Papercraft, Digital & Traditional Crafts • ScanNCut, Silhouette & Cricut • Courses and Workshops
Papercraft, Digital & Traditional Crafts • ScanNCut, Silhouette & Cricut • Courses and Workshops
Photo showing the completed hexagons in a range of stitched effects

Stitch Effects with the ScanNCut

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Embroidery is a time-honoured way to add a personal touch to fabric. However, it’s not the only way to get stitches on your materials. You can use a cutting machine to create the look of embroidery with stitch effects on paper, card and more. A ScanNCut machine allows you to cut, draw, pierce and even foil stitches onto your designs. In CanvasWorkspace, you can use offset and a dashed line to create “stitches” that can be drawn or cut. You can also use pre-made designs or create your own from scratch using the below styles. Another option is the paper piercing add-on. After the design is punched, you simply hand-stitch along the perforations to create the desired stitch effect. This is a great way to add embroidery-like details to your projects, without having to know how to do embroidery.

Photo showing the completed hexagons in a range of stitched effects

1. How to create stitch effects with your ScanNCut machine

Stitch effects are a very popular way to add a decorative touch to any project! With the ScanNCut machine, it’s quick and easy to do!

Drawn Straight Stitch (CanvasWorkspace)

Basically, the stitch effect is created by overlaying an inset copy onto your design. Select the shape you want to stitch, and go to [Edit]-[Offset] in the right hand panels (desktop) or in Edit and the offset icon in the online version.

Screenshot of CanvasWorkspace showing initial hexagon design and the Offset Dialog with 5mm, inwards, round, Leave as is as the options. This adds the stitch line
Select the shape and use the offset inwards by 3-5mm for a stitched panel.
Screenshot of CanvasWorkspace, with hexagon and inset line. Inset stitch line is currently selected, and the dash panel is dropped down from the top menu with the lightest dash selected.
Select the dash of your choice
Screenshot of CanvasWorkspace with the two hexagons, the inner stitch hexagon is now long dashed, and set to draw in the top panel. The line has been coloured blue for user's ease.
Set the line to cut or draw. I colour draw lines blue for instant recognition.

Set the offset to a dashed line; which gives the illusion of stitches that aren’t actually there.

There are a few different ways that you can create the stitch effect with your ScanNCut machine once you have transferred your design.

Choose which type of pencil, pen or other drawing medium to use for the stitched line. For example, draw them with a gel pen (great for darker materials and surfaces). Alternatively, use a pencil for a softer look. Finally, you can use foil (especially our white matt foil) for water resist colouring techniques.

Another way is to use the built-in dash designs that are available in your machine. To do this, simply select the dashed line style you want to use from the Borders library. Then position it over the area you want to “stitch”. You can also adjust the length of the line to fit your design. This method works for straight line stitching only.

Appliqué Style (CM & SDX)

Another way to create the stitch effect is to use the seam allowance function. To do this, first create an appliqué design using the in-built appliqué designs. Then, activate the Seam Allowance function on the shapes you wish to add the stitch effect to. This adds the designated seam allowance to your shape, as well as an inner line for you stitching which is draw only. You can adjust this seam allowance amount in your machine’s settings.

Image shows hexagon with seam allowance function applied. Seam Allowance gives us a quick way of offsetting a shape and adding a solid drawn line inside.
Seam Allowance gives us a quick way of offsetting a shape and adding a solid drawn line inside.
Photo showing foil being added to the chosen material using the seam allowance version of the hexagon.

Zig-zag Stitch

You can use either the built-in zig-zag border [BO-B004] or a rounded zig-zag [BO-B005] directly on your ScanNCut machine.

In terms of creating your own files, however, you will find this easier in third-party apps such as Illustrator, VectorStyler or Inkscape. This is because the computer relies on a plug-in to add all the additional nodes required.

Guided Stitches

For those with the Paper Piercing add-on for ScanNCut, you have an even better option: guided stitches. Use CanvasWorkspace to setup the lines you want to stitch as above. Next, change the line type by clicking on [Draw] and selecting [Pierce] instead. You can then use the pierce spacing to balance the pattern of your holes to suit your design.

In CanvasWorkspace, the stitch line has been changed to Pierce and the Dot Spacing set to 4.2mm. Adjust the Dot Spacing as needed for you design though.*
Switch the line to Pierce and alter the Dot Spacing to suit.

Transfer the design to your machine, load your material onto the piercing mat. Pierce the design first. You can then position the material onto your regular cutting mat. Use the blade to cut out your design; our Craft Shield can help you align the piece between mats.

Once pierced, you can then either switch the line to draw to draw in stitches, draw stitches in by hand or hand stitch the design through the holes you have just made.

Photo showing Natalie stitching the punched hexagon using a fine needle. 1 strand of embroidery thread is used.
Natalie stitching the punched hexagon using a fine needle. 1 strand of embroidery thread is used.

No matter which method you choose, the stitch effect is a great way to add a unique touch!

2. Different ways that you can use the stitch effect to embellish your projects

If you’re looking for a way to add an extra something to your projects, the stitch effect is a great option.

Edging your projects

This effect can be used in a variety of ways to create different looks. One way to use the stitch effect is to create a border around the edges of a project. To create a border, simply select the stitch effect that you want to use. Then, use offset or manually trace around the inside edge of the project. On punched stitch styles, be sure to leave enough space between the stitching and the edge of the project. This is important because you want to avoid the stitches damaging the edges of your project.

Faux Quilting

Another way is to create with stitches is to create a faux quilt effect. This is a great way to add some dimension and interest to a project, and it’s also a great way to use up scraps of materials. Cut multiple smaller shapes such as hexagons using the effect methods from above. You can then build these up into the final pattern on your project’s base.

Paper Piecing

A different technique is to use the stitch effect is to create a appliqué using paper piecing.

This is a great way to add a bit of color and interest to a project. To create an applique, simply select one of the appliqué designs from your machine, or create a layered design and apply the stitching effect you desire using the above methods. Be sure to leave enough space between the stitching and the edge of the applique so that the stitches don’t get lost. This is a great way to add some texture and interest to a project.

3. Tips on how to create perfect stitches every time

If you’re ScanNCut user, then you know that one of its coolest features is the evenness and accuracy of the dashes and dot spacing. This allows you to create the illusion of perfect stitches, even when there aren’t any!

Here are some tips to help you get perfect stitches every time:

First, make sure your design is well-suited for the offset or seam allowance function. Not all designs will work well with these functions, so it’s important to choose one that will look good with the stitches: simple designs usually look the best.

Next, pay attention to the direction and spacing of your stitches. Hand stitches should always go in the same direction, so be sure to plan your design accordingly. Check your number of holes are suitable for stitching and they finish logically in corners of shapes.

Finally, for drawn stitches, ensure the pen you are using is free flowing

Following these simple tips, you should be able to create perfect stitches every time!

4. Learn about the different materials that work best with the stitch effect

Different materials will produce different stitch effects as the material can influence which method you use. For example, you wouldn’t use the paper piercing method with HTV. In general, though, any material can be used to create a stitch effect with textured prints looking the most realistic such as Autumn Flowers.

To get the most defined stitch effect, choose a strongly contrasting pen to your base material for drawn stitched effects, or a contrasting thread. This will make the stitches pop against the fabric background. Alternatively, you can use a thread that matches the “fabric” colour but with a different finish. This will give a more subtle effect.

The type of stitch you use will also affect the final look. A straight stitch will create a classic look, while a zigzag stitch will add a bit of interest. If you want a really bold stitch effect, you could use a chain stitch effect: stringing together a chain of multiple overlapping ovals using the dash option of third-party software such as Affinity Designer. This will create a line of stitches that appear interconnected.

Experiment with different combinations of prints, textures, materials, threads, and stitch styles to see what combination you like best. There is no right or wrong combination – it’s all about personal preference. So have fun and see what you can create!

With the help of a ScanNCut machine, easily create a variety of different stitch effects that will take your projects to the next level.

This machine is great for anyone who loves to sew, but doesn’t have the time for it. The ScanNCut methods we’ve shown in this blog give the effect of stitches that either aren’t there or really easy to add. Perfect for those who want the look of stitches without the hassle.

Join us next Tuesday over on YouTube for the first of our proper textile projects. First up is a review and project with the Rotary blade. For more faux stitching effects, check out Masking Tips which feature rub on stitching in the feature project.

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