Thursday, March 3, 2011

On the Girls' Festival Day

Today, March 3rd is the Girls' Festival Day in Japan. We celebrate and wish girls' wellness and happiness. People display the special dolls in their house only once a year on this day. The dolls are commonly given to a girl when she has the first Girls' Festival day by her parents or grand parents. They are called "O-Hina-Sama". Those dolls are a aristocratic couple. These ones in the picture below are mine so they are forty-something years old. I brought them over seas about three years ago from Japan. Since then I display them every year for my daughter just like my Mom did for me and my sister (My sister also has very similar one). For avoiding misleading, I should tell you that we have the Boys' Festival Day in May. It is May 5th.

This beautiful doll below is shipped from Japan for my daughter by my Dad in Japan. This one is not a doll for this event. But I display this with my dolls and tell my daughter there is our family always thinking of us from far far away in Japan.

Well, since I wrote about a very Japanese event, I would like to show you the Japanese traditional embroidery which I am working on now. It is Sashiko. I finished a very light weight scarf with vintage cotton. It was a pillowcase in very good condition. I was waiting for making something with this beautiful material.

I used multicolored Sashiko thread for embroidery. It is just a simple straight stitches.

Then in another project, I am stitching some traditional patterns on solid cotton fabric. This is going to be a center piece or wall hanging. It will be a time consuming project. I will report the progress of this project on this blog so please stay tuned.

Thank you for reading. Happy Girls' Day for all the crafty girls!


  1. Your last 2 photos are the pattern that I used for my first attempt at sashiko. I like it a lot. I realize now that my frustration came from trying to "quilt" this pattern with the pearl cotton through batting and fabric!

  2. O, what a beautiful dolls and Sashiko! This multicolored one on vintage cotton so elegant and subtile! And I'm waiting new reports about progres of second one.
    I tried Sashiko too. But I think I made too large stitches...

  3. Hi Marjorie,
    Sashiko is used for quilts. Like quilted jackets called "Hanten". But I think people stitch on the front fabric without batting. Then layer batting and lining together. One of the purposes of Sashiko is reinforcing the fabric. In the old days, wives of poor farmers couldn't afford to buy new clothes. So they invented the way to repair and reinforce old clothes. The wonderful thing of it is that they made it beautifully.

  4. Hello danguolesan,
    I am glad you like my scarf. Your Sashiko pouch looks great! The important element of Sashiko is making your stitches even. Your stitches could be a little shorter, but I think they are so even and beautiful!

  5. They are such beautiful dolls! I hope you and your daughter had a great time at Hina Matsuri.

    The Sashiko work, you always do amazing handwork. I want to do Sashiko someday, but it seems difficult for me to do...

    I'm looking forward to new photos of the Sashiko work!

  6. Hello PortulaKa!
    Sashiko is a very simple technique. What you do is just repeating "Gushi-nui". You just need a right fabric, a right needle and thread. If you tried it I think you would like it.