Sashiko Kit - Mini Tote Bag

Sashiko Mini Tote Bag
I made this cute little sashiko bag using a kit that my brother and sister-in-law gave me last Christmas. I had never done this kind of embroidery before but it was a pleasant activity. I'd say fun, but come on. 
The kit comes with thread and pre-printed fabric with dashed lines showing you where to stitch. (I found a kit online here.) You can choose to make either a mini tote or a half-apron. I already have a lot of aprons that I never use so I chose to make the tote. 

Sashiko Mini Tote Bag

The instructions included in the kit are pretty sparse so I did some online research and ended up using this site for guidance. I didn't use a long sashiko needle, just a regular embroidery needle. It probably goes a little faster when using the proper tools.

Sashiko Mini Tote Bag
I was actually surprised by how small the finished size of the tote is and how much of the printed fabric is not actually embroidered. So, because I didn't want to let any fabric go to waste, I ended up cutting my bag a little taller than the measurements. I also used stash fabric for the lining. Now, I have enough left over to make a second bag.

Sashiko Mini Tote Bag
The bag is embroidered on two sides and large enough to hold a couple of small books and a few sundries. After cutting out the material, I zig-zagged the edges of the panels that needed to be embroidered so that I wouldn't have to deal with frayed fabric while stitching. With all the handling of embroidery, I figured fraying would ensue quickly.

Sashiko Mini Tote Bag
It was a pretty easy bag to put together although not quick. The embroidery took a number of hours. Let's not count how many and just say that I watched a lot of tv while making this bag. Putting the bag together took a much less time than the embroidery. I have not washed the fabric yet even though the pre-printed stitching is supposed to wash off. I simply used the pre printed side as the wrong side of the fabric. So now you can't see it.

As I mentioned before, the instructions are minimal. I would not recommend doing the kit if you are new to sewing. Or, at least have an experienced person nearby that can help you out.

Sashiko Mini Tote Bag
I love the look of the white stitching on the navy fabric. It's so simple and beautiful. Eventually, I'll get around to making the second bag but for now I'm going to try my hand at making some new projects. Have you ever done sashiko stitching?

DIY Embroidered Diana Camera Notebook Tutorial

I'm so excited to announce that I have a new tutorial on Lomography Magazine. The tutorial is for making a paper notebook embroidered with the outline of a Diana camera. You can see the full tutorial here. Below are some snapshots of the process. Download the pdf template here. 

I hope you enjoy this little project! It's a lot of fun to make. Even though my fingers got tired from the embroidery, it was worth it. Let me know if you make one too.

Book Review - Sublime Stitching

 I've owned the book Sublime Stitching by Jenny Hart for a few years now. Check out her website for lots of embroidery goodness.) The book is a great primer for embroidery. It details all the basics from start to finish including the important beginning and ending type of advice that a regular pattern will never detail. I would recommend the book for anyone wanting to learn embroidery, as a reference material or for the many, many patterns included.

 The book details the basic embroidery stitches. Just the basics, this is not an encyclopedia of stitches.
 The pictures are lovely and provide great inspiration but are few.
Most of the book is iron-on patterns (sample above). The patterns are very cute with a retro feel. I've used the book once before and tomorrow will share another embroidery.