We love great DIY scarf projects, and this free sewing tutorial shows you how to use your leftover yarn to create a traditional sashiko stitch. This type of embroidery is easy to learn and it’s used not only for practical reasons, but also to create a one-of-a-kind embroidered design. You can easily apply this technique to other sewing projects for the same results.
This sewing project incorporates a modern scarf with traditional stitch work which originated in the mountains of Japan during the 17th century. Primarily, it was used by farmers to strengthen their clothing and to add extra durability. The Sashiko Scarf is a versatile scarf, and it will easily last you through all the cold months ahead. So let’s get started!
Sashiko DIY Scarf
- Sewing Machine
- Embroidery needle or a needle that fits your yarn
- Fabric 22 in. X 63 in.
- Thread Scissors
- Fabric Shears
- Ironing board
- Needle Threader (if needed)
Before we get started, for the best outcome of your project, please use the following:
If you choose to use thin fabric, then only use chanille needles. These can hold embroidery and heavy weight threads.
If you choose to use heavier fabric like wool, then use heavy duty needles. These needles allow you to use yarn and much larger threads or stash busters!
If you want to do traditional sashiko embroidery, then you can buy a kit online and order the needles online as well. Unfortunately, no major supply store carries them.
Step 1: Cut a rectangle of fabric 22 x 63 inches.
Step 2: Take your fabric and press it so no wrinkles are left in it. Press the two short sides up a half inch. Then, press your sides up another quarter inch, and pin in place. Take your scarf to the sewing machine and stitch the hem in place.
Now, take your scarf and fold the two raw-edged sides up a quarter inch and press. Fold these sides up again a quarter inch and press. Hem these sides up a quarter inch on the sewing machine.
Step 4: Thread your embroidery needle with your yarn. If you’re having a hard time threading the needle, then use a needle threader. To thread a needle threader: take your needle and stick the hoop end through the eye of the needle, and then stick your yarn though the hoop. Finally, pull the body of the needle threader so that the yarn goes through the eye of the needle.
Step 5: Take your scarf and make sure to face your scarf right side up. Then, use your threaded needle and stitch through the fabric starting on one end of a line. Space your stitches about an inch apart. Make sure to leave enough thread on each end to knot.
Pro Tips: Make sure to only stitch one line at a time. When intersecting the stitch lines, make sure to have the lines intersect on the wrong side of the fabric and to leave each stitch extra long or else your stitching will pucker.
Step 6: When you finish with your stitching, make sure to stretch any tension out and knot the ends of your yarn. Square knots work best for yarn.
Step 7: Repeat steps 4 though 6 on all guidelines marked for stitching.
Step 8: Enjoy your Sashiko stitched scarf!
If you found this craft fun, then you can take this technique and apply it to other sewing projects or clothing to help re-enforce the fabric. To see my other work, you can check out my website here.