市松人形 Antique doll kimono – My New Year Challenge – part 3

A little background on what makes a doll an Ichimatsu ningyo… 人形 Ningyo = doll. That’s the easy part. 佐野川 市松 Sanogawa Ichimatsu (1722-1762) What have come to be called Ichimatsu dolls were first produced in the Kampô and Hôreki eras (1741 – 1764), the faces designed to resemble Sanogawa Ichimatsu, a Kabuki actor who was famous for…

Event News for February, 2015

February 1 – Starting the month with a bang, I’ll be in the Campbell/San Jose, CA area for the monthly Bay Area Sashiko Workshop meetup. Sit and stitch with like-minded crafters ranging from absolute beginners to incredibly talented and experienced. All skill levels are welcome and light refreshments will be served. Fabrics, notions, thread, and assortment…

I’m in Stitch Magazine again – The Unofficial Downton Abbey Sews

This is a very yummy issue if you’re into historical and costume dramas in general and Downton Abbey in particular, which the editors at Stitch Magazine certainly are! This very special issue includes instructions to make my tsumugi silk sashiko pillow. I do carry all the supplies needed, including the fabric, but not all supplies…

Baseball and Sashiko

I’m teaching a few sashiko classes this fall, so I’ve been working on demonstration pieces to share with the students. I was working on one of them last night while Thomas and I listened to a baseball game on the radio. We cut off our cable TV a few months back to save money and…

From Caterpillar to Kimono: a Journey in Silk, part 1

My brain is still on Tokyo time. I sit at the breakfast table with my tea and toast and contemplate the day ahead; only it’s almost noon and I’m still not really awake. Most nights I’m up until 1:00 or 2:00 AM, but I’m struggling to get back on a schedule the rest of the…

Olympus Wagara cotton sashiko sampler project part 3

After completing the Persimmon Flower background, I felt the coat needed something. Referencing vintage firemen’s coats I decided to go with a plain stitch, echoing the technique of stitching together multiple layers of cotton to make the coats very thick. Historically, the coat would be drenched in water before the firefighter went forth to battle…

Olympus Wagara cotton sashiko sampler project part 2

Here we go, on to the fun stuff. The magic of Persimmon Flower — Kaki no Hana (柿の花) — is how it evolves. Like an actual blossom, it starts off simple and innocuous, then blooms into something wonderful. And it’s all about the math; if you want the blossoms to be bigger or smaller, you adjust…

Olympus Wagara cotton sashiko sampler project part 1

Last year I stocked a single bolt of Wagara fabric. I wasn’t sure if it was worth the investment (they are pricey, even at wholesale!), but once I felt the fabric in my hands, I knew I’d made the right decision. Olympus, the Japanese company who makes all the sashiko supplies I carry in my…

Sashiko Patchwork Apron Pattern

If you’re looking for a fun little project you can make with recycled fabric, sashiko thread, and a little ingenuity, this Sashiko Patchwork Apron Pattern might tickle your fancy. I designed it for the Spring 2012 issue of Stitch and it’s now available for download. The pattern is $4.00, none of which comes to me,…

Book Review: The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook

Susan Briscoe is a familiar name to many sashiko stitchers here in the West, and rightfully so. The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook: Patterns, Projects and Inspirations (2005) is a book I would suggest anyone getting started with sashiko would benefit from having in their library. The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook starts the reader off with a colorful…