Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Creating Custom Fabric Labels with the Silhouette

My latest Silhouette project was one that left me banging my head against a wall for a while.  When I found out the Silhouette was able to sketch designs and I found out about gel pens made for writing on fabric, I knew that I had to make some cute custom labels for my sewing projects.

I bought all my supplies for this project and was ready to get sketching:
1. fabric-I bought half a yard of twill fabric at Hobby Lobby because I wanted the labels to have a little weight and texture to them.
2. Iron on adhesive-I used Heat'n Bond in the red pack.  The purple pack can be used if you want to stitch around your labels.
3. Fabric gel pens-I bought mine in a two pack at Hobby Lobby in the aisle with the fabric paints.
4. Silhouette pen adapter

I started by designing my label in the Silhouette software.  My first design used one of my free downloaded fonts and a bird in a birdcage image.  This was a problem but we'll get to that later.  I started by cutting the iron on adhesive to the size of the work area on the cutting mat.  Then I ironed it to the fabric following the directions on the fabric and cut out the piece with the adhesive and placed it on the cutting mat.
Then I loaded the mat into the Silhouette, hit the send to Silhouette button in the software making sure to select sketch pen instead of blade and hit cut.  This is where the problems started.  The program would stop for a really long time as if it was frozen and then the program would crash.  This made me very frustrated.  I finally figured out that I had to use designs and fonts that were specifically labeled as sketch designs and fonts in the Silhouette store.

So I found a few of these in the Silhouette online store, downloaded them and redesigned my labels.  In the meantime my gel pen leaked all over a corner of my fabric, ugh.
Lovely, right?  Then I started sketching the new labels and the pen was leaving lines as it moved across the fabric to sketch the next label.

I figure out that the nib of the pen was too far down in the holder so I adjusted it and was finally able to get some labels successfully printed.

Despite all the headaches that this project gave me, I am really ecstatic with the results.  I just made another set of burp cloths and the labels look fantastic on them.

Hopefully if you are trying to do a project similar to this, this blog post will save you from making the same mistakes that I did! 

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