March 16, 2011

Silhouette Studio Know How - Create A Stuffie Pattern

Silhouette has a Giveaway on their blog this week. The entry requires you to say why you are Lucky to Own a Silhouette! I wanted to share my answer with you:

I LOVE my Silhouette because IT ENABLES ME as a crafter. If I had to do anything that it does for me by hand, I just wouldn't do it. Instead - I have such potential with my Silhouette on my desk.

I've been so excited as I have prepared for today's Tutorial. I know many of you love your Silhouette, but are so overwhelmed with learning how to use it. Have you been excited about the new Interfacing, but not sure where to start? The Silhouette has a few patterns now, you can search for them in the design store using "Fabric". But today you're going to learn how to take some designs you might already have and turn them into a pattern.


NOTE: Please share photos of your projects made from my tutorials in my Flickr Pool Maggie Muggins Designs In Action. It's always inspiring to see what other people are creating!

Choosing the Design:

Not just any design in the Silhouette Library, or your own will work. Look at the design with an objective eye. 

1. Ask yourself: "Is there a good base shape?" The main image should have a substantial body and should be something that will look good larger and stuffed. Keep in mind that the size is limited. You can't go wider that the cutting mat! If you're not sure about the design, go ahead and follow the rest of the tutorial, it might help you think about it more and really decide if it's worth doing.

2. Don't only choose designs that have 1 object. The design I'm showing you today has several objects and for me it gives even more potential.

3. Consider your fabric choice as your only real limit. But if you want to use a fabric that can't be cut (ie. I wouldn't suggest cutting Minkee) on the Silhouette then you can always print the pattern and cut it out on your own.

For today's tutorial I chose the Sock Monkey that was a free download a while ago.  (sock_monkey_heart_C02783_1)

Creating the Pattern:

1. Change the Document Layout to the direction of the image. (I preferred Portrait for this design.) 


2. Open the image and ungroup it.


2. Group the objects according to the fabric you will cut them from.You can do this now or later, but I prefer to do it first.

Group by Color

3. Select all of the images in the design. You need to do this before resizing every time otherwise some parts will end up too small, or too big. Select everything using Edit-> Select All or typing Ctrl+A.

Select All

4. Resize the design so that your main pattern piece is the size you want it (without seam allowance, we'll add that on in a minute).


5. Select only the main pattern piece and go to the offset menu using Object->Offset or pressing the Offset button in the upper right hand tool bar.

Offset Menu

6. Offset the object. Click on Offset, then set the distance to your desired Seam Allowance (distance you will sew in from the edge of the fabric). I set the Offset Distance to 1/4" (0.25in). Then select Corner or Round, which will depend on the design. Click on both if necessary, to see which one looks better. For the Monkey I chose Round. Click Apply.


7. Select the original line of the object (the inner shape) and go to the Cut menu. Select No Cut. Now only the outer line will cut and the inner will be your seam allowance.

No Cut

Repeat steps 5,6&7 for any details that need to be in the seam. (I put an offset on the hands and feet details.)


8. Use the knife tool to remove offset on the details where it will not be included in the seam. For example, the top part of the hands and feet will not be included in the seam, so I select the little knife from the left tool bar and draw a line through the section I want to remove. The object is divided into two pieces at that line, delete the upper one. Repeat on all pieces don't need to have offset on a side.


Delete Cut

9. Your pattern is complete. Save it. You are ready to cut! To cut prepare the fabric with the interfacing as directed and then place the objects that you want cut from that fabric on the mat. Repeat for each fabric.


Come back on Monday to see the final product and for a tutorial on how to put it all together!


Susie said...

Awesome tutorial and much appreciated,