Using (and Loving!) the New Cricut Maker - The Ultimate Smart Cutting Machine

I'll admit, when the good people over at Cricut contacted me, I was a little hesitant. I had heard of Cricut machines, but I didn't really know what they did or if they would work for me. I'd never used any type of cutting machine and I was under the impression they were strictly for paper crafts. However, I received my Cricut Maker a few months ago and have been enjoying it so much

If you're like me, you don't even know what this thing is, or how it works. Let me break it down for you. Basically, the Cricut is a machine that can cut through an impressive array of materials (including fabric, wood and paper) in just a few seconds. 

It has an "adaptive tool system", which means you can change the blades in the machine depending on the type of material you're cutting. Next to the blade, the machine also has an extra place for tools including pens, marking pens and scoring styluses. And yes, you're understanding this correctly, in addition to cutting, the Cricut Maker also draws. Are you getting this? It will mark and cut your project for you. Which is, like, undoubtedly, the worst part of most projects. I don't know about you, but "Just get to the sewing part!" is what I always think as I cut out my umpteenth pattern piece.

This nifty little machine is considerably small (remember, we live in a fifth wheel camper) and stores neatly in my postage stamp of an office. Despite it's compact size, the Cricut Maker will cut through a seriously impressive array of fabrics. Though it breezes through balsa wood, mat board and essentially any paper, the part that impresses me the most is the list of fabric it can cut. Are you ready? Denim, canvas, tulle, quilting cotton, minky, leather, chiffon, muslin, plisse, jersey, challis, double knit, habotai, faille, Lycra, velvet, corduroy, the list goes on and on and on. Notice how that list ranges from heavy stuff like leather to lightweight stuff like chiffon? Uh, yeah, that's fan-tas-tic.

Some other perks? It's incredibly easy to set up. It comes with a power cord and a USB cable, which you can use if you can't take advantage of it's bluetooth capabilities. It takes only a few moments to get established, and comes with a great 'practice' kit with step-by-step directions so you feel confident using it right out of the gate. 

Now, dear reader, you know that I do a lot of garment sewing, because my clothes are typically the majority of the projects I share with you all. 

That being said, the Cricut Maker is not capable of cutting out your adult-sized apparel pattern pieces. It simply isn't wide enough. Could it, however, cut out those pain-in-the-butt small pieces like sleeves, interfacings, collars, cuffs and facings? It just might. I'm waist-deep in figuring out the easiest, most time-efficient, way to let the Cricut do that for you and I'll update this post as soon as I come up with the answer to this question.

So, no, it won't cut out all 14 pattern pieces I needed for this Maid of Honor dress. Let's all take a moment to digest that disappointment. Now let's take a moment to discuss why and then talk about the great things it can do.

The Maker uses mats to guide the material through the machine. These mats come in two sizes: 12" x 12" and 12" x 24". So, while it can't make your grown-up clothing, it could, most likely, handle your kiddo's clothing. And if you're a crafter who makes hundreds of the same small-ish item and, say, sells them online, this is going to change how you do business. Also, can I get a woot-woot for all the quilters out there? You guys are going to love this. Say goodbye to the hours spent at your rotary mat, the Cricut Maker will take it from there. 

What you don't know is that I do so many other types of sewing on the daily. Though my poor lil' Etsy shop has fallen by the wayside lately (there's only so much time in a day, you know?), I still make and sell pillowcases, cosmetic pouches, aprons, patterns and more at my brick and mortar store, The Tin Thimble. I also find myself sewing handmade things for my husband, friends and family (especially my new baby nephew!) on a semi-regular basis. 

Do you know how helpful the Cricut would have been when I made this quilt? Do you know how helpful it was when I made these can coozies and clutches for Christmas presents? It was a huge, huge, huge time saver. (And pssst, there may be a post about those can coozies coming up if enough of you are interested...)

The Maker works with Cricut's exclusive design software, called Design Space. This software is where you can (but don't have to) use Cricut's own fonts, graphics, projects and sewing patterns. You can also create your own in programs like Adobe Illustrator and import them into Design Space. Additionally (and wonderfully!), Cricut has a partnership with Simplicity Patterns, which means there are hundreds of sewing patterns in Design Space just waiting to be created. These patterns range from purses to stuffed animals to accessories and kids clothes. 

Integrated into it's compact body is storage space that holds many of the awesome accessories that are available through Cricut. They have everything from tools to clean the mats, tweezers, pens, seam rippers, blades (including fine-point, knife, bonded fabric and rotary) and more.

 Speaking of the blades, before I wrap up this post, let's talk real quick about the bread and butter of why the Cricut Maker works so well on so many types of fabric: the rotary blade. This little beauty slices through that mile-long list of fabric like butter. It honestly takes no time at all. And then when you peel the fabric off the mat, the cuts are so sharp you can't even see them at first. It's amazing to watch, and even more amazing to utilize time after time. 

Overall, I'm super pleased with the Cricut Maker. It's compact, it's easy to use, and it has yet to fail a test I've put it through. 

I'm also so honored to have been asked by the people over at Cricut to use the machine and review it, so here's a big "thank you" to them. 

Lastly, as always, readers, I don't suggest things to you that I don't like, and don't use often. Thanks for stopping by the blog today and hanging out for a bit! Do you have a Cricut or a similar cutting tool? Do you use it often? If so, what's your favorite application for it?

Till next time!


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

No comments