Trying out Sashiko stitch

Sashiko practice fabric. The white unstitched lines will wash out.

Sashiko practice fabric. The white unstitched lines will wash out.

Have you noticed? It's November! This is the perfect time to start thinking about making some handmade gifts for the holidays. I myself am in full make mode gearing up for some craft fairs at the end of the month so I thought hey, why not try a new skill. Something about fall brings out the maker in me and I can't stop exploring even when my time is limited.

I happened upon some images of the Sashiko stitch on Instagram and found them very captivating. So when I noticed Katrina Rodabaugh offering a workshop at Handcraft Studio School I jumped to try it out. I'll admit I may have seen this youtube video and thought I might walk out of the class as a human sewing machine. That's definitely going to take more time. 

I have done a little embroidery in the past but would consider myself very novice. While this workshop wasn't billed as being for beginners I would say this stitch to be very beginner friendly. What I liked most about the stitch is how patterns are created by intersecting continuous lines. In some ways it reminded me of Zentangle which is about drawing one line at a time and Sashiko is very much about one line of stitching at a time.

The back of the Sashiko pattern fabric with my stitching. I opted to just stitch some of the lines.

The back of the Sashiko pattern fabric with my stitching. I opted to just stitch some of the lines.

My first completed project! I was able to understand my beginners limitations with this simple potholder/trivet project. While the stitching pattern is just made of straight lines it's stitch density was more time consuming than I'd expected. The back side used a lovely Japanese patterned fabric picked out by Katrina.

My first completed project! I was able to understand my beginners limitations with this simple potholder/trivet project. While the stitching pattern is just made of straight lines it's stitch density was more time consuming than I'd expected. The back side used a lovely Japanese patterned fabric picked out by Katrina.

My extra project in the class was that I managed to get my thread in an incredible knot that I am still slowly unraveling.

My extra project in the class was that I managed to get my thread in an incredible knot that I am still slowly unraveling.

Samples of Katrina's visible mending using the Sashiko stitch.

Samples of Katrina's visible mending using the Sashiko stitch.

This wall is at the Handcraft Studio School which recently celebrated a year of being in business.

This wall is at the Handcraft Studio School which recently celebrated a year of being in business.

I took this workshop at Handcraft Studio School in Oakland. I've been seeing images from all the fun classes they've been offering but this was the first chance I'd had to visit. They're conveniently located near the freeway in Emeryville with plenty of parking. I think it's really important to nurture the creative spaces in our community so do take a class there if you have the opportunity. Or take any class in your own community if you're not local to the Bay Area. A workshop is a great way to experience a new skill. I love seeing the work of others as I explore something new and I generally learn something from a student as well as from the instructor. Go forth and make! Tis the season!