What does a Cricut Maker Machine Do, exactly!? A Beginner Review

Happy New Year to you! Hope yours has got off to a great start? Mine has; I had a really lovely, quiet, Christmas at home with my family – the days were spent playing with the kids, eating my own bodyweight and occasionally ducking out and hiding in my Happy Place to make stuff! Y’see I was very lucky to receive a Cricut Maker machine at the end of 2019 (please read my *Sponsored Post Disclaimer at the end of this Post) and I spent most of the Holidays playing with it! I only had a vague idea at the outset of the Cricuts’ potential – enough of an idea to know I was insanely lucky to be offered one but I had absolutely no idea how to use it! It sat in its box, unopened, for two whole weeks whilst I researched online and tried to get my head around its seemingly endless capabilities! If this is you right now, or if you’re thinking of getting a Maker too, or if you’re just curious to know what I’m waffling on about, read on!

Cricut Maker a beginners guide
The First Rule of Cricut Law is … you must customise your Cricut machine!

In short, learning about my Cricut Maker, progressing to actually unboxing it and finally, to switching it on, has unleashed an unprecedented maelstrom of making (and believe me, that’s saying something!) I’ve fallen completely in love; absolutely head-over-heels gaga, in fact, with designing and making craft and sewing related projects. And I’ve only just started! I am giddy with the possibilities!

But before I get completely carried away in my own enthusiasm, let me draw a calming breath and slow down, so we can take this from the beginning. (I’ll throw in some of my starter projects to illustrate!)

applying printable vinyl to clothing
My ‘Maria’ Crossback Apron customised with printable vinyl
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Alice in Wonderland sewing pattern

Alice in Wonderland Costume : McCalls M4948

Alice in Wonderland sewing pattern

I was absolutely determined not to get caught out by World Book Day this year having had the expense of having a costume express shipped at the 11th hour last year. I asked my Pixie Princess who/what she wanted to be mid-February and she didn’t hesitate before answering ‘Alice!’ A quick Google search resulted in the purchase of my first ever McCall’s pattern, M4948; I ordered some plain cotton poplin from Minerva and having read through the instructions, decided it all looked straightforward and promptly left the project on the back burner for a bit.

Mccalls m4948 review fancy dress costume

Ah the perils of thinking you have the luxury of time! When the day arrived to start, I poured a coffee, yawned and stretched, got out my tracing paper and pen and cracked open the envelope…Yep, you guessed it, I’d ordered the wrong size; I ended up having to get the Kids size express shipped anyway. I’m sensing a theme here! Thankfully it turned up the next morning as promised. img_4492

I then looked at the size chart and realised my PP spanned three sizes, so I got busy tracing, grading and cutting. The pattern has a lined bodice, cuffed puff sleeves, zip at CB, a mock apron top which is attached to the bodice, a separate apron skirt and a full dress skirt.

For regular readers, you may recall back in my The Paola Turtleneck Tee post I’d described feeling low, wanting to kick the capsule wardrobe ethos kerbside and sew something frivolous instead? This certainly fit that bill! I enjoyed every second making this; I like McCall’s instructions…they’re clear without being wordy. In fact this is such a simple sew I found myself barely consulting the instructions at certain points and I certainly did my own thing with the apron skirt waistband/tie.

The pattern calls for you to cut one very long piece of wide ribbon for the waistband/apron tie piece. That wasn’t happening; I had enough of the white cotton fabric left to make it out of that. Because the pattern piece was so long I did have to cut two pieces, add on a small seam allowance and sew them together resulting in a little seam centre front. But who cares, right?! I turned up a small hem allowance top and bottom and then pressed it in half, sandwiched the top edge of the apron skirt in between – making sure it was aligned at centre front – and then used my edgestitching foot to stitch and enclose the whole length of the tie and the apron skirt within. I slipstitched the ends together.

In fact, the patterns calls for a fair bit of hand stitching – not my strongest point – and I certainly did it at the cuffs, enclosing the waist seam allowance in the bodice lining and at the zip. I was pretty pleased…

Exposed zip in a lined bodice

What I did not do, no Siree, was handstitch the skirt hem in place. Give me a break, there’s so much of it! I machine stitched and it looks just fine thank you all the same McCalls, haha!

All in all I’m absolutely chuffed with this make! I’m even glad I initially ordered the wrong size – I feel almost compelled to make myself an outfit for Halloween this year! Perhaps the Queen of Hearts? Or more likely, the Wicked Witch!!

And off went my PP to school, one very happy girl which makes me a very happy Mom!

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 Until next time,

Sew Sarah smith

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