Tuesday, August 23, 2022

How to Turn an Image File Into a Sewing Pattern

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Did you know that cut files don't necessarily need a cutting machine? Okay, I'm cheating a little, because obviously certain files are made for those machines. But many cut file designers include PNGs, which are image files that can be printed at home. In other words, they can be used as sewing applique patterns!

This hack is super similar to a previous post, when I shared my tutorial for using cut file designs as embroidery transfers. The concept is the same, but before you get started you need to know that this hack only works with images that are NOT LAYERED on top of one another. Since you will be using the image file instead of the cutting machine file, your printer cannot separate the layers. Let's take a look at my cut file bundle that I made specifically for adding to my free wall banner pattern:

The mushroom image is layered (the fern is on top of the stem, the stem is layered on the cap) and after printing out the image you cannot cut the pieces separately. The "You Are Magic" phrase and stars are split in pieces and will work just fine, as will the rainbow. Of course, if you have a Cricut or Silhouette, you can load the cut files there instead of printing them and it will cut layers.

Using the PNG/image files included with your cut files (check the listing, all of mine in my Etsy shop have PNGs but I imagine some designers do not) follow the directions in my previous tutorial for inserting the image into a Google Doc. If you need to, resize it using the ruler toolbars at the top of the screen. When you're finished, print it out. It doesn't matter if it's in color or not, mine is not because I don't have a color printer.

Now you will need to use your (paper) scissors and carefully cut out the pieces of the image. And now you have an applique pattern!  

Use the cut pieces of paper just like you would a regular sewing pattern. I like this small rotary cutter for intricate work, or my Cricut scissors. I got the tiny mat at Dollar Tree!

I used the You Are Magic design to cut felt. I had a bunch on hand from Gingermelon, leftover from making a doll for my daughter. It's a wool blend and it's SO buttery soft, much nicer than the stuff you can get at big box stores.

After I cut the felt, I secured it to a banner using Wonder Under and my sewing machine. Here's a photo, or you can see a Reel on my Instagram!

My free wall banner sewing pattern is a great blank canvas for a quick gift, and you can combine it with so many digital designs! Sign up for my newsletter and you'll get access to my complete freebie library, including the wall banner pattern. Enjoy!

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