Appliques cut with the cricut and designed with the pen tool

Being a night owl I often times find myself watching those long late night commercials. And I can’t believe that I found  2 of my favorite things to do right now on TV during those infomercials . One of them being Zumba® but that would make for a whole new blog. And the second one is the Cricut®

In case you do not know what the Cricut® is: It’s a printer like machine (instead of ink it has a blade) that uses cartridges that hold fonts and images that can be cut out of paper for the scrap-booking community and amazingly it also cuts fabric.

When I first saw it, I did a little research online and found a video on youtube showing a lady cutting a cute little cupcake out of fabric and sewing it onto a baby’s onesie. I liked the idea so much and got extremely excited about being able to do this myself. The only thing that was bothering me was the fact that the Cricut® prides itself in being a computer-less product, meaning no need to know any software and no connection to computer required. The Cricut® offers cartridges of which 1-2 are included with the machine and then you have to buy other ones separately. I however envisioned something entirely different. I wanted to draw my own designs inside of Illustrator and then make the Cricut® cut it out of fabric for me.

So I did a little more research and found that Provocraft® (maker of Cricut®) came out with a product that is called Cricut DesignStudio ® software. That sounded really exciting until I found out that this product only allows you to use images from the cartridges. I guess it’s a step up for anyone not interested in using a real design software, as I assume that before this software one was only able to cut images from one cartridge at a time?

Anyways, after I did some more research I found a website that sells a down-loadable software called “SurecutsalotTM“<<< love the name>>> and tested it out.

Well… after deciding which Cricut® to buy (because they come in different sizes) and finding coupons and some Heat N Bond to stiffen the fabric. And  it works! Ha! Here is short tutorial on what I did (see pics above)

First I found my inspiration, which happened to be a towel holder with these cute little elephants. Then I took a picture of them and traced them in Illustrator, then I saved them as a SVG. file. Then opened my elephants (one at a time) in surecutsalot.. hooked my computer per usb up to the cricut and pressed cut.

Voila… i had my first computer generated appliques. Which will be used for a baby blanket for my friend daughter.

There are some important hints and tips for prepping the fabrics and how to apply it to the actual cutting mat of the Cricut® and which blade setting and so on and since that is all information that I forget as soon as I do it, I am glad that there is a huge community of Cricut® users that share their tips online on the Cricut® message board.

Here is the link to the youtube video that inspired me.

Here is the link to the Cricut message board

Here is the link to the “SurecutsalotTM” software

And you can download my little elephants as Ai files right here. They are on separate Layers.

Buttons and Ribbons inspiration from Paris

While in Paris at the cutest little button shop, I was surprised that I was allowed to tape this little video.

Whenever I feel a lack of inspiration I watch it and ooze over the variety of colors and styles of buttons.

One day, I would like to sit down and draw some of these in Illustrator and use them on a Fashion Design project, but it will have to be a very special project. In the meantime I hope that it’ll inspire some of you.

Romantic buttons & ribbons in paris from ludmila adams on Vimeo.


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Splatters and antique stains for apparel graphics


  • while it is past midnight, i thought it would be interesting to post about the preparations for tomorrow’s webinar. i have been in absolute zen mode painting and splattering like a little child


  • then i went on a treasure hunt to find anything that resembles antique stains and have been delighted to find these around the house.  and of course they came from one of my favorite pieces of furniture in our home, one of our many book cabinets.

in class we are i am planning  to take the splatters into photoshop and make them into vectors to save them as paths and make selections that will roughen up some graphic symbols.  and for the brush strokes… mmhh maybe create some romantic borders after defining them as brushes??

I will try and get the my students to share some of their work and post it here. Continue reading “Splatters and antique stains for apparel graphics”