Rice stitches

I rarely find retail clothing that I like. OK, I rarely find retail clothing that I like AND I can afford. So, as happens in life, compromises often need to be made. A ‘latte’ coloured soft linen skirt from Eco Wear doesn’t involve much compromise as far as ethical trading and low environmental impact goes. The design is okay, with false wrap layers at front and back. But even I had to admit that latte is very easily boring.

So I picked up a book on sashiko and started off on this:

I’ll warn you now and say that tear away fabric stabiliser is the worst thing you can use for this. Tearing it away took three times longer than the embroidery did. But I got impatient, my op shop carbon paper didn’t work, and I just started stitching. With sashiko, the idea is that you’re quilting at least two pieces of fabric together in a form of decorative mending. That explains why the stitches are fairly close together – a 3:1 ratio of top stitch length to under stitch length.

Sashiko thread is very soft and pliable with the same thickness as mercerised crochet cotton. Kimono House (in the Nicholson Building, cnr Swanston & Little Collins) has a good supply in quite a few colours, even tweed. I guess you could substitute embroidery floss but I think the finished textural effect would be less smooth and polished.

I finished it and I’ve forgotten to take a photo (but I promise I will). It’s quite cool, adding a decorative touch in a minimalist style. I’m very happy with it.

But I’m never using the tear-away fabric stabiliser again.

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