A rotary cutter is a versatile tool used to cut textiles to their desired shape. The device has gained popularity because of its steady, even cuts and ability to cater to both left and right-handed users, and it has a myriad of uses. This article intends to discuss cutting patterns, sewing, quilting, crafting home decor, crafting with paper, and giving life to old clothing.
Using a Rotary Cutter
To successfully use the rotary cutter to cut a pattern, first gather the needed materials:
- Cutting Mat
- Pattern weights
Place the fabric on top of the cutting mat; this is crucial, as cutters are sharp and will leave their mark on the table without the mat’s protection. Place the pattern on the fabric and use the pattern weights to hold it steady. If cutting straight lines, use a ruler to ensure line uniformity. If the pattern curves, make sure to use the cutter slowly to achieve the exact curve intended.
Cutters come in different sizes, and different sizes give those who sew different options, including:
- Curved Cuts
- Straight cuts
- Trimmed seams
- Fabric finishing
- Seam allowances
To achieve both curved and straight cuts, try a straight-handled cutter. When trimming seams or trying to produce clean corners, stick to the original cutter, as its size makes it easier to use in tight spaces. For unwoven fabrics that need trimming, try a pinking blade. This cutter add-on makes sure that unwoven materials never have the chance to unravel. Any cutter can produce a seam allowance; measure 1/4 inch extra where the seam should be and cut.
Quilting requires an abundance of fabric cut into equal-sized pieces to later patch together. Using a cutter allows quilters to cut the appropriate amount of fabric in little to no time. Switching to a smaller blade or circle cutter gives quilters the option of cutting small designs for applique quilts or circles for half moon patterns.
Crafting Home Decor
Rotary cutters are perfect for household projects, no matter the amount of material needed. Cutters are capable of producing single sheets of fabric for a new pair of drapes or sawing through several layers of fabric or leather to bring a poorly upholstered chair back to life. The cutter’s use goes beyond fabric, as it also perfectly trims wallpaper.
Crafting With Paper
Wallpaper is not the only non-fabric use for a cutter. Cutters are useful for scrapbooking and cardmaking. For crafters looking to add flair to their paper creations, cutters also come with decorative blades to cut a design instead of a straight edge.
Giving New Life to Old Clothing
It’s possible to upcycle old clothing with the help of a cutter. You can cut thin strips for fringe, or open seams to add a fabric panel for resizing. Those feeling adventurous can create infinity scarves by cutting a thick piece of fabric from below the armholes of a knitted sweater.
Tips for Using a Rotary Cutter
- When using a cutter for the first time, go slowly to keep lines fluid.
- Use even pressure the entire way through each cut; this ensures that all materials will receive an even cut.
- Use a ruler to produce the straightest lines possible.
- Make sure to hover over the cutter as it moves to catch any missteps.
Cutters are used to their full potential when cutting multiple pieces of fabric. Observe the grain of the material and make sure each piece has the same grain direction. Aligning grains reduces the occurrence of puckering when you sew the final product.
The rotary cutter is a must have for any crafter’s tool stash. Not only does it create clean lines and curves for sewing and quilting projects, but it also enhances paper crafts by cutting paper evenly. The cutter also handles multiple layers of fabric, making home decor projects much less difficult, and cleanly cuts old garments to breathe new life into them. By following the simple tips listed, any sewer, quilter, or crafter can use a cutter proficiently and finish their projects more efficiently.
At The Inspired Sewist, we want to bring crafters closer to the materials and techniques they need to make their dream projects come true. Contact us to find out more about our products and classes!