March 28, 2014

How to do sashiko embroidery

I first tried my hand at sashiko quite a while ago (and still use the Kindle case!), but after seeing beautiful examples popping up on the interwebs at Colette and Sewaholic, I decided to give it another go. I bought some sashiko fabric, thread and needles on A Threaded Needle, together with a few templates.

The suggested approach from A Threaded Needle is genius!

First, you trace your sashiko pattern onto thin fusible interfacing (best to tape it first to stop it shifting):

Then, you fuse it to your fabric, and sew from the wrong side of the fabric, using the traced lines as a guide.

You start with the long horizontal and vertical lines, and then continue doing long rows of stitching at various angles. The aim is to have the stitches about twice as long as the gaps between the stitches, although it’s pretty hard to keep it precise!

Unlike other embroidery, you don’t use an embroidery ring, and so therefore you actually need to keep your stitches fairly loose so that they don’t end up bunching the fabric.

And here is the final thing! It’s far from perfect, but for an occasional TV-watching project it was satisfying and I love the end result.

21 thoughts on “How to do sashiko embroidery

  1. Laurwyn says:

    That’s really cool! I will keep that in mind

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks! It really is super easy when you use the interfacing trick

  2. lovely! i saw (may have been on the grainline blog) an archer with a sashiko back yoke? it was gorgeous!

    1. Jenny says:

      Yes I saw that too, it was fab! I’m not generally one for embellished clothing, but it’s a worthwhile consideration….

  3. sew rachel! says:

    That looks very cool!

  4. Heather says:

    I’m in awe of your embroidery skills and that gorgeous pillow! It never occurred to me to do something like that to create your own fabric print. Mind, blown. 😀

    1. Jenny says:

      My skills are actually pretty amateur, so you should totally try it!

  5. This is beautiful!! I love doing embroidery on stuff. It’s so relaxing, and before you know it, you’ve got a really special project.

    1. Jenny says:

      Now you, my dear, are the master of this. Your Coco was exceptional! I’ll have to pick up some tips next weekend 😀

  6. Crab and Bee says:

    So cool! Thanks for sharing the technique.

  7. tanyamaile says:

    That is so awesome!!! It looks pretty perfect to me!

  8. Gail says:

    So pretty! And that pattern-fusing technique is genius!

  9. What a beautiful effect. So pretty

  10. Alessa says:

    Wow, how pretty! 🙂

  11. kdbm says:

    Oh, I’ve just landed onto your site, and subscribed to your newsletter, and love it.
    I have a question about the wall hanging in the photo showcasing your pillow.
    Did you make it and is there a link?

    1. Jenny says:

      Hi! Yes, I did, it’s a hand quilted map of Boston that I made – blog post here:

  12. Diana says:

    Love it. Did you put the interface on the wrong side of the work?

Let me know what you think!