Tutorial: How to sashiko stitch, part 1, transferring your sashiko design to fabric

by Susan Fletcher

Tutorial: How to sashiko stitch, part 1, transferring your sashiko design to fabric
This is part one of a four part tutorial for learning how to sashiko stitch.
We will be learning to transfer a design to the fabric first, so if you are using a fabric with the design already printed onto it click here for information about that, then come back to this set of tutorials for more on how to sashiko stitch.
For everyone else, start here:
Gather your supplies. For sashiko this is a pretty short list. Sashiko needle and thread, a sashiko design, some cotton or cotton/linen fabric, and for transferring the design, some featherweight fusible non woven white interfacing and a permanent ink fine tip pen. You can find all of this on this website. Look in the sashiko supplies section.Sashiko design Dragonfly Over Diamond Waves
For this tutorial I am using the Alderspring Design pattern Dragonfly Over Diamond Waves
Before you do anything elsewash, dry and press your fabric in the same way you intend to after the project is finished and in use.

While you are waiting for your fabric to dry, you can transfer the design.  You will need the sashiko design, a fine tip pen, preferably one that is permanent so it doesn't rub off on your thread as you stitch, a straight edge (ruler, quilting square...) and some tape. Oh, and the white featherweight fusible interfacing! 

We are going to trace the design onto the interfacing and then fuse the interfacing to the back of the sashiko fabric.

Here are the steps to follow: 
Important Note: the interfacing I used in these photos happened to have yellow grid lines on it- they have nothing to do with transferring the design so please ignore them!)
1. tape the corners of the sashiko dragonfly design to your worktable
2. lay your interfacing over it with the glue side (the rough side) down and tape that to the table also
 transferring sashiko design to fabric
3. using the straight edge, trace the lines of the design onto the interfacing.  
4. trace the dragonfly freehand

5. lay your (now washed and dried) fabric on your ironing board wrong side up, if it has one.

6. un-tape the corners of the interfacing and lay it over your fabric. Using your iron at a medium heat steam setting, fuse the interfacing to the fabric. Begin in the center of the design and work toward the outside by lifting and setting your iron, rather than sliding it. This will keep the interfacing and your design from pulling out of shape! Now your project is ready to start stitching
Fusing sashiko design to fabric
This tutorial will get rather long if I don't divide it so I will stop here on this one. In the next part of this tutorial we will cover: 
  • how to start your stitching without knotting your thread,
  • how to manage your stitch length,
  • and how to decide what that length should be.
  • Also how to hold your fabric, load stitches on the needle and turn a sharp corner.

In the meantime have a look at these related blogs:

"How to use sashiko thread without it becoming a tangled mess" 

"Three ways to transfer your sashiko design to your fabric"

Talk to you soon,


Susan Fletcher
Susan Fletcher


Owner A threaded Needle

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