Getting started with HTV can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
One of the questions I see asked most often is,
“What size should I cut the design for my shirt?”
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Basically, you can do any size you want since you can cut it on the Silhouette machine and adjust it as needed.
But there are a few things to keep in mind when you are doing it.
For instance, the design itself. Each design can vary in what might look good.
Another is, the size of the shirt you are adding the design too.
Larger is not always better.
Today I wanted to share a chart from Expressions Vinyl that can help in giving you an idea of what might look good.
Expressions Vinyl is an awesome company that offers a great selection of adhesive and HTV products.
I’ve worked with them in the past at the All Things Silhouette Conference and have had great success with my orders through them.
Today, I thought I’d share the HTV sizing chart that I am often referring to my students when they ask.
This will give you an idea of what to start with.
Now, a few things to keep in mind. This is a general idea to start with. The design itself can make a difference in what might look good or not. Every design can vary because it is made up of different aspects.
You may also notice that this sizing chart only goes up to a Large. What about bigger than that?
For shirts size of XL and up, I really do not go much larger.
The largest design I tend to use is just under 12″ x 12″, if it looks ok.
I was regularly making 3XL to 5XL shirts for my husband and most times I would ask him what he thought before I cut it. In our discussion he mentioned that for those larger size shirts, think of the person who is wearing it. He said he wanted the design to be front and center. He didn’t want people to have to walk around him to see the full design. When explained like this, it made complete sense.
The design should be completely visible when looking straight at the person who is wearing it.
Just something to keep in mind when making your own personal shirts.
Another thing to keep in mind when placing designs is busty women or in general a women’s bust area.
I’ve seen some designs popping up in the past year or two that are very specific to a bust area such as this
Hey Check Out My Pumpkins by Petra Studio Art – Design #384455.
In this design, the placement is very specific and on purpose.
However, what if that is not what you are going for.
I made this shirt with design Wine Tasting Team Captain by Megan Hardy Designs – Design #322093 but I was not thinking about the placement of the design aspects when I made it.
Now I just laugh about it when I wear it.
One other thing that I just purchased to hopefully help me get better placement of HTV is this T-shirt Ruler Placement guide.
I was in the Craft Chameleon store for an event and thought it might be worth giving a try to see if it helps me get the design on straighter. It is a hard acrylic ruler and I’m hoping it helps me.
It never fails that I eyeball it and my design is just a little bit crooked, even if I press the center of the shirt. The ruler will hopefully give me that straight edge to line up the design with.
Or I’ll just continue standing a little bit off center so no one notices.
Things happen to us all!
Practice, practice, practice!
And have fun!
I hope those tips have helped in getting started with HTV cutting and your Silhouette!
Here are a few more posts with information and tips on cutting HTV:
Silhouette “Secrets” for HTV – Beginner Tips & Tricks
Cutting HTV on the Cameo 4, Plus, or Pro – Troubleshooting
Note: these tips will also work for all machine models, but the photos are very specific to the Cameo 4 model
Let’s Explore v4 – Mirrored HTV not Cutting Right
Want to get a little fancier in the design process?
Check out these 2 posts that feature layered HTV designs
Designing in Silhouette Studio
Subtracting Text for HTV in Silhouette v4
I’d love seeing what you are creating with your Silhouette machines or software.
Feel free to post photos or questions on my Facebook group at
Silhouette Secrets with EllyMae.
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