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Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Slice Fabrique Cordless Fabric Cutter (2 of 2)

Reported by Susie Ziegler

The Slice Fabrique Cordless Fabric Cutter is a digital design cutter with design cards made specifically to cut fabric. If you work with fabric you know that sometimes the intricate shapes of other digital design cards will not work well with fabric which snags when the knife turns sharply to cut funny angles. Then when you go to sew down the edges of your cutouts, you’ll want to have gentle curves and simple shapes.

The Slice Fabrique comes with a power cord, 3 blades with an adjustment wrench, a sturdy 6″x 6″ tempered glass mat, a very small bottle of liquid repositionable adhesive, 3 6″x 6″ fusible web sheets, a user manual, and one Applique Basics SD design card. This design card has a nice letter font, basic geometric shapes and stars, some basic leaf and tree shapes, butterflies, a nice variety of simple flowers, hears, and a few fruits.

I cannot wait to get started with this! I am particularly excited about the easy to sew letter font. I cant wait to make letter monograms in cute fabrics! So the first thing I have to do is get the repositionable adhesive goo onto the glass mat and let it dry.

I’m supposed to use a thin layer of this stuff, but it globbed out of the bottle right away.


I am not exactly sure how thin a thin layer is.


Next I have to iron on the fusible web to the back of my fabric. Fusible web is a paper backed product that when ironed, can fuse fabric to fabric. The manufacturer, Making Memories, recommends that I use their fusible webbing. I had some small fabric charm squares which, at 4 inches, are a little bit smaller than the glass mat and the squares of webbing provided in the packaging. There are only 3 little sheets of fusible webbing in the package. Be sure to pick up some more when you get your Slice Fabrique.


I ironed on a square of their fusible web and I also fused another brand of fusible web to another one of my charm squares.


I pressed my square of fabric onto my sticky glass mat. I’m going to make a monogram for a little girl I know, so I plugged in the Slice Fabrique inserted the design card and selected the letter I need.


I set it in the center of the mat and pressed the button to cut. You can choose sizes of your shape from 1 inch to 4 inches and you can cut out a shadow of your selection or a mirror of it.


It cut super fast, but uh-oh… it totally did not work. It looks like the fabric was not stuck to the mat, but I’m sure I did a good and careful job with the adhesive. I tried again with the other square and it failed again.


Perhaps the square of fabric was too small. Next I fused a larger piece of fabric that could be held in position by the Slice Fabrique as it cut. Success! I got a very good cut out of felt as well using my other brand of fusible web without any paper back.


I did get a nice shadowed monogram too, but my cuts did not always work out. And I seemed to be wasting my fabric because I needed large 6-inch squares for each cut.


I stitched up a monogrammed drawstring bag. I really love the shadowed font, and it was easy to stitch down too..

The other side has a shadowed butterfly. Cute and easy!


We contacted Making Memories about our trouble with consistent cuts. They recommended we use their Slice Repositionable Spray Adhesive. The sent some along with some larger sheets of their fusible webbing which is very thin and has a stiffer paper backing. If you are planning to try your own repositional spray adhesive, just be sure it is water soluble! You’ll need to wash your glass mat and respray often making sure each time that your fabric piece is adhered securely to the mat.

If you are purchasing the Slice Fabrique, be sure that you also pick up a bottle of Slice repositionable adhesive. It is much easier to use than the liquid adhesive, is stickier, and more effective.


Okay, so now I really went to town with my applique cutouts. I was able to get several letters cut out of one 6 inch square of fabric, as long as the letters were less than two inches. I found that it did not matter if the fabric was fabric side up or paper backing side up when I tested my cuts, as long as I was using the spray adhesive.


When the mat seems to be losing its stickiness, wash off and reapply the spray adhesive.


I used some of my new appliques to embellish these fabric containers I made:


Remember, for durability, you will need to stitch down the edges of your fused pieces.


I already had success with felt, but how about with fleece? Uh oh…


I’ve been cutting with this knife for awhile. Perhaps I should change it. This was easily done on the underside of the Slice Fabrique. Since fleece is thick, I adjusted the knife so that it could cut more deeply. Success with both felt and fleece!


I got the hang of conserving my fabric and getting more cutouts out of each square.

Here I used an unsuccessful large cutout as the base for some smaller circles. I cut two, but then the third snagged. This was an off brand of fusible webbing and it worked pretty well, but not as well as the Slice Fusible Web.


Look how great it cuts twill, corduroy, and t-shirt fabric!


Pros:

  • Great small lightweight size is easy to store.
  • Can be used without the cord. Holds charge for a very long time.
  • Cuts many types of fabric easily and very quickly
  • Designs are specifically for fabric applique and not papercraft which is often unsuitable.
  • Easy to use right out of the box.

Cons:

  • Liquid repositionable adhesive is unreliable and there isn’t enough in the package. Be sure to use the spray.
  • It is hard to know exactly where the knife will cut, so there can be fabric waste. Be sure to have extra fabric on hand just in case you misjudge your cut.
  • I have sturdy fingernails so I don’t need a spatula to remove the cutouts from the sticky glass mat. You may need to use a spatula.

I am most excited about the happy fabric banner I made for all the spring holidays. If you can believe it, I started out trying to make it suitable for male or female, but it went all girly pretty quickly. Rick-rack and flowers have a way of doing that.

I’m planning to use my Slice Fabrique to make more banners and monograms. I might try embellishing some kids clothes too. The possibilities are endless!

GIVEAWAY!
The great folks at Making Memories are giving away the newest member to the Slice Family, the Slice Fabrique, to one lucky reader. Just answer the any of the following questions in the comment section of this article on this blog to be entered:

Have you tried the Slice Fabrique yet? What do you love about it? If not, what do you use to cut fabric shapes now and what do you love/hate about it?

Thanks for sharing your opinions, we love to hear what YOU think!
You have until Monday, April 18th at 6pm CST to leave your comment.

Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Xyron Creatopia (article 2 of 6)

Reported by Kelsey Cooper

I was excited to try out the Xyron Creatopia because it’s an all in one machine that would be great for many different types of projects. It accepts items up to 12” wide and ½” thick which makes it very versatile and gave me many ideas for projects to start with. I tried out the two-sided laminate as well as the fabric, permanent, and repositionable adhesives.

Two-Sided Laminate

The first thing I tried was laminating the instructions. It was easy to change between cartridges and once I had the one I wanted it was easy to feed in the item and turn the handle. It came out a bit curly but the laminate was pretty flexible and I think over a bit of time will become flat.


I had a few wrinkled spots but soon realized I had misunderstood the instructions, I was thinking having the rollers at position 1 (the tightest position) was only for fabric but realized it meant fabric or other materials up to 1/16” thick which includes paper and cardstock. I had used position 2 for the instructions and once I switched to position 1 for paper I no longer had any wrinkle problems. Position 2 is for thicker items and position 3 is for removing the “refillz.”


The laminate seems durable but is still soft and flexible which made it easy to refold the instructions into their original shape. It also seemed perfect to laminate an important document I need to keep in my business folder. I tried trimming the extra off with a trimmer and scissors, both of which worked out very well, and I noticed the laminate didn’t peel back at all when I accidentally cut into the paper with the scissors.


I tried laminating some fabric to make a cosmetic pouch. The fabric went through the Creatopia very easily, but the laminate got ripped a bit on the seams when I was turning the pouch inside out. But I think this technique would work out if you keep the seams on the outside.


Fabric Adhesive

I wanted to make an appliquéd shirt, so I cut out some fabric pieces. Some of the fabric was very small but surprisingly went through the Creatopia without a problem. When peeling off the top plastic the smaller pieces got stuck but I just held the corner down with my fingertip to keep them on the backing.


The fabric adhesive stuck to the shirt just like a sticker:


And didn’t peel up when the shirt was bunched or flexed.


I thought the fabric adhesive would be a great way to add name tags to kids clothing like jackets, and it’s soft and flexible enough you could also add name tags to the insides of shirts and pants if needed. You could use some light colored fabric and a fabric marker, or use Photo Fabric as I did here.


It’d also be cool to make a custom birthday or holiday shirt by cutting out fabric letters or shapes and using the fabric adhesive to add them to a shirt or even tote bag of your choice.

Permanent Adhesive

I decided to make some mini note cards using the permanent adhesive, but I wanted to see how it would work to cut after the adhesive rather than before. I ran a portion of a dictionary page through the Creatopia then peeled off the top plastic and punched out some scalloped circles using a Clever Lever Craft Punch. I found that cutting after makes it difficult to peel off the backing because it’s the same shape so I’d definitely recommend cutting first. After your item has gone through the Creatopia there’s an orange sliding cutter on the back that I was pretty impressed with, it only takes one hand and one swipe in either direction to make a clean cut. It was a bit difficult to tell where it was going to cut but I got more and more used to it as I used the machine.


I ran some cardstock punched with Martha Stewart Punches through the machine and again was impressed at how easily even small pieces went through and layered them all together.


The Creatopia is so quick and easy to use that it would be great for children and school projects especially the permanent adhesive that could take the place of white glue or glue sticks.

Repositionable Adhesive

I thought the repositionable adhesive would be just what I needed to keep stencils in place (and I’m sure it would work well) but when I went to make a stencil I had another idea and decided to use a punched out piece as a resist instead, a reverse stencil. I stuck it to my card and blotted a silver ColorBox ink pad over it then removed the punched piece (the apple piece on the right is still attached for demonstration). I used the same punched piece for 2 cards and noticed the adhesive removes easily without leaving any residue and sticks again without a problem.

Also, the next time I make a grocery list I’m going to use the repositionable adhesive to attach it to the fridge, and you could do the same with artwork, photos, phone number lists, etc.

Pros:

  • multi use machine w/ cutting, embossing, lamination and several types of adhesives available
  • quick and easy to use
  • easy to switch between cartridges

Cons:

  • machine is large
  • must store other cartridges separately
  • requires initial investment

MSRP:
$149.99, adhesive and laminate refills $39.99

As I imagined, the Creatopia is a versatile machine that can be used for many home, school and craft projects. Overall I was impressed by how quick and easy it is to use and would definitely recommend it to our readers.

GIVEAWAY!
One of our lucky readers is going to win a Creatopia of their very own… tell us what whiz bang ideas you have for the Creatopia, and you’ll be entered to win! One comment per person, per Vendor Spotlight: Xyron Creatopia article (this is 2 of 6), please. Winner will be randomly chosen on Saturday, June 26th.

Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Xyron Creatopia (article 1 of 6)

Reported by Julie Tiu

I’ve never really used anything like this before, so I was really excited to get my hands on this machine. Up until now, I was only familiar with the Xyron sticker maker and hand-held adhesive applicator tool. Xyron has put together the ultimate machine, Creatopia: a non-electric adhesive and laminating machine which also cuts, embosses and die-cuts. It’s pretty hefty and built like a tank; this beast is about 12 pounds! With the machine came 25 ft. of permanent adhesive. I also received 40 ft. refills (which they cutely named “Refillz”) of repositionable adhesive, fabric adhesive and two-sided laminate. All are acid-free.

The cartridges are definitely bulky so you may want to reserve a spot in a cabinet for storage or use a dedicated container for storing them. And, when I’m done with the cartridge, I wonder if I can recycle them? Maybe Xyron has a recycling program?

Before I started using the Creatopia, I didn’t see any of the tutorial videos Xyron posted, but I highly recommend viewing them. While the Creatopia does appear simple to use, the written directions seem sparse and slightly unclear. Usually, you look to the product overview as the “Quick Start” guide. It wasn’t as quick as I would have liked.

The text is tiny, which isn’t a problem for me, but might be for others. It would have also been nice to have better visuals instead of the small 1/2” – 1” high pictorials of the machine overview, and I found it difficult to go back and forth between the descriptions and diagrams. This is coming from someone with a technical background.

As far as set-up goes, there’s a Crank Handle which folds in for easier storing, and when you want to use the machine, you pull the crank handle out or down. This was easy to position. Then there’s the Positioning Handle, used for adjusting the rollers for different material thicknesses (up to 1/2″) and this also needs to move when you switch out different adhesives. This handle was very stiff, unlike the machine in the tutorial videos. I wasn’t sure if it was because my machine was new, but it hasn’t really eased up in the weeks I’ve been playing with it. Lastly, there’s a cutting device where your material exits. It’s sharp and seems pretty precise.

I really like the 12” width, which for most projects, is very good. You get great edge-to-edge coverage for large pieces of paper, fabric or whatever your crafting heart desires to laminate or put adhesive on.


I had a little difficulty getting longer pieces started, but I only had to hold it in place and help feed it into the machine while I started to rotate the crank.

As you can see, I placed pieces together and ran them through to maximize the adhesive coverage.

Let’s talk about the fun stuff: laminate and adhesives!

Repositionable adhesive is so great for school projects, cards and stickers. Naturally, I tried it with cardstock for some cards, but my daughter’s school project was a perfect example. She wanted to stick a hand-drawn label onto a pen. It worked out beautifully, and three weeks later, I removed the paper with no residue on the pen.


The laminate is two-sided and clear. The instructions say to run it through a little to get the wrinkles out.

I thought I rolled enough out, but this is what happened with my first run. I tried to laminate a newspaper article:

Wrinkles!

One thing to consider is to run the machine with something of little consequence, like junk mail.

No wrinkles after the news clipping and junk mail. I cranked out a coffee holder that I want to use as a fabric pattern.

Laminating is great for bookmarks… the cutter went through the laminate and paper.

Beware of the pressure on the cutting edge… this was not enough. Sort of torn up.

This one is all nice and neat.

It’s great for business cards, too.

How about kid art-turned-placemat?

Okay, while the idea was good, maybe not with the 3-D foamies. Notice the puckering and wrinkling? The pieces went through the machine fantastically, but this was one of those late night crafting ideas and I didn’t expect a lot of wrinkling. However, if you want to make the foamies into stickers, this machine will do it for you, no problem!

My favorite part of the Creatopia is the fabric adhesive. I love it. Here’s a quick video of fabric getting fed through the machine.

It’s super handy to make scraps usable again, for instance, for cards!

The pieces of fabric in the video turned into strips and heart embellishments for my apron.


Probably obvious, it’s easy to peel if you have a backing edge (top picture), tricky if you don’t (bottom picture).

The adhesive is super thin and sticky! I recommend the “pick off the corner first” technique and removing it slowly, per the instructions. Peel a small part of the backing away, and then lay your fabric on the surface. Pull the backing off as the fabric adheres to the surface.

With a larger cut of fabric, I wasn’t successful with peeling the backing off completely before adhering to the surface. Notice the untidy attempt (above) versus the neater try (below). And, be forewarned, wrinkles on the surface will translate through to the fabric.

I turned a dollar store shoe organizer into a stuffed animal “apartment building” for my daughter. I didn’t have to decorate it, but it seemed like another great late night idea.



In all cases, when I cut through the paper or fabric, I didn’t get residue on my scissors or blade edges. The fabric adhesive claims it will not leave residue on needles either. Instructions for the fabric adhesive does not state if heat setting is needed. I suppose we can assume it doesn’t.

Overall Xyron has not let me down yet. I’m looking forward to trying this machine with the embossing, cutting and die-cut capabilities.

Pros:

  • Well made and does not use electric
  • Great edge-to-edge coverage (12″ width)
  • Can laminate at home
  • Interchangeable parts (refills) are easy to replace
  • Manufacturer videos available

Cons:

  • Bulky cartridges
  • Directions are not all that clear
  • Cartridge storage solution needed
  • Wish the adhesives came with a little more description
  • Not sure if refill cartridges are recyclable

MSRP:
$149.99, adhesive and laminate refills $39.99

GIVEAWAY!
One of our lucky readers is going to win a Creatopia of their very own… tell us what whiz bang ideas you have for the Creatopia, and you’ll be entered to win! One comment per person, per Vendor Spotlight: Xyron Creatopia article (this is 1 of 6), please. Winner will be randomly chosen on Saturday, June 26th.

Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!