The Silhouette Studio Designer Edition software is the key to using your Silhouette Cameo cutting machine to cut appliqué shapes using SVG files. The basic Silhouette Studio software is a free download from SilhouetteAmerica.com. Designer Edition is an upgrade which is well worth the additional $49.99 (but check the box your machine came in – some of them have an upgrade card included in the package).
This tutorial will give you step-by-step instructions for using your Silhouette Studio Designer Edition software to open an SVG file and cut your appliqué shapes.
How to import an SVG file into the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition software to cut an appliqué shape
For this tutorial, I am using the Express Yourself designs to start cutting the letters needed to spell “Sarah”. Click on any image to view a larger version.
Open the SVG file containing the shape(s) to be cut. For Express Yourself, the SVG file name tells which letters are in each SVG file.
When the SVG file is first opened, you can’t see a whole lot as the outlines are very faint.
Click on Cut Settings.
Under Cut Mode, choose Advanced.
Under Cut Order, choose Line Color.
Now the shapes are very easy to see as all of them are now selected (by default).
As in most of my SVG cutting files, I’ve included fabric placement lines for each letter, shown in black. These should never be cut, but they will show you how big your piece of appliqué fabric needs to be for each letter and where to place it on the cutting mat.
Ungroup the designs – click on any outline to select the shapes then right click and choose Ungroup.
If you click on a black outline to select it, the dimensions of the shape will be displayed.
Under Cut Order, uncheck the color for all letters you don’t want to cut, including black for the placement outlines. You will now see only outlines for the shapes you want to cut.
For each shape that you do want to cut, click on the color under Cut Order. In the Material Type list, highlight the material type that you will be cutting. For appliqué fabric backed with Heat N Bond Lite (fusible webbing), this will usually be Fabric Thin fabrics like cotton prints.
Having selected the material type, the lower half of the Cut Settings panel will show you the default settings for that material type. For Fabric (thin fabrics like cotton prints) the default blade depth is 3. Set your blade to this depth. All other settings can remain unchanged.
Note: Depending on the size of your screen, you may need to scroll down to see the material type settings.
Note: To get more use out of a blade, when you start to notice a slight deterioration in the quality of the cut, let out more blade – i.e. change your blade depth to 4, then 5 etc.
With your appliqué fabric in place on the cutting mat, load the mat into your Cameo. Click Send to Silhouette and watch your machine make some beautiful cuts!
For more details on what happens at the machine (rather than in the software as described here), read How to Cut Appliqué Shapes With A Silhouette Cameo.
For more details on how to prepare your appliqué fabric to ensure the best cut, read How to Get the Best Fabric Cut from your Silhouette Cameo.