Finishing that Sashiko Jacket

Have you ever started a project without thinking the design through clearly? “Guilty, your honour!”

I’ve now finished adding sashiko stitching to the jacket I cut from an old army blanket, which I’ve been making for Zero and Zen, a course I’m presenting with textile artist Kate Ward. (Btw, it’s not too late to register for this – you can sign up here.)

The sashiko has had a turn of design direction. You may remember the start of it from last week’s blog post.

I began with a romantic notion to have a botanical theme and collected some traditional Japanese flower motifs to use, and made up a couple too.

I started stitching the flowers, but (on reflection) without a clear idea of where I was going with it. Sashiko stitching isn’t as random as this though and it looked wrong. During the week, I finished the flowers I’d drawn on, and was disappointed with it.

To try and pull it together, since I was too invested in it by now and past the point of no return, I drew a diagonal lattice behind the flowers. I also unpicked (sob!) 4 of the flowers to give a bit more space between them.

It was a lot more stitching to add, but it was helped by a combination of the queen’s funeral public holiday, rainy weather and lots of TV. And it was very enjoyable. Is it weird to enjoy the sound of the thread being pulled through the fabric?

I’ve used almost a whole 100m skein of Olympus sashiko thread and I can tell you, I was feelin’ pretty zen after all that meditative stitching! I added a few more dragonflies at the end.

Funnily, I think it looks better being worn rather than a flatlay photo.

With the stitching done, I finished off the jacket’s details.

For the hem, rather than a regular hem, I covered the raw edge with some lovely linen bias binding from Japan, bought along with the thread from Fibresmith. I’ve machine sewed it to the raw edge, then handsewed it to the garment. I have just enough left to do the sleeve hems, but now that I’m looking at it, it might look nicer if I lined it to cover up the inside.

I also added zero waste in-seam pockets. The jacket is ready to wear!

As with the chambray jacket, I liked this jacket plain and it was totally wearable, but the sashiko stitching has definitely brought it up a level.



  1. Susan on September 26, 2022 at 8:16 am

    I love the look of the lattice with the motifs, and once again am impressed by the way you know how to make things work— emergent design, and you are good at it.

    • lizhaywood on September 26, 2022 at 8:08 pm

      Thank you Susan 🙂

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