Worker Bee Box – Dye & Applique (July)

Hello, I am going to try a new way of providing the tutorials for the worker bee projects. Until now I have included a printed tutorial, usually on an A4 size which includes all the materials, steps, guides, photos, etc to complete the project. And I have struggled! so I have decided to provide only a few printed guides and the main tutorial here on the blog. I can then also add links to other technical tips, more quality photos and other ideas. I hope you like it!!

This month the worker bees are making: fun dye projects with applique!

And with these designs we will be making these projects: a cushion cover and a simple bag.

Fabric paint dye in yellow and black with birds pattern applique, finished with machine stitch.

Fabric paint dye in blue with flowers pattern applique, finished with back stitch.

To see the full post  …

1 piece or 100% cotton fabric (50cm x 150cm)
2 pieces (birds) fabric for the applique
2 pieces (flowers) for the applique
1 x Embroidery needle
4 Embroidery threads (aprox 3 meters)
3 little jars with fabric paint
4 buttons to decorate on applique
1 m of black lace ribbon

PREPARE YOUR FABRIC: Wash your fabric at 30 degrees or cold water. If you do hand wash, just leave it soaking for an hour. If you use the washing machine, put it into a washing bag to avoid fraying. Apply the dying when the fabric is still wet!

We are going to use FABRIC PAINT please note that this is not a dye. It is fabric paint and we are going to mix it with a bit of water to achieve some funky patterns. Proper fabric dye requires boiling water and mixing some chemicals, which is something that you should only do with a bit of training and supervision. The worker bee box does not intend to teach you how to use fabric dyes, this is just a fun project which uses fabric paint. Please make sure that you wear old clothes and that you have all the fun in a sink that you can wash afterwards! 
1. This project is about trying different options and having fun! Using some of the fabric paint provided and a TEST fabric (anything cotton white you have at home), make a few tests to see how you would like your dye to look like. Cut your test fabric in squares of 20cm x 20cm and make different folds to see the results. You can also use some old t-shirts, table clothes, etc.  

2. To achieve a lines pattern: fold your fabric into concertina pleats of 5cm. 
3. To achieve diagonal lines & circles pattern: fold your fabric in diagonal concertina pleats, of 5cm.
4. Finally fold in 3 parts. 

5. Mix the paint and some water as per the ratio below in a flat bottom small plastic box and try different measurements (do this in a sink that you can wash later!). 
a. 1 tbsp of fabric paint to 1 tbsp of water
b. 1 tbsp of fabric paint to 2 tbsp of water
c. 1 tbsp of fabric paint to 3 tbsp of water
You should not have more than 0.5 cm of dye/paint. 

6. Insert the sides of the folded fabric into the paint for 2 or 3 seconds making sure  the paint reaches all the pleats. 
7. Depending on the pattern you want to achieve, insert: 
– long sides for lines & diagonal patterns
– corners for a circles pattern
– all sides for a squares pattern

 8. This is an example of very little water and two paint colours together (stirred, not mixed!)

Try as many combinations as you can! but make sure you have enough paint for your final projects. 

With the fabric provided you can make a cushion cover and a small bag. Measure and cut the pieces for your projects first and then apply the dye whilst wet. Let it dry. Sew the applique before sewing your pieces together. 
The interfacing provided is sticky on only one side, cut one little piece of interfacing for each motif (make sure you remove any extra fabric so you have enough interfacing), place the shinny sticky bit onto the wrong side of the applique fabric. Iron (no steam). 
9. The bird pattern goes very well with yellow and black colours. Cut the shape of the pattern (I have left a little bit of the white background around the bird) and top stitch with black thread. If you don’t have a sewing machine, use a back stitch along the pattern.  

Note the machine stitch in black along the pattern.
For more information on machine applique, here. 

 10. The flowers go very well with blues and greens. Cut just around the flowers (This time I didn’t leave any border) and place on your fabric. Back stitch with different colours around the pattern, or use some of the embroidery stitches that you learned on our previous project.

Buttons, ribbon and lace to be used as you like. I like surprises too!!
Envelope cushion cover tutorials: 
Simple bag tutorials: 
Happy Stitch (you could use another fabric for the lining, or without the lining)
Please do not forget to send me your photos, add them to your blog or pin them on Pinterest.   
The worker bee box is a crafty box that includes all the materials to make this project and a tutorial. If you would like to subscribe, you can do it here. 
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