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Getting started with lovely and easy sashiko embroidery


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This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

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I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’ve been interested in sashiko embroidery lately.

One reason is that we got these amazing stencils in stock. I couldn’t wait to give them a go.


I bought some black linen and used my favorite Clover chacopel pencil to trace the design.

Sashiko is a really simple form of embroidery. It’s basically just a running stitch, and you don’t even need to use an embroidery hoop. If you need more instruction than that, Purl Bee has a great tutorial, but it pretty much is that simple.


I made this pillow, but I think you could use this on a garment to good effect too. Maybe a yoke or a sleeve? Here’s a blouse by Mina Perhonen with a sashiko design (we have a stencil for this type of pattern too).



Colette didn’t immediately run away from it, like she does most things she doesn’t recognize, so I think it may live on my bed with her for a while.

If you’re interested in trying it, take a look at our sashiko starter kits. They come with three of these beautiful stencils, thread, sashiko thimble, and sashiko needles, so you can apply the designs to any type of fabric you want.

Does anyone else do Sashiko?

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 18


Love sashiko so much – it’s so therapeutic to sit in front of the tv and zone while your hands keep on moving…I just last night started on the placemats from Little Dear Tracks and as much as I love them and as pretty as they are, I can’t help thinking that the stencils would have been way easier than tracing them with the transfer paper like I’ve been doing…


I’ve always wanted to try sashiko… I’ve added some kits to my Christmas list this year, so we shall see!


I love love love the top! I tried my hand at sashiko a while ago, but I just sort of guessed at it based on some googled images… I was pretty pleased with how it turned out:


I absolutely love sashiko. I haven’t tried it yet as I’ve been too busy knitting cat toys, but I really want to make some pillows or placemats!


Love sashiko! These projects all came out so well…now I’m inspired to incorporate some into my clothing! Thank you!


Wow, your cat looks exactly like mine!

I think sashiko is really pretty. I used it to make a bag for a friend and then did it in different colors and bugle beads for a Japanese inspired costume. You can see it here. The red circle has sashiko stitching in thread and the wave at the bottom of the sleeve has a traditional sashiko pattern done in beading.


Wow, she really does look like yours!

raquel from J.C.

Beautiful but very expensive….. not zakka at all!


Does the kit come with instructions? Thanks!


The kit only includes supplies (though the link I posted above has great instructions). I think that’s a great idea for next time, though.


omigod Sarai, you are so inspiring – I just spent the last two hours going through that site and my mind is reeling!


Love your pillow!

I first heard of sashiko when I bought a McCall’s tunic/dress pattern (6354 – now OOP) that includes a shashiko pattern to trace onto the tunic hem. Still haven’t tried it.


sold out! will these be restocked??


They probably will not right now, but we might sell the stencils again in the future. :)


Hi – do you still have the stencils for this? I’d love to give it a try.


I was so inspired by this I went back and did yet another sashiko project! It looks a little… OK very similar to yours :) But with a different pattern


Oh and in my blog post is details of another stockist of the stencils if you still don’t have any

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