Introduction to Hitomezashi Sashiko
Offset Running Stitch and Offset Crosses
If you've spent any time around our social media feeds or classes, you know we've been obsessed with sashiko. The history, the applications for strengthening and mending fabrics. Even quilting! Sashiko is now a permanent part of our creative lives.
Lately, folx have asked us for an introduction tutorial for sashiko… we can't blame y'all for being as excited to explore this fascinating Japanese mending and reinforcement technique as we are. So, to get y'all started, we've created a short video to introduce you to the basics of the sashiko Offset Running Stitch and Offset Crosses.
The offset running stitch and offset crosses are the basis for a profusion of other hitomezashi sashiko patterns and it makes a great stand-alone stitch for reinforcing or embellishing fabrics. Both stitches are perfect for fastening down patches and for layered patchwork and visible mending patches (like on Jason's jeans in the photo above). After all, sashiko IS visible mending! These two sashiko stitches are the first stitches all of our students learn in our live classes and now you can give them a try!
Links To The Tools We Use In The Video
Adjustable Ring Thimble with Plate
Shibaguyz FAB Sashiko Essentials Thread: We recommend stitching with Aurifil 12 weight cotton thread instead of the "sashiko thread" you can find online and in some craft stores. And this particular thread in this video is our very own FAB Sashiko Essentials Collection from Aurifil thread!
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FAB Sashiko Essentials Aurifil Thread Collection
FAB Sashiko Essentials by Shannon and Jason
Includes 6 large spools of Aurifil Cotton 12wt thread with 356 yds/325 m per spool
2024 – White
2740 – Dark Cobalt
2265 – Lobster Red
1240 – Very Dark Eggplant
1147 – Light Leaf Green
4657 – Tramanto a Zoagli (variegated)
Our FAB Sashiko Essentials thread collection for Aurifil is the perfect starter pack of colors to set you on the right path for your sashiko projects. We use these thread in our classes and our book and personal sashiko and handsewing projects. However, we’ve also used these same threads for hand quilting, embroidery, and even cross stitcha nd machine embroidery. We picked the colors for this collection specifically to work across a wide range of projects and fabrics whether you want your threads to stand out for sashiko or blend in more for shading in embroidery and quilting.
If you’ve never worked with Aurifil thread before in your hand sewing and sashiko, do yourself a favor and try this essentials collection. You’ll find out very quickly why we only work with Aurifil thread: smooth thread that doesn't easily tangle or snag. Aurifil thread produces virtually no lint or thread dust to clog up your machines. We were hooked from the first samples we used and are now Aurifil Ambassadors and designers.
From the Aurifil Website
Aurifil’s 100% Cotton 12wt thread is the heaviest weight thread we offer and is perfect for hand applique, hand embroidery, hand quilting, cross stitch, embellishment, handmade lace, machine applique, blanket stitch, machine embroidery (especially for designs that use a longer stitch length), machine art quilting, Sashiko, redwork, lower looper serging, and longarm quilting.
Hand applique, hand embroidery, hand quilting, cross stitch, embellishment and lace, machine applique, blanket stitch, buttonhole stitch, machine embroidery, machine art quilting, sashiko, redwork, lower looper serging, longarm quilting.
· Sashiko Needle (hand stitching)
· 100/16 or 90/14 Topstitch Needle (40wt in the bobbin)
· 4.5 Longarm Needle (28wt in the bobbin)
· When using 12wt thread by machine, we recommend using a much thinner thread in the bobbin, like our 40wt.
· When using in a Longarm machine, quilt slowly, using a longer stitch and silicone conditioner where necessary.
Mighty Ten Hand Sewing Essentials Thread Collection
This new collection of 50wt thread is perfect for machine or hand sewing, and includes 10 small spools (164 yards, 150 meters) of glorious 100% long staple Egyptian cotton Aurifil thread.
2692 - black
2024 - white
6711 - pewter
2260 - dark carmine red
5023 - medium green
5022 - mustard
2784 - dark navy
2770 - very light delft
4030 - plum
2395 - pumpkin spice (don’t judge us)
From the Aurifil Website
Aurifil’s 50wt thread is our most versatile and most popular Cotton thread. It is available in all 270 of our Cotton colors, and is wound on our iconic orange spool. The 50wt is strong and thin, and results in remarkably flat and crisp seams.
While it is wonderful for piecing, subtle quilting & topstitching, and English Paper Piecing it also works incredibly well for Needle Turn Applique, Bobbin and Machine Lace, Machine Applique (Straight Stitch, ZigZag, Blind Hem and Blanket Stitch,) Machine Embroidery, Dense Machine Quilting, Subtle Machine and Longarm Quilting, Basting, Whole Cloth and Micro Quilting, and Dense Background Designs.
Perfect for: Needle Turn Applique, English Paper Piecing, Hand Piecing, Bobbin and Machine Lace, Machine Applique (Straight Stitch, Zig
Zag, Blind Hem and Blanket Stitch,) Machine Embroidery, Dense Machine Quilting, Subtle Machine and Longarm Quilting, Basting, Whole Cloth and Micro Quilting, Dense Background Designs
Kogin Essentials Thread Collection
KOGIN ESSENTIALS COLLECTION BY SHANNON & JASON
10 SMALL SPOOLS (5-floss and 5-12 weight)
2250 - Red
2145 - Yellow-Orange
2135 - Yellow
1147 - Light Leaf Green
5018 - Dark Grass Green
2784 - Dark Navy
2730 - Delft Blue
2710 - Light Robin's Egg
2545 - Medium Purple
3660 - Bubblegum
Our third collection of thread is inspired by ourr latest book, Contemporary Kogin-zashi: Modern Sashiko Beyond Filling in the Gaps (available for pre-order now) and features the colors we reached for most often when creating the projects for the book. The mix of floss and 12 wt in vibrant hues perfectly compliment the intricate thread work of kogin-zashi, allowing makers the versatility of working with different counts of evenweave fabric.
Use the colors as solo features in your projects or match shades for colorblocking or thread blending for dramatically different effect. Either way, this collection is an essential collection to start your kogin-zashi journey.
Sashiko Vest #1 Digital Pattern
Literally meaning "little stabs" or "little pierce", Sashiko is a form of decorative reinforcement stitching (or functional embroidery) from Japan. We added Sashiko stitching elements to a vest based on Japanese patching technique, Boro to complete this design.
Boro came to predominately signify clothing worn by the peasant farming classes in the Edo era of Japan who mended their garments with spare fabric scraps out of economic necessity. A boro garment would most likely be handed down over generations, eventually resembling a patchwork after decades of mending. Only in the modern era are we beginning to see the care and beauty of these textiles.
Sashiko Vest #1 is a long vest sewn using Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabric cotton cloth, then hand stitched in various Sashiko patterns using The Shibaguyz FAB Sashiko Essentials thread collection from Aurifil Thread.
Fabric: Body - Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabric in Indigo.
Patches - Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabric from fat quarters in various colors.
Sashiko Stitching - Shannon and Jason Mullett-Bowlsby hand stitched Hitomezashi Sashiko patterns (where the pattern emerges from the alignment of single stitches made on a grid) then the garment pieces are machine sewn.
Instructions for making the vest in Sizes Small through 5X and doing the sashiko stitching.
Fabric amounts for all sizes
Detailed schematics, stitching instructions for the vest and for the sashiko embellishments
Small (M, L, XL, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X)
To Fit Measured Bust: 32 (36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60)" / 81.3 (91.4, 101.6, 111.8, 121.9, 132.1, 142.2, 152.4)cm
To Fit Finished Bust: 34 (38, 42, 46, 50, 54, 58, 62)" / 86.4 (96.5, 106.7, 116.8, 127.0, 137.2, 147.3, 157.5)cm
Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabric
2 YDs (3 YD for XL, 2X, 3X, 4X, and 5X)
10 fat quarters in various colors for patches
PLUS Two more fat quarters in the same color for the F Patch 1 (left and right)
Sashiko Needle and Thimble
Sashiko Pattern Templates
Not Required, but will make it easier
Circular plastic grid
Washable or heat removable White Marking Pen from Clover
Washable Blue fabric marking pen(s)
Complete Crochet Course - Autographed Copy
From renowned crochet designer Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby comes the ultimate reference manual for the absolute beginner to experienced pro.
Filled with step-by-step photography throughout for an easy-to-follow and fully visual experience, this unparalleled guide teaches you how to crochet from the very first stitch—and will keep you crocheting as you gain experience! The Complete Crochet Course explains all the tools, materials, and techniques you need, from choosing a hook and yarn to seaming, working in the round, handling specialty stitches, and adding details. We've included ten patterns, perfectly designed for novices eager to complete their first projects, while intermediates can enjoy mastering even more advanced skills.
Shannon and Jason
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