Finished projects · Hand Embroidery

A Sashiko Chambray Scout Tee

Now that I’m getting more and more into hand embroidery, it’s only natural that I dip into sashiko embroidery, given my love of all things Japanese.

Earlier this year, I went to a sewing/quilting expo and attended an informational panel about sashiko embroidery. For those who aren’t in the loop, sashiko is defined literally as “little stabs.” (I love the thought of letting out aggression on fabric…) It was originally intended to reinforce worn clothing with running stitches but has since evolved into an art form. Most sashiko embroidery uses repeating geometric designs that lend interest to fabric.


I had some leftover chambray fabric from DD’s failed Colette Negroni Shirt. Thankfully it was enough to make Grainline’s Scout Tee for myself! I sized down from my previous ones and sewed a size 8 at the top and I think I graded to a 10 at the hips, which fits perfectly. The insides are all finished with a French seam, so it’s pretty inside and out!


Also wearing my NOLA Ginger Jeans!

Although I love the look of plain chambray, I thought the tee needed a little extra something. I had some sashiko thread and needles I bought from the sewing expo and dove right in, not really knowing what I was doing.


I got inspiration for this wave/cloud/whatever design from Pinterest. I could have been more neat about it, but I just grabbed a round measuring tape and chalk and traced half circles. I winged the inner circles because I was feeling lazy. Although they’re not perfect, I’m kind of digging the look. Plus, honoring imperfection is very much a part of Japanese culture, right? I’ll go with that.


That’s about all I have to say! A quick little post for a quick little project. 🙂

Have you embellished your hand-made outfits with a little embroidery? Share in the comments!


15 thoughts on “A Sashiko Chambray Scout Tee

    1. Thank you! I checked her out and although I couldn’t find the jacket, I love how colorful her wardrobe is and the bits of embroidery she shares! Thanks for the suggestion 🙂


  1. Beautiful work! I do not embroider but can certainly appreciate the work that goes into it: well done, you! Somehow this particular stitch pattern just “fits” with the fabric and style of your Scout top–you should be proud of this!


  2. I love this idea. Just a little extra touch to a handmade garment makes it that much more special. You and I are all about that grading from an 8 to 10. 10 is always too big up top and 8 to small in the hips. It’s never failed me!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The sashiko adds so much, and it’s totally Japanese to be doing this on such a nice natural fiber like this. I forgot it meant little stabs! Like all the times you injure yourself while engaging in it. I’d love to do a full on sashiko jacket at some point, but Yoshimi the Flying Squirrel wrote once about her mother’s jackets and how each one of them took about a year’s worth of work, so that’d be a work of discipline that I’m not sure I have right now! I do love adding my fast kind of freehand applique/embroidery that I do on my machine. There’s so many possibilities with it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it great how many options we have to customize our clothes? Hand embroidery takes stupid long to do, but it’s great after a long day of work when I’m too tired to do anything but veg on the couch yet still want to feel like I accomplished something. I couldn’t imagine spending a year on one project, though! I get bored way too easily.

      And for the record, I stab myself way too many times to count! You’d think I’d learn by now but dang, those needles feel way sharper than they should be!


  4. Ah! I love this! I know that super floral and colourful embroidery on garments is all the rage right now, but this is so minimal and super chic. I definitely want one! Great job (perceived imperfections and all!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Natasha! My original plan was to do some floral embroidery near the shoulder and bottom hem but I’ve been working on normal embroidery hoop stuff lately and wanted to just get this shirt finished as quickly as possible. Thank goodness for sashiko! I’d love to try the complicated-looking cross-type sashiko pattern one day (if that makes sense).


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