Sorta sashiko

If you offer me the opportunity to save money, reduce waste, and make things prettier all at once, I’m going to say HELL YEAH. So sashiko is exactly the kind of thing that makes me have to repeat to myself “I do not need another craft I do not need another craft I do NOT need ANOTHER CRAFT” and then pick it up anyway.

Front thigh panel of a pair of ripped blue jeans, decorated with sashiko-style stitching of variegated blue tones in an art-deco diamond fan pattern, photographed while worn.
My first attempt at sashiko. There will be more, but these jeans needed immediate help.

Traditional sashiko patterns are largely geometric, like the compass flowers I constructed all over my math book cover in high school (don’t lie, you knew somebody bored enough to do that too). So are art deco designs, I reasoned, and found one I liked. It took a few repeats and false starts to settle out the math and the technique for the bottom starpoint, mainly because I was frustrated that there’s no logical way to make this pattern without carrying thread. But laying down the outer diamonds first (for both strength and guidelines) and then filling in the rays became a really nice rhythm. I added a piece of salvaged corduroy shirt behind the row closest to the rip, and my only regret is not having decided on that before making the row above, because it would’ve been held on better.

Next up: elbow patches made from more of the same corduroy shirt on the flannel that replaced it, stitched with thread in the colors of the flannel. Maybe I’ll try a shippou and hope it doesn’t end in shippai.

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