Recently I lashed out and purchased the new Sizzix Big Shot machine with the idea of using it to trim hexagon shapes from 2 1/2 inch squares of fabric. I love buying the cute little precuts called mini charm packs, which are 2 1/2 inch squares, and I thought that trimming the charm packs on the Sizzex would be easier and more accurate than cutting hexagon shapes with scissors.
I’m happy to report that I love my new toy!!!
First of all, the important stuff … If you aren’t familiar with the Sizzix, you can read up about it here, which incidentally is where I purchased my Sizzix from. It arrived very promptly, postage-free in Australia, and I appreciated the professional service I received.
The next tricky bit was to decide which die cuts to buy. I did some online research and decided on these two die cuts, 658317 Bigz Die – Hexagons, 1 inch sides and 658318 Bigz Die – Hexagons, 1 1/4 inch sides. The idea was to use the 1 inch die cut to cut out card templates, and the 1 1/4 inch die cut to trim fabric. As soon as the Sizzix Big Shot and die cuts arrived, I used the 1 1/4 inch die cut to trim 5 little packets of mini charms. As you do.
When I began to construct the hexagons, I very quickly realized that the fabric allowance was too small, and even though it was possible to sew the hexagons, the 1/4 in allowance was very scant, and I was slow and stressed as I sewed, not a good combination.
I headed back online, and purchased this die cut, the 659144 Hexagons, 1 1/2 inch sides, and this works fabulously. I’m back to being fast and unstressed, a much better place to be. So even though it was an expensive mistake, I am so very much happier with the 1 1/2 inch die cut. You can see from the two images below how some of the folded sides are very narrow.
If you haven’t used a Sizzix before, it is very easy to do so. You have two clear plastic pads and a die cut which you can see below. The die cut is like a foam pad with cutting blades imbeded into the foam. You place the fabric over the shapes, put one plastic pad under the die cut, one on top of the die cut, and feed it through the machine by turning a handle.
For the purpose of this exercise, I cut my white fabric into strips, then trimmed them into squares. I trimmed through six squares on each hexagon on the die cut. If I was trimming mini precuts, I would simply lay the squares in piles of six on the die cut. I believe the Sizzix will cut through eight layers of fabric at one time, but I play on the safe side of the road and put through six layers at one time, and I’ve had no problems.
I cut my fabric off the bolt into 2 1/2 inch strips, then cut them down into 2 1/2 inch squares.
You can see the shape of the blades here … the size of the cut is 2 /12 inches top to bottom, 3 inches from side to side. This means your fabric is a little short on the sides, but it doesn’t matter in the construction of the hexagons, so I don’t mind if my cut fabric shapes are not exactly hexagons.
Two piles of six layers of fabric, 2 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches.
I have pulled the trimmed fabric away from the hexagon shape here … you can see that the ‘horizonal corners’ have been trimmed off, but I don’t really need them when I construct the hexagons, so the convenience of being able to trim mini charms outweighs the fact that I don’t get ‘exact’ hexagons.
Feeding/rolling the ‘sandwich’ of plastic pad/die cut/plastic pad through the machine … you can see how marked and scored my clear plastic pad is. I was worried about this when it first happened, so I checked online, and this is what happens, so don’t panic! It is from the blades imbeded in the die cut, and is to be expected.
And here is the die cut coming out the other end. It makes a little clicking sound as you feed the ‘sandwich’ though which again is normal.
I really enjoyed using the machine … it took me just minutes to trim the fabric to make up over 100 hexagons in just a few minutes, and I can see that I will get lots of use out of it. I have also purchased 659851 Bigz L Die – 2 inch finished squares and 657520 Bigz L Die – Half-Square Triangles, 5 inch unfinished square die cuts, and I will let you know in a while how these have worked out for me.
Just so we are all on the same page … all opinions expressed here on my blog are my personal thoughts and judgements about the products I have written about. I am not affiliated with any of the companies and products mentioned, and I post about my experiences because I am happy with the products and enjoy sharing my experiences with other readers.