Boro Stitching Basics: Sewing an Upcycled Pouch | Casey Gallagher Newman | Skillshare

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Boro Stitching Basics: Sewing an Upcycled Pouch

teacher avatar Casey Gallagher Newman, Natural Dye and Textile Artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Selecting Fabric


    • 5.

      Creating a Patchwork Design


    • 6.

      Securing Your Patchwork Pieces


    • 7.

      The Running Stitch


    • 8.

      Boro Stitching 101


    • 9.

      Adding Decorative Stitches


    • 10.

      Trimming Your Fabric


    • 11.

      Sewing Your Pouch


    • 12.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Japanese Boro Stitching began long ago as a way of mending clothing, but it has evolved into a style of stitching that stands on its own as art. In this course, you will be inspired by these techniques while infusing modern fabric, colors, and patterns into your hand-stitched project. Join textile artist Casey Newman (@cedardellforestfarm) and be transported to her farm in the Oregon forest to learn this beautiful stitching technique, while upcycling material that you may already have at home.

This class is for everyone who loves fabric, color, upcycling, and who want to slow down and create something beautiful amidst our busy, modern lives. If you have never sewn before, you will gain the skills you need to transform your favorite scraps of fabric - new material or upcycled from clothing or other sewing projects - into a richly textured piece of cloth by using simple hand stitching techniques. If you already have hand sewing experience you will learn new techniques to incorporate into your work as well as inspiration to take these techniques a step further.

In this course you will learn how to:

  • Select fabric and thread suitable for this project
  • Design a patchwork arrangement using your selected fabric
  • Use simple hand stitching techniques to add structure, interest, and texture
  • Take your stitching a step further by incorporating additional stitched designs
  • Finish your fabric and sew it into a beautiful pouch

By the end of this course you will be able to create a beautiful piece of hand stitched art and you will have the experience, tools, and inspiration to incorporate this stitching method into many future projects.

Meet Your Teacher

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Casey Gallagher Newman

Natural Dye and Textile Artist

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Hello, I'm Casey! I am a naturalist and a textile artist so it is no surprise that nature has a starring role in all of my work. I dye fabric using all natural dyes - many that I gather and grow myself - and also print leaves onto fabric using only the natural pigments found within each leaf.

I am inspired by living and working at Cedar Dell Forest Farm (@cedardellforestfarm), our farm in the forest on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon. Living on a farm makes me appreciate all the gifts that we receive from the land and our animals. I raise Shetland sheep for their fiber and friendly personalities, gather leaves and natural materials to use to dye fabric, and grow many of my own dye plants as well as fruit and vegetables.

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1. Introduction: Hand stitching patchwork pieces of fabric not only gives the opportunity to slow down and create something beautiful, but it's a great way to use up scraps of fabric that are too pretty to throw out, up-cycle favorite garments, or simply showcase colors and patterns that you love, and transform them into something beautiful as well as functional. Hi, there. I'm Casey. I'm a textile artist and I live and work on a farm in the forest just outside of Portland, Oregon. I am surrounded by nature, which is perfect for the work that I do. As a fiber artist, I specialize in botanical printing and using natural dyes to create beautiful colors on natural fibers. I incorporate natural dyes into all the work that I do, which includes making wearable items, home goods, accessories, even jewelry, all out of nature's colors. I started this method of hand stitching because I wanted to be able to use up scraps of my naturally dyed fabric. They are all so precious and I didn't want to throw away even the smallest piece. Living on a farm makes me appreciate all the gifts that we receive from the land and our animals. Whether it's vegetables from the garden, wool from our sheep, or honey from our bees, I don't want anything to go to waste. This desire to live gently on the land and honor the things that I care for extends to my creative life as well. In this class, I will teach you simple hand stitching techniques to not only hold your fabric pieces together but to create designs and textures with stitches that look much more complex than they really are. It's like a little bit of stitching magic. When you've created your beautiful piece of hand-stitched fabric, I will teach you to add finishing stitches around the edge while also transforming it into a beautiful pouch. If you are a beginner, then this class is absolutely for you. I will walk you through each step along the way. If you are an experienced fiber artist or hand stitch-er, then you will also learn some new things and be inspired to incorporate this style of stitching into your own work. I look forward to you joining me and can't wait to see what you stitch. 2. Class Project: The project for the class will be to make this beautiful, unique, Boro stitched patchwork fabric and then turn it into a functional pouch. There are two size options for this course. This is the larger, and there are also measurements for making a smaller pouch if you want a slightly less ambitious first project. The information and measurements for both of these sizes can be found in the resources tab for this course. Either size you make is a great first project for Boro stitching. They are large enough to include a variety of different fabrics and to practice many different styles of hands stitching to create a beautiful intricate design in you're finished pouch. The construction of these is simple. It is entirely hands stitched; you don't need a sewing machine at all, there are no buttons, zippers, not even a drawstring. It's a rectangle piece of fabric and it closes with a beautiful ribbon or fabric loop. You can sew this anywhere you are comfortable. You can sit at a desk or table, lounge on the couch, stitch it while you're a passenger in the car or sitting outside in the sunshine. It's easy to take with you on the go and complete in a relatively short amount of time. If you are a creative person like me, you probably have a lot, 1, 2, maybe more, half finished projects around the house and this Boro stitched pouch does not need to be one of them. Your finished pouch can be used as a small clutch purse that can hold your cell or sun, jewelry, art supplies, anything that needs a special place to be. While hands stitching is found in cultures all over the world, I call this style Boro inspired. Boro stitching is a Japanese practice of piecing and stitching small pieces of fabric. It began as a way to use precious scraps of fabric to repair and mend clothing and other textiles. This project will use some of these techniques while infusing modern fabric color and patterns into your work. This course is perfect for beginners because I will walk you through every step of making this Boro stitched pouch. If you have experience with sewing or hands stitching, I'm sure you also will learn some new tips or tricks, maybe a new method of stitching, making designs, but most importantly you will be inspired to continue this type of stitching and incorporate something new into the work that you do. Through this course, you will learn how to select fabrics that'll be easy to work with, as well as look at beautiful. I'll share my techniques for securing the patchwork fabric to the backing and then teach numerous ways to add simple hand stitching that looks beautiful. Finally, you will learn how to finish the edges of your Boro fabric while also transforming it into a pouch. I hope that you are as excited as I am to get started making a Boro stitched pouch. Join me in the next lesson where I will share the tools and supplies that you will need to make this project. 3. Supplies: In this lesson, I will help you select the best fabric and embroidery floss to use in Boro stitching. I will also share my favorite tools and supplies that will help you complete this project. You will need two large pieces of fabric to complete your pouch. One is a rectangular piece that will be your foundation piece. This is what you will put your patchwork-colored pieces on and stitch down to make the outside design of your pouch. Then, you will need a piece of lining fabric that is the exact same size. This lining fabric is what will show when you open the pouch. For the small size pouch, you will need backing and lining pieces that are 10-inches tall and 5-inches wide. If you would like to make this slightly larger size pouch, then you will need backing and lining pieces that are 8-inches wide and 10-inches tall. You can also find these measurements in the Resources tab. You will also need some small pieces of fabric to create your patchwork design. Light to medium weight natural fibers work best. I will share more tips for choosing fabric in the next lesson. In addition to fabric, you will also need sewing needles and embroidery floss. Those are really the only essential products, but there are a few other things that will help you complete this project with ease. You can find embroidery floss at any sewing or craft store such as this DMC brand cotton floss. It comes in a stranded variety, which means that you can separate this floss into thinner sections if you would like to do more fine stitching. It also comes in a style called cotton pearl that has just a single strand that you can't separate, but it comes in different thicknesses that are indicated by the number. You might also opt for specialty threads that you can find on Etsy or other specialized marketplaces. This is silicon embroidery floss that I dye myself using all-natural dyes. Sewing stores carry a wide variety of needles. You want to look for embroidery needles that have an eye large enough to fit embroidery floss. It comes in different lengths. You can buy a variety of packs, it only costs a few dollars. I recommend picking some up at the store to try several sizes out and see what you like best. You will also need sewing thread in any color. You won't actually see it in you're finished pouch, so whatever color you have at home will work just fine. A few sewing pins will be helpful. You'll need a ribbon or fabric strip to use as the closure for your pouch. Adding something to the end of your ribbon or fabric strip will add a decorative element to your pouch. You can use buttons, beads, charms, pieces of broken jewelry, an earring with a lost mate, anything that will make a lovely finishing touch. A helpful item but not completely necessary is a disappearing fabric pen. This is so you can mark your fabric and draw lines for stitching. A ruler will be helpful, it does not need to be a fancy sewing ruler like this one, but any straight edge will be just fine. Now, that you know the supplies you will need, join me in the next lesson where I'll share my tips for selecting fabric colors and patterns to make a beautiful patchwork design. 4. Selecting Fabric: Selecting fabric is the most important and the most fun part of this process, so let's start with that. I recommend using 4-6 pieces of fabric for this project. It's enough to give a lot of visual interest to your pouch, but not so many that it will overwhelm this small project. When selecting the fabric to make your patchwork design, you can choose any combination of solid or patterned fabrics. I recommend medium-weight natural fiber fabrics such as cotton. If you use heavy fabrics like denim or a thick canvas, they can be hard to sew through. At the opposite end of the spectrum, if you use various slippery fabrics like thin silk or a polyester rayon sometimes, they are really prone to fraying and just the slippery nature of them will make it hard to use for this project. Mixing patterns can be a fun way to add interest to your patchwork design. Be sure that you include some dark colors and also light patterns to allow there to be contrast in your finished design. If you do include a lot of patterns, consider adding a solid color that matches. Adding a few pieces in a solid color will allow your patterns to stand out a little bit more. I recommend using 4-6 pieces of fabric for this project. It's enough to give a lot of visual interests to your pouch, but not so many that it will overwhelm this small project. Borrow stitching is a great way to use scraps of fabric that you may have from other sewing projects, or even pieces of old clothes or linens that you have around your house. This is part of an old shirt, the laces from the bottom of a skirt, and this beautiful embroidered linen is from a pillowcase that we don't use anymore. So take a look around your house and see what you might already have to use for this project. Have fun arranging your fabric pieces, mix and match. Don't be afraid to take things out and add different fabrics in to see what they look like. You might find that it changes the look of your selection of fabrics and might make it more interesting. This arrangement of monochromatic red colors is pretty. But look at what it does when I add this piece of gold. When choosing a monochromatic palette, adding just one different pop of color can add a lot of visual interest to your finished pouch. This pouch is a great example of that where most of the pieces are these blue indigo dyed scraps of fabric, but it has some pink both in fabric and in stitching to add just that little bit of different color, it makes a really beautiful final result. Now that you know how to choose fabric that will be easy to sow and other supplies that will help you complete this project with ease, let's go to the next lesson where we will get started arranging a patchwork pattern. 5. Creating a Patchwork Design: In this lesson, I will walk you through designing your patchwork pattern. This is a really playful part of the process because you can design and arrange your patchwork pieces anyway that you would like. There are just a couple of guidelines that will make it easier for you to stitch once you have put them all on. You don't want them to be too smaller, they'll be hard to stitch down. This one is about one inch by almost two inches, and this is about the smallest that you will want it. Most of my pieces are about two inches. They're not totally square and they don't even have to be square at all. You could have circles or angled pieces. It's really the sky is the limit. Grab your handful of fabric pieces and let's arrange them. When arranging your patchwork pieces, the first thing you will want to do is put down your backing fabric. I'm going to be making a smaller size pouch during this course. I have put down my backing piece that is five inches in this direction and 10 inches in the longest direction. Keep in mind that even though I have this product oriented in this direction for this video, and when we make our finished pouch, it's going to be vertically and we're going to fold it to make a pouch shape. One of these short ends will be the flap of your pouch. The other short end will be the inside edge. The middle of this rectangle is going to be the back of your finished pouch. If you have favorite fabrics, things that you really want to see every time you take out your pouch and open it up to use it, then you might want to arrange those on one of the short edges so it's on the outside flap of your pouch. When arranging the fabric pieces, I like to start with the larger ones first and you want to place it on top of this backing fabric and overlapping it just a little bit hanging it off the edge. I'm just buy a quarter inch or so. This is because once you start stitching your fabric, they might shift and move around a little bit. We want to make sure that this backing fabric is covered at all times so that none of it shows through in your finished product. To do that, we just want to give it a little wiggle room so that in case it does shift around, it still will stay covering this fabric, so overhang it just a little bit. The same with each piece that you put on. You want to overlap one from another so that they don't shift and leave a gap in your finished product. Other than that, there aren't any rules about how to arrange them. Just start placing them on any way that you would like. We're not attaching anything down right now. You are free to move things, change your mind, swap things out. There you have it. I think that I will stick with this design for my pieces. The next thing that we need to do is attach these down. 6. Securing Your Patchwork Pieces: Now that you have your patchwork pieces laid out in a design that you love, you might be eager to start stitching on it. But if I were to lift this up and move it around as I stitch on it, then this carefully arranged pattern of pieces might fall off and I would have to start all over again with placing them on. I'm going to show you my technique for adding some invisible little stitches to just hold this in place while we do our decorative stitching. To secure your patchwork pieces to the backing fabric so that they don't fall off of it when you are stitching it, you will need a sewing needle and some thread. This can be any color of thread. I usually use a color that will blend in, this one is for my patchwork pieces. But today I'm using this bright yellow so that you will be able to see it. You do not need to tie a knot on the end of your thread, just leave it be. Start with lifting up one corner of your fabric and putting your needle in through the back, an inch or so away from the edges. Pull it to the front, but leave a tail of thread at the back. No knot, just let it hang there. It's just fine. Now from the front, I'm going to insert your needle back into the fabric as close as you can to the spot where it came out. You're just catching a couple of little threads of this fabric in your stitch. Then I pull this back through. See how that just disappears? You can hardly see this tiny little stitch right there. But now that's holding this fabric down. Now being careful to not lift this up and fling all of your patchwork pieces to the side, insert your needle into another spot. I like to do it where if you can see here, these two pieces overlap. I'll put a little stitch into that area. Again, bring my needle up to the front, pull it until it's flat on the back. Needle back down, right next to that spot it came up, and now pull this to the back. Now I've made these two tiny stitches. You can hardly see them here on the front. I don't even know if you'll be able to see that at all in the camera. It's holding these together. You just want to do that in a random pattern, doing it at the corners, some in the middle places where your pieces overlap to just hold it down. You don't have to go in any order. You can just zigzag around until eventually all of your pieces have at least one, but probably a couple of little tiny stitches in them. You want to make these little stitches until you have them in all of your pieces. Then they will be secure and ready to stitch. Now that you have made a beautiful patchwork design, and they are all secured down with these invisible stitches holding it together, you are ready to start adding the decorative Boro stitching. Let's head to the next lesson where I will teach you the revving stitch, which is the building block of all Boro stitching. See you there. 7. The Running Stitch: In this lesson, I'm going to teach you the running stitch. The running stitch is the foundational stage of Boro stitching. All of the decorative designs that you will stitch onto your fabric will be a variation of this simple stitch. If you are new to hand stitching, I recommend that you practice on a scrap piece of fabric before you stitch onto your patchwork. I have some embroidery floss threaded onto a needle. Let me show you how my grandma taught me to make a knot on the end of my thread. This is a really simple method. You start by pinching the end of your thread between your index and thumb, wrap it around the back of your index finger and bring it back up so it crosses here on your finger, and then pinch it again and this time roll towards the end of your fingers. I twist that thread up and still pinching it, I pull on this loose end, I'm using my fingernails to guide it down and it makes this little knot. It might end up a little far from the end of your thread and that's totally fine. To start stitching, you want to put your needle in to the backside of your fabric, bring it up to the top. We're on top of the fabric, we're going to go over and insert the needle. Mark whatever distance you want your stitch to show. Putting the needle and very close to here, we'll make a really short stitch on your fabric and put it up from the back again making a line as best you can, it's okay if it's a little crooked. This time I could make a longer stitch by putting the needle down a little farther away than I did the last time. Short stitch. Long stitch. You can make your stitches even if you would like or you can purposefully change the length of your stitches. It's really up to you when you do this. I'm going to put the needle again from the backside. Making these stitches one at a time, like I did these two, is a perfectly fine way to do this stitching but let me show you a method that is a little bit quicker. Starting with my thread on the top of the fabric, we can put my needle down but instead of pulling it all the way through the fabric, I'm going to just tilt it to the side, use my thumb and hand to hold the fabric, and I can bend my fabric down and just push my needle back up. I can do this again, tilt it, push it down, bring it back up, down and up, and down, and up. Now you can see I have all these stitches gathered up on my needle. I can sew them all at one time now by pulling the needle all the way through, you might pull out a little tight so your stitches and fabric is gathered up. When that happens, I just gently hold, not the thread, but the edges of the fabric on either side and give it a gentle pull to just straighten out the fabric again. This is a project that really allows you to embrace any little wonky stitches that happen or things that you perceive as imperfections can turn out to be really beautiful and just blend into this whole design that you're going to be stitching on. Now to tie a knot on the back of the fabric, I have the needle back on my embroidery floss. This is another grandma-approved method of knot tying. The way she taught me when I was young was to take my needle and grab just a few little threads of the fabric on the back of your work so you can't see anything on the front but I've picked up a few of these threads from this white fabric, pull the needle through, leaving a little loop here on the back, take your needle, place it through the loop, and use your thumb or finger to just keep that knot really close to your fabric as you pull on your thread here. If I were to take my scissors and cut it really close to the knot here, there's a chance it could work itself loose and come undone, so I like to cut the thread a little distance away from the knot. Doing that, you could end up with a lot of loose threads flopping around on the back of your work, which sometimes I find gets in the way of my stitching. Let me show you how you can hide the thread and also leave some distance to add it away from the knot. Again, take your needle and start it close to that knot you just made and just under this white backing fabric. I'm going to stick it through here and come out an inch or so away. You can see on the front that you don't see any stitch because the needle is just underneath this white fabric slipping in-between. Pull it through and now I'm going to cut my thread right over here. I can get it. Now that you know how to do this stitch and secure your thread with knots at the beginning and ends of your rows of stitching, let's move to the next lesson where we will start putting these stitches onto your pouch. 8. Boro Stitching 101: In this lesson, you will learn to use the running stitch to add decorative stitching to your patchwork fabric. This is where it's really going to transform this design you created into a work of art. For this step, you will need a sewing needle and your choice of embroidery floss. If you have a fabric marking pen and a ruler handy, now would be a good time to grab those two. When adding the stitching to our fabric piece, we want to leave a gap around the edges. If you take a look at this finished pouch, you can see this stitching that goes along the edge is what holds this patchwork fabric to the lining fabric, so we need to leave some space for that stitching that we will add later. Boro stitching, some people really embrace the free-form nature of this and don't draw any guidelines and just stitch away and if lines are crooked they're crooked, and that's just part of the beauty. Other people like a little more structure and feel more comfortable stitching when they have some guidelines. The way that we can do that is by using your ruler, and I'm going to lift this up and see my edge underneath and make sure I'm leaving a big enough gap for that edging stitch later, and use my disappearing ink fabric pen and just make a straight line right along here. That's going to mark my first line of stitching. We also want to leave a space on these long edges for that edge stitching later. Just make a little mark that, maybe it'll start there and stop about there. With your needle and thread and then knot tied at the end, you want to insert your needle right on that line you just marked. I'm going to turn the fabric this way. Now I'm going to do a running stitch straight across the short end of my pouch. When you get to the edge of one of your patchwork pieces, you want some of your stitches to cross this edge, this one would be a really big stitch if I were to make it go all the way over this edge of the patchwork piece, so I'm going to stop a little short. But I'll show you how I deal with that on the next row. You want to end the row with your thread on the back of the fabric. To make more rows, you don't need to tie a knot and we will just keep stitching. I'll turn this around. I'm just going to use this row of stitching as my guide. Here I have my needle partway through and I can lay it down flat against my fabric and that'll show me where this line of stitching will go. That seems about right to me. If you want to make your stitching closer together then you could move your needle over or farther apart, you can make some really widely spaced rows. I like to start my row a little different than this one that I just finished, you can see that my stitches don't line up with each other exactly. That gives a little interest and texture to your stitching. Now you can see that I have come to this edge again and this time because my stitches are a little offset from the previous row, then this stitch is going to cross this edge of the piece. When it does that just helps make this a secure spot that we're not going to have these ends flapping up when we finish. Not every row of stitching needs to cross this edge, but it's nice if several do, so this one did not, and this one does, so that is working just great. I'm going to keep going and make a couple more rows just like this. Here you can see I've done four rows of stitching. They are not perfectly straight or perfectly even, but I think they are perfectly wonderful and will work just well for what I want, which is holding these edges down and looking beautiful. Fabric naturally will have some texture to it because of these stitches, and that's a normal part of boro stitching and it's not something you need to worry too much about. I can give my fabric a gentle tug just even out any big gathers or wrinkles. But this little bit of texture that's happening here is a desired effect. There's no reason that you can't continue stitching perpendicular lines all the way down your fabric, can also be fun to add something different and change directions. If you want to add stitching going in the perpendicular direction from the way that you started, you have a couple of ways of doing that. I am going to just draw myself another little guideline here, now that I'm starting a new direction, making sure we leave that little space along the edge. I'm just going to eyeball it and make a straight line. I might not go all the way down the length of this fabric, maybe I'll just go partway into this red square and start there and then see how I like it. I am coming to the end of this piece of embroidery floss, so I'm going to tie a knot here and then add a new piece of embroidery floss and just continue stitching with that new piece right where I left off. I will stitch a few more rows and then come back and show you what it looks like. Here is what it looks like after I've done a few more rows of stitching. You can see that here is where I left off showing you stitching these perpendicular rows that started right at the end of this row of stitching. Here I continue these perpendicular rows across the stitches I have already made. When you do this, they make some Xs and just cross each other in a random pattern and make an interesting design. There is no reason that you can't just continue stitching across your entire piece with just straight lines. Here is an example of one that I did doing just that. You can see that just straight lines going the two different directions and it makes a really lovely pattern. But if you would like to learn to do some spirals, curves, and a few other decorative stitches, then join me in the next lesson. 9. Adding Decorative Stitches: In this lesson, I will share some different stitching techniques to add interest to your finished piece. There's no reason that you can't continue stitching just with the straight lines from the previous lesson, but adding some curves or spirals and other decorative stitches will add more visual interest to your finished piece, plus they're fun to stitch. Let's get started with those. I use my disappearing fabric pen again and any circular object. You have a spool of thread around because we used that earlier, so I'm going to use that and just place it right here on my fabric and draw a circle around that. Then I can turn this circle into a spiral by just bringing the line in and curving it around like this. Maybe instead of having it meet here at the top, I'll continue this line around and then curve down into this area here. You can use the same color of embroidery floss for your entire project. I'm going to switch it up and use this light blue to stitch my spiral. When I stitch spirals, I start at the inside and work my way out. Your spiral will show up the best if you use small stitches at the beginning to really show that curve. It's a little trickier to load up a lot of stitches on the needle at one time because you have to keep turning the fabric around and around, so I usually just stitch a couple at the beginning, turning as I go. Once you get into some bigger parts of the spiral, you can add a few more stitches onto your needle. Just like with straight stitches, you want to pause and tag your fabric every once in a while just to straighten out your fabric and also make sure that some of your stitches are crossing these edges of your patchwork pieces. I feel like the spiral is not really as clear as I want it to be. I wish I had done my stitches a little closer together in there. I'm going to make another line, come up this way and then just add a row into my spiral to make the stitches a little more dense. I'm going to stitch that and then be right back and show you what it looks like. Here is my finished spiral. I'm a lot happier with how it looks now. I added more stitches in here and then a few extra rows of this curve down below. This is really fun to play with because you don't need to have an idea of where you're going to go before you start stitching. You can just start stitching a curve through your work and just see where you end up. This one I did pretty short, but often I will curve things back around and play with curves and spirals. The next stitch I'm going to teach you is called seed stitch. This is a nice stitch to use to fill in an area of your work. I'm going to put seed stitch in this area here because it's now a pretty irregular shape because of the way the spiral and curve comes down. It's a funny, not quite a triangle. Start from the back side of the fabric and put your needle up anywhere in the area that you would like. Unlike these stitches that go in a straight line, seed stitch are just going to go every which way and fill in this area. You can start by putting your needle down any direction you'd like, and make one little stitch. Put your needle up in a nearby space, here I'm going to put it on the edge of this fabric to have a stitch that crosses that side, and do it perpendicular to the one you just did. Now I have two little stitches in different directions and you just continue that. Just like when you make a straight line of running stitch, you can do more than one stitch at a time with seed stitch. Can insert my needle down here to make a stitch that goes this direction, and tilt my needle and bring it up in a place that I want to begin the next one. Now I've made a stitch and I have my thread all ready to start my next one. I'm going to go this direction, and then do one down here. Continue with this random pattern of stitches. It's like little seeds scattered on the fabric, probably where it gets its name. Continue with these until you have filled up the area that you want to cover. The next decorative stitching I'm going to teach you is cross stitch or star stitch. This is very similar to seed stitch and is also nice to fill in a whole area of fabric or it can be used along an edge to just tack down these edges of your patchwork fabric. I'm going to add some star stitches into this blue square here on the corner of my fabric. Just like seed stitch, you insert your needle from the back and make one short stitch in any direction that you would like. Now I'm going to bring the needle up in a spot just above here where it came down, and then when I make this stitch down, I'm going to have it cross over the first stitch that I made, and it makes an X. You'll probably notice as you're stitching that some of the threads from the edge of your patchwork pieces start to fray and come apart, like mine are. I love that effect and really enjoy having these raw edges and little loose threads that show. If that bothers you, you can just snip them a little bit as they come undone, but really that's part of the beauty of the stitching and I recommend that you embrace it as a design feature which it is. There I've made an X. If I wanted to turn that X into more of a star shape, I could add some more short stitches that cross through the middle. Now it looks a little bit more like a star. I'm going to add those to this area here. The last decorative stitch that I want to share with you is actually not a stitch at all, but the lack of stitching. Here on this finished piece, you can see that I did curves and spirals and Xs, but I left some of the area intentionally blank. This draws attention to the spiral here and makes it stand out more and allows your eye to follow this curve which meets into another spiral up here at the top and some more empty space that just lets this curved stitching breathe. I really loved the design of this little scrap of indigo dyed fabric. I stitched around the edges to secure it down to my backing fabric and then left the middle free of stitches to just let this design shine. It really makes this little piece stand out by being the only one there without stitching. Leaving blank spaces can be just as dramatic and beautiful as filling up every edge with stitches. Now is the time for you to keep on stitching these patchwork pieces until you have the whole area covered just the way you would like. Then join me in the next lesson where you will learn how to finish your fabric and then turn it into a beautiful functional pouch. 10. Trimming Your Fabric: Your patchwork fabric should look like this now covered with beautiful decorative hand stitching. There are just a couple of quick steps we need to do before we can sew it together and make your beautiful pouch. You will need an iron and some scissors or a rotary cutter. Boro stitching creates a lot of texture in your work, and this is a beautiful design element of boro stitching. But we want to trim the edges to be square and straight and to do that it will help to iron it a little bit. You can see this does not remove all of the texture, but it does make it lay a little bit more flat and it'll be easy to work with now. The final step before you sew this into a pouch is to remove this extra fabric hanging over the edge of the backing piece. You might also find that through your hand stitching, the fabric might pull in a little bit and make your edges not perfectly straight. You can see here that this line curves out a little bit where there was not much stitching here on this side of the pouch, so we can also straighten that out. I'm going to use this ruler and rotary cutter, but if you don't have one, you can just use a pair of fabric scissors and carefully trim the edges of your fabric. Make sure that any knots or loose ends of your stitching don't get cut off in this process. Now, we have this nice rectangle with straight edges and the patchwork and the lining piece are exactly the same size. Just going to make sure that this matches up with the fabric that I've chosen to use for the lining of this pouch. Sometimes this hand stitching pulls the fabric in and makes it a little bit smaller than the size I started out with. You can see there's just this little edge at the top where they're not exactly the same width, so I'm going to trim that up and make them match perfectly. Now that your patchwork piece and the lining piece are the exact same size, we are ready to sew this together into your pouch. But before you do that, take a picture of the way that it looks right now, this is the last time that you will be able to see all of your beautiful stitching in one view like this, because when we make a pouch, we are going to be folding it and sewing it. It's fun to see all of your stitching laid out flat. Take a photo, share it in the projects, and then meet me in the next lesson where we will sew it together. 11. Sewing Your Pouch: You are almost finished making your boro stitch pouch and in no time at all, you will have a beautiful and functional piece of art. In this lesson, I will teach you the blanket stitch, which is what we will use to sew around the edge of the pouch, attaching the lining, and also turning it into a usable pouch. You will need your stitched fabric and you're lining fabric, some embroidery floss, and a needle, and also the ribbon or fabric strip that you will be using as the closure for your pouch. I've chosen this strip of the same fabric that I'm using for the lining and these little metal rings that I will attach to the end. Before you start sewing your pouch together, you need to decide which end you want to be the flap that you will sew on the front. I really love the star stitch right here on this corner of my piece. I'm going to fold it up like this and then have this part here be the flap that comes down. In my finished pouch, I will see those little stars right in the front and open it back up. Whichever short side you choose to be the inside edge of your pouch will be the first one that we sew across. This stitch is called blanket stitch. In addition to showing it in this lesson, I have a guide in the Resources Tab so you can look at some pictures and written instructions as well. Going to start by inserting the needle not in the lining, just in the back of my stitched fabric. About a quarter-inch from the corner. That's just going to make it so that the knot will be hidden inside these two layers and you won't see it inside of your finished pouch. I'm going to bring the thread up over the top, and now I'm going to insert the needle through the lining. Right about the same place that came up before. My needle's going to come out in just about the same spot that this first stitch did. Then I pull it gently. It loops around this entire edge and it holds these two pieces secure. To start the blanket stitch, I'm going to insert my needle through this loop I have just made, and now my embroidery floss is coming from the top, which is what I want. From the front of your fabric move about a quarter-inch over and insert your needle through both layers. Instead of pulling it all the way through though, you want to leave this little loop of thread. From now the back of my fabric and insert the needle up through that loop and gently pull. Once this becomes easy for you, you can do this a little bit quicker using just one stitching motion. I'm inserting the needle a quarter inch away through both layers. Instead of reaching behind my fabric and pulling the needle out, I'm going to tip it so it's pointing up. You'll notice that this thread is behind my needle and pull. Now I'm making the stitch and coming through the loop all in one motion. Again insert your needle from the front, tilt it so it points up. Makes sure this thread is behind the needle. Gently pull and you have made a stitch. Continue until you get to the end of this side of your pouch. Then we will tie a knot. When you get to the end of this side of your pouch, you now have the embroidery floss coming up from the top of your pouch. To tie a knot, turn it over. Just like we tied knots doing the boro stitching, grab a few threads just on the back of your pouch, leave a little loop. Pull it through. Now that this side is sawn, folded it up. Remember this is going to be the inside edge of your pouch. Decide how big you want your flap to be. You could fold your pouch exactly in thirds and have the pouch flap come all the way to the bottom or close to it or you might choose to have your pouch be a little taller and have your flap overlap just a little bit at the top. It's up to you, play around with it, and when you get it just the way you want. This is where those sewing pins come in handy if you have some, just going to put one on each side to hold it in place right there. To sew along these sides. We're going to use the blanket stitch just the way that we did across the top. But we're going to start at one of these folded corners and work all the way through all these layers of fabric here, to this corner around, and then back down the other side. When you get close to the end of this inside edge of your pouch, I recommend doing a few blankets stitches closer together than you maybe have been doing. This just gives a little extra strength because if you imagine using your pouch, this gets a lot of tension and pulling on it as you put things in and out. Adding a little extra strength right here would be helpful. When you are about a quarter-inch away from the corner. Make a stitch as usual. Then insert your needle. You make a diagonal line between the corner and the stitch you made. Insert the needle close to that spot. Then instead of bringing the thread up to the straight edge of the fabric, I'm pulling it so that it's aligned with the corner. Can help ease it done with my finger. Now I have this thread on the top and a diagonal stitch here. Turn it and make a stitch along this top edge. We are making a little box right here around the corner. Now I'm working along this short edge of my pouch. Bring this stitch-up. I like to hold on to this one in the corner so it doesn't pull it out of place. Gently pull. Now I have turned the corner. Continue stitching across this top. Except we need to be sure we add in the ribbon or a fabric strip to use as the closure. I'm going to place this in between the two layers. That looks about in the center and I'm going to put a pin right here so it stays in place. Now, when I get to this spot here, I will sew through these layers and also through this strip of fabric, just like I did stitches a little closer together here to strengthen this corner, I'm going to do my blanket stitches a little closer together along this fabric strip. Here is my finished pouch with the blankets stitching all across the edges. You can attach anything you would like to the bottom of your ribbon or fabric closure. I attached these little metal rings just with the knot here, but you can sew on, a charm, or attach some beads. Anything to give it a little bit of weight and just help hold your pouch closed. I hope that you have loved stitching this. I would love to see a picture of your finished pouch or even just a progress picture if you're not done yet. You can share that in the Projects Tab for this course and join me in the next lesson where I share some inspiration and show you what other things you can make now that you know how to do this beautiful boro stitching. 12. Final Thoughts: Congratulations on making a beautiful piece of hand-stitched art. I'm so glad that you joined me on this stitching journey. You have learned how to arrange scraps of fabric into a pleasing design, how to use simple hand stitching techniques to create patterns and texture, that look detailed and complex and so beautiful and interesting. You have also learned finishing techniques to transform your fabric into a usable, functional piece of fiber art. I hope that you've learned some new skills that you can incorporate into your future crafting life, whether you are a fiber artist or this is your first foray into hand stitching. I hope that you are inspired to continue this and try boro stitching and other ways. There are so many things that you can make with this style of stitching. I keep a small sample on my desk to use as a coaster. I also like to make small books with boro stitched covers like this one with fabric pages that I use to keep some of my favorite sewing needles. This sample has paper inside that I use to keep samples of my natural dye work and notes about some of my projects. You can also use these techniques to make covers for journals or notebooks that you already have. Boro stitching makes beautiful visible mending for home goods or clothes. You can use it to patch holes or just add interest to a garment. You can even just add stitching and not patchwork fabric to decorate a plain article of clothing. There are infinite ways to incorporate these techniques into fiber art projects. I hope that this makes you look at your fabric scraps and household items in a new and different way and that you are inspired to transform things, instead of throwing out clothes and linens, and other pieces of fabric. I would love to see photos of your hand-stitched work. Please share pictures of either your finished pouch or in-progress photos here on the "Projects tab" for this course, and I will leave you feedback and comments. I would love to interact with you in that way and see what you're working on. You can also tag me on Instagram, where my account is cedardellforestfarm. If you enjoyed this course, I would love for you to leave a review so that others can see what you thought of it and I welcome your feedback as well. Lastly, before you go, follow me here on Skillshare so that you will be notified whenever I have a new course. Thank you for joining me, and I hope that you are inspired to continue stitching.