Today I had a visitor to the studio this weekend who asked me to show her how I do my sashiko. Helen was a lovely guest (who bought some of my favorite fabrics) and we chatted for a few hours while I stitched away. She likes to plan out her sewing projects, “obsessing” about them and wanting every detail to be perfect. I am more likely to grab a random bolt of fabric from a shelf and start making something without thought to how it will look when it’s done, if it ever gets done. She is more methodical, while I am as random as can be. Somehow, the world seems to need both types of people, and we had a pleasant talk about the work we do and how we go about doing it. She inspired me to try something new, and I am grateful!
The project I pulled from the shelf was this little bit of whimsy involving a piece of vintage yukata fabric and an old katagami stencil. I used a Karisma pencil (white) to draw the lines and some Olympus sashiko thread (color #6). This was only a doodle to get a feel for how the stencil would work. I liked the clean lines and fine details and will be enlarging the design for future use. The pencil worked well but faded fairly quickly as I worked and handled the fabric. I’ll be tweaking the design until I feel like it really flows, then it can be used for a class project or kit.
The katagami itself is a work of art. Made from recycled paper and cured with persimmon tannin (kaki-shibu), the fish and bubbles were delicately hand cut. Unlike some of the katagami in my collection, this one has not been reinforced with silk mesh so I had to work carefully to not damage the fragile paper.
Another project that has been keeping me busy for a few days is this miniature kimono. I wanted drama, with a Kabuki-like visual punch, and these fabrics from Alexander Henry fit the bill.
Using Golden Shishi in black for the main kimono and Golden Garden in red for the lining, I think it looks pretty exciting so far.