Perhaps it’s my way of getting in touch with my heritage, but I seem to be continually drawn to traditional Japanese crafts and folk arts. I’ve always wanted to give sashiko a try (so many possible patterns and not enough time!). Sashiko, which means “little stabs” in English, is a traditional Japanese hand embroidery design. Historically sashiko was used to repair/decorate clothing and often put on patches. It’s a running stitch that uses a long needle to pull threads along a linear design. There are hundreds of traditional patterns with patterns often abstracted from natural forms like wisteria, the ocean, and so on.
I thought it would be fun to use this technique to do something a bit more contemporary. It’s nice to take something in your wardrobe that’s rather plain and give it new life, so I decided to embellish the front of a skirt with an embroidery pattern loosely based on fireworks (I thought the fireworks were reminiscent of a chrysanthemum, which is common in Asian art).
- sashiko needle (may substitute a doll needle or longest needle you have)
- metallic embroidery floss, double strand
- sashiko stitch