Sashiko is a form of Japanese folk embroidery using a variation of running stitch to create a patterned background. The geometric patterns include straight or curved lines of stitching arranged in a repeating pattern. The Japanese word sashiko means little stabs and refers to the small stitches used in this form of needlework.
Sashiko embroidery has been used in Japan for centuries, worked for both beauty and function. The designs in this style of embroidery can range from simple to complex, but... they are all worked with a form of running stitch, known as, well, sashiko stitch!
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If you love the look of sashiko patterns, but want to try something a little different, read through this resource for ideas on changing up sashiko embroidery. From working with patterns in different ways to mixing up the colors to using non-sashiko stitches, you'll find a whole new world of embroidery options!
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Mari at the Purl Soho blog has an outstanding sashiko tutorial, which includes materials, and stitching techniques using a pre-printed sashiko pattern.
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Sara Curtis of Radiant Home Studios collected 20 great links for creating beautiful items with sashiko. When you're wondering what to make with your Japanese embroidery, this is a perfect place to start!Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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For an easy project that's also useful, try this kitchen towel with a band of your favorite sashiko design. All you need is a colorful ready-to-stitch towel and some sashiko thread or perle cotton.
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Saké Puppets has a simple, but effective tutorial for sashiko. She includes helpful tips and diagrams for getting your stitching just right. The Saké Puppets blog has some wonderful ideas, sashiko samples and a free pattern, plus you'll find PDF sashiko patterns in her Etsy shop.
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For a smaller project, start with the free single sashiko patterns and frame. Then, sew your finished stitching into a sachet for your drawer. It's fast to put together and makes a great gift.
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KimonoMomo is an Etsy store offering an extensive selection of sashiko supplies, patterns and kits. Along with traditional colors and designs, they also have a few styles of sashiko patterns that you haven't seen before. They have everything you need to try sashiko and even a few YouTube videos with some helpful instructions!Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Sisters Issy & Suzy from Sourcebook for the Senses show how to use sashiko to embellish a sweatshirt. In this easy DIY you'll learn a great method for marking their free pattern onto fabric as well as how to create your your own simple pattern.
Even if sweatshirts aren't your thing, this will surely inspire you to try adding sashiko to other clothing items in your closet!
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Thought not a highly visual site, this detailed sashiko tutorial from Quilts.com features historical information about sashiko embroidery and quilting, and features free patterns you can stitch by hand or machine.