Sunday, June 8, 2014

Using Brother ScanNCut to Cut Fabric for Doll Clothes - American Girl Doll

I am really excited about writing today's blog tutorial. I was compensated by Brother to create doll clothes using this machine to scan the patterns and cut the fabric and to post this tutorial with the Brother ScanNCut .

As I mentioned earlier, I am really excited about this machine.  When it first came out I thought it was only for those quilting.  I never researched this machine. Earlier this year I was at my local Brother Dealer and seen a store display of how this machine cut's vinyl. This machine is so unique with all the endless possibilities that it can do. 

I'm going to share how I used the ScanNCut to create  this Halter Top by cutting the fabric on

Here is the ScanNCut machine - taken out of the box.  As you can see on the front of the machine is says "See it", Scant it" and "Cut it".  That is just exactly what this machine does.

Below are the accessories that come with the machine.  You can draw and get 6 different pens to use.  Blade holder and pen holder. Two pens for seam allowance. screen touch pen, spatula for living fabric or whatever you have cut. Mat's (12 x 24) - low tack adhesive mat and standard mat - this is the one used for fabric.  There are additional mats to purchase 12 x 24 for doll clothing larger than the standard mat 12 x 12. Optional purchase of photo scanning mat. 

Below here is the ScanNCut front cover opened and this is where you load the mat and either use pen hold for seam allowance/draw or use the cutting blade to cut with.

First I prepared the fabric prior to cutting by ironing and using starch on the fabric. When I first read this tip about using starch, I was under the impression that this would make the fabric stiff as a board. I thought to myself how "is this going to work".  As you can tell I don't use starch when I iron clothing. My past experience of growing up seeing items starched was firm and crisp.  I used Fautless Premium professional starch.  The fabric was not stiff like a board. It was perfect. 

I made several shirts using several prints from Hello Kitty so you will notice there are different prints in this tutorial.
 For my first project of cutting fabric I wanted to do a simple pattern and I chose the 1970's Reversible Halter Top from Eden Ava Couture Patterns I scanned the top pattern into the machine using the scan mat

I removed the mat and then made a duplicate of the the same pattern - instructions call for two fabrics.  This is my first time cutting on the machine so I went ahead and cut two tops using the same fabric (but did not sew them together).
 I placed the fabric right side facing down on the mat. Next I went ahead and did a background scan of the fabric, this shows you how the pattern will be placed on the fabric. Fabric is placed right side down on the mat (when you are looking at the mat you are looking at the back of the fabric)
Adding Seam Allowance:  The Brother ScanNCut will allow you to choose several measurements - 1/4 inch is the normal for doll clothes.  Below is the blue pen for seam allowance. The blue pen can be erased with water whereas the purple pen will disappear 2-14 days after applying it to fabric. 
 Below in this photo you can see my 1/4 inch seam allowance inside the pattern.  I did not need this for this pattern but wanted to show this feature. 
Below in the photo is the fabric cut and showing the 1/4 inch seam allowance. I did not need the seam allowance for this pattern but wanted to show the feature.  Remember if you are adding seam allowance you must place your fabric with wrong side facing you. To use the seam allowance feature you just click on the "draw" on screen to draw your seam allowance. After that, you are ready to cut.  You will then click on the "cut " button on the screen. 

I used the standard mat (turquoise and purple mat) Here is the machine cutting white polka dot fabric that I will be using on the reversible side of the top. Note fabric is right side up facing me.  My blade is cut speed 1 and  pressure cut of 5.
 Below I am using the spatula and removing the excess fabric and removing the fabric that I will sewing to make the reversible halter top for the American Girl doll. 
 Shown here are two fabrics cut with the ScanNCut machine perfect and precise cut.

Cutting fabric with this machine was EASY.  Yes, it took a little bit to understand and read the manual/controls/features, but after doing a test on a circle and then I went straight into cutting the fabric for doll clothing. 
Here is the reversible side fabric. 
 Modeling reversible halter top is McKenna - American Girl of the Year 2012

Want to purchase this machine?  I would recommend you visit your local Brother dealer for a one on one consultant to see which model best fits your needs.  You can also  check out this website for the model I used for this tutorial ScanNCut model CM550DX

You can also review and compare other ScanNCut models  click here 

Will I be using this machine again - you bet!  I cannot wait to try it on  making doll shoes, bristol board, foam and other doll clothing patterns.  You maybe saying - I wasted some fabric - yes I think I did a little.  But this was my first time cutting out fabric and you can move your patterns around and fit them as close as you want and decrease your fabric waste.  I think at first it maybe a little time consuming to load your patterns in (you can store patterns on machine or on a USB flash drive) however, I personally believe in the long run it will save time,  by providing you the ability to cut precise  the exact pattern, and you have the option of adding seam allowance to fabric to make doll clothes.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and my personal opinion of the Brother ScanNCut machine. I look forward to using it again and again.  Be sure and click "Joint this Site" to upcoming tutorials, tips, and doll clothing for American Girl or other 18 inch dolls using the ScanNCut I will be providing more tutorials in the upcoming weeks.  

As always - thank you for stopping by and reading my blog and I hope I have been an inspiration to you in sewing doll clothes.


Full Disclosure: I was provided with a free machine and have been compensated for the projects and tutorials that I have personally created.  My opinions and my thoughts are my own and cannot be purchased.