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sashiko & denim – embroidered jeans shirt

my latest sashiko project, which I just finished, is a vintage denim shirt with sashiko embroidered back panel. the shirt itself is a second hand purchase and has been with me for so long that the puffed sleeves, which were in fashion years ago and then out of fashion for a long time, are now trendy again. luckily i don't care about trends, my clothes have to be comfortable, functional, repairable and (with a few exceptions like rain jackets etc.) made of natural fibers, and they have to please me and nobody else.

sashiko (using the technique I learned from atsushi futatsuya, where you don't do single stitches but many at once) is particularly good for quickly covering large areas with stitches, and sashiko & denim also like each other, so the embroidered jeans shirt was a pretty obvious combination and a great way to pass the time on some recent train journeys.

Rücken eines Jeanshemds, das mit grafischen Mustern in Sashikotechnik bestickt ist

Rückasicht eines Jeanshemds, das mit grafischen Mustern bestickt ist in Sashiko Technik

Rückansicht eines Jeanshemds mit Puffärmeln. Der Rücken ist mit mehreren Mustern in Sashiko Technik bestickt.

two images of the guts/inside of the shirt before snipping off the threads:

Innenansicht eines Sashiko bestickten Jeanshemds. Es sind noch nicht alle Fäden abgeschnitten.

Nahaufnahme Innenansicht eines Sashiko bestickten Jeanshemds. Einige Fäden hängen noch lose heraus, weil sie noch nicht abgeschnitten sind.

what is not clearly visible in the photos are the pre-drawn lines for the patterns. because – yes, I draw the graphic patterns in advance, it's not possible freehand (at least not for me); also because the fabric does not lie flat in front of me while I am working, but is crumpled together in both my hands. since i traditionally work on the left side, it's really easy to mark out the patterns with pens and a ruler. i never work with cut-out stencils, because i would need a template in the exact size i want to make for each pattern. drawing the patterns myself makes me much more flexible.

of course, free patterns also work without drawing them, they are lines that intuitively wander over the fabric. sashiko is not limited to graphic patterns, it works with anything that is a line, and areas can be worked with many lines stitched very closely together. the technique therefore offers a lot of creative freedom, even if most people tend to associate the graphic patterns with the technique.


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