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« Colorful Crafting with Jen: Big Red Bobbi Bear | Main | Whit's Knits: The Wonderful Wallaby! »

Molly's Sketchbook: Sashiko Mini Tote (or Apron) Kit

Sashiko is a Japanese embroidery technique that is simple to learn and beautiful to look at. Even though it's a craft that's been around for a very long time, the traditional designs are very clean and graphic, and I love how modern they seem.  Sashiko combines the quick, hands-on creativity of embroidery with a calming, meditative quality as well. I learned about Sashiko and how to do it last year by reading Mari's helpful Sashiko Tutorial on The Purl Bee and I've been wanting to do more ever since! 

This Sashiko Mini Tote Kit is a great place to practice your Sashiko skills or to learn them for the very first time.  It comes with almost everything you'll need; the fabric (which has the Sashiko design printed right on it), navy Sashiko thread, and an ultra easy to follow pattern.  I also used two additional colors of Sashiko Thread for the bag above, aqua and sky blue, so that the design would be more playful.  I love how the different blues look so clean and cheerful on the natural canvas background!

This exact same kit can also be made into a cute, simple apron.  I chose to make mine into the tote because I thought it would be perfect as a small project bag.  After it was done I also realized it would be a great lunch bag or child's purse.  

If you'd like to make your own mini tote (or apron) the kit is available here, and our collection of Sashiko Thread can be found here.   (You can find all of our Sashiko samplers, thread and tools for Sashiko right here.)

Happy Stitching!- Molly

Reader Comments (21)

This is a darling tote. Lovely work
February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatie
beautiful work, I love it so much!! <3
February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBean
exciting !
I've always wanted to try my hand at sashiko, I feel this is the right time :)
February 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterValerie
That's lovely sashiko making the tote so cut! Been wanting to try some sashiko. Great inspiration!
February 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara
¡que bonito el sashiko! tengo varios libros en casa sobre esta técnica japonesa pero nunca me ha dado por poner me con ello.
Un abrazo,
February 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersiona
What a lovely interpretation of a Japanese graphic. I especially like the multiple tones of blue you've chosen. Have never tried sashiko but this project makes it very tempting!
February 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
This is so beautiful ! Love the blues.
February 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCrista
i think i just found this year's easter 'basket'....
it's beautiful!
February 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercloth.paper.string
I love the clean lines of sashiko, and I love this bag - I shall definitely be trying this out. Thank you!
February 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDrop Stitches Not Bombs
How cute, looks like so much fun!
February 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaptive Illusions
Oh this bag it's really nice, these colours make me think about clouds, they are really nice!!!!
ciao silvia
February 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersilvia
I love the bag and embroidery, but I also really love the skirt! Was that homemade? Do you have a pattern for it?
February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJC
such a lovely line. i could see that working on paper in a collage too...
February 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterholly
perfectly charming, and just the little blast of inspiration that this girl needs...thanks!
March 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim P
that tote is darling!
March 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersusan
What a cute bag!!! What is the skirt she is wearing? Is that pattern I could find somewhere? It is darling!
March 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJodie
The skirt on the little girl is from Old Navy from several years ago. For something similar I would recommend trying one of the Favorite Things Little hip Skirt Patterns. Here's the link:,53,,type,patchwork
It would look adorable in the Yuwa Honeycomb or the Yuwa Sweet Honeycomb fabrics. Here are the links:
March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPurl Bee
I love your site! It gets my creative juices flowing!
I have visited your stores in SOHO & I was greeted w/ welcoming & "helpfu"l arms in the heart of the big city!
I am looking forward to visiting you at your new "digs" ! Much continued, good fortune & keep up the good work!
March 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDi
Hi! I recently purchased the kit and just cut the fabric into pieces... then I realized that the pattern didn't fit as nicely as the picture above:( because of the length of the fabric. The cutting lines had to be between the two wave lines. What should I do? I also have two different blue threads. How can I make it look clean and pretty without making it look sloppy? Would you give me advice?
February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJunko
Hi Junko-

Can you send me a picture of what you're talking about? Here is my email:

Molly AT purlsoho DOT com

Thank you!

February 19, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thank you Molly. I sent an email yesterday. I'm a big knitter with a little experience with embroyidery and sewing and so happy to find this fantastic blog!
So looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you again!
February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJunko

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