Sashiko bodice dresses

sashiko embroidered children's dresses

Sashiko is a form of Japanese folk embroidery using basic running stitch to create geometric patterns, and it’s something that I’ve been meaning to try for ages. I found a useful resource of links and tutorials at Radiant Home Studio but mainly followed the advice at Sashiko Stitchers in my efforts to learn about the technique. Whilst I don’t actually know whether I did it ‘right’ or not I did really enjoy the method I used and the excuse to have a couple of quiet evenings in front of the TV.

First I came up with a couple of sketches for dresses with embroidered bodices. For H’s dress I took inspiration from The Florence Blog Tour that I recently took part in and used the shirt pattern as a starting point for drafting the dress. When it came to cutting out the dress, much of it’s shape was actually dictated by trying to squeeze both dresses out of 2 metres of fabric. For S’s dress I used a version of the autumn smock pattern I’d cut for her last year.  The fabric I used was a very soft woven navy wool bought from Simply Fabrics in Brixton.

sashiko bodice dresses sketch

I decided it would be easier to embroider the bodice sections before construction, so printed off some designs, traced them on to white fusible interfacing and applied to the back of the fabric. From this point it seemed fairly simple and quick to follow the lines with running stitch, taking care not to apply too much tension to the thread. As I didn’t have any embroidery thread and was curious about Sashiko thread I found some online at The Quilt Museum Shop.IMG_0002

After the bodice sections were finished I used a navy cotton to face the necklines and line the bodice sections, covering up the rather beautiful but not very neat undersides. To frame the bodice sections I used continuous piping in matching colours. Both dresses are fastened using invisible zips, S’s dress has elasticated cuffs and H’s uses the cuffs from the Florence with contrasting red buttons. The dresses turned out pretty much the same as my sketches and the wool makes them lovely and warm. They go through the washing machine fine, which is just as well because the wool has a tendency to pick up fluff. Still they’re much more practical than the summer versions in off-white cotton/linen that I’m imagining…

sashiko embroidered children's dresses back view



18 thoughts on “Sashiko bodice dresses

  1. Yay! These are amazing! I’m so impressed that you finished 2 tops. And red with the blue is a beautiful color combination. I also have no idea if I did my stitching the “right way”. I read as much as I could, but without someone sitting there teaching you there’s still some guesswork. That’s for the link back 🙂

      1. Ha definitely very guilty! No, only joking, definitely pleased. I hope I can also make something as pretty as yours. Also yay Simply Fabrics! I love that place and that wool is lush.

    1. It didn’t feel like that long – certainly not long enough to feel bored. I think with each dress I spend two evenings in front of the TV so probably 4hrs on each bodice. Still, I probably won’t be going in to mass production anytime soon.

  2. I’m impressed! This dresses are a piece of art! i wanted to try sasiko for ages, but never started a project… i really should, your dresses are very inspiring! well done!

    1. You should try it – even if its on a little purse or cushion – I found it very satisfying and not particularly tricky, just methodical.

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