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The Beauty Of Sashiko Stitching

Buttons, threads, embroidery… beyond an intentional hole or some light distressing, there are so many beautiful ways to make your clothes truly your own.

Autumn is such a gorgeous time for fashion. The cool weather invites us to express ourselves through layers, colors, and best of all, texture. Go ahead, mix silk with velvet, linen with wool – this is the perfect time to experiment and have fun with the clothes on your back and in your closet. That’s what autumn is all about.

Today I’m sharing a simple, yet age-old method for repairing and adding texture to clothing: the sashiko stitch. Translated to “little stabs” in Japanese, this basic stitch (essentially a running stitch, also used in quilting) is easy to learn but surprisingly elegant in its simplicity. With just some embroidery thread, a little patience (ok, maybe a lot), and a few simple stitches, you can add pattern, line, and texture to your wardrobe.

Clothing Texture


Embroidery thread


Embroidery needle


Tailor’s chalk (or white chalk)

Clothing Texture

Before you begin sewing, mark off the pattern that you intend to follow with the white chalk. This allows you to plan out multiple patterns and will ensure that your stitches stay straight. Because this stitching is delicate, it’s best to do this on a garment that you don’t mind hand washing.

Clothing Texture

Select the first color that you plan to work with, tie a knot in the end of the thread, and begin stitching. The sashiko stitch is a basic running stitch, also used in quilting – use this stitch to follow the patterns drawn with the chalk.

Clothing Texture

Repeat with the other colors of thread until you’ve completed your design.

Clothing Texture

Once you become comfortable with a running stitch, you can begin experimenting with other embroidery patterns and techniques. The sashiko stitch is a beautiful way to repair and revitalize torn or shredded clothing!

More DIY posts from the BLDG 25 blog.

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Dani -September 24, 2014, 7:03AM

I love hand embroidery projects. Textiles and clothes change completely when you add those little special touches – dyeing, beading, embroidering, painting, etc etc. I actually have an old tshirt with a pocket that I think I’ll do a little embroidery on today!

<3 dani

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Susan -September 24, 2014, 8:32AM

I also really love sewing by hand. I love the natural hand made look of it, perfectly imperfect made by human hands not a machine. I feel inspired to do some stitching!!!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

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Juliette Laura -September 24, 2014, 8:50AM

SO fun, I love this! Definitely a great update for a pair of old jeans

Zoe -September 24, 2014, 9:24AM

I love hand stitching, my degree was in textile design. I love how wvwn a simple running stitch can add character to a garment. Love it!


Alexandra -September 24, 2014, 10:14AM

So very pretty! I love the stitching in the pocket, unexpected and the white is great with the contrast on the dark color! Would love to experiment with this.

Warm Regards,

Michaela Jean -September 24, 2014, 11:26AM

I gotta do this! This stitch would look so great on a pillow cover!



Marcie Dawn -September 24, 2014, 12:22PM
Elizabeth -September 24, 2014, 3:19PM
Meg -September 24, 2014, 4:11PM

Saw this post on Pinterest and had to click through! I’m so in love with sashiko/boro/visible mending right now. Just finished my first project ( ) and can’t wait to do more!

Aman -September 25, 2014, 2:10AM

another project to add to the list!

nikki crown -September 25, 2014, 2:58AM

This is so cute! Love the brown on the pocket <3
I'm totally gonna try this on a pair of shorts I have

jenny -November 12, 2014, 5:46PM

Nice patterns!

Roxanne -November 21, 2015, 2:20PM

Embroidery is such a meditating craft, I once made a wall tapestry with little thoughts embroidered on it. It was long and slow and repetitive and made me feel calm.

Sue Norman -March 29, 2016, 7:25AM

Lovely feature and some stunning ideas

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