Sashiko Stitching Using Stencils

By Susan Fletcher
Sashiko Stitching Using Stencils

Last time we talked about using sashiko to stitch images. One of the things that I saw happening as I tried that, was the way that the designs that worked best tended to come from stencil designs. This time we are going to look at samples of sashiko stitching using stencils as the design pattern.

Sashiko stitching lends itself to so many design techniques from the use of traditional designs stitching in white on dark blue,  to the randomness of modern Boro pieces.  (Note to self, must make some Boro samples soon :-) 

If you are looking for a quick way to make a fresh sashiko stitched design, try using stencils.  Select two or three and draw them onto a piece of paper the shape and size of your project.  When you are satisfied with the layout, use the stencils and an iron away fabric pen to trace the stencil onto your fabric.

This used two stencils, hummingbird and flower stencls

Remember to make your design on the straight of the grain of the fabric (in other words, up and down with the threads in the fabric, NOT diagonal on them) If you don't know what this means, look it up. It makes so much different to your finished piece.

Sashiko Stitched Hummingbird

Once you have traced your design onto the fabric, stitch it.  Where there are gaps in your lines caused by the stencil 'bridges', stitch as if your drawn lines are continuous. 

Hummingbird Stencli

This one is made from two stencils. First I traced the bunnies onto the fabric, then I used a large stencil to draw in the background, omitting the areas where the bunnies were placed.

8" oriental flower stencil used to make a simple elegant hot pad

Stencil designs sashiko stitched on an apron.

I am building a collection of stencils that I think work well for sashiko. You'll find them on the website.
Happy Stitching :-)