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Hitomezashi Sashiko Stitching

Hitomezashi stitching is a type of sashiko stitching.  Both are made up of small straight stitches and both are used for mending and patching fabrics. Well, were used...now we use them for embellishment stitching as well.
So what makes it Hitomezashi rather than simple sashiko?  The designs are made up of dense stitches
arranged to build a pattern, while a the same time adding extra strength to the fabric(s) they are stitched on. Where simple sashiko designs make large overall designs on the fabric, Hitomezashi designs built small denser designs that look rather like weaving patterns.
Although these designs can look challenging, they share the same simplicity as all sashiko designs. They are made up of stitching straight lines and the pattern emerges from them as you go along.
The easiest way to learn Hitomezashi stitching is to  buy a pre-printed ready to stitch sampler. 
The ones we sell are made by Olympus. They make a 12" bock, which is enough to cut up and sew into a small project, and they come with additional fabric which you fold under the printed half so that you are stitching through two layers. 
Here is what to do:
Begin at one side and stitch all the dashes in the row. I like to leave a 'tail' of thread at each end of the fabric and to use one thread for each row so I don't have any joins.
Stitch all the rows in one direction. Then stitch all the rows in another direction. (Rule of thumb - begin with the horizontal rows, then the vertical rows, then the diagonal rows)
That is all there is to it!
Remember not to pull your stitches tight, they need enough looseness to allow a little shrinkage when washed. With these Olympus pre-printed fabrics, the fabric will tighten up a little too, so that the whole thing will grow prettier with use and washing.
Below is a sample of a different design:
On some designs the back will be identical, on others you get a different design on the back. If you are careful with your stitching the back will be just as pretty as the front.

If you are not so careful you will get this sort of thing happening on the back! Which only matters if you think it does, or if you needed your piece to be double sided!
And a note:
Because I will be cutting these into pattern pieces to make small zip pouches, I am not concerned with the threads at the edges. In fact, part of my reason for leaving them with tails this long is so I can be sure there will be enough slack in the thread for shrinkage when I wash and dry them a couple times.  I'll do this before I cut them, to plump up the fabric and threads, and to tighten the stitching so it stays put while being cut and sewn.
Happy Stitching.
Talk to you again soon,

Susan Fletcher
Susan Fletcher


Owner A threaded Needle