What you'll need:
- Chalk pencil or Tracing Paper & Tracing Tools
- DMC embroidery Thread
- Fabric for stitching
Begin by drawing your design onto fabric or transfer a pattern using chalk paper and a tracing tool.When all of the pattern lines have been transferred, you are ready to stitch.
Cut a length of sashiko yarn and thread your needle. For bold stitches double the yarn, for smaller details and a dainty line, use a single thread. Knot the end.
The pattern has been marked onto the “right” side of your fabric, so you will stitch right over the top of the chalk lines. Pull your needle through the fabric at the start of your first marked line and allow the knot to rest neatly on the back, or “wrong” side.
Leave 1/8” (3 mm) of yarn between the knot and your first stitch—this allows for some “give” when stitching and will help prevent your fabric from puckering.
Work your needle from right to left (or left to right if you’re left- handed) along the marked line, making consistent 1/8” to 1/4” (3-5 mm) stitches.
Work several stitches onto your needle, then pull your yarn through the fabric.
Pull the yarn but not tight. Try not to let your fabric pucker. Your stitches should look similar to a running stitch, although slightly longer than the spaces between them. The stitch-to-space ratio for sashiko is 3:2, but no one is counting, just do your best!
If you notice your fabric is puckering, then your stitches are too tight. To fix this pinch the fabric between your thumb and index finger and run them along your line of stitches to smooth the fabric. Try holding the knotted end steady with one hand while you smooth with the other.
When you reach the end of a line, make a small knot on the backside of your fabric and trim any excess yarn. Remember, the chalk-marked side of your fabric is the “right” side, and should be facing you.
Leave a little extra yarn before you tie off your row of stitches with a knot. This allows for some “give” in the case that your fabric shrinks a bit during washing, or you discover later that some of your stitches in that row were too tight.
When turning a corner, leave an extra 1/8” to 1/4” (3-5 mm) of yarn looped on the wrong side of the fabric, again, to help prevent puckering.
Work the lines that cross the center of your pattern first, going in one direction and then the reverse.
Tip: If you finish a row and arenʼt happy with the result, donʼt worry! Snip the knot and pull your yarn out. Re-knot and try again.