5 Ways to transfer a Sashiko design onto fabric (5 of 5 featherweight interfacing method)

by Susan Fletcher

5 Ways to transfer a Sashiko design onto fabric (5 of 5 featherweight interfacing method)

How to transfer your sashiko design onto your fabric ready for stitching using fusible featherweight interfacing

The pre-printed on fabric, ready to stitch, sashiko designs are wonderful, but limit you in designs and fabrics.  For those of you who want to go further, this is the last of five blog entries of five methods you can use get a sashiko design onto a fabric of your choice!

After near fifteen years of sashiko stitching, this is still my preferred method for getting a design onto fabric ready to be stitched.  I like it best for several reasons I'll tell you as we go on here.

Below is how to do it, but quick version goes like this: trace the design onto the interfacing, fuse it to the back of your fabric. Stitch away.

transfer sashiko

I know, you are thinking you can't stitch from the back, but really, you can! sashiko stitching (translates to stab stitching) is just a running stitch, and that means it is the same stitch on the front and the back of the fabric.  So it doesn't actually matter which side you stitch from, just remember to make the stitches on the finished side a little longer than the stitches on the side you are looking at (make stitches on the wrong side 1/3 of the stitches on the right side)

sashiko stitch lenght

Why would you want to use this method?

1. No matter how much handling, or how big your stitching area is, the lines will stay clear and dark. No fading away.

2. It is easier to remember to leave enough little slack bits of thread so the fabric doesn't over tighten as your stitching progresses. You can also draw yourself a little circle where stitching lines cross over each other to help keep them nice and even on the finished side. 

sashiko transfer on fusible featherweight interfacing

3. You can combine sashiko designs to make your own designs by tracing part of one, then moving the interfacing to cover a different design and tracing part of it.

Here is how to do it in detail:

Begin with your sashiko design, a permanent ink fine tip pen, some white featherweight fusible interfacing (pellon) (non-woven is best), tape and a ruler.

Trace design on fusible featherweight interfacing

Tape the pattern to your table. Tape the interfacing glue side (the rough side) down over the pattern. Tape it to the table. Using the ruler and pen trace the design onto the interfacing.

Now lay the interfacing, glue side (rough) down, over the back of your fabric and using a medium heat iron, fuse the interfacing to the fabric. (The glue dots heat, melts and fuses the interfacing to the fabric). Begin in the middle of your design and iron gently toward the edges. I lift and set my iron, rather than sliding it. This helps to keep the interfacing from pulling out of shape.

Now your design is securely on your fabric. You will leave the interfacing on the fabric when your stitching is finished.  There is no need to remove it as featherweight it is too light to change how the fabric feels, and it will be covered in your finished project.

Remember you will be stitching from the BACK of the fabric. Try it before you decide that you can't do it. It's actually just as easy to stitch on the fabric back, plus you have better control when you are turning corners and crossing over open spaces. Remember to make your long stitches on the finished side tho!

If you are new to sashiko stitching this method, and how to sashiko stitch, are explained in more detail in my blogs called Sashiko Tutorial part 1 through 4.

stitching sashiko 

Happy Stitching!


Susan Fletcher
Susan Fletcher


Owner A threaded Needle

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