Several weeks ago, I was in touch with Making Memories about their product, the Slice Fabrique fabric cutter. I’d been following the Slice Fabrique blog and noticed that not many people were commenting, even for a giveaway! I’d heard a lot about this product, but maybe it’s because I also dabble in paper crafts, for which Making Memories is known. (Before the Fabrique, Making Memories created a Slice cutter for paper crafting.)
Several days later, there was a box on my doorstep from Making Memories with a Slice Fabrique and two design cards, which I agreed to review. The Slice is a lightweight, cordless fabric cutter that’s about 5 inches tall, wide, and deep. It charges in the wall, and then is good for about 90 minutes of cordless cutting, according to the manual.
The Slice Fabrique starter kit comes with three replacement blades, a tiny bottle of adhesive and foam brush, three small sheets of interfacing, and a 6-inch tempered glass cutting mat. It also includes the Applique Basics design card (an SD card), which includes trees, leaves, flowers, basic shapes, and letters.
I was also mailed the new Secret Garden Cartridge, which includes several motifs by Sandi Henderson like detailed flowers, birds on branches, and strawberries on the vine. Unlike the Accuquilt GO! Baby, which cuts basic shapes in mass quantities, the Fabrique is intended for cutting detailed fabric shapes one at a time, which is useful for applique.
Using the Fabrique:
To cut fabric with this device, you first need to iron on the included interfacing to the back of the fabric.
Next, apply adhesive (looks like white glue) to the cutting mat with a foam brush. Note: Slice also sells cans of repositionable spray adhesive, which worked much better for me than the tube of glue. I liked how the spray coated evenly and allowed me to adhere the fabric several times without having to reapply. It’s recommended to take your cutting mat outside to apply the spray adhesive.
After the adhesive dries for a minute or two, the interfacing side of the fabric is ready to apply to the cutting mat’s sticky side. Select the design you want to cut on the Fabrique’s digital interface. Hold the Fabrique over top of the fabric and cutting mat, and gently hold in place while the cutter works. You can see the blade at work through the clear plastic base.
I cut out several flowers, leaves, and an adorable little car from the Applique Basics design card. I was also able to use the same 5-inch square of fabric to cut out multiple shapes, like a flower and four leaves.
From the Secret Garden design card, I was drawn to the antique keys motif. Overall, I found that the largest size of keys (size 5), cut the best, while the smaller shapes were harder to cut without the fabric ripping. I was able to easily peel the fabric shapes off with my fingers, although their is a spatula accessory which would probably come in hand when cutting paper.
After I’d cut out the many, many flowers you see above and six keys without any issues, I noticed that the edges of the cuts were not as smooth, so I decided to replace the blade.
The biggest problem I found with this cutter is the room for user error. I found the directions for adjusting the blade depth very difficult to follow. At times, the blade wouldn’t cut through the fabric, and at other times the blade was digging so deep that it began to rip up the fabric from the adhesive. Making Memories has responded to this issue of having to manually adjust the blade by introducing the Slice Elite, an upgraded die cutter that has automatic blade adjustment. Owners of the older machines can trade-in their Slice for the new Slice Elite for a cheaper price than retail. Note: The Slice Fabrique and the Slice Elite can both cut fabric, as long as it is ironed to the fusible interfacing.
Customer Service: When Slice sent me the Fabrique, it was not working properly. I wasted all of my test strips of fabric along with all of my original interfacing and tube of adhesive trying to cut out circles, which all looked like lemons. Like the lemons, my mood was also sour. At this point, I contacted Making Memories customer service, and told them what was happening with my fabric. It turns out that the blade housing was off kilter and it wasn’t something I was doing wrong. Within a couple days, I received my new Fabrique, which worked perfectly on the first try! Making Memories was also very kind to send me some extra blades and interfacing to replace the ones I had wasted on the defunct machine.
At times when my cuts were not coming out, I leafed through the troubleshooting guide, and found that I had at least five possible explanations for why it wasn’t working: adjust the blade, change the blade, “home” the cutter, apply more adhesive, try different fabric, etc. Thankfully, once I received the second Fabrique, I wasn’t having these problems any more!
- Portable and lightweight fabric cutter
- Simple to use right out of the box
- No need to replace your cutting mat after lots of use
- Cutting mat can go in the dishwasher
- Clear plastic window means you can watch as it cuts
- Able to cut detailed designs, including small windows that you couldn’t easily cut with scissors
- Cuts fabric and paper
- Great customer service
- Easy to waste fabric
- Cuts only one shape at a time
- Fabric can tear when cutting tiny, detailed shapes (like a keyhole)
- Slice-brand interfacing and spray adhesive may be hard to find in craft stores
- Room for user error and instruction manual not good for troubleshooting
Overall, I found this machine to be cute, portable and effective. Being a paper crafter, I’m excited to be able to use it to cut both fabric and paper. I would definitely use this machine to cut out shapes that are hard to cut with scissors, like stars, flowers, or these antique keys. But for basic shapes like a circle, I probably wouldn’t go to the trouble to apply the spray adhesive, apply interfacing, and cut the fabric.
The Fabrique starter kit does have everything you need to get started, but you’ll only be able to cut out about 6 shapes before you are headed to the store for more interfacing or extra adhesive. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to position the Fabrique wherever you want on the fabric in order to maximize your available cutting space. The digital interface shows you exactly where in the chosen design the blade is going to start.
I used the Slice Fabrique and Secret Garden design card to make this antique keys throw pillow, from one fat quarter of home decor fabric and three charm squares.
If you’d like to try out the Slice Fabrique for your own applique project, you’re in luck! Making Memories is giving away one of these fabric cutters as well as the new Secret Garden design card. Enter the giveaway!