Crafting with fabric is one of the biggest industry trends right now, and we aren’t just talking quilts! You can create beautiful fabric accessories and home décor with your Big Shot–even if you don’t sew. The Sizzix Big Shot makes it easy to cut intricate fabric shapes to use in all your crafting projects. Below are some basic questions and answers about using the Big Shot to create with fabric.
Click to download printable instructions © Stampin' Up
What type of fabric will the Big Shot cut? The Big Shot will cut all types of fabric. For a complete list of Big Shot-approved materials, click here.
How many pieces of fabric can I cut at a time? That depends on the fabric. Different fabrics vary in thickness. For example, your Big Shot can cut through eight layers of cotton, which is a relatively thin fabric, but it will only cut through one layer of faux fur, which is a very thick fabric.
Do you shim fabric in a Big Shot differently than paper? No. Your Big Shot works the same with fabric as it does with paper. Different fabrics vary in thickness, much the same as different paper materials vary in thickness. If you are only cutting one layer of a very thin fabric, you might need to use a piece of card stock as a shim just as you would if you were only cutting one layer of thin paper.
Will all Big Shot dies cut fabric? You can cut fabric with any of the Sizzix steel-rule dies (Originals, Bigz, Bigz L, and Bigz XL). You cannot cut fabric with Sizzlits, Embosslits, Textured Impressions Embossing Folders, or Texturz Plates.
Will dies with score lines ruin my fabric? You can still use dies with score lines to cut fabric. The score lines will slightly distress your fabric, but shouldn’t damage it permanently. However, we recommend that if you are using dies with score lines to only cut one or two layers at a time (depending on the thickness of your fabric). If you try to cut too many layers at a time, it is possible that the score lines could tear your fabric.
Will cutting fabric with the Big Shot dull my dies? The Big Shot steel-rule dies (Originals, Bigz, Bigz L, and Bigz XL) were designed to work on several different types of materials. For a complete list of Big Shot approved materials, click here. Cutting fabric with your Big Shot dies will not result in any damage to your dies, and will not dull them any faster than cutting paper will.
Should I wash my fabric before working with it? It really depends on the fabric. Some lower-quality fabrics will shrink after they’re washed, which could result in your project coming apart. However, many quilters don’t wash their fabric first because the fabric is stiffer and easier to work with before it’s washed. And if you use higher-quality fabrics, they will likely not shrink.
Does Stampin’ Up! plan to sell fabric? Stampin’ Up! works hard to stay on trend, but it just isn’t possible to offer every crafting product on the market. We will continue to explore new products and possibilities, but will keep stamps, ink, and paper as our core products.
I don’t have a sewing machine. Can I still create fabric projects? Yes! The world of fabric crafting is as varied as the world of paper crafting. There are several alternatives to using a sewing machine. You can create many simple designs sewing by hand using a needle and thread or even a hot glue gun. In addition, fusible web is a great option for creating one-of-a-kind fabric crafts.
What is fusible web, and how does it work? Fusible web is a manmade fiber that will melt when heated with an iron and become sticky. When it is placed between two pieces of fabric, the melting of the web causes the fabrics to fuse together making it possible for you to adhere the fabric without the use of a sewing machine. Fusible web is available in rolls (similar to tape), in pre-packaged pieces, or is sold by the yard in your local fabric store.
My quilting friends mention things called charm packs, layer cakes, and fat quarters. What are they? Charm packs, layer cakes, and fat quarters are terms for precut cotton that is generally used for quilting. Charm packs include a variety of coordinating fabrics cut into 5″ x 5″ squares. The packs have an assortment of patterned and solid fabrics, and their small size makes them ideal for using on quilt blocks. Layer cakes are just like charm packs, but they are larger in size, with the cotton cut into 10″ x 10″ squares. Fat quarters are pieces of cotton cut into quarter yard segments. However, instead of being cut vertically, like you would cut a piece of fabric off a bolt, fat quarters are cut horizontally first, giving you a piece of cotton that measures 18″ X 22″. All of these options are a great way to get a good selection of fabrics at a relatively inexpensive price.