Hello! Nadine here and I'm super excited to show you the new font that I created called Crafter Stitch which is available for free download here.
Today we will cover how to curve the stitches around shapes and other handy tips. There are many applications, including print and cut for both regular and transfer paper for t-shirts. Make sure to pop back again next week when I'll be doing a step-by-step tutorial showing how it can be used as htv embroidery around fabric appliqué such as this bunny t-shirt:
There are over 50 different stitch styles that can be used with any of your shapes in Silhouette Studio to create pretty embroidery style edges. Here’s a little video showing how to use the Crafter Stitch font:
‘What on earth has a font got to do with embroidery stitches?’ you may ask. Well, this font is in fact a dingbat font, meaning that for each letter typed, a different shape appears. Dingbat, or icon, fonts are wonderful for using within Silhouette Studio as they are automatically ready to cut and you don’t need to trace the shape as you would if it were a picture file such as JPEG or PNG.
Here is the character map which comes with the font to help you map the stitch you'd like to use with the character which produces it.
More than being just convenient to use, the really exciting thing about dingbat fonts is that you can use the Text to Path feature that is available for all fonts. This feature allows you to curve words to your shape. I used text to path recently in my wedding papercut tutorial here and Karen also wrote a blog post here. In this tutorial, rather than having words curving around a shape, we will be curving our embroidery stitches!
Here are some examples:
Top TipsHaving had a wonderful time experimenting with different shapes and stitches I have a few tips to share with you.
Many stitches with this font, just like with real embroidery, find sharp corners tricky. You can of course adjust these manually - think about this as the digital equivalent of lifting the foot on the sewing machine! I'm a lazy crafter though and I find avoiding the issue easier :)
Tip # 1 - Pick Rounder Fonts.If you are edging a word, make your life easier by selecting rounder fonts such as the one I used in my video which is Arial Rounded MT Bold. In the example below, see how the stitch navigates corners easily in the word HAPPY, yet overlaps in SAD because the corners are much tighter?
Tip # 2 Offset or Point Edit
The offset tool draws an outline around your shape by a set margin. It gives you the option for rounded or sharp corners, so this is a super quick and easy way to make your shapes have softer edges. Another way is to edit points to change from a corner node to a smooth node, or even remove that particular node all together
Tip # 3 Stitch direction
With text-to-path, the font can sit on top of the line to hang below it. When using the Crafter Stitch font, this results in the stitch looking like it is facing outwards or inwards, as shown below. As this effectively means you have double the choice of stitches, it's worth expertimenting to see which option suits your shape better.
Tip # 4 Convert to Path
Firstly, if you are wanting to curve the crafter stitch around some lettering such as in the video, the lettering must first be converted to a path.
Secondly, once you have arranged the stitches around the shape and you are happy with the size, spacing etc, you must then convert the crafter stitch into a path also. The easiest way to do this is selecting this option from the right click menu, but it's also in the Modify window. This will convert the stitches from a font to regular shapes and will lock them into position. You can then weld them, offset them or ungroup and manually adjust.
Inspiration and further resourcesI came across this idea from the Silhouette power user (and my craft superhero) Kay from the blog Clever Someday. Kay created a dingbat font called Border Bits and also more recently Arrow Crafter. I have to say that this really changed how I use Silhouette Studio and opened up wonderful design options that I never thought would be possible without it. I get all excited when telling people about this epic idea and this stitch font is a variation of the same concept.
Not only did Kay introduce me to this idea, it was in fact another tutorial on Clever Someday that I followed to actually create the font itself. If you too are inspired to give it a go, I completely recommend following Kay's guide which worked wonderfully for me http://cleversomeday.com/inkscape-dings/
If you don’t know how to install fonts in Windows, click here and for Mac, click here.