About SVGs & SimpleArtfulStuff.com Patterns


While a full tutorial on using your cutting machine with SVGs for bag-making is outside the scope of this page, there are a few important things to share. I believe you will find this info helpful and worth the read relative to cutting our patterns which have smaller pieces, rivets holes, or small/ tight corners.


An SVG is a "Vector" type-file used for cutting. The advantages of a vector format is that it can be resized without distorting the image. That's because an SVG does not have a set number of pixels that make up the "dots per inch" (aka dpi) embedded in the file instruction set. As a result your cutting software uses the SVG's outer lines and the "anchor" points, to tell the blade in your machine when to pivot and turn to cut out the shape.


[Should I use a blade that lifts and pivots for precision or one that drags and slides to penetrate thickness?)

Unfortunately, what the cutting machine manufacturers do not fully explain to you (unless you dig in to read) is that ONLY some of their blades are designed to cut with the necessary precision that allows you to properly cut small holes and tight curves that are less than 3/4." 

Patterns that have small and intricate inner cut outs (such as the rivet holes in many of our patterns), or tight curves around a corner (such as in smaller pieces), will not cut well if a blade is designed to mostly "drag and slide" (such as the rotary or knife blade) versus the precision of "lifting and pivoting" to make a cut.  For this reason, the fine point blades are actually often a better choice for cutting some patterns, especially ours.

So what's the catch?  The trade off, however, is that the precision blades such as the "fine point" don't always cut thicker materials as well the Rotary, Knife or craft blades or any blade for the matter that mostly drags and slides to cut!  (Cricut states that their Rotary and Knife can cut up to 2.4mm thick but are not designed to cut shapes less than 3/4.")  Yet as sewers, we tend to reach first for the "Rotary" blade in these machines because it's what we're used to. But this is not always the best blade to use, especially for smaller pattern pieces with smaller cutouts.

The main market of the cutting machines are not sewers, and especially not designed for the thicker materials used by bag makers. The main market of these machines are paper crafters and the HTV and sublimation crowd.  

This often means that often we have to do a lot of trial and error to see which of the standard settings will work for our bag materials, which blade will work the best to balance between dealing with thickness, density, and stretch, versus precision.



  1. Q#1: Why is Stuff Not Staying Put in my Cutting Software?
    Why are my inner cuts (such as rivet holes) and pieces (such as a zipper cut outs) not staying within the piece and instead moving all around the canvas?  

    Possible Answer:  It means the designer chose not to "unify" these cut out components to the piece to give you maximum editing flexibility instead. (A unified piece is know as a "compound path" if you want to get geeky!)  Moreover to keep a non-unified shape (aka individual "paths") together in place, in Design Space you must use the "attach" function in the layers panel. (See more on this below.)
  1. Q#2: Why Aren't the Rivet Holes Cutting Out
    ...or only a small tear is being cut?

    Possible Answer: A non-precision blade (such as the rotary) is being used or the pressure setting needs to be upped, or the mat is not sticky enough.

  2. Q#3: Why are my corners cutting wonky?
    ..perhaps they are "bulbous" on this small piece?  

    Possible Answer:
      It's a small piece/tight curves, and may be using a non-precision blade (such as the Rotary) or an auto blade that drags and slides more than it lifts and pivots to cut.  Or you mat is not sticky enough and your fabric is lifting and being dragged along with the blade instead of the blade cutting thru the fabric.


Designers have a choice whether or not to "unify" the individual components of a piece (such as rivet holes) into a piece (as "compound path) or not.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Advantages To Unification (Make it a Compound Path)
Benefit to User:  It's easier for the novice. It ensures the components will cut properly without chance of movement/error.
Benefit to Designer:   The designer can limit editing functions either for proprietary reasons or to minimize getting questions from novice cutters who don't yet fully know how to use their software to modify items.

Disadvantages To Unification (Keep as Individual Paths)
Editing is harder for the sewer. For example if you wanted to scale the piece but not the rivet holes or size of zipper opening, single paths enable this more easily. Or if you wanted to remove the rivet holes and not cut them, it requires more work from the sewer.


There is no simple answer because of all the variables --  the thickness of fabric, the freshness of your blade, the stickiness of your mat, and the needs of the specific piece to name a few.  However in general if I want the rivet holes cut out, I reach for the fine point blade first, then the deep point, then the knife. I personally rarely use the rotary. The following is a testing TIP to consider to first make a small cut in the upper left of the fabric.

Testing Tip:
Select a small heart shape (free in Design Space) and scale it to no wider than 1.5" inch, and add a small rivet hole to the center. Start out by using a fine point (or auto blade) and see how well it cuts before you proceed to the rotary or knife blade.  

If you must use a non-precision blade to cut thicker fabrics, consider cutting out only the outer shape and then using a cardstock template to manually mark and cut the smaller inner holes/rivet holes, etc.

If you can't cut your fabric due to thickness, instead cut out a cardstock template on your machine to trade and cut. Below are cardstrock settings I use on my Cricut to cut templates.


I know this was a long read. But hopefully this information has been helpful and worth reading.