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Light-coloured trousers lying on the ground to show off the same colour embroidery in sashiko style that covers up a stain that used to be visible on the left leg

Upcycle your trousers with sashiko

By trying to rub off a dark stain on these trousers, an unwanted lighter eyecatcher took its place. But by adding a nice sashiko pattern with some yarn in the same colour, I upcycled these trousers into a very much wanted eyecatcher.

Upcycle your trousers with the sashiko rice flower stitch

  1. Draw a 1-on-1 centimeter grid (or the size you like) on your fabric (using chalk, washable ink or heat removal pens). I used a frixion pen and a quilt ruler to do so.
    raster met rode uitwisbare inkt op broek getekend
  2. Use embroidery thread in the same colour (or choose a contrasting colour if you want your stitches to really stand out).
    Yarn in the same colour as the fabric of these trousers
  3. Sew the horizontal stitches first. Do so by bringing your needle up right after a vertex, and bringing it down again right before the next vertex, making sure you don't sew over the vertext itself. Check your tension regularly, to make sure your leg will still fit.
  4. Sew the vertical stitches in the same way: bring your needle up right after a vertex, and bring your needle down again right before the next vertex.
  5. Determine which vertices will become the centres of your rice flowers.
  6. Sew your diagonal stitches as such that they point towards the centres of your flowers. You can do so by zigzagging your stitches: bring your needle up right after a vertex, bring your needle down again before the next vertex one row up, then go up again right after this same vertex. Bring your needle down again one row lower and one vertex further, and continue like that.
    Sewing sashiko stitches
  7. Beat your fabric to remove the chalk, wash to remove the ink, or heat it if you used a heat removal pen.

All done!

Pair of trousers with sashiko embroidered on it

Do you have a pair of trousers lying around with an unwanted eyecatcher you'd like to see gone? Feel free to drop me a line, and together we can find a solution.

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