much easier with a rotary tool. Be prepared, it’s a messy process! Also cut the front and back lining with the same pattern pieces.
  2. Layer the front lining and sequin skirt front together. Baste along outside edge. You will also need to gather two rows of stitches between marks at front and back waistband with basting stitch length of 5.0mm. Repeat for the back of skirt.
  3. Sew side seams using a walking foot and 3.0mm stitch length. You can remove sequins at the side seam if you need to so it’s easier to sew. My machine had no problem sewing through them, but I have seen others cut them off by hand.
  4. Bind side seam edges with either purchased 1/2″ quilt binding or homemade seam binding to keep sequins from unraveling.
  5. Sew the sequin waistband to the waistband lining at the top edge. Stitch ends together so that they make a circle. Cut 2″ elastic to a comfortable size for your waist (waist measurement – 4″ should be about right). Pin ends of elastic together, then insert elastic into waistband. Baste along bottom edge.
  6. Pin waistband to skirt adjusting gathers as needed while lining up the seam of the waistband at the center back or side seam of the skirt. Baste together. Put skirt on and check for fit. Make any needed adjustments and stitch.
  7. Bind the waistband seam with more binding.
  8. Lastly, mark the hem, mine was 1 1/2″. Sew seam binding or lace hem tape to hem. Turn hem up, stitch in place with a catch stitch. Press.

Self Draft a Simple Sequin Skirt|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

Self Draft a Simple Sequin Skirt|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

T-Shirt Directions:

The t-shirt is really easy to make using the rose gold HTV Cricut vinyl. You can find the t-shirt SVG file here. I used an XL shirt from the Walmart clearance rack for this project. Follow this simple tutorial for Cricut t-shirts.

 

More Inspiration

If you love simple projects like this one, then I promise you will like these posts as well:

Sew a Clutch with Cricut

Easy Cut & Sew Sweater

Make Your Jeans Fit : Easy Denim Hack

Cricut Yoga Shirt Collection

3 Step Buffalo Check Cardigan

 

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Self Draft a Simple Sequin Skirt|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

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Neapolitan Quilting with Riley Blake and Cricut

Neapolitan Quilting with Riley Blake and Cricut

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


This beautiful Neapolitan Quilt is made with Riley Blake fabrics and the Cricut Maker! Quilting is so much more fun when all you have to do is sew it together!

Neapolitan Quilt with Cricut Maker

 

Neapolitan Quilting with Riley Blake and Cricut|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

This post contains affiliate links. By making a purchase I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. Thank you for your support!

 

 

My latest quilt was a fun project! All the pieces are cut on the Cricut Maker, which makes things go along so much faster than they do with traditional quilting! It’s been awhile since I made a quilt, you may remember that the last one I made was also a Cricut Maker project.

There is nothing more satisfying than settling down with a cozy quilt on your bed during these long snowstorms we have in Wisconsin. Every bed in our house has a quilt on it. These fabrics from Riley Blake are so festive and fun, I couldn’t wait to use them!

Neapolitan Quilting with Riley Blake and Cricut|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

This post is sponsored by Cricut, any opinions given are completely my own. For a complete list of disclosure rules, see the disclosures page.

 

The pink, red, white and black color combination is a lot like Neapolitan ice cream, don’t you think? This Neapolitan quilt design is available on the Cricut website. I adore all the fun Valentine-themed prints from Riley Blake Designs. Riley Blake always makes it so easy to put a quilt together because the fabric comes in a pre-made set, taking out all the guess work of quilt designs. This particular quilt is great for intermediate to advanced sewers since matching all these little pieces takes a bit of skill.

This quilt design is different than most because it is mostly prints. The only solids are in the sashing and the back of the quilt. The overall look is busy, fun and so colorful!

Neapolitan Quilting with Riley Blake and Cricut|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

Both using a pre-designed quilt from Cricut with coordinating prints as well as cutting the pieces on my Cricut Maker made this quilting project so much fun! Cricut also has a great set of quilting and sewing tools which include everything you need to get the job done, I’m so thankful I had these on hand.

Neapolitan Quilting with Riley Blake and Cricut|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

Supplies Needed:

  • Cricut Maker with Rotary cutting blade and fabric cutting mat
  • 2/3 yard cuts of 3 light colored Cricut cotton quilt prints
  • 2/3 yard cuts of 3 dark colored Cricut cotton quilt prints
  • 1/3 yard cut of ivory Cricut cotton for sashing
  • 2 2/3 yard cut of cotton Cricut quilt fabric for backing (mine was black)
  • 1/2 yard of pink Cricut cotton for quilt binding
  • Coordinating quilt thread
  • Embroidery thread in pink, red, black, white
  • Polyester Quilt batting

Neapolitan Quilting with Riley Blake and Cricut|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

 

Cricut Neapolitian Quilt Cutting Directions:

  1. Download the Neapolitian Quilt pattern from the Cricut website here. Print the pdf sewing directions to keep by your sewing machine. Read all the directions before you continue.
  2. Press your fabric pieces, plan out which pieces will be octagons and which will be squares and sashing.
  3. Using a Cricut fabric cutting mat and Cricut rotary cutting blade, cut each piece as directed by your Cricut Maker. Count all pieces to be sure you have all of them, you will need 15 octagons and 60 squares for the 4-square blocks. (I find it very helpful to keep similar size pieces in piles.)

Neapolitan Quilting with Riley Blake and Cricut|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

 

Sewing with Cricut Directions:

1. Lay the square pieces out with the sashing in between them as pictured above. Be sure that you are using the sashing pieces that are 5.75″ long. There are also longer 12″ and 7″ sashing pieces but we will use those later. Do not get them mixed up! Stitch the blocks together with the shorter sashing in the middle using a 1/4″ seam allowance and a stitch length of 2.5mm.

2. Press the seam allowances toward the blocks. Sew the 12″ sashing to the bottom of each 1/2 block. Press. Assemble the block with the other pieces in the same method.

3. Add the sashing to the octagon pieces. Use the shorter pieces and stitch them to the top, sides and bottom first. Press seam allowances to the darkest color as shown in the photo below.

Neapolitan Quilting with Riley Blake and Cricut|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

4. Sew the sashing on to the sides of the octagon using the 7″ sashing strips. Overlay the strips on the right side as you sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

5. Press from right side.

6. Lay out corner pieces. Be sure the prints are going the right direction, then stitch in place. Press again, then trim all blocks to 11″ square.

I have made several videos with tips on sewing these blocks step by step. You can see them here on my YouTube Channel.

Neapolitan Quilting with Riley Blake and Cricut|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

 

Cricut Sewing and Finishing Details:

1. Lay out the blocks in order according to the sewing directions. Vary the octagon and 4 square blocks and light vs. dark colors in each row. Sew the blocks together row by row, then in vertical rows until the entire quilt top is put together.

2. Make a “sandwich” of the quilt backing, polyester quilt batting, and quilt top. Pin in place.

3. Chanel quilt down each row and across each seam with black quilt thread as shown.

4. Finally, cut the pink sashing pieces 2 1/2″ wide the width of the fabric with a rotary cutter and ruler. Sew two pieces together at the narrow end for each side of the quilt. Press seams. Stitch to the right side of quilt around the entire boarder through all thicknesses leaving 2″ extra fabric at each corner for mitering. Miter corners, then turn to the back of the quilt and fold under 1/2″ seam allowance. Hand-sew in place with a slip stitch using heavy quilt thread.

 

Embroidery Details:

After I quilted the quilt, I decided to add some fun embroidery to the center of each octagon. I used pink, red, black and white embroidery thread to make cute Valentine phrases on each hexagon block. Words like hugs, love ya, cutie, amore, be mine, I’m yours and sweetheart decorate the center of the blocks and make the quilt even more fun! The embroidery is completely optional. I machine-embroidered them through all layers with a small 100 x 100mm size embroidery hoop. Each block is a different font and color that coordinates with the fun colored prints in the quilt. You could also hand embroider these phrases if you don’t have a machine that does embroidery.

Neapolitan Quilting with Riley Blake and Cricut|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

Neapolitan Quilting with Riley Blake and Cricut|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

 

This project was a fun change from my regular garment sewing. Remember to check out my step-by-step video tutorial for the entire project over on my YouTube Channel.

I hope you will try it out! If you do decided to give this project (or any Cricut project) a try, follow this link for a discount on your Cricut purchases.

 

Thank you to Cricut for sponsoring this post!

 

More Inspiration

If you love to quilt or work with your Cricut, check out these other posts you will enjoy:

15 Cricut Maker FAQ’s

Spinning Wheels Quilt with Cricut

Sewing a Clutch with Cricut

 

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Neapolitan Quilt with Riley Blake & Cricut|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

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Style Blues: Sewing a Clutch with Your Cricut Maker

Style Blues: Sewing a Clutch with Your Cricut Maker

Sew a Clutch with strap with the help of your Cricut Maker! The Maker uses a Simplicity Pattern for this adorable project!

Sewing a Clutch with Strap|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com
You can make this cute bag with your Cricut Maker.

 

Sewing a Clutch with Strap

Welcome to Season 2 of the Podcast! I am excited to be back! I have a ton of great things planned for this podcast. I had to take a break from podcasting last fall. We were traveling so much, doing construction on our house, and it just wasn’t conducive to podcasting. It has now been about a year since I started my Chambray Blues blog, and it’s been a great journey. One of the things that I never expected to happen was to have a corporate sponsor to work with on the blog. Cricut has been such a great partner in my blog this last year and I am excited to announce that they are the sponsor of today’s podcast!

 

The Cricut Maker has become an integral part of my sewing room. A year ago, I had never use a Cricut, and I had no idea what I was missing. Now, I cannot imagine how I got along without it! There are so many things it can do that make sewing so much easier and less stressful! Don’t even get me started on the crafting projects, because we could talk about that all day. I love that they have hundreds of projects to choose from already on their website, and I don’t have to design things from scratch all the time.

 

My partnership with Cricut has very rewarding, they have been a great sponsor of my blog, and I just love the versatility of the Cricut Maker. Cricut has a partnership with Simplicity Sewing Patterns and there are a number of patterns in Cricut Design Space that can be downloaded directly to the Cricut Maker. This fabric Clutch with a shoulder strap is one of the Simplicity patterns.

Sewing a Clutch with Strap|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com
This clutch makes a great gift, or a fabulous accessory to your handmade outfit!

Walking Through the Clutch Project

I thought I would walk you step by step through cutting and sewing a complete project with the Cricut, so you can understand how it all works. You can create a free account at Cricut.com. “Design Space” as it is called has many free projects, some are subscription with a monthly fee, and you can also pay for a specific project if you choose. This particular Clutch Sewing Pattern is $4.99. I think that’s a bargain considering how much time it saves. Think about it, there are no tissue pages to cut out by hand (does anyone else hate cutting these out?), iron and layout on your fabric, etc. Especially if you are a beginner sewer, using the Cricut can make things much less confusing!

The Simplicity patterns are individually priced, but you have lifetime access to them afterwards.

 

Here’s the link to the Clutch with Strap project on the Cricut website.

 

Once your in Design Space you can start a new project by clicking the plus sign in the left corner. Then search for Clutch with Strap or Simplicity patterns, and you will find the project.

•The first thing I like to do is read through all the cutting directions, so I know exactly what the project involves. Then scroll down to the bottom of the screen and there will be a link in green to the specific sewing directions pdf document, which I print out to have ready for construction.

•Cricut has laid out the project for you step by step, it will tell you how much fabric you will need, and any additional supplies. Recommend fabrics for this project are heavier in nature, including cotton denim, pinwale corduroy, and cotton Duck.

Sewing a Clutch with Strap|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com
Pocket detail, I love contrasting pink pockets with the hot pink zipper!

Supplies Needed (affiliate links included for your convenience I will receive a small commission from your purchase at no additional charge to you, thank you for your support!):

Cricut Maker with Rotary cutting blade

Cricut Washable Fabric Pen

12′ x 24″ Fabric Grip Mat

½ yard of 3 different fabrics, 45” wide (my fabrics are Waverly from Walmart)

¼ yard of contrasting fabric, 45” wide (Waverly from Walmart)

½ yard of lightweight fusible interfacing (Pellon Craft Fuse)

Additional Supplies:

Thread

12” Zipper (I used a Jelly Zipper cut to length)

Magnetic snap

⅝” D-Rings (2 of them)

⅜” Rivets (2)

Swivel Hooks (2 for ½” strap)

35” x 1” length of leather like material for strap

Heavy duty sewing machine and needle

Heavy duty sewing thread

 

Envelope Clutch with Zipper

 

The first step is to cut the fabrics to size, according to the directions and put them on the 12 x 24” fabric grip mat. It is important that the grain of the fabric go longways on the cutting mat. Press your fabric first if needed, and place it face down on the mat, adhere to the mat with a bayer to be sure there are no wrinkles.

Select the “Make it” button in Design Space. You will have to select your machine, the Maker from the top menu on the screen. Then follow the prompts to start the Cricut Maker, insert the mat and cut each piece of fabric as directed. When the pieces are cut, remove them from the cutting mat and scrap it clean away any threads with the plastic scraper tool.

Next cut the interfacing, lining and any additional pieces of fabric as per Cricut directions.This project has an Interlining and an Interfacing. What’s the difference between the two? The purpose of interfacing is to stabilize and strengthen the fashion fabric. The Interlining basically covers the back of the fabric/interfacing and is essentially lining the inside of the bag.

Time to sew!

Sewing Directions:

1. Fuse interlining to bag front and back sections. Fold 1/4″ seam under top edge of contrasting band. Stitch lower contrasting band in place, stitch again 1/4″ away from first line of stitching.

2. Insert the small tab piece into the D-ring, baste ends together. I forgot to do this, don’t loose these pieces they are small!

3. Apply the magnetic snap to the bag as directed, stitch tabs in place at sides of bag.

4.Fuse interfacing to the pockets (there are two). Fold over, stitch with right sides together with 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave an opening to turn right side out along the bottom edge. Trim corners, turn right side out. Hand sew bottom opening closed.Press.

5. Apply pockets to bag lining, matching marks made on back of fabric with the Cricut fabric pen.Stitch along edges.

6. Install zipper along top edge of right side of printed fabric, with zipper face down. Stitch close to edge of zipper teeth. You may need to trim the zipper length, it should be 1/4″ longer than the length of the bag between the two marked dots. Whip stitch across zipper teeth before cutting off the ends of the zipper.

7. Sew the lining (right side) of the bag to the wrong side of the zipper, through all thicknesses, enclosing the zipper tape between the outside of the bag and the lining using a zipper foot. Apply bag back and lining to the other half of the zipper stitching 1/4″ from upper edge in the same manner.

8. Press zipper teeth toward the bag front and back lining sections, opening out fabric lining. Press. Line up raw edges with right sides together and stitch around the perimeter of the bag, leaving an opening to turn bag to right side at bottom of lining.

9. Turn bag right side out, press. Slip stitch opening in the lining closed. Attach zipper pull if using a separating zipper. Push lining down into bag, close zipper and press.

10. Fold the strap in half lengthwise, stitch along both edges with 1/4″ seam allowance.

11. Wrap ends around swivel hooks, mark placement and pound rivet in place (I sewed mine in place). Attach strap to D-rings on bag when finished.

sew a clutch with zipper|chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
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That’s it! By marking and cutting the project with the Cricut Maker, it moves along so much faster. This project would make a nice gift for a friend, or to match a handmade dress for a special occasion. Thank you to Cricut for Sponsoring this post!

Before you go, I saved the best for last! Cricut has given a special discount for my readers! This discount is not available anywhere else, be sure to take advantage of it!

 

Use the code STYLEBLUES to get 10% off your purchase at Cricut.com. (The discount excludes machines, Cricut Access subscriptions and Digital Images. The cart sub total needs to be greater then $50 for the discount to be activated.)

 

I appreciate your listening to this podcast! Leave me a review on Itunes to help me get more sponsors, and don’t forget to share this podcast with a friend!

Be sure to check out these other posts:

Cricut Easy Press Gadgets Explained for the Non-Crafter

Make a Chill’n Cricut T-Shirt Collection with #YogaLife

15 FAQ You Always Wanted to Know About the Cricut Maker

How to Make a Recycled Denim Ruffled Purse with Cricut and Simplicity

Super Simplicity Bow Tie with Cricut Maker

 

 

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Cricut Easy Press Gadgets Explained for the Non-Crafter

Cricut Easy Press Gadgets Explained for the Non-Crafter

The latest generation of the Cricut Easy Press is on the market, here’s everything you need to know even if you are a Non-Crafter!

Easy Press Gadgets Explained|Chambrayblues|Chambrayblues.com
The Easy Press 2, second generation of heat presses.

Easy Press Gadgets Explained

They are here! The new generation of Cricut heat presses, Cricut Easy Press 2, are now available! I am pleased to be able to share these with you! I love my Easy Press, but I love the Easy Press 2 even more. What’s the difference? Here’s the low down, explained for even the Non-Crafters out there! There’s also a few new projects in this post, stay tuned for the how to! This post is sponsored by Cricut. I was compensated to write this post in someway. Any opinions given are completely my own. For a complete list of disclosure rules, please see the disclosures page.

Cricut Easy Press Gadgets Explained|Chambrayblues|Chambrayblues.com
The Easy Press and Easy Press 2 look similar but they have different features.

 

Cricut Heat Presses, Compared

Other than the color, these two heat presses look pretty similar. The original heat press is blue, the new heat press is red. These are both 9″ x 9″ in size. The main difference in the design here is the temperature settings. The original heat press heats to 320 degrees in just a few minutes. However, the Easy Press 2 heats up 25 percent faster, and can reach temperatures of 400 degrees. The Easy Press 2 rivals the commercial heat presses that can heat between 375-400 degrees. Commercial presses are large, expensive and certainly not very efficient. The Cricut Easy Press 2 can do the job so much easier!That’s impressive! I love this medium Easy Press size for making small to medium size t-shirts, tote bags, tea towels, etc.

 

Cricut Easy Press Gadgets Explained|Chambrayblues|chambrayblues.com
Yoga Life T-Shirt with Easy Press

I used the original Easy Press for my original t-shirt collections, such as my #Yoga Life t-shirt collection. You can read that tutorial here. The original Easy Press heats up very quickly, and I found that I didn’t need to waste energy by turning it on too soon. This is great since my studio space is small and this little press heats up my entire room if it’s on too long. Another feature that I love, it automatically turns off after a period of inactivity. This has been a real life saver for me, since I tend to get side tracked by other things and forget to turn it off at times. Does anyone else do that?? Such a great feature!

Cricut Easy Press Gadgets Explained|Chambrayblues|chambrayblues.com
You can use an iron for heat transfer vinyl, but I don’t recommend it.

My first t-shirt with heat transfer vinyl, or HTV vinyl was made using a regular iron. It was a disaster! I learned very quickly that a household iron does not work the same way! My iron takes forever to heat up, and is so small it only covers a very small part of the Heat Transfer Vinyl (or HTV) t-shirt design. I had to press, and press and repress to get the vinyl to adhere. It was frustrating!

Cricut Easy Press Gadgets Explained|Chambrayblues|Chambrayblues.com
The bottom of the heat press and household iron are very different.

When you compare the bottom of the Easy Press or Easy Press 2 and the bottom of a household iron, you can see the difference. An iron is designed to produce streams of steam with holes and indentations. It is also pointed at the tip for fine pressing. The Easy Press is perfectly square, flat, and has more surface area to come in contact with the vinyl. Therefore the Easy Press produces a better result with less effort. Another interesting fact, a household iron only reaches a maximum of 190 degrees Fahrenheit. The Easy Press 2 heats up to 400 degrees, that’s a HUGE difference in temperature! It’s no wonder that first t-shirt peeled apart in short time, my iron just wasn’t hot enough to make the vinyl stick.

I use the 9″ x 9″ size for small to medium size t-shirts.

My latest Toddler size shirt was made with the Cricut Easy Press 2. Faster and hotter, I whipped this shirt together in record time! You can get the free #Team Dark Meat graphic design from my Cricut page here!

Right Size for the Job

It is not necessary to own more than one Heat Press. However, I will say it makes things so much easier! The new Easy Press 2 devices include an extra large 16″ x 10″ size which is great for XLL t-shirts, tote bags, pillows, and banners. I used the large Easy Press for this XXL T-shirt. I always size my t-shirt graphics accordingly to the larger size shirts, since that is mostly what my family wears. With a smaller Heat Press, I would have to press this design in at least two places, but the extra large heat press does it all in one pressing. I also used this large size for my recent Christmas Snowflake Pillow project here.

Like this Thanksgiving holiday t-shirt? You can download the design file here!

The MIni Easy Press 2 is my favorite!

The Mini Heat Press is Mighty

I saved this one for last, the mini size Easy Press 2 is 6″ x 7″. So adorable! It’s the perfect size for making baby onesies, baby bibs and make up bags. This Easy Press 2 has all the great features of the other Easy Press 2’s, just in a compact size. So handy! This little baby Onesie came together in a jiffy using this mini press! Get the Thanksgiving Dinner Onesie design download here!

Each Easy Press size has a coordinating Easy Press mat.

 

Each size Easy Press has a coordinating size mat. I like organizing the mats by size so I can easily grab the one that I need for my project. The different sizes are so handy, I use them all the time! Cricut also has a handy guide for selecting which temperature setting to use for your type of vinyl, you can find that guide here.

I hope that answers all of your questions regarding the Cricut Easy Press projects. Let’s get crafty! Don’t forget to share your shirts on social media with my hashtag #Chambraybluesshirt for a chance to be featured on my Instagram page! Thanks to Cricut for sponsoring this post!

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

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Sew Your Own DIY Christmas Decor with Cricut

Sew Your Own DIY Christmas Decor with Cricut

Decorating for Christmas can be so much easier when you use your Cricut Maker! This Christmas stocking and holiday pillow are just the things to make your home have holiday spirit!

Cricut DIY Christmas|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
This pillow is easy to sew, and decorate with your Cricut Maker.

This post is sponsored by Cricut, any opinions given are completely my own. For a complete list of rules, see the disclosures page.

You will love this easy project, simply cut the vinyl and press onto the pillow!

The holidays aren’t far away and I have been inspired to use my Cricut Maker for a couple of fun projects! The first one is an easy to sew pillow that I made from a piece of heavy canvas from my fabric stash. The pillow uses a simple straight stitch and the applique is made from Cricut Heat Transfer Vinyl. I used a standard 18″ square pillow form from the craft store, sewed the cover and decorated it with the Cricut vinyl. It’s a fun project, it would also make a great holiday gift idea! Here’s what you will need to make your own pillow (affiliate links are included for your convenience):

Supplies for Snowflake Pillow

1. 18″ square pillow form

2. Cricut Gold Heat Transfer Vinyl

3. 1/2 yard of off white cotton canvas

4. Sewing machine, thread, scissors

5. Cricut Easy Press 2 or iron

6. Cricut Maker with cutting blade

Cricut DIY Christmas|chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
Weed out the negative space in the design.

Directions

1. Cut the fabric down to a square 23″ wide. Turn fabric right sides together, stitch around the outside edge with a 1/2″ seam allowance leaving an opening at the bottom edge 8″ wide to insert the pillow.

2. Press, turn right side out. Press again from right side.

3. To make the flange, top stitch 1″ from edge all the way around the pillow leaving the bottom open as before. Press.

4. Cut the vinyl on the Cricut Maker according the directions on the Cricut website here. Be sure to use the knife blade on the vinyl setting. Also, be certain to place the vinyl shiny side down on the standard grip mat before cutting.

I used my large Easy Press 2 for this project.

5. Weed out the excess vinyl from the snowflake design. Place the vinyl on the canvas pillow cover with the sticky backing down on the fabric.

6. Pre-heat your Easy Press 2 to 290 degrees, or iron to the high or cotton setting. I loved the using the new large Easy Press 2, worked great for this project! Using a press cloth or Cricut Silicone mat, press for 30 seconds. Turn the pillow over, and press again on the back side for another 30 seconds.

7. Let cool slightly, remove the clear vinyl backing.

Sew the pillow, insert the form. Then close up the seam from the outside.

8. Insert pillow form, stitch bottom opening closed.

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Keep your floss on a ring for easy stitching!

The second project I made is this pretty felt stocking. This is a really fun project to work on your hand sewing and embroidery skills. I haven’t embroidered in a long time, and I really enjoyed working on this project. It’s perfect for keeping your hands busy while watching TV in the evenings. Don’t be intimidated by it, there are only 3 stitches in this entire project. They are the satin stitch, the french knot, and the outline stitch. The Cricut draws the initial embroidery design on the felt, and cuts the stocking out at the same time. As you hand embroider you can use a hoop if you desire. To me, it seemed awkward so I didn’t use one. The felt is quite solid and easy to work with without a hoop. I found this embroidery floss ring organizer at the craft store. It made it easy to find the right color floss and unwind it as needed. Only use 2-3 strands of floss at a time as you work. Excess strands of floss can be re-wound on to the plastic tab until needed. I am working on a video demonstrating the stitches and it will be on my You Tube channel soon.

 

Here’s what you will need for this project:

Supplies for Embroidered Felt Stocking

1. 1 yard White glittered felt

2. Cricut Maker, Cricut Fabric Mat and Rotary Cutting Blade

3. Embroidery floss in these colors: dark green, light green, red, dark blue, light blue, yellow, orange and pink.

4. Cricut fabric marking pen.

5. Embroidery Hoops, optional.

6. Hand sewing needles for embroidery ( I used a large eye needle)

Cricut DIY Christmas|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
Embroidery takes a little patience but is well worth the effort!

Directions:

1. Cut the felt to 12 x 24″ as described on the Cricut website here.

2. Insert the fabric pen into the Cricut Maker along with the Rotary fabric cutting blade.

3. Draw and cut the fabric with the Cricut.

4. Remove the stocking from the mat. Embroider according to the Cricut website directions, you can print the pdf document here with the directions.

5. After embroidering, sew a 1/4″ hem on the top edge of each stocking piece.

6. Stitch stocking together by sewing along the outside edges along the marked line.

7. Sew the piece for the stocking hanging loop by folding a rectangle of felt into thirds and stitching along the entire length with a zig-zag stitch.

8. Attach the loop into the corner of the stocking with a single needle top stitch.

9. Spritz the stocking with water to remove the fabric pen marks. Cover with a press cloth, press to remove the marks. You may have to repeat the process a few times until they have all disappeared.

Cricut DIY Christmas|ChambrayBluesblog|Chambrayblues.com
Remove your fabric pen marks by spritzing the mark with water, cover with a press cloth and press.
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Love how this stocking turned out!

I spent about 15 hours doing the embroidery for this stocking. I found it very relaxing to sew in the evenings when I was too tired to accomplish anything else. It’s great to have a hand sewing project to work on a little each day, you will be amazed at how fast it comes together! If you are a more experienced embroiderer you could probably do it in less time. I haven’t embroidered in many years, and it took me a while to get back into the swing of things. Now that I have done it, I am looking forward to my next hand sewn embroidery project. I love how colorful it is in our kitchen!

Thanks to Cricut for sponsoring this post!

If you love this project you can find other Cricut ideas here:

Make a Chill’n Cricut T-Shirt Collection with #YogaLife

Renaissance Costumes for Halloween with Cricut

Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut-Part 1

Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut Maker -Part 2

Riley Blake Throw Quilt with Cricut – Part 3

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

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