It is so unfortunate and sad that we have to go through the crisis of COVID-19. We can beat this. I am a big advocate of “mindfulness” and stop being “quick”, it is a case that I wanted to act as quick as I could. I received many comments & messages after introducing a handmade mask for my daughter. This is another element I did not realize what I can do can be someone’s help. Please download the Handmade Mask Pattern below. However, please read some of the notes before jumping into a project.
Handmade Mask Pattern (Quick)
I just hand-written the pattern & took a photo to make a downloadable PDF. The scanned document would be much better in precision, but I do not have a scanner… so, this is as accurate as it can get now. Please adjust the size & pattern as you need. This is not a project to make a “perfect mask”. It is a care of making something to cover our mouth & nose from touching so much.
To explain the making process better, I had the live streaming. I will edit the video later, but it is already a useful information.
NOTE (Updated 3/19)
The size is for 5~7 years old. I wanted to make a big mask for my 5 years old daughter so she can cover the whole mouth and nose.
Please choose the fabric carefully. It has to be “breathable”.
You can download it free of charge. I will keep updating as much as I can. Please refer our website or Instagram account (Sashi.Co and/or Upcycle Stitches) when you share.
This is NOT a perfect pattern – so please no complaints. Revise & improvise as you wish.
How to make a handmade mask Instruction (Quick-version)
The instruction is even worse. lol. I do not have time to film my making process. I do not have quiet time to use photoshop & write down the instruction. So, I summarized the basic instruction in my 5-years old daughter’s crafting time this morning.
If you have a basic sewing skill, it is not difficult at all. A sewing machine will increase the speed, but I believe we can make it with hand-stitching. If you don’t have a basic sewing skill, it is a great time to learn one.
Again, this is very rough instruction. I will try to make one tutorial when I have more time, but until then, please try to improvise it. Enjoy the process, and enjoy even a mistake.
Cut the fabric with the adjusted pattern. Layer 2 fabrics inside-out. You need to prepare 2 sets of this for front and back of the mask. Front one may need extra fabric to make a tube for elastic band (The shaded part on the pattern). Stitch the dot-line.
Open the fabric & iron the center seam. It may be a good idea to cut a bit of piece of seam so it is easy to open up. Do both of front & back part.
Layer the front & back of the mask Inside-out, then put some soft fabric to obtain the moisture from the mouth. I used a “gauze” cotton fabric (Sarashi). Stitch the dot line, then flip the mask.
Stitch the sides to make tubes for the elastic bands.
*Inside Out means facing the front side of the fabric each other when stitching. In Japanese, it is called “中表”.
*Dot Line (- – – – – -) on the instruction is there you stitch.
I know it is not the best instruction or tutorial. I will keep updating, and one day my daughter get back to school, I will prepare the video for the future pandemic (I don’t know when, but I will prepare more).
Alright. I hope this will encourage people in the US/Europe to wear the mask. We cannot get a medical mask from the store. This mask is NOT for the medical solution at all (The mask will not filter the virus). However, it can give us a good time to stitch together with our children & encourage them to avoid touching their mouth and nose after touching “EVERYWHERE” & when it is difficult to keep the social distance.
As much as it is scary, frustrating, and sad to experience the pandemic of COVID-19, I support the Federal/State government decision to combat the virus via temporary closing some business. I understand that we live in a freedom of “opinions”. However, I believe, it is just best to stay at home and keep the appropriate social distance. Staying at home for 2 weeks or even more sounds quite scary. I would like to offer the special deal for the Sashiko Online Class special for you to utilize this time to learn & stitch Sashiko. I will do the same. I will stay home and Sashiko stitch, hopefully with my daughter.
*This special offers (Stay Home & Sashiko Special with Store Credit) has ended at the end of June 2020 with accepting the state of PA moving its phase to “Green”, which is a process to reopen. Although we “may” be able to offer another special offer in the future, the detail and timeline is unknown and unexpected. It wasn’t easy to offer something like that big – and it was a contribution I thought I could do for the world under Covid-19. Your understanding is very much appreciated.
(Update on 7/19)
Stay Home & Sashiko Special
This Special Offer ended on June 30th. Thank you very much!!
I would like to offer $110.00 store credit for a new participant of Sashiko Online Class 2020. After your registration, I will send you the coupon of $110.00 that you can use on anything in our web store (*1). You will receive exactly the same materials, lectures, and follow-up from Atsushi to learn the core & basic of Sashiko. This time, I am offering the store credit so you may be able to get more thread, fabric, and other tools to continue your stitching for your time of stay home & Sashiko.
*1 – “anything” only applies to the US shipping address. The non-US shipping address can receive the same store credit of $110.00. However, please read the note below that some of the items are not eligible to use in coupon.
To the best use of coupon, I am planning to make a special “bag” to maximize your Sashiko experience including Sashiko thread and Japanese fabric. (Update: 3/20 – I did prepare the Special Bag here.) It is similar to the “Fukubukuro” I had prepared at the beginning of 2020. It is very rare to offer the similar deal… but, I guess it is an understandable offer in such a situation.
This offer ends when the shutdown/pandemic ends. The store credit will be effective for 365 days from the day you receive the coupon code.
Before the registration, please read the article of “Sashiko Online Class” to understand what you can expect from this class & how to proceed it.
Anyone in the world (where USPS or Japan Post makes a shipment) is eligible for this offer. However, if you live outside of the USA, the coupon will be used in the regular thread/supplies category. Some special dye Sashiko threads, new Sashiko thread (YOKOTA) & one-of-a-kind items will be outside of the coupon since they are only stocked in the USA.
This offer may be altered without any further notice. However, the credit will not be more than $110.00 (You are getting the most as of now).
I plan to offer the “Online Sashiko Gathering” via Zoom when my daughter’s school restart. This will be available to anyone who have taken Atsushi’s workshop, either Online or In-person.
Talk to oneself, instead of reacting in fear.
I learned that we feel fear mostly by “unknown”. When I experienced the earthquake in Japan, it was very scary and sad, but I feel the different kind of fear – unknown and unpredictable.
In these cases, we tend to “react”. React to the news. React to the numbers (of positive cases & ratios). React to frustration, and then reaction ends up panic.
Please do not get me wrong. It is natural to react. However, “reacting” to the news & opinions often exhaust us more than we can carry on. In those case, “shutting down the information for a period of time” could protect us from unnecessary reacting. In order to stop reacting, Sashiko and other hand-crafting is a great way to make our hands busy & empty our brain. It is a precious way to talk to friends, family and ourselves throughout the process of making, sewing, stitching, crafting and caring, instead of reacting in fear and frustration.
I hope to share the core of Sashiko & encourage anyone to enjoy Sashiko stitching as the ordinary Japanese had practiced.
In a process of teaching the Sashiko we have been practicing for a long time, I often receive a question about “Japanese Boro”. Although it is quite challenging to describe what is Boro in words, let me keep trying to explain my understanding.
What is BORO | Definition
As I have been saying continuously, I believe there is no “right” and “wrong” in Sashiko. Therefore, defining words of Sashiko & Boro is unnatural to me. However, to be on the same page to begin with, I share the tentative definition for Sashiko and Boro.
Sashiko is a form of hand-stitching developed in Japanese ordinary days. The Japanese started stitching the fabric for the purpose of surviving in poverty. Sashiko transformed its form over time as a stitching for different purposes such as mending, strengthening, and decorating the fabric.
Boro is a ultimate result of repetitive Sashiko stitchings over and over for many generations. The Japanese had to use the fabric even it gets tattered beyond the normal usage. They patched the fabric and stitched to make the fabric usable. Boro is merely a result of continuous stitching.
In my understanding, Boro is not a term for a specific stitching technique. It is not a style of patch-working. Boro is the result of the Sashiko stitching, and therefore, the Boro and Sashiko are on the same line. Instead of “Sashiko (style) or BORO (style)”, I understand “Sashiko and then Boro”.
Boro tells stories of Anonymous People in Japan
I find Boro very beautiful and inspiring because Boro tells stories of many anonymous people who had stitched Sashiko for their life. Boro is the ultimate result of hand-stitching in the extreme situation that they had to stitch to that extend.
There are numbers of stories I would like to share regarding Boro and Sashiko. Here, I made a video before, and I plan to continue sharing the stories of Boro and Sashiko.
Authentic Boro and Boro-inspired Patchworking
The following question is about authenticity of Japanese Boro. It is quite difficult to define what is “authentic” in the category of the ordinary. In my understanding, Boro can be the Boro after many days & years of using the fabric. We can find many beautiful patchworks inspired by Boro & following the concept of recycling. Although I find them very inspiring, I wouldn’t call them “Boro”. Some of the Boro Collection exhibited in Amuse Museum Asakusa (which is now traveling the world – In NYC, Japan Society, for March to June in 2020) .
Please do not get me wrong. I am not saying which is better and not. Boro, Authentic Boro, Boro-inspired patchwork, and any other textile/fashion influenced the culture/appearance of Boro are very powerful.
Social Experiment as a Sashiko artisan
Since I believe Boro becomes the Boro by using in the ordinary days, with many mending & stitching over time, I have a Jacket I have been wearing and using in my ordinary days. This Jacket already looks like “Boro” because we used the vintage fabrics (which couldn’t become a part of Boro). This is my social experiment as a Sashiko artisan how I can leave this piece to the next society, let’s say a few decades later.
I always bring this Jacket to my In-person workshop. It would be great if you could touch it, feel it, and wear it when you have a chance to meet/see me.
More Articles about Boro from Atsushi
I have been sharing what is Boro & Sashiko. Please find the link below for more reading materials.
It was a delightful experience to be part of QuiltCon 2020 in Austin, Texas. QuiltCon is such an amazing event. If you like quilting, it is a must event to enjoy other’s quilting, or even try to submit yours to be part of the QuiltCon. This is Atsushi’s QuiltCon 2020 Report.
*I published this article for the purpose of following-up the Sashiko Class mastery participants. Please wait another week or so to read full article of QuiltCon 2020 Report. Thank you.
*For Sashiko Mastery Class Participants:
I have sent you the follow-up email on 2/24, right after the QuiltCon. If you have not received the follow-up email, please contact me or simply fill out the google form below. I must have misread your feedback sheet, or simply I do not have your email address. The google form is for me to understand how I could improve my Sashiko Class (Not completed as of 2/29). If you have received the follow-up email, please come back to the form after 3/10.
I am a Sashiko artisan. I am an expert in the Sashiko we practice. It is my pride to share the Sashiko technique & its culture. On the other hands, however, I am a complete beginner in quilting. Therefore, my review & report may be a bit strange for those who are experts in Quilting. It would be great if you could kindly understand this is a personal impression of QuiltCon 2020, from the perspective of Sashiko artisan.
Overall, it was a great exhibition. QuiltCon 2020 Report starts here.
It is an honor to come back to the beautiful Saori Weaving Studio in NYC, Loop of the Loom, for the Sashiko Workshops in April 2020. It was August in 2019 that I had a privilege to offer the Sashiko workshop in Saori Weaving Studio. It was a great success, and I am coming back to Loop of the Loom with offering the same “Basic & Core” workshop as well as the “Advanced” Hitomezashi workshop. Sashiko Workshop at Loop of the Loom Spring 2020 is coming over the weekend of April 18th and 19th.
This Spring, we offer 2 kinds of Sashiko workshops in 2 different locations.
Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Basic & Core) Saturday, April 18, 10am – 4pm at DUMBO studio
Hitomezashi Sashiko Workshop (Advanced) Sunday, April 19, 10am – 4pm at Upper East Side studio *Prerequisite of Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic) *This class includes some review of the Sashiko Stitching Workshop.
Atsushi will offer hands-on instruction in both workshops. Since the Hitomezashi (advanced) workshop requires the core understanding of Sashiko (Unshin – the needle movement), all of the participants need to be a graduate of Atsushi’s Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Basic & Core). If you have taken the Atsushi’s full-length Workshop (more than 3 hours) in 2018 or 2019, you may take the Hitomezashi Workshop. Online Sashiko Class is also qualified as the prerequisite. If you have taken Atsushi’s short workshop (less than 2.5 hours), please take the full-length workshop first to join the advanced level workshop.
I understand you may be confident in your Sashiko experience. In that case, please send me a video of your stitching. Since I will not explain the Unshin (needle movement) in the advanced workshop, the participant without the basic understanding may suffer. By looking at the video, I can tell if you would need the Sashiko Workshop (Core and Basic).
Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Basic & Core)
Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Basic & Core) is the gateway of all the Sashiko Atsushi would like to pass down. Sashiko is a simple form of hand-stitching. However, there is a specific posture, form, and movement that one has to learn before applying to the other stitching. It is not difficult, just different from what you may know. Anyone can master it.
The Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Basic & Core) is NOT a type of workshop like “Let’s enjoy Sashiko together”. It is your learning opportunity where I teach and you practice. If you do not know how to make the stitches even with good speed, then you will have an eye-opening experience.
After teaching more than 150 people in person, I am getting more confident in what I can offer. For the detail, please check this page (This is a workshop registration page for those I offer as Upcycle Stitches). The contents will be very similar in taking through Loop of the Loom and Upcycle Stitches. I may add extra content for the Loop of the Loom. However, I will share the core and basic surely.
Hitomezashi Workshop (Advanced)
Many who took the Sashiko Stitching Workshop to ask me when I offer the Hitomezashi Workshop to make “it” happen. Yes, the Jacket with Hitomezashi is very eye-catching. I understand the interest in the Hitomezashi Workshop.
This workshop is indeed the first step to make “it” happen.
Please check the article below to learn what you can learn in the Hitomezashi Workshop.
*You may take the Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic) on Saturday, and then join the Hitomezashi on Sunday if you would prefer that.
I am very much looking forward to meeting & seeing you in Sashiko Workshop at Loop of the Loom Spring 2020. Please do not forget to register your seats from here.
As I had announced in 2019, I plan to focus on my creative activities (Sashiko stitching) in 2020. Therefore, I may end up offering fewer workshop opportunities in comparison to the last year. However, I will do my best to meet the passionate expectations from the personnel/organization who would like to share the Sashiko with me. Please check the Sashiko Workshop Schedule 2020 below.
I received a request to arrange the workshop in Lewisburg on either Thursday or Friday starting at 9 am (for 4 hours or so) in April or May. Please contact me if you are interested with the specific date you prefer. I am happy to arrange one for you. This is the most reasonable & easiest workshop you can join if you do not mind traveling to Lewisburg, PA.
A workshop is in the planning phase in the State of Florida in Winter-Spring time.
The other opportunities to take our Workshops
In order to offer a workshop in a big city, I need to have 2 factors ready. (1) A good amount of preparation time, and (2) A very understanding organizer for the workshop. I would like to spend a bit more time in my own Sashiko stitching instead of preparing & advertising. However, there is a way to make both (1) and (2) happen simultaneously without much hassle. It is (1) Sashiko Workshop in Central PA visiting your group and/or (2) Sashiko Workshop where I live.
Sashiko Workshop in the Central PA
When you have a group of people and live in somewhere close to Central PA (Zip Code: 17837), inviting me to your place to offer the workshop is a great choice. Since there is no hassle for advertisement and arranging the participants, I am happy to travel to your place and offer the workshop. Please read the detail of what I offer from this (semi) private workshop details.
Visiting me for the Sashiko Workshop
I am happy to offer a private workshop for you if you would like to visit me at Central PA (Zip Code: 17837). I may be able to open up my house for the workshop (if a group is small), or we can talk about the venue for your group.
If you are alone, and worrying about the fee, I can try to advertise the workshop to make it a “Semi-private” workshop so that you can split the fee. For more details, please check the article about (Semi) private workshop details.
Online Sashiko Class
Is it too far to visit Pennsylvania? Please consider taking the Online Sashiko Class. I developed this online course to deliver the exact same experience for those who cannot join the in-person workshop.
Yes, I agree that the In-Person workshop is more attractive than the Online Sashiko Class. I wish I could travel to all of the cities where there are people who would like to learn Sashiko. Instead of traveling, I spent so much energy and effort to build this Online Sashiko Class and will continuously spend more time in it to follow up on your Sashiko learning.
With receiving many numbers of feedbacks from the participants of the Online Sashiko Class, I am confident that I can deliver the same contents of the In-person workshop.
Sashiko is a form of Stitching, but more than a trend.
Sashiko is a simple form of hand-stitching. However, there is a lot more to share & appreciate. I hope you would try to learn Sashiko from us.
Fukubukuro (福袋) is an interesting Japanese custom to celebrate the new year with hoping for the wealth of the year. It originated to the idea of “Ebisu Bag” from a big textile (Kimono) merchandise start selling their Kimono swatches to their customers. Later, the Japanese changed its style, and we know Fukubukuro as a lucky bag (or a blind bag with fortune). It was such a great offer in 2019 to introduce this idea of Sashiko Fukubukuro. Although there isn’t much relationship with Sashiko, I would like to continue this offer, Sashiko Fukubukuro, in 2020 as well.
Sashiko Fukubukuro (福袋）
Once a year, celebrating the coming year from both customer & supplier sides. A customer gets a happy bag(s) full of items, and a supplier wishes for the best luck in the welcoming year. To do so, the bag contains goods above the purchase price. It is not a sale promotion or discount, but by celebrating (combining as a lucky bag – Sashiko Fukubukuro), the customer will get a good deal. (You may know we rarely offer discount codes – no Black Friday or Memorial Day Sale in this website).
The Detail – Sashiko Fukubukuro
A. Keiko Thread Bag 2020
This “A Keiko Bag” will have at least 7 skeins of Sashiko thread that we use every day. It will include at least 3 Naturally Dyed Sashiko thread, hand-dyed by Keiko, and more beautiful color Sashiko thread.
We will pick up the colors. The possible colors you will get are the following:
*The total retail value will be no less than $145.00.
As you may know already, we rarely offer the sales deal. I hope you can enjoy this Fukubukuro to try out our beautiful & the highest quality Sashiko Thread.
B. Azu Sashiko Bag 2020
The “B. Azu Bag” will include Sashiko related items for anyone to start & maximize their Sashiko experience.
The items (contents) will be selected randomly. Please check the list of the possible items you may expect to receive below (Please understand that it will NOT contain everything I mention here. I will choose items from this list).
I will make sure to meet your expectations and exceed the item’s value. My goal is to encourage people to start & continue enjoying Sashiko. If you are a beginner, please mention it in the comment box at the checkout. Please contact me if you have any questions before the purchase.
A possible item list of B. Azu Fukubukuro
The contents will be randomly selected by these.
A few skeins of Sashiko thread | more than $35 in value
Fabric for Sashiko (Manufactured in Japan) | more than $20 in Value
Fabric made in Japan
Small Vintage Fabric swatch for trial
A chalk pencil/marking tool
A Pin Cushion
A grip scissors
The price for the “B. Azu Bag” is $120.20 with USPS the US domestic shipping fee included.
Terms and Conditions for Sashiko Fukubukuro
Please read the terms of “Sashiko Fukubukuro” service before you complete the order. It is based on the concept of “blind bag” and “lucky bag”. Therefore, we will not accept any returns or claims of the contents you receive. We will do our best to exceed your expectations in terms of values of contents.
The Bags will be sold between January 2nd around 8 pm in EST to January 26th. The sales continue while the supply last, and it may be ended before the final date.
The shipping will be made accordingly to the order. However, unlike the other regular orders which we usually ship in 1 business day, the Sashiko Fukubukuro order will take longer than that (Please expect a week to 2 weeks to be shipped). Regardless, all of the orders will be shipped before the end of January.
We will not accept any return or cancel after the shipment. If you would like to cancel the order, please let us know as soon as possible.
The Sashiko Fukubukuro Bag may contain an item without original packaging. We will re-package and will send them in a nice condition.
The item may be an item that was “returned” as the sellable condition. No second-hand item will be included (besides the vintage fabric).
The Sashiko Fukubukuro (2020) include the US Domestic shipping fee. You may purchase one with the extra shipping fee. Depends on the shipping address, the package may be shipped from Japan. Keiko is preparing for the Sashiko Fukubukuro – international version. Please consider one there as well.
*All the photos are the sample contents. Colors and items insides are subject to change, but the photo explains what you can expect to get.
This is a notice blog article for the participants of the QuiltCon 2020 Sashiko Workshop in Austin, Texas on 21st and 22nd of February 2020. Since I am not familiar with being part of the big fair like QuiltCon, I may be a bit clumsy in terms of administrative work. I will do my best to meet your expectations before the workshop. I am preparing everything I can to go beyond your expectations in the workshop. I am looking forward to meeting you with the Sashiko friends in the Southern part of the U.S.
*The QuiltCon 2020 Sashiko Workshop (Sashiko Mastery by Atsushi Futatsuya) are all sold out. Please contact QuiltCon if you would like to be on the waiting list. I have no control over the participation list.
*Since I will be traveling to QuiltCon 2020, I use the “Gmail” as the main communication method. Please expect several emails from “sashikoatsushi☆gmail.com” (Change ☆ to @). When you do not hear back from me within a few days, please check the Spam folder.
A Material Kit for QuiltCon 2020 Sashiko Workshop
All of the participants are required to have the material kit, which Atsushi prepares for the workshop specifically. The kits are in the preparation process in Japan and waiting to be imported to the U.S. toward the end of this year (2019). Please give us a bit more time to complete our preparation. Thank you for your concern & understanding of the situation.
We will make a purchase page for the Material Kit during the holiday. Please expect a notification from me (or QuiltCon Admin) to complete the purchase. I will make sure to complete the preparation before the end of January 2020 and will send you a link to purchase.
I am still developing the workshop-flow with thinking about what is the best way to deliver the basic and core of Sashiko. It would be very helpful if you could let me know what is your expectation in learning Sashiko by filling out the Google Form Below. It is not mandatory at all. It is purely for the purpose of me understanding the participants’ expectation.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me through this website – Contact Atsushi. I will keep updating this blog post on the event day of Feb. 21st and 22nd.
Items needed on site of Quiltcon 2020
The Kit is available now. Please complete the purchase before January 26th, to receive a small skein of Sashiko (extra small skein will be included in only the package to be shipped at your house via shipping).
1 skein of Sashiko thread, 145 meters
1 Sashiko thimble
3 Sashiko needles
Fabrics with the pattern printed on for the workshop with other fabric to make a tote bag
1 Thread bobbin Paper
1 Surprise package
1 Finger cot (additional with no extra charge)
1 threader (additional with no extra charge)
8 Sashiko patterns (PDF) (will be sent after the workshop)
*The complete kit will be available on our website for the students on https://upcyclestitches.com/store at the end of December 2020. I will notify you in many ways such as notification from QuiltCon 2020 and our own mailing list.
Other Required tools and/or supplies:
Please bring yours to the workshop – we will use Fabric Scissors and Scotch Tape only once in the workshop, but necessary. You may need a threader and/or magnifying glass to thread the needle. I will share the wisdom to make it easy. A set of required tools can be purchased in addition to the complete kit above.
Threader (and/or magnifying glass)
If the participant has beautiful nails, they may want to bring fake fingernails or some types of tape to protect the nail from scratching by the needle. In a process of learning the Sashiko posture, you may scratch the nail a bit.
Preparation for the Sashiko Workshop
This workshop requires NO Previous Sashiko Experience and no preparation (in terms of techniques) for the actual workshop. However, as a preview of the Sashiko Workshop, it may be a good idea to watch some of Atsushi’s Youtube videos to get familiar with what you are getting into.
*In Sashiko Mastery Class, I will go through all of the information you need to enjoy Sashiko stitching. However, some of the side-topics are already covered on Youtube for free of charge. It may be helpful for you to watch them before the Sashiko Mastery Class. The free videos will be available after the Sashiko Mastery Class as well for reviewing purposes.
Below – I copy and paste the message I had sent throughout the QuiltCon Admin. I will see you there!
Dear Sashiko Mastery Class participants,
Thank you very much for taking the Sashiko Mastery Class in QuiltCon 2020.
It is my honor to share the Sashiko we practice.
My goal is to share the joy of Sashiko & how enjoyable the Sashiko is, with providing some specific techniques and stories behind the Sashiko. It is not a type of workshop like “Let’s have fun with Sashiko together”. The Sashiko Mastery Class is more like a learning opportunity that I keep providing you a lot of amount of information. It would be great if you could join the class with a fresh & energetic mind status.
Please don’t be scared. It is not a place to be judged, and there is no pass and fail. I just wanted to share that many previous students told me how “rich” the content was. I want you to be prepared to maximize this experience.
In order to operate the 6-hours workshop smoothly, we have a set of supplies & tools that everyone needs to have it ready. Please make sure to purchase the special kit before the workshop. Without this kit, I will not be able to teach anything in the class.
The kit is ready for purchase on my website. Please read the description and complete the purchase. I would appreciate your prompt action since this is my first time to teach at QuiltCon.
Also, as I introduced in the “necessary supply list”, please bring a list of tools below. I do not ask you to purchase these because we use the tools only once in the workshop. You probably have them in your drawer, too. However, it is critical to have them in order to operate a smooth workshop. If you worry about what kind of tools you should bring, I prepared another set available for purchase (Detail can be found on the link above).
Thank you for your understanding.
Fabric Scissors (regular size – not a small size).
Threaders (only if you need).
I have updated the article about the Sashiko Mastery Class at QuiltCon2020.
As I mentioned in the article above, it would be very helpful if you could fill out the questionnaire on Google Form. Understanding who you are & your preferences would be helpful to customize the workshop to “Sashiko Mastery Class at QuiltCon 2020”.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me via email (sashikoatsushi☆gmail.com). I may send out another email right before the workshop, so please register my email address so the email will not go to a spam mail folder.
In Sashiko Mastery Class, I will go through all of the information you need to enjoy Sashiko stitching. Some of the side-topics are already covered on Youtube for free of charge. It may be helpful for you to watch them before the Sashiko Mastery Class. The free videos will be available after the Sashiko Mastery Class as well for reviewing purposes.
Please check our Youtube Channel for more information.
Recently, I took an action of re-defining Japanese Sashiko by creating the new website (https://www.japanesesashiko.com/) as well as Facebook Group. My goal is to re-define what Sashiko is like for us – the Japanese – by sharing as many images of Japanese Sashiko as possible. The stories (words) are good media to describe the culture, but the images are more powerful to communicate what Sashiko is for the Japanese. It is quite sad that I have to use the word “Japanese Sashiko” since Sashiko (刺し子) is already a Japanese term. However, it is a necessary step to pass down the Sashiko we would like to share.
To be honest, it was more like an impulsive step for me after seeing many forms of interpretation of Sashiko. As much as I am open to the free interpretation of Sashiko (please check the article about “Cultural Appropriation in Sashiko”), it is very important for me to preserve the Japaneseness of Sashiko. Here, let me try my best to explain “why” it is so important for us to share the Japaneseness of Sashiko by re-define Japanese Sashiko. Please understand that it is NOT because of us trying to be the authority on Sashiko.
Japanese Sashiko may be new to you, but…
Sashiko may be new to you, but Sashiko has been a part of us for a long time – a big part of our life.
Sashiko, Upcycle, Slow-Fashion, Repurpose, (Invisible) Mending and Boro may be a series of trendy terms for someone. However, many Japanese practiced Sashiko a long time ago in Japanese history.
It (Sashiko and other hand-stitching for the purpose) isn’t the case that only happened in Japan. The culture of repurposing the fabric happened in many places in the world – especially where the people have didn’t have enough money to purchase the new fabric. We can find Sashiko as a culture because of the many good people who tried to pass it down to the next generation.
I want you to think a bit here.
Sashiko seems to be a new trend in Fashion and crafting. However, do you think the Japanese were proud of what they did as Sashiko? Some practiced Sashiko with good pride, I assume. However, at the same time, some practice Sashiko to mend the Jacket (to be called Boro later) with a sense of shame. Yes, “shame”. Therefore, it is unnatural for me to call Sashiko as the “Art”. As much as I appreciate the admiration from others of what we do as Art, and as much as I would like to lift Sashiko up to the category of Art, I cannot forget the origin of Sashiko – how the Japanese felt about it.
We sometimes only look at one perspective of matter – and then believe that it is everything. It is a form of (unintentional) ignorance that I am scared of the most. Therefore I am here to share.
Many Japanese have (had) spent their life to pass down this beautiful and unique culture. It looks like a form of Art, and many Japanese (have) practice(d) Sashiko as the form of Art. However, as long as I can tell, we all had a sense of “Japaneseness”. It is very difficult to get rid of the Japaneseness if one is born in Japan and then lived in Japan for a long time.
Now, the idea of Sashiko and Boro is spreading in the non-Japanese field with their own interpretation. Again, I welcome the free-interpretation. The culture is supposed to alter its form over time with mixing each other. However, as a Japanese who commit my life into Sashiko, I am determined to advocate the Japanese mindset behind the Sashiko.
There is a lot to learn from the Japanese who lived many hundreds of years ago.
Sashiko as more than a Trend
It is fascinating for me to see Sashiko in the world trend. I was born in a Sashiko family, and have been observing the Sashiko entire my life. This is probably the third time I see Sashiko in the trend. However, back then, we didn’t have Instagram or Facebook – not even the Internet. Therefore, the speed of spreading the trend is fascinating and somewhat scary. It wasn’t this fast (and not this shallow for that matter).
Don’t get me wrong. I am happy to see Sashiko in the trend. At the same time, however, I do not want to simplify Sashiko by the temporary and instantaneous trend. The trend is quite fragile – if the mainstream of trend ends, then the people will forget about Sashiko, which could end up with more waste and disrespect.
I believe Sashiko as a lot to offer to this world. What I thought as “normal” maybe something that the world is in need of. Therefore, I would like to tell Sashiko as a Japanese mindset, not just a trend.
Caring is what we are missing in this society
I feel, in this speed-oriented society, we forget how important “caring for the others” is. I believe, we as human beings can care the others by default. In fact, “caring” is what defines the human being. The Caring – empathy & sharing made us different from the other animals.
However, in this busy society, we prioritize the benefit and individualism. When one’s benefit (money or status) is the first priority, then we try to exclude the others. When we apply this logic to Sashiko, someone who thinks of benefit and status may start excluding others in Sashiko as well. Therefore, I keep saying, “caring” is the key to Sashiko and please respect the Japanese mindset to pass down Sashiko – otherwise, I am okay to see any form of interpretation of Sashiko.
We can care for each other when we are mindful. I believe the human being naturally can do that. However, it is quite difficult to be mindful of our busy day. When we enjoy Sashiko, both hands are occupied with the needle and fabric. We can perceive the visual and audio information such as TV and Radio passively, but we cannot aggressively look for the information when we enjoy Sashiko. We cannot use the smartphone to get more productive or competitive when we practice Sashiko – the only aggressive thing we can do is to ask “Alexa”.
While stitching, we can be more mindful than the other time of the day. I would like to respect the mindfulness we can appreciate by doing Sashiko. Even when we become mindful of stitching, our brain does not get empty. It is important to empty your brain (no-thought) in zen practice, but it is not that natural to be completely “empty” in Sashiko stitching. I think it is perfectly fine to think while stitching – when we think without looking for the information aggressively, we think of someone – family, friends and including oneself. The care doesn’t have to be a form of Love or Joy. It could be a hatred of jealous. What I would like to get rid of is “ignorance”.
Therefore, I keep saying the importance of caring for others.
What I would like to ask you to care Sashiko
Thank you very much for reading the long article this far. I am grateful that you care about the Sashiko we would like to pass down. I have been mentioning on this website, but there are things I would like to ask you to do – if you could care about the Sashiko.
(1) Understand who you are supporting
Because Sashiko became the trend, many “business” joined the market. I can see some companies putting the name of “Sashiko” for marketing purposes. Even with the supplies, there are many dealers now who sell Sashiko supplies. Please be attentive that who you are purchasing from. The purchase directly supports what the seller does. If the money grabber seller is in the market only for the profit, then when the trend is over, they will withdraw everything they offer. It could destroy the circulation of supplies – the money grabber sellers are usually a big company that could offer a better deal in terms of pricing and customer service because of the “scale merit”. In the worse case, they may be selling something “Sashiko” without any relationship (respect) to Sashiko. Please be mindful when you purchase – you are directly choosing who you would like to support.
(2) Keep learning the Sashiko
I have a LOT of stories to share. I share them on Facebook as well as on Instagram. If you would like to support what I do, please consider joining the Patreon as well. It is a platform where I share honest insight about the Sashiko. It is also a good idea to learn the technique. Sashiko is more than stitching – and the posture and movement we share will enable you to enjoy the Sashiko as a process rather than the result.
The deeper we learn the culture and philosophy of Sashiko, the more chance we have to pass down this culture to the next generation instead of a temporary trend. Your continuous learning is the key to Sashiko’s culture
(3) Spread the words – Keep enjoying
Lastly, and most importantly, please share what I am writing here. I get many questions and comments via emails and Social Media. Some of them, unfortunately, is pretty rude. Therefore, I do not follow-up as I used to do. However, there are enough materials to read already on this website and on social media. If you are reading this article this far, you probably know where the specific articles are: if not, I share it on Patreon first.
For those who care for what I do enough in the form of respect, I will share everything I have. I hope you can keep enjoying Sashiko and keep spreading the words.
I am here for you to support your Sashiko journey.
It has been almost 3 years since we have started the Online Store. Thanks to many understanding customers, we have completed hundreds of orders in the last 3 years. However, in this fall (October), a nightmare of all online business managers (I called it Sashiko Store Nightmare) finally happened to me as well…, it is a case of “tracking says ‘delivered’ yet the package is not actually delivered to the customer”, over international shipping. This is a log of how we handle this unfortunate accident.
*We had once (only once!) had a case of a missing package with a tracking record of “delivery” over domestic USPS shipping. It was also a sad and unfortunate experience, but the domestic is simpler because there is only one carrier to file a claim to. The customer was very understanding, and therefore I forgot about how scary the “missing package” can be.
You will get what you order
First of all, we will do everything we can think of to get you what you ordered. Please take a moment to read through our shipping policy, if you haven’t yet.
Although it is true in the article, “please understand that the missing & miss-delivered & stolen package after the package get into the Post Office System is out of our control”, we will not give up even if no carriers can resolve the issue. In the worst-case scenario, if the product is from the supply category (which something we can re-prepare), we will make another package for the 2nd attempt.
It is an unfortunate accident
The missing package with a tracking record of “delivered (completion of the carrier’s service)” is the worst-case scenario for the online shopper. It is the accident, or possibly a crime if the package was stolen.
Therefore, please understand that it is very important to take the proper step to file a claim, keep the records of what is going on, and how we can resolve it “together”. We are very sorry for any inconvenience due to the accident and sorry for the frustration of taking a long time to get a package. However, we as a seller are also a victim in this unfortunate accident.
If we are a big company like Amazon, then resending another package right away may be economically viable. For a big company, issuing a refund may be a much easier option to keep a customer happy. However, we cannot operate our business with the same logic as the other big company. Again, we will do our very best to resolve the issue.
How we concluded | Sashiko Store Nightmare Log
Here is a log of how we handled the unfortunate accident. We cannot expedite the process of Post Office Investigation or actual shipping. Therefore, we did our best to make a reply as soon as possible, even over the weekends. It was an international package from Japan via Japan Post with a help from Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya.
Sep.27th – Order Confirmed
Sep.28th – Package Posted via Japan Post
Oct.6th – Arrival at inward office of exchange (International)
Oct.14 – Final Delivery
Oct. 14 – Message from a customer that package “Not Delivered”.
Oct.14 – Reply from me with directions. Questions to understand the situation better.
Oct.16- File Claimed Local Post Office in Japan. (Although the person told me there is nothing they can do because their service is completed by the Final Delivery. I had asked to bring it to the upper position for the better
Oct.18 – Another update from the customer with confirming no mis-deilvery to the neighbors, no delivery person’s error (he didn’t see the package). Replied with another request to file a claim to the Local Post office for whereabout.
Oct. 22 – Second reply that there is nothing Japan Post can do.
Oct. 22 – The replacement package
Oct. 23 – The package is accepted to the Japan Post
Nov. 8 – Package arrival notification from the Japan Post System
Nov. 11 – Received confirmation from the customer.
It is not easy to deliver a package Internationally
This long process wouldn’t be necessary if this was domestic shipping, which means if the shipping address was within the USA or Japan.
Over the Internet, it became so much easier to purchase an item without visiting a store. On top of that, because of Amazon, we expect the package to be delivered within 2 days or so “no matter what”. However, with a small-sized business like us, it is a big deal to make international shipping. Please understand that international shipping can take a long time – and sometimes, it is risky to order one. We promise to deliver what you order, but we cannot promise “when” to be delivered. There is so many risk factor to guarantee the delivery date – missing package, rerouting the package, customs, and many more.
We are willing to continue the International shipping. However, please be advised that it “can” take a long time to complete the delivery. Please take your time to read our shipping policy.
We do ship Internationally.
Again, regardless of the risks (Sashiko Store Nightmare), we are willing to make a shipment to oversea address. It is our goal to share the Sashiko we practice. In order to achieve the goal, providing the materials and tools we use every day is very necessary. Since our business model doesn’t allow to have the “distributor”, the website is only one way to introduce what we use.
If you are ordering from the non-USA or Non-Japanese shipping address, please understand that there are risks of receiving packages a month or 2 months from the order day.
Alternatively, we offer an option to expedite all of the steps by upgrading the shipping method to “Express”. If your order is a time-sensitive package, please consider investing in the shipping (it will be like $40 more for only shipping). As I promised above, I will make sure & do our best that you will get the package regardless of shipping grade. However, please, please understand that it is outside of our effort, and it will take a long time to resolve it.
*Even the most expensive Express mail can be delayed due to the custom. We cannot control the custom at all, and we all should follow the law of each country.
Footnote of Sashiko Store Nightmare:
After we hear from the customer with receiving the package, we have asked them to revise the “review” on our services (it was on the product review category). Although we have not received the revisal yet, unfortunately, we wanted to inform everyone that Customer Support is very important to us and we will do everything we can think of.
I hope you can enjoy shopping with us without worrying about the shipment. Although we are not Amazon, which guarantees everything regardless of the condition, we will do everything we can think of. If you are in a hurry of receiving the order, please consider upgrading the shipping method as well.