Sashiko Mending Jeans / How I enjoy Sashiko

When I start introducing Sashiko in English about 10 years ago, the word of SASHIKO wasn’t popular among the general public. People in patchworking and quilting were eager to learn the Sashiko stitching techniques. I remember my challenges to try to reach out to quilting and patchworking enthusiastic people. Recently, I meet new people with the knowledge of Sashiko, and these people come across to Sashiko throughout mending. Sashiko Mending Jeans are especially popular among the new fashion.

People in patchworking and quilting were eager to learn the Sashiko stitching techniques. I remember my challenges to try to reach out to quilting and patchworking enthusiastic people.

 

Sashiko in Fashion Industry.

Recently, I meet new people with the knowledge of Sashiko, and these people come across to the word of SASHIKO throughout mending the fabric. Especially, Sashiko Mending Jeans seems to be popular, I assume. Interestingly, it is “Mending jeans with Sashiko” that I enjoy the most in Sashiko.

 

Sashiko Mending Jeans -1

 

Sashiko Mending Jeans as a cool item

I was raised in the Sashiko family. Sashiko was always around me. However, I didn’t feel comfortable wearing most of Sashiko products in daily life simply because it wasn’t fashionable in the 21st century. As the side project of my regular Sashiko work, I started working on my garments like denim jeans,  jacket, cotton shirts and so on. Then, I realize how cool Sashiko can be. It was around 2010 ~ 2011, then the time of realization how important it is to pass down Sashiko to the next generation comes to me after the earthquake in Northeast of Japan.

 

 

Sashiko is a process, not the result

Here are some photos of my jeans that I am working on mending, and wearing pretty much every day. Sashiko is not only the result. I start realizing the Sashiko is the process of mending, repairing, and reinforcing the fabric. Sashiko Mending Jeans will not be the end product since it requires repetitive patching and stitching. When I sell my Sashiko mending jeans, I would like to teach the buyer how to Sashiko it by himself/herself. Anyway, here is a serious of photos, as of today.

 

I did Sashiko mending on this jean a month ago

(I blogged it, too)

However, mending (sewing) means adding extra tension to the part of fabric without stitching. Therefore, the part without Sashiko thread starts getting torn. Then, I would need another mending project. This is why I say that Sashiko is the process, not the result. It is perfectly fine since it is fun doing it, and the more mending projects I would do, the Sashiko mending jeans get fashionable. (By the way, I believe “Boro” is the result of this repetitive mending with Sashiko. I am making Boro in future now!)

Sashiko Mending Jeans 2

 

A hole. Thinking how to make Sashiko stitching on

Sashiko Mending Jeans 3

I cover several methods of Sashiko mending in my workshop. It is a fun part for me to think what to do. I will update the result after I do Sashiko mending.

 

Preparing Sashiko fabric and matching it

Sashiko Mending Jeans 4

 

Although I haven’t started actual mending process, I have prepared the Sashiko fabric to patch. Using Japanese vintage fabric with Natural Dye Sashiko thread, it will be a fantastic match.

 

I have a plan to make a serious of tutorial… wait for the update and keep stimulating me by leaving comments or messages so I will get motivated a lot faster.

 

Thank you for reading.

Enjoy Sashiko!

 

 

 

 

Sashiko Tools I recommend | I use them, of course

The word “Sashiko” is getting popular. There are several choices when it comes to choosing the tools. I occasionally get an inquiry about the Sashiko tools and materials I use. So here is the list of Sashiko tools I recommend, which is, of course, the Sashiko tools I use.

 

4 Sashiko Tools / Materials you need. Basically, that’s all you need.

 

  1. Sashiko Thread
  2. Fabric for Sashiko 
  3. Sashiko Needle
  4. Sashiko Thimble

*Each link goes to product page in our online store

 

You can use any kinds of thread clippers, but please be picky about these 4 Sashiko tools and materials. The result is hugely depended on the quality of these 4 things.

 

(1) Sashiko Thread

 

Sashiko Tools thread 1

 

Sashiko thread is the most important factor to get the best result after so many stitching. Coron Sashiko thread is one of the best quality Sashiko thread you can get, and the Sashiko thread we (as “Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya” and “Upcycle Stitches“) use daily. The Sashiko thread by different manufacturers are available online; but don’t risk your time-investment. This skein has 145 meters (475 feets). After all, the price isn’t that expensive in comparison to the thread from the other brands.

We have a selection of Coron Thread like below:

  • 15 mono-color (solid color) thread.
  • 5 variegated color thread
  • 2 Sashi.Co Original color thread
  • many kinds of “natural dye” thread (dyed by hands)

 

(2) Sashiko Fabric

 

Sashiko Tools Fabric

 

Although we use many kinds of fabric for Sashiko project, cotton fabric is always our preference. Cotton fabric with good amount of weight makes Sashiko stitching more beautiful in the result. Also, the contrast with Indigo-dyed fabric and white thread is one of the most well-known Sashiko combination.

 

(3) Sashiko Needle

An article about Sashiko needle

A long, sharp, and strong needle is necessary for Sashiko. Since the Sashiko thread is thicker than the other embroidery thread, the eye should be a bit bigger than the regular needle. If the eye is too big, however, the needle may destroy the fabric and stitching. Pay attention to the size of needle-eye, when you pick the needle.

 

Sashiko Tools needle

 

I use this needle. One size only. I do not change the size of the needle based on the variety of projects. The needle top is extremely sharp, so make sure you do not poke your finger to keep your fabric from dyeing to red.

 

(4) Sashiko thimble.

An article about Sashiko thimble | 

 

A dish-shaped, round thimble is the only thimble I use for Sashiko. I strongly prefer the metal thimble since it lasts longer. When you find a hole in the dish-shaped metal, replace it. It won’t happen so easily, but it definitely will happen if you spend a good amount of time for Sashiko.

It is unique for many hand-stitching people.

Using the thimble and needle is one of the core materials in my workshop. For those who cannot come to the workshop, I shared a tutorial video how to make Sashiko stitching with this thimble and needle. Check out our Youtube Channel.

 

The other tools and materials

I will make another blog to introduce the tools and materials I use. However, the difference between what I use and the one you use would be less significant comparing to these 4 key items I introduced today. Sashiko requires you a lot of time investing. I strongly believe that you should be rewarded for the time you spent on Sashiko. You enjoy doing Sashiko, and you and your surroundings enjoy the result.

I hope sharing my tools would help your Sashiko life.

 

 

Thread, Fabric, Needle and thimble are available online for purchase. Please check our store. If you don’t find it, leave the comments so I will add the item right after your comment. The most beautiful products we sell is “Natural Dye Sashiko thread dyed by Keiko Futatsuya. (The photo at the beginning of this article is about the Natural Dye Sashiko thread” They are so beautiful that some customers don’t want to use it. Well… I will write a blog about it, too.

 

Enjoy Sashiko!

How to make Sashiko thread Bobbin (Itomaki)

Sashiko thread is different from regular embroidery thread. Therefore, Sashiko Thread requires a special attention to store it in a good condition. Otherwise, it ends up with entangled thread. (Don’t let your cat to play. It will make a perfect ball.) This is a tutorial how to make Sashiko Thread Bobbin (Itomaki) for enjoying Sashiko thread until the end.

 

Difference in Sashiko Threads

Sashiko Thread Bobbin 1

 

There are many kinds of embroidery thread. Even speaking about Sashiko thread only, there are many options available in the market. We strongly recommend to get a nice heavy cotton thread, designed for Sashiko purpose. We use Sashiko thread manufactured by Coron, and we have been very happy with the result. Sashiko requires you a lot of time and effort. We want you to have the good result.

 

Some Sashiko threads are available on our webstore, our Etsy store, and even in Amazon Marketplace.

 

Our Sashiko thread is consisted by 6 thin embroidery threads, twisted in a unique way to create beautiful stitches.

The price looks a bit expensive, but considering the amount of thread (145 meters / 475 feets length) per skein, I believe the price is reasonable in the market in comparison to the other thread by Olympus or the other vendors. Some customer mention that it is too long to consume a skein. When you learn how to do Sashiko stitch in our Sashi.Co way, you would need more skeins of thread. When you follow my workshop, your stitching speed would increase by a lot, and it means you need more thread.

 

The easiest way to avoid the entangled thread

The easiest way to avoid the entangled thread is to cut the thread as a picture show below. Then, taping the edge of thread bundle will not let thread entangled easily. Since this process takes only a minute or so, I introduce this method in my workshops. The cut thread also have a good length to practice regular Asano-ha patterns. When you need a single line of thread, you pull one thread out from the bundle by holding the taping edge.

 

Sashiko Thread bobbin 2

 

However, if you can invest your time to make Sashiko thread bobbin, I would recommend you to do so. I wish I could share this in the workshops, but it will take much longer and my workshops focus on Sashiko stitching / Sashiko mending, not making the Sashiko thread bobbin.

 

Therefore, I present a short tutorial video how to make a Sashiko thread Bobbin.

 

 

Invest some time to make Sashiko Thread Bobbin

Sashiko Thread Bobbin

 

I hope the tutorial video is clear enough to share how to make Sashiko Thread bobbin. Please leave the comments on Youtube if you have questions regarding this topic.

I don’t know how to call the blue thread holder introduced in the video. Is it called “a thread skeiner…?” It doesn’t have to rotate. As picture show below, ask someone to hold the skein of thread is another option. Or you could use two polls, too. You can purchase the blue plastic wheel from us if you are interested. We have 2 of these in stock. (Be advised that the wheel I use is pretty fragile… if you know any better product, please let me know!)

 

 

The biggest advantage of making Sashiko Thread Bobbin is that you can decide the length of thread you use for the project, without wasting the remaining thread. Another reason I make bobbins is that they look very beautiful and give me an inspiration. The various color of Sashiko thread makes me excited and calm simultaneously. It is probably the scenery I was grown up with.

 

 

I would like to invest some money on the Bobbin holder (The brown thick paper I introduce on the video / The cool designed board shown in the photo above). Wait for another update and join me if I start the “Bobbin Holder Making Project.”
Thank you for watching the video / reading our tutorial.

 

Enjoy Sashiko!

How to transfer Sashiko Patterns on to the fabric

People often have a question how to transfer Sashiko patterns onto the fabric. Yes. Sashiko isn’t always about stitching. Preparing the fabric properly is a very important aspect of Sashiko.

 

Here is a tutorial how to transfer Sashiko Patterns by using a carbon paper

An easy and accurate way to transfer Sashiko patterns is to use a carbon (transfer) paper. Using proper tools will result in beautiful patterns on fabric. Here is a list of tools and supplies you need to follow this tutorial.

  • Fabric *1
  • Chakopee Carbon Paper (Transfer Paper) *2
  • Mylar Paper *3
  • Pattern *4

 

  1. We, as Sashi.Co, mostly transfer pattern on the back side of fabric
  2. We use Japanese Mylar paper. However, any Cello/Poly paper should work. It should be strong enough to hold the pressure (prevent being torn.)
  3. A regular copy paper is fine. Since tracing require a strong pressure, the pattern paper will be discarded after a single usage. 

 

The necessary materials above are available on this website. Check the purchase list.

 

Layer fabric and papers in proper order

 

How to transfer Sashiko Patterns on to Fabric _1

How to transfer Sashiko Patterns on to Fabric _3

 

A video will explain about the layers well, but here is the order of the layer. The number is the order to place the fabric and/or papers on the table. (Bottom to Up after completing it)

  1. Fabric
  2. Chakopee Paper (Shinning side facing down to fabric)
  3. Mylar paper
  4. pattern

 

Securing the all 4 layers. A tracing process with strong pressure can shift any layers.

 

How to transfer Sashiko Patterns on to Fabric _4

 

Make sure to pin the 4 layers you made now. I usually use safety pins, but any kind of pin should work. Even clips would be fine as long as the layers are secured from shifting. Another tip is to NOT to pin it at one corner so that you can check the pattern in the middle of tracing without shifting the pattern.

Transfer Sashiko pattern by Tracing

How to transfer Sashiko Patterns on to Fabric _5

 

I usually use a red-colored ballpoint pen to distinguish the line I traced. You may use any kind of pen (a pencil may be weak for the required pressure), and tracing tools such as a tracing wheel. Make sure to trace strongly enough to push the tracing paper onto the fabric. You may check the results in the process untiil you understand that required pressure. The pressure is depended on the Cello paper you choose.

 

Check the result. Support the weak transfer.

How to transfer Sashiko Patterns on to Fabric _6

 

You should see the white line on the fabric. (You may see different color if you purchase the different tracing paper.)

If you find some lines with weaker chalk transfer, then use a white pencil (or chalk pencil) to support the line. In the process of Sashiko, the pattern may vanish because of sweat from hands or friction of fabric. Use the pencil as you need.

 

And Sashiko Stitch!!

Sashiko Stitching

 

After that, Enjoy the Sashiko Stitching!

Keep it in your mind that I usually transfer the pattern on the back of the fabric. Since the patterns will be washed away, you can, of course, transfer the pattern on the front side. It is up to you, but for some reasons, I keep transferring the patterns on the back.

 

Leave the comments on Youtube Video if you have questions about transferring the pattern. I will try my best to answer it.

 

Speech at FIT 2

Great questions in F.I.T Speech / Sashiko Presentation

More people are interested in Sashiko presentation, more than I thought.

 

I received many great questions in Sashiko Presentation. Now I need to answer after thinking through it.

 
To be honest, I didn’t think that people would be so interested in Sashiko presentation. Therefore, I tried to make it fun, to entertain the audience rather than boring “informative” presentation. I may have made a mistake. I probably should have made Sashiko presentation more informative and specific about Sashiko.

 

 

Sashiko Presentation

 

Regardless, I enjoyed the Sashiko presentation VERY MUCH. The audience made a nice welcoming atmosphere. I sincerely appreciate Joshua, who invited me, to Faces and Places in Fashion, at Fashion Institute of Technology.

 

Answering Questions is my responsibility

 

I feel that I didn’t answer to all great questions with my best possible answers. So I will use this website to share the questions from the audience and my sincere answer. I don’t have to make a joke to escape from tension (I always try to make people laugh when I am nervous on stage….)

 

I am not a professional designer or tailor, but I practice Sashiko as the professional.

Since there is an interest in Sashiko, it is my responsibility to share the answer. In other words, this could be my contribution to the society.

 

I will try to remember and list all the questions I received. However, if you happened to be one of the audiences of my Sashiko presentation, and found that I miss the question, please comment on any posts. I will definitely follow up. The blog will be in the category of Sashiko Q&A.

 

A Power of Repurpose.

The theme of my Sashiko presentation was “A Power of Repurpose”

Fabric gets value when we repurpose it; when we repair it with appreciation. I believe Sashiko is a process of repurposing the fabric. The power of purpose apply not only to the fabrics, but also everything around you, including human.

 

Making a public speech about Sashiko may be my life-work to introduce what Sashiko is, and how beautiful “repurpose” can be.

 

 

Please contact me if you are interested in my speech. I would love to talk to you and your friends.

2017 Sashiko Workshops | Start Sashiko with us

Upcycle Stitches LLC offer various Sashiko workshops in NYC/Brooklyn area. The list for the year of 2017 Sashiko Workshops is available on this website. The workshops are the hands-on opportunity to learn Sashiko techniques from experienced Sashiko artist, Atsushi Futatsuya. Visit the web to register your seat here.

“Curious Corner / Sashiko Workshops”

 

2017 Sashiko Workshops

Read more about our Hands-on Sashiko Workshops

Read this article to learn what you can expect to our HandsOn Sashiko Workshops.

Our goal through this website is to share our techniques and information. However, it is the best way to meet the instructors and learn from them. The workshops aren’t like the lecture you would just listen to the talking. You would move your hands to learn how to use the Sashiko thimble and needles, The instructor will sit down next to you and put hands on your hands to teach if necessary.

 

Although there is not “right” technique for the Sashiko stitching, we are proud of our accumulation of techniques and its uniqueness. I believe that, once you master our stitching method, the stitching process will speed up and you can enjoy more Sashiko project. As a result, your stitching skill will improve. The more you enjoy the Sashiko project, the better your stitching looks.

 

Contact us if you have any questions regarding Sashiko Workshops.

 

The year of 2017 Sashiko Workshops

Now Registering

Workshops at Calliope NYC

Location: 

Calliope
349 West 12th St. (between Washington & Greenwich Sts)
West Village, NYC

  • Saturday, June 24
  • Sunday, June 25

 

Completed

Location:

@ 20 Grattan St. Brooklyn, NY 11206

  • Friday, Feb 24
  • Saturday, Feb 25 
  • Monday, Feb 27
*Available only for those who have taken Sashiko Stitching class. 

 

@ Workshop at Pioneer Works (Red Hook, Brooklyn)

Location:

159 Pioneer St. Brooklyn, NY

pioneerworks.org 

  • Sunday, Feb 26