Make and Mend

Sashiko-Inspired Embroidery Projects to Customize and Repair Textiles and Decorate Your Home

About the Book

An exquisite, full-color guide to sashiko, a simple Japanese stitching technique that uses stunning patterns to decorate or repair clothing, accessories, and home textiles.

Requiring no special equipment other than a sewing needle and thread, Make and Mend introduces the incredibly simple technique of sashiko--a striking hand-sewing method using a running stitch to form pleasing geometric patterns. Sashiko is traditionally used to mend and repair clothing and textiles, but it can just as easily be used to create beautiful, decorative projects for the home. With fifteen projects applying a modern, on-trend aesthetic to this ancient craft, Make and Mend shows readers how to apply sashiko stitching to a variety of craft projects, such as repairing torn jeans, mending a ripped hem, and making decorative pillows, napkins, a tablecloth, and a totebag. Touching on the concepts of beauty in minimalism and resourceful simplicity, as well as a fascination with Japan and Japanese design, this easy and accessible book appeals to both the seasoned maker and total beginner.
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Praise for Make and Mend

"Jessica's wonderful new book is exactly the type of craft inspiration we need right now. Make + Mend is chock-full of ideas to make more, buy less, and get more life out of the things we love. The projects in these pages will ensure you are surrounded by pieces that have meaningful details and memories for years to come."
—GRACE BONNEY of Design*Sponge

“In Make + Mend, Jessica demonstrates how easy it can be to decorate and beautifully repair textiles. She provides techniques that help create both simple and intricate embellishments. Jessica shows that rather than replacing things, caring for items can inspire us to put more love into what we own.”
—NATALIE “ALABAMA” CHANIN, fashion designer

“The traditional folk method of sashiko should enjoy a renaissance through this book. The current desire for minimalist décor along with mending and reincarnating cherished, worn textiles makes sashiko a perfect craft to explore today. Jessica’s thoughtful and quiet way with embroidery is so well-suited for this traditional and ancient technique. There’s poetry in every motif, along with a practical functionality that’s so rarely joined with decorative needlework.”
—JENNY HART, artist, author, and embroidery designer
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Make and Mend


Sashiko is a traditional Japanese art of functional embroidery defined by its use of the running stitch and geometric patterns. It grew out of practical need, not solely for decorative embellishment. It was used to insulate, strengthen, patch, and mend textiles to extend their life and usefulness. Sashiko translates as “little stabs,” which perfectly describes the method used to create the distinctive sashiko running stitch. The needle is dipped, or “stabbed,” in and out of the fabric, collecting small gathers onto the needle, that when pulled through make many small stitches at once. This simple, efficient stitch was used to quilt layers of fabric together with bold, interlocking geometric patterns. 

While creating this book, I felt inspired and deeply challenged by the lessons sashiko provides. The beauty of sashiko is in its simplicity and resourcefulness. I hope this “make do and mend” spirit will also inspire you. It has changed my relationship to textiles—and the way I look at consumer goods altogether (especially single use items like plastic cups and bags). My hope is that this book can be a useful resource for people who want to create a greater connection to the objects they own, wear, and make, who are looking for meaning in their craft, and wish to minimize their footprint on this planet. 

Over time sashiko has evolved from mainly a necessity to a decorative art unto itself. In Make + Mend, as the title suggests, my goal is to share both aspects of sashiko: creative projects embellished with sashiko patterns and historical mending techniques. I’ve tried my best to pay homage to this art form and share its many creative uses in an inviting and accessible way. I hope my deep appreciation for the art of sashiko leaps off these pages and inspires you to pick up a needle and thread with the confidence to make or mend something you love with sashiko.

About the Author

Jessica Marquez
JESSICA MARQUEZ is an author, photographer, teacher, content creator, and full-time creative maker behind the handmade shop Miniature Rhino. Jessica's work has been featured in dozens of print publications and countless blogs including Style Me PrettyDesign*SpongeApartment Therapy, and Refinery29. More by Jessica Marquez
Decorative Carat