Hand Stitch Look – Faux Sashiko

Hand Stitch Look – Faux Sashiko

While I lust over the idea of owning a true Sashiko machine, there is a fake workaround. On many domestic home sewing machines, there is a stitch that will fake a “hand look” or “sashiko” stitch.  The hand stitch work done on this project was done on my Janome 7700, and the embroidery done on my Ellisimo Gold.

On your stitch diagrams on your machine, they will look something like this:

Hand Look Stitches

I know I might be beating a dead horse to some of you … but I still sing the praises of the little, affordable Brother sewing machines on Amazon.   Even they have this stitch!    Many machines have this stitch.    It’s just that you have to know how to use it…

To get the hand look/sashiko illusion, it is done by putting monofilament / clear thread in the needle, while loading the bobbin with the thread you desire to see on the top of your work.    The bobbin tension is set looser (if possible – it’s a good idea to even own a second bobbin case that you can mess with for this purpose) and the top thread is slightly tighter.

The stitch on the machine will then pull the bobbin thread to the top – with the monofilament running between the stitches on top to create the illusion of a “break” between the stitches – as if done by hand.

CRQC bag - hand look stitch

(Happy little reminder: You may click on pics to enlarge them)

The piece above was the first time I tried it… and it was one of those middle-of-the-night affairs (you know how those can go, right?!? lol) … so the stitching on the left side of the panel was done before the stitching on the right side of the panel.  You can tell that I did a little tweaking and by the time I did the right side, I was getting a better look.

CRQC bag - Hand look stitch There is a clear thread running between the stitches on the top – but the glory of the stitch is that you can’t see it easily.  I used a magenta metallic thread in the bobbin.

A true Sashiko machine does not have a top thread – the machine does a special stitch that pulls the bobbin thread to the top, makes a stitch, then runs a stitch on the underside.. and repeats.   It’s beautiful – and it’s perfect for a hand look quilting finish.   I want one.   lol

But just for the sake of experimenting, I did the project above.   🙂

About this project:  At our local quilt club meetings, you don’t get into the drawings unless you have your name badge on.   The club gives you a quilted piece of fabric that is something like 9″ across…. with *huge* embroidery of the club and your name.   They look like bibs to me, and there’s something wrong with a room full of grey haired ladies running around with bibs on.   (bad mental picture – but do you get it?  lol)  Here’s a pic…

CRQC Name Tag

So as you see above – being the bit of a rebel – I just did my own embroidery piece and shrunk it… and then funkified it with selvedge edges … and made it into a little bag that holds my phone, a pen, and a few bucks.  🙂    So far, they’re still letting me in on the drawings with it.   🙂

I’m currently working on the Gypsy Wife quilt – and it’s a perfect piece to finish with Sashiko.  In order to justify getting the machine someday, I have to wonder if there is a market for doing a little sashiko work for other people… or renting out the machine?      (I really would love to have one!)

Time to get to my “real” job… but in the meantime….

There are some great books on Amazon that illustrate true Sashiko stitching.  Take a peek!

Shameless plug:  if you want to do something nice for me,  hit one of my links before you shop Amazon… I get a small commission and it helps to buy my dentist new hubcaps on his Mercedes.  🙂

Love you all….

Sally   aka: RipStitcher