Machine Minute: Sashiko -- Classic Look with a Modern Machine
Hi, I'm Jennifer with another Machine Minute brought to you by Baby Lock and the Sashiko machine. Sashiko is a classic look stitch that originated in Japan. And the word sashiko literally means little stabs. So you can see the stitches that are formed by sashiko are evenly spaced, often done on blue or indigo fabrics using a heavy-weight white thread. But getting this even spacing would take me years to get it that perfect and even every time. Today we're fortunate to be able to get this classic looks of sashiko with a very modern machine. Let me show you how this machine works. You'll notice there's a spool pin on the Sashiko machine, but it's only used for winding the bobbin. There's not a thread going through the needle or an upper thread when you use the Sashiko machine. The only thread is in the bobbin. It really is an engineering marvel. Once the thread comes up through the bobbin, there's a series of latches and wires that hook it together to make the stitch form. But all you have to worry about is two options that you have to adjust. One is your stitch length and the other is your stitch spacing. I've made a sampler here so I could test what width I wanted and the length in-between them. So here I have a longer stitch and a little bit more space in-between them. Here I have a shorter stitch and a shorter distance in-between them. I stitched two parallel lines for these. And you can also stitch gentle curves. I just did a single stitch line there. So once you decide what your spacing and length are going to be then you're ready to start stitching. Let me show you how that works. To begin, place your fabric beneath the needle and lower the presser foot. When you're sewing on the Sashiko machine you want to begin on the fabric, not off the edge as you might with a traditional machine. The other important thing to remember is that your thread tail goes through the guide and is pulled taut. That's very important when you begin stitching. Place your needle down in the fabric and you're ready to go. Now with traditional sashiko by hand, you would use a heavy-weight thread. But you'll see as the machine goes back and forth here to form the stitch that I'm actually using a 30-weight long-staple polyester thread. And because the needle goes back and forth to form the stitch, it doubles up the thread and gives it more of a heavy-weight appearance. After I pivot, I continue sewing, and when I get to the end of the line of stitching, I want to stop sewing while I'm still on the fabric, raise my needle up and pull it straight back, leaving that long thread tail and weaving it through the guide on the machine, and you're completed. This really does give you a very classic look in a matter of minutes. It's a great stitch for Sashiko. I encourage you to give it a try.