sashiko and mending stencils
May 18, 2024

Sashiko & Mending Stencils

 I discovered sashiko stitching in around 2005 when I randomly picked up a remaindered book in the back of a sewing store in a little town in coastal BC. 

Immediately I was hooked by how such a simple stitch could build such elegant timeless patterns. The visual strength of sashiko patterns still impresses me.

At that time there were hardly any available products, not even sashiko threads or sashiko needles, to be found in North America so I began stitching with crochet cotton and the longest hand sewing needles I could find. (The needles invariably bent, but the crochet cotton worked pretty well).

For patterns - I had to draw them out on the fabric - tedious! Then I realised that because a sashiko stitch is a repetitive straight stitch you can stitch it from the back of your fabric.  That means you can trace a pattern onto a very lightweight fusible interfacing with a permanent ink pen, fuse it to the back of your fabric, and stitch to your hearts content. The drawn marking stay dark and easy to see even for projects with large amounts of stitching.

For a few years I designed sashiko patterns and projects with this transfer method under the name Alderspring Design.   

Then as interest in sashiko grew  sashiko patterns printed on fabric in wash away ink began to be available. I started selling these on my website, along with Olympus sashiko needles and sashiko threads, and over the years since have tried to source as many sashiko products as possible.

This blog is to introduce the sashiko stencils I have been gradually able to source. I know there have been sashiko stencils available for awhile now, but I think these count as the best available.  

Sashiko Patch sample

They are made of a thing strong composite material that doesn't break or tear, and is washable and flexible.  Flexible is nice if you are drawing a design onto clothing for mending.

Their size is nice, most are 4" X 4" and many have holes in the corners so you can mark the fabric for making accurate repeats. You can also see through them which makes lining up designs easy.

They come in a lot of sashiko patterns. I  currently have 40+ patterns and will have more in all three sashiko styles: moyo-sashi, hitome-sashi and kuguri-sashi.

 You can often use the same stencil to make more than one pattern

sashiko stencil for mending and decorative stitching

sashiko design with threads

Enjoy your stitching,