Sashiko Class Cover

Sashiko Class | What you can learn from us

Sashiko is a form of very simple hand-stitching. We believe that anyone can practice, enjoy and even master Sashiko stitching. The technique itself is so simple that our full-length (more than 3 hours) workshop can cover most of the core skills and techniques. Because of its simplicity, it is up to the Sashiko practitioners to apply these basic & core techniques to their own Sashiko projects. It’s not that difficult to be a Sashiko craftsman, yet it is very challenging to make the “beautiful” Sashiko pieces. Throughout our Sashiko Class, we teach the basic & core Sashiko skill and knowledge. In other words, we will share the first step to be the Sashiko craftsman in Sashiko Class. We are very much looking forward to seeing our participants being the Sashiko artists with collaborating to their own field, culture, and experience.

 

What kind of Sashiko Class?

Upcycle Stitches LLC and Atsushi offer several kinds of classes, but the most important one is the first Sashiko Class everyone needs to take to proceeds other Sashiko related classes. We sometimes call “the class”  as “the workshop”. It is the same thing on this website. We teach the student what Sashiko is (Class) and then we work together to learn how Sashiko is done with our hands (workshops).

 

Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic)

This is the Sashiko Class Atsushi has been offering for more than 10 times in the last 2 years. If a participant doesn’t know how to use the round thimble and long Sashiko needle (51.5mm), we are pretty confident that we can provide the eye-opening, pleasantly surprising time in this class/workshop. This is our very basic, and this workshop is the prerequisite of every workshop I offer after the “Core & Basic” workshop.

Please find the detail of what you can expect to learn in the workshop description page here.

 

With collaborating with other organization

When we collaborate with other well-connected organizations, they may use the different name for their Sashiko Class offering.

For example, the other organization may call the workshop:

  • Traditional Sashiko Workshop
  • Japanese Sashiko Workshop
  • Sashiko Stitching

As long as it is offered by Atsushi Futatsuya, with mentioning that he will share how to use the thimble and needle, the contents of the Sashiko class will be very similar to the Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic). I occasionally “add” the contents corresponding to the requests by the organization. For example, one organization want me to talk about Sashiko & mending denim a bit, and the other would like me to talk about Natural Dye and Vintage Fabric.

 

The pricing for these collaborated classes can differ.

I try to be consistent to the charge I propose, and the organizer and us decide the pricing based on location, duration of the Sashiko Class, the extra materials Atsushi provides, the dextra theme we will cover, and such. Regardless, the Sashiko Workshop/class offered by Atsushi without any prerequisite can be very similar because the ultimate goal for these workshops is to teach students how to use the thimble and needle.

 

The article regarding my fees for offering the workshop.

Private Sashiko Workshop | Bring Sashiko to your group.

 

If the student has taken one of Atsushi’s workshop which doesn’t have prerequisites, he/she doesn’t need to take other Sashiko workshops from the different organization even the name is different. The content of the Sashiko Class /Workshop can be very similar, and he/she may be bored. Please do not register the workshop unless you plan to review the same materials you have already covered. If you would like to take it regardless, we are happy to have you there.

 

Basic & Core Sashiko Class Achievement

Here is a list of person & organizations with great goodwill and respecting concepts. Thanks to these organizations and individuals, I can continue offering the workshop. Sincere appreciation to them.

(In Alphabetical order)

For full-length Sashiko Class/Workshop

  • Curious Corners
  • Eileen Fisher | Making Space Brooklyn
  • Purl Soho | Studio
  • Pioneer Works, Brooklyn
  • Tatter Blue Library

 

Short length, Introductory Workshop

  • Japan Society | Introductory short workshop

 

The individuals who support me to have our own Sashiko Workshop

  • Sharon and Frank in TriBeCa

 

 

Following Sashiko Class after the basic

We have one following Sashiko Class after the basic & core. It is called “Hitomezashi Sashiko Workshop”. Please refer the article here for more information.

 

 

*All of the Sashiko Class is supervised and carefully discussed with the group of Sashiko Artists in Japan, Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya.

Eileen Fisher x Sashiko Workshop Making Space

Eileen Fisher x Sashiko Workshop | Making Space

We are very excited to announce that Atsushi will offer the Sashiko Stitching Workshop at the “Making Space“, which is operated by a well-known Fashion Brand, Eileen Fisher. Yes. This is an announcement of Eileen Fisher x Sashiko Workshop by Atsushi Futatsuya.

 

The participants will learn all the basic to enjoy Sashiko Stitching and will be able to use some Eileen Fisher Fabric swatches to enjoy Sashiko on. The participants may bring their own Eileen Fisher Garments to add Sashiko stitching or Sashiko Stitched Swatch on.

The concept of Making Space is to create a community where people can gather. It is my honor to be part of this movement, and we sincerely appreciate the generosity of Eileen Fisher to let me offer the workshop with the reasonable pricing. It will be a great opportunity for you to learn Sashiko, in a beautiful location in Brooklyn, with surrounded by their beautiful products.

 

Eileen Fisher x Sashiko Workshop Fabric

*Please refer to the blog post to understand what Sashiko is.

 

Eileen Fisher x Sashiko Workshop in October

 

Please purchase the ticket through their “Making Space Eventbrite” Page.

 

Location: MAKING SPACE – BROOKLYN

47 Bergen Street

Brooklyn, NY 11201

 

 

Eileen Fisher x Sashiko Workshop Location Brooklyn

 

Reuse the Garment. Synchronize the Sashiko we respect.

After I received an invitation to offer the Sashiko Workshop at Making Space, I studied about Eileen Fisher as a Fashion Brand. Well, as a male from Japan, I didn’t know of Eileen Fisher before. The first message I learned from their website is “to Care”, in which I value the most in a process of sharing the culture of Sashiko.

Eileen Fisher Renew

https://www.eileenfisher.com/renew

 

Sashiko was originally developed in a survival purpose. They had to use the needle and thread to survive through the severe winter. In modern society, in the developed countries, almost no one need to use the needle and thread to survive the winter. In fact, the social issue rises from the other side of mending: wasting.

The reason Keiko and I started a project called Sashi.Co is to “bring a life back to the beautiful yet not-used Japanese (vintage) fabric.” By doing Sashiko stitching, the vintage fabric gets stronger and more durable with interesting patterns. Patchworking (=connecting) these unique individual vintage fabric give the fabric another life. Keiko tells fabric, “We will bring you back to the main stage, again.” We define the main stage as the “ordinary days”. The stage we have in our mind is not a fashion stage with many spotlights. It is merely an ordinary day where a person can wear.

 

Resuing the garment to produce something new.

Using the needle and thread, making Sashiko stitching to repurpose the garment.

Upcycling what we already have with appreciation.

 

I am happy that I can offer what I am proud of (Sashiko) in such a great space.

 

 

More information Coming. More stories I would like to tell.

 

When I started my own Sashiko project, Upcycle Stitches, I had a great opportunity to talk to the students at FIT. Since I wasn’t ready to face to the future fashion stars, I probably gave them strange answers, which probably include some of the disappointment. Well… I wasn’t really ready to share my opinion about the fashion waste and potential pollution. It was (and probably still is) too big to answer.

 

However, I met many people who “Care” as I do.

It is another reason I started our Youtube Channel to share what we do. The event of “Eileen Fisher x Sashiko Workshop” is a beginning of another journey to me. I will study more about their concepts, and I will connect and synchronize what we believe in. More stories are coming up. The “Eileen Fisher x Sashiko Workshop” continues.

 

 

Japan Society NYC x Sashiko Workshop

Japan Society NYC x Sashiko Workshop | follow Up

Thank you very much for being a part of a great evening, Japan Society NYC x Sashiko Workshop by Atsushi Futatsuya. It is our very first challenge to share Sashiko stitching to so many people. We usually have a workshop for the size of 6 to 12 participants… so yes, it was something great for me. I hope you had received a message for my passion of Sashiko, and introductory technique of beautiful Sashiko stitching.

For those who signed up with your email for the follow-up email, please expect to receive the email from Atsushi by 10/5. If you do not receive anything from Atsushi, the email may be in your spam box, or I misread the email itself. In that case, please contact me from here.

 

Missed Japan Society NYC x Sashiko Workshop ?

 

I have received several emails that they, unfortunately, couldn’t participate in this Japan Society NYC x Sashiko Workshop.

Do not worry. With increasing of the demand, I am planning to have another Online Sashiko Workshop (Core & Basic) as well as creating a downloadable video of “how to make Sashiko Coaster” which I covered in this Sashiko Workshop at Japan Society NYC.

In order to accomplish my goal, I still feel that “On Live Workshop” is a necessary step to teach how to do Sashiko with the specific thimble and the Sashiko needle. I understand that the needs for “Video – which you can watch and learn anytime” is huge. However, the key to learning the appropriate posture is me continuously checking (not judging) your posture and position of needle and thimble.

If you are interested in this Live – Small grouped Online Workshop, please fill out the form below. Once I find the similar preference and request, I will contact you to set up the workshop.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf_FhpQGLrkh1wZInl4e-uz_uu0GDJrQKPG952TR2UYL_XB7g/viewform?usp=sf_link

 

 

Sashiko is not about being Right or Wrong

 

I hope I delivered this message in the workshop: There is no such a thing as Right Sashiko and Wrong Sashiko. Meanwhile, I make another video of how to make the coaster, and/or how to do Sashiko, please watch other “Live Streaming” and previous Tutorials on our Youtube Channel. Try to learn what you would like to learn. It is not a rule or regulations you need to follow. I simply share the technique and concept which may enrich your Sashiko experience.

I will also keep sharing “Stories” about Sashiko. The subscribers of the channel made me realize that “I have a lot of stories to tell.”

 

 

 

Following Sashiko Workshop

Upcycle Stitches LLC offers “Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic)” with collaborating to respected organizations which share the similar concepts and values. Since “introducing Sashiko” is my current goal, most of the workshop I offer in 2018 are the basic and core workshop.

 

In Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic), I cover the similar materials to the introductory workshop at Japan Society.

I will teach:

  • How to use the thimble and the needle
  • How to move the needle and making Sashiko running stitches
  • Using the similar Asano-ha pattern to make a tote bag (I do not teach how to make a tote bag.)
  • Introductory of Sashiko & its concept

Sashiko Workshop Tote

The biggest difference is that I will make sure that the participant “get comfortable to” the running stitch including how to hold the needle, fabric, and using the thimble. I will stand next to the participant, touch her/his hands if necessary, reposition the hands and posture. I will not give up even the participant gives up. From my experience, it takes about 2~3 hours to get used to the Sashiko running stitch.

If you aren’t 100% sure how to use the thimble and needle, these basic & core workshops should be a great workshop to make sure what you have learned. The class size is about 6 to 9. A lot of individual attention for every participant in the workshop.
Also, I will cover the following:
  • How to prepare the fabric (transferring patterns / how to draw patterns)
  • Sashiko running stitch with rhythm.
  • What kind of materials are the best
  • Upcycling the fabric with Sashiko | Especially with Eileen Fisher garment if you have one
  • Difference between Sashik0 and Boro | which I covered a bit in Japan Society Workshop.
  • How to stitch different patterns | brief explanation.
  • Unlimited questions within 4 hours and you will get enough answers because of the class size of 9 maximum.
If the participant is comfortable with using thimble and needle as I instructed at the introductory workshop, I can accept him/her for the advanced workshop AFTER checking his/her stitching over the video. Please send me a video of stitching so I can decide if you follow the instruction. However, unfortunately, without my permission after watching the video, the “introductory workshop” will not satisfy the prerequisite to the other (advanced) workshop I offer.  It is simply because I need to make sure that everyone is comfortable and understood how to use them when I do advanced workshops. I cannot confirm it in the introductory workshop because of the class size, so the person would need to show me if they got the information appropriately and practice it, or need to take the basic & core workshop to “master” the Sashiko Stitching.
I hope the explanation above is clear for the future Sashiko Workshops.
Sashiko Updates Fall 2018

Sashiko Updates Fall 2018 | New Project & Workshops

I cannot believe it is almost the end of September already. It has been quite eventful early autumn for us. Here is a quick Sashiko Updates Fall 2018 to share what is going on with us. Remember, the best way to connect with us is through Instagram & Youtube Channel. I will share more “Stories” based on your request.

 

New Project!| Sashiko Updates Fall 2018 Vol.1

My passion for Sashiko got certain when I started enjoying Sashiko Mending. I have done quite many Sashiko Denim Mending and found myself without any denim jeans to mend. I didn’t touch the denim for a long time. Then, I realize, I would like to work on the denim. It is not my first choice to cut the fabric out of necessity, for the “repurposing” purpose instead of “mending”, I decided to try the new project. Cut and Patch back the denim with Sashiko Stitching all over.

It is my main project on Instagram & Youtube Live streaming. I hope I can complete the project by the end of October… It will be something new, and hopefully something to inspire some of you.

 

Sashiko Updates Fall 2018

 

Sashiko Workshop| Sashiko Updates Fall 2018 Vol.2

Thanks to many supporters, I can continue offering the Sashiko Workshops. Here is the overview of my workshop schedules.

(Updated: September 27th)

 

September

 

November

 

December

 

Online Sashiko Workshop

I am working on scheduling with the preferences from potential participants. Your feedback with preference will help me to schedule it in October or November.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf_FhpQGLrkh1wZInl4e-uz_uu0GDJrQKPG952TR2UYL_XB7g/viewform?usp=sf_link

 

 

 

Sashiko Stories| Sashiko Updates Fall 2018 Vol.3

 

It was a nice surprise that people are interested in my stories regarding Sashiko. An interesting childhood with Sashiko, I kind of had a barrier that not many people wouldn’t like to listen to my stories related to Sashiko. If someone is waiting for me, I will enjoy updating my stories on Youtube Channel. If you have any topics you would like me to cover, please leave the comment here so I can talk about it as a “Sashiko Story”.

 

Sashiko Workshops September 2018

Sashiko Workshops September 2018 |Quick Update

I had the month of August as a “Workshop Free month” to focus on my Sashiko Projects. It was a very good opportunity and now it is about time to start another series of Sashiko Workshops. Here is a quick update of Sashiko Workshops September 2018.

 

Although I was about to advertise on this website before they are sold out, some of the workshops are already full, and some even have a waiting list. I feel very fortunate to have many people interested in Sashiko. I am looking forward to meeting you there, at each location.

 

A quick look for the Sashiko Workshops September 2018

 

Sashiko Workshop @ NJMQG

I offer the Sashiko Stitching workshop as the part of NJMQG workshop program. It was designed mostly for the member of NJMQG, and all the seats are sold out. If you are a part of Quilt Guild or other organization interested in Sashiko, please contact me for the “custom-adjusted yet traditional” workshop opportunity.

You may find the sample fee and structures on this blog post.

Private Sashiko Workshop | Bring Sashiko to your group.

 

Sashiko Workshop @ Purl Soho

I offer the well-organized Sashiko Workshop at the beautiful crafting store in Soho neighborhood.

Purl Soho is one of a very few stores that carry our Natural Dye Sashiko Thread. I am so happy to share my experience and technique in the well-known store for craft lovers. (I received a new that the workshop is full and has a waiting list now. Please contact Purl Soho for the details.)

 

Also, check the beautiful thread that Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya exclusively dyed for them with Indigo.

https://www.purlsoho.com/hand-dyed-sashiko-embroidery-thread.html

 

 

Sashiko (Introductory) Workshop @ Japan Society

Our goal is to share the beautiful culture of Sashiko. Yes, ideally, I would need at least 3 hours to teach you the technique to enjoy Sashiko as much as we do, I am very happy to share the introductory Sashiko and its culture to the many people who are related to Japan Society NYC, which has been a symbol of mutual understandings between the USA and Japan.

It is my honor to serve as a teacher to share some of the Japanese cultures.

(I found out that the workshop is full at this point and no waiting list…)

 

https://www.japansociety.org/event/sashiko-japanese-embroidery

 

 

Sashiko Workshop & Stitching on Denim Workshop @ Tatter Blue Library

The last, but not the least workshop I have in September is with Tatter Blue Library. In this workshop, we focus on the Sashiko Stitching on the Denim. In the morning section, the participant will learn the basic and core of Sashiko Stitching. After a quick break, we all will work on the denim pants or jackets the participants bring.

It is strongly recommended to participate in both workshops in one day. 7 hours of intensive stitching experience will level you up to enjoy the Sashiko Denim Stitching on your own garment. Would you like to make a denim like a photo below? It is the workshop for you.

 

Sashiko Workshops September 2018

 

Registration Link: Please ask Tatter Blue Library for the detail

https://www.tatter.org/sashiko-stitching/

https://www.tatter.org/sashiko-on-denim/

 

*The “Sashiko on Denim Workshop” has a prerequisite of “Traditional Sashiko Workshop” or Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic) offered fully by Atsushi Futatsuya.

 

 

After Sashiko Workshops September 2018

Even after Sashiko Workshops September 2018, the workshop in 2018 continues. We are working on scheduling one Sashiko Workshop in October (Probably 10/13 & 10/14) in Brooklyn. One weekend of Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic) in TriBeCa, NYC, November 17th and 18th.

 

Once we know the detail, we will introduce it first on Instagram, then a newsletter, then a blog post. Please follow our SNS account and subscribe the newsletter from the sidebar.

 

Sashiko Workshop
I am looking forward to meeting & seeing you!

 

Sashiko Alumni Interview Caroline Cover

Sashiko Alumni Interview Caroline | Sashiko on Ordinary Cloth

We are very happy to introduce Caroline, an amazing Sashiko (and more) artist working with ordinary fashion and creative Sashiko Stitching. Here is a beautiful Sashiko Alumni Interview Caroline.

Many participants in my Sashiko Workshop mention that it is impossible to get the stitching speed as I do. I always reply to them that if they practice properly for some time, they all will get the similar speed within 2 years or so, probably much sooner. She is a great example of learning the appropriate technique and keep “producing” many Sashiko arts. I am so proud of her.

 

We sincerely thank Caroline to be the first alumni to answer the interviews. Please enjoy “Sashiko Alumni Interview Caroline”. (This is a part of Sashiko Alumni Interview Series.)

 

Sashiko Alumni Interview Caroline

Sashiko Alumni Interview Caroline

 

 

When did you start being interested in Sashiko?

I don’t remember exactly! At some point in the last few years, I started seeing various classes being offered in sashiko, and it looks so beautiful that I decided I wanted to learn.

 

What is your passion for Sashiko?

I find the stitching to be meditative – I am a knitter, and doing sashiko puts me in a similar mind space, one I find to be very beneficial for my state of mind. I also like the planning of a sashiko project, which can be quite mathematical and precise (depending on what pattern I am stitching). I don’t think it’s an accident that I’m drawn to sashiko because of both the precision and the meditation aspects, as I find both are important to all the craft work I do.

 

In addition, I love vintage fabrics and vintage clothing, and I love indigo, and I love natural fibers, so those things combine to bring new life to old garments and fabrics.

 

The recycling of old fabrics and clothing is especially important to me; lately, I’ve been buying old shirts at the thrift store and doing sashiko stitching on them, thus making a generic item of clothing into a one-of-a-kind piece. Falling in love with our clothing and customizing our clothing and realizing the importance of handwork is the way to get beyond fast, cheap fashion.

 

I also like the traditions inherent in sashiko, stitching patterns that have been in use for centuries, creating “boro” as the Japanese have been doing for centuries.

 

What did you think of Atsushi’s Workshop?

Atsushi is a great teacher, not only in how to do sashiko but also in the excitement he has for ideas and projects. He’s so open-minded about what sashiko can be and how it can be used. He knows the tradition and teaches the tradition, and yet he gets inspired by how sashiko can be pushed to go beyond the tradition.

 

Plus it’s amazing to say that I learned sashiko from a member of a family that has been doing it for generations!

 

What inspires you when you work on your Sashiko Project?

I get inspired by seeing my project develop slowly, learning little things along the way, improving my technique. Stitching gives me time to ruminate on the next part of the project, or maybe on my next project, or on other creative ideas.

 

What is Sashiko for you?

My simple definition of sashiko is making running stitches with cotton thread – and what I like about this definition is its openness, its ability to encompass traditional stitching patterns, the making of boro, and lots of things beyond. My goal is to incorporate sashiko into other projects, figuring out how to mix sashiko with sewing, quilting, embroidery, knitting, and other crafts in a way that is new and beautiful.

 

 

[ End of Sashiko Alumni Interview Caroline ]

 

Photo Gallery of Caroline’s Achievement

Sashiko Alumni Interviews

Sashiko Alumni Interviews | Great Sashiko from our Alumni

It has been almost 2 years since I had offered the first Sashiko Workshop in NYC. It is my pleasure to meet all of the participants with a great passion for Sashiko. I always wanted to make a community where we can get together and share the on-going Sashiko Project. The community I dreamed of is getting formed a little by little. In 2018, I had chances to see some Sashiko Alumni and get so impressed by their achievement. Sashiko Alumni Interviews. This is one of my biggest project & achievements in 2018.

 

Outside of my “Traditional” Box

I keep mentioning there is no such a thing as “Right” or “Wrong” Sashiko. Sashiko was too ordinary needlework for the ordinary Japanese before the industrial revolution. I try to be as creative as I can when I enjoy the Sashiko Stitching. Sashiko & Denim is one of my conclusion for the non-traditional Sashiko Stitching.

 

Regardless of my willingness to be open-minded, the tradition I was “forced” to follow restrict my imagination and creativity. Our Sashiko Alumni do not have the limitation of what I have subconsciously. They learn the basic & core & traditional Sashiko from me and collaborate to what they are passionate about. Their achievements always inspire me. Ever since I enjoyed the Sashiko Alumni Sashiko work, I sincerely wanted to share their work on this website.

 

There we go as Sashiko Alumni Interviews. I plan to introduce their views with many photos.

 

Sashiko Alumni Interview Sharon

Contents of Sashiko Alumni Interviews

 

We send a list of brief questions regarding Sashiko and Sashiko Workshop experience with us. It is our biggest happiness to see the Alumni’s Sashiko achievement. In the advanced workshop (Hitomezashi Workshop) or Sashiko Gathering after the initial Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic), some alumni bring their own Sashiko achievements. They are all unique and beautifully done.

 

I encourage the students to be open-minded. In the workshop, I teach the traditional technique with many stories based on the tradition. It is welcomed to practice the traditional stitching as you progress your project. At the same time, I am very interested in a “Sashiko’s possibility” by the Sashiko Alumni integrating their own culture and what they learned from me.

 

In Sashiko Alumni Interviews, I ask 5 questions below:

  1. When did you start being interested in Sashiko?
  2. What is your passion for Sashiko?
  3. What did you think of Atsushi’s Workshop?
  4. What inspires you when you work on your Sashiko project?
  5. What is Sashiko for you?

 

With our Sashiko Alumni interviews on these questions, I believe we can introduce what Sashiko really is. I am very excited about sharing these.

 

The Sashiko Alumni who interviewed

 

Please find a link to the individual interview. You may find your own favorite style. They are all different, and they are all fantastic.

  • Caroline Green  (Coming Soon)

 

Sashiko Almuni Interview

 

 

 

I am asking the Sashiko Alumni to spare their precious time to answer the interviews. Please wait for the updates. The articles will be a good benchmark for you to understand what you potentially can do after taking our Sashiko Workshops. I will teach you the basic & tradition. After the workshop, it is up to you to create completely “one-of-a-kind” Sashiko work.

 

Amazing! Enjoy Sashiko!!

Hitomezashi Sashiko

Hitomezashi Sashiko | What is the difference?

As of 2018, I mainly offer 2 kinds of workshops. One is Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Basic & Core) to share the core technique of Unshin (Needle Movement). It is designed for anyone who is interested in Sashiko and anyone who would like to review their needle movement. Another workshop with Hitomezashi Sashiko is the intermediate level (advanced) workshop for those who learned the basic Unshin and became comfortable with the Sashiko stitching. I name the second, advanced level workshop, “Hitomezashi Workshop”.

 

Although the workshop is designed as the advanced workshop, Hitomezashi itself is not the advanced version of Sashiko Stitching. It is simply in a different category in a big picture of Sashiko. Since I would like to have everyone in the Hitomezashi Workshop to have the same knowledge and technical skill, I set the Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic) as a prerequisite for the Hitomezashi Workshop.

 

What is Hitomezashi?

Hitomezashi (一目刺し) is a kind of Sashiko performed mainly in Yamagata Prefecture. A famous Hitomezashi is called “Shonai Sashiko (庄内刺し子)” and it is known as one of 3 main Sashiko kinds in Japanese history (Hishizashi, Koginzashi, and Shonai Sashiko)

We can also find the history & practice of Hitomezashi in many rural places in Japan. We also practice Hitomezashi and the stitches create the beautiful and strong pattern on the fabric.

 

Hitomezashi Sashiko Sample
Sample Swatches of Hitomezashi Sashiko. (And a small piece of regular Sashiko on the right corner.)

 

The difference of Hitomezashi and Gushinui Sashiko Stitching

 

Hitomezashi Sashiko mainly uses a grid-sheet (a sheet of graph paper) to create the design. The stitch is usually the size of the grid you choose the beginning, and you will follow the grid sheet to make the strong and vivid patterns. “Hitome = 一目” means “one stitch” and creating the pattern by combining the relatively big stitch (the size of the grid) is the significant difference from the regular running stitch. The Hitomezashi has to follow the grid to have the certain length of one-stitch. Therefore, people call it, Hitome (=one stitch) Sashiko.

The technique of holding the needle and the thimble is the same. However, the different “rhythm” will be required for the Hitomezashi in comparison to the Gushinui (Simple / Regular) Sashiko Stitching. Also, there are some hints we can provide to make more beautiful Hitomezashi Stitching based on our experience. Although both of Hitomezashi and Running stitch is categorized in Sashko, they are developed under different culture. There are some differences.

 

Please understand that it is not about which is better or not. Both Sashiko fall into the category of Sashiko, and both follow the purpose of stitching: Repairing, Mending, Strengthening, and decorating.

I personally prefer to do the Gushinui Sashiko stitching because of its rhythm. Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya and Upcycle Stitches are both happy to provide the services and information in both Hitomezashi & Gushinui Sashiko Stitching.

*The Sashiko we perform doesn’t have the specific name yet, therefore I used “Gushinui (ぐし縫い)” to express the Running Stitch character. 

 

Here is a comparison of our Jackets both in Hitomezashi Sashiko & Gushinui Sashiko.

 

Hitomezashi Sashiko Jacket

As you may see it, each stitch create the unique patterns. The stitches made vertically, horizontally and diagonally make the beautiful patterns. Because of the size of stitches, it shows the vivid patterns. By using the grid sheet, the Sashiko practitioners can create hundreds of pattern by themselves (although most of them are already found so you may not call it your own original….)

Sashiko Jacket with the Japanese traditional patterns

You may find the size of stitches much smaller than the Hitomezashi. This Sashiko Jacket & its patterns are created by the combination of simple lines done by Sashiko Running Stitches. The pattern can be anything. We prefer to use the Japanese geometric patterns.

 

 

Hitomezashi Sashiko Workshop

As I introduced above, I offer the Hitomezashi Sashiko Workshop to share the knowledge and some technique to enjoy the Hitomezashi Sashiko. The technique you would need for the Hitomezashi is mostly covered in the initial (& fundamental) workshop of Sashiko. I will go over all the necessary knowledge and technique to maximize the Hitomezashi Sashiko experience. Simply speaking, when you have a graph paper, you can create your own Hitomezashi patterns on any fabric, and you can enjoy your own Sashiko. (By now, most of the possible pattern can be introduced by someone else… but hey, you don’t have to copy and paste it from the web.)

 

Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic) is the prerequisite to the Hitomezashi Sashiko Workshop because I will not spend much time to teach students how to use the needle and thimble. We have reviewing time, but not 150 minutes of intensive teaching in the initial workshop.

Since our workshop often happens over the weekend, you may take the Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic) on one Saturday and then Hitomezashi workshop on the following Sunday. The seats are always limited, so please keep checking the schedule and availability.

 

 

Other Categories in Sashiko

As I introduced above, besides Hitomezashi Sashiko and Simple Running Sashiko, “Hishizashi = 南部菱刺し’ and “Koginzashi = こぎん刺し” are the famous Sashiko category. Although we do not perform either of Hishizashi and Koginzashi, we plan to introduce some of the great Sashiko practitioners in both categories.

 

It is our goal to introduce Sashiko to the world, even if it is the Sashiko we do not practice.

Some of the articles regarding the Sashiko categories can be found here. Enjoy Sashiko!

 

 

Sashiko Running Stitch

Why our Workshop to learn Sashiko Running Stitch?

Another great opportunity to learn Sashiko in Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic) is coming up within 3 weeks. I have received many positive reviews, and I come to realize that this is the best way to start & review your Sashiko knowledge and Sashiko Running Stitch. The size of the workshop is very small. You will get enough attention throughout the workshop to learn the “Core and Basic” of Sashiko. The small workshop size means that the seats are very limited. Don’t miss this great opportunity.

 

The reason to learn Sashiko from me

Sometimes, I receive inquiries regarding the level of Sashiko Workshop. For example, a question like “Can I take the intermediate workshop since I have ☆☆ years of experience in Sashiko.” I always suggest taking the Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic) to learn the basic posture of Sashiko. The only exception would be sending me the Sashiko Running Stitch to let me confirm that the participant masters what I teach in the workshop.

I have taught how to do Sashiko Running Stitch to more than 100 students. None of them handled the Sashiko needle as we do. The years of experience in Sashiko is wonderful, and I respect that. However, for the Sashiko Running Stitch, I want to share what we are proud of in the needle movement.

 

Yes. I will also share a list of great information and technique with you.

  • I was born in the surviving Sashiko family, so I can share the authentic Sashiko items with you and our history.
  • As long as I know, I am a very few Japanese Natives who practice Sashiko & speak English. What I tell you isn’t someone’s translation or interpretation. It is the real voice of the Sashiko family.
  • Our Sashiko items (Created by me, my mother Keiko, and our friends) are shared on Instagram and other SNS. Although we sell supreme quality Sashiko supplies, we are not the Sashiko supply dealer. We are a group of Sashiko artisans after all.

 

Although there are more reasons that you would like to learn Sashiko from me, the core is my passion that I want you to learn how to use the thimble and needle so-called Unshin (運針 = Needle movement).

 

Why Sashiko Running Stitch?

 

So then, why is Sashiko Running Stitch so important?

It is because the regular hand-sewing is too slow for some Sashiko project. Please take at the speed of our Sashiko Running Stitch. Absolutely no edit for the video.

 

 

 

I often say that Sashiko is not all about stitching. The practitioner would need to how to pick the fabric and materials, how to prepare them, how to make beautiful stitches, and how to finish them as the item such as Jackets, bags, and coasters. However, without proper stitching, it isn’t Sashiko any longer (At least, I do not call the item without stitching “Sashiko“). Sashiko merely a form of stitching, but the stitching itself can be masterful. I want you to be one of the masters.

 

Okay. Mastering the Hand-stitching is Important. Then, why Sashiko Running Stitch?

The answer is very simple. The other hand-stitching techniques are sometimes too slow. Sashiko became famous in a culture of sustainability and “slow-fashion”. The process of slow-stitch has the same result of meditation. I feel the same calming function and I love the slow & caring process of Sashiko.

 

However, wouldn’t you think it is better if you can finish the stitching like this in a day (It took about 7 hours or so to get to here in several days) instead of a month? The speed and accuracy of mere simple Sashiko stitching is the core of our Sashiko. The Japanese developed Sashiko for the purpose of “Survival”. At the very origin of Sashiko, it was the method to fill the space of rough poor hemp fabric.

 

 

Sashiko Running Stitch Atsushi's work
The Jacket with Asano-ha Pattern & Sashiko Running Stitch. You can see the actual stitching process on Sashi.Co Youtube Channel. Atsushi perform there.

 

The more the person can make stitches, the more cloth we can repair. I believe that the speed after proper technique and repetitive practice is extremely valuable in hand-crafting culture. Not only Sashiko, but also many kinds of professions such as fruit cutting, dim-sum making, you name it.

 

*Please understand that I respect other embroidery techniques and hand-sewing culture. I see many people apply their own technique to Sashiko, too. They are very inspiring and I learn a lot from them. Unlike the other embroidery culture, Sashiko started as the “practical hand-stitching” rather than decorating purpose. I respect that, too.

 

Many Various Unshin Masters in Japan

 

As I keep mentioning here and there, there isn’t such a thing as “right” or “wrong” in Sashiko culture. If you can stitch as fast & accurate as (or faster & more accurate than) we can, the workshop may not be beneficial for you.

I know many Unshin Masters in Japan, and they stitch faster than I do. Some of them have the same or very similar posture of our Sashiko. Some of them have a somewhat different way to hold the needle and push the thimble, yet very speedy. The appropriate posture can be modified by 10 years, 20 years and more years of experience. My mother & Sashiko Artists, Keiko, has a bit different posture than what I teach.

 

The posture I teach is the one I started with in my childhood.

Throughout teaching many students with the different background and the different size of hand & finger, I brush up this “entry” technique so everyone who joined the workshop can start the Sashiko stitching as we do with less struggle and issues. Some of the graduates stitch as fast as I do, and that is my goal for the Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic).

 

I am looking forward to seeing you there!

 

Video of Sashiko Running Stitch in a big Sashiko Project

 

Videos are from our Sashi.Co Youtube Channel | Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya in Japanese

Online Sashiko Workshop

Online Sashiko Workshop | Learn wherever you are

After receiving so many emails regarding the Online Sashiko Workshop, I decided to offer the one officially.

 

To be honest, regardless how much I prepared for the online workshop, I am very worried if I can deliver the same experience and satisfaction to the online participants. After offering more than 10 workshops in NYC, I am pretty confident that I understand the participants’ expectation and my capacity to share the beauty of Sashiko. Over the camera, where I cannot reposition your hands and the visual information is limited to the screen, I wasn’t sure if I should even offer it.

 

Thanks to the encouragement from many friends and Sashiko Passionist (some who I haven’t even met), I am now offering the very first Online Sashiko Workshop.

 

Online Sashiko Workshop Schedule

Thanks to the participants for the first online Sashiko Workshop, I learned that the Online Sashiko Workshop can satisfy the participants. Although I still have worries and concerns, I decided to keep offering them.

 

The 2nd Online Sashiko Workshop, Option A

First Session:

  • July 24th (Tuesday) | 8:15 pm to 10:15 pm.

Second Session:

  • June 27th (Friday) | 8:15 pm to 10:15 pm.

 

 

 

To share what Sashiko is to the world

 

As I keep mentioning that Sashiko is not all about stitching, the stitching technique is very important to fully enjoy Sashiko stitching. There are many books available in the market. I even share some of the Sashiko stitching Tutorials on Youtube for free. I still believe that it is critical for me to take a look at the participants stitching so I can provide the instruction appropriately. Yes. “Appropriately” rather than “Correctly”.

 

Your understanding & support to my challenging project, to share what Sashiko is to the world, would be very much appreciated.

 

 

The detail of Online Sashiko Workshop

 

The Workshop goes through the Live Streaming via Google Hangouts. The participants need to be online at the scheduled time. All the time I mention on this page is in the US Eastern Time Zone (EST), New York Time.

 

  • Duration: 2 Workshops of 90 minutes each | Total of 3 hours
  • Price: 178.00 USD | For the limited time 100.00 USD with the agreement that this is sort of provisional online workshop.

 

  • Language: English, otherwise specifically mentioned.
  • Maximum participant: 4 Participants
  • Required skill: A basic needlework skill will be preferred. Please practice threading the needle before the workshop start.
  • Required environment: A device connected to the Internet. For maximizing workshop experience, the participants need to show me the posture of stitching and actual stitching. A tripod or a smartphone stand would be a good idea to have.
  • Web Software: Google hangout

 

A list of tools you need to prepare:

  • A Ruler
  • Scotch Tape
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Thread Clipper / Grip Scissors (If you have one. Substituted by regular scissors)
  • A Pin Cushion (If you have one)

 

Everything else you need for the workshop will be shipped to your address.

 

 

 

 

The Sashiko Store | Supplies for the Beautiful Sashiko