How To Stitch a Simple Stem And Shibori Leaf Design

A stunningly simple design to create in shibori, this shibori leaf design. And there are many variations that you can explore yourself.

Let’s Go Through Creating This Shibori Leaf Design Step by Step

The First Step

Firstly, draw the design of stem and leaves on to the fabric. Use tailors chalk or invisible fabric marker. It is helpful to draw the design at full scale on a piece of paper to ensure you are happy with the balance of leaves and stem. My example here is 20 cm or 8” from bottom of stem to top leaf. You can print out or trace my design.

black and white drawing of shibori leaf design
Design drawing for you to follow

The Second Step

Next, stitch the long stem with a simple fold in the fabric and running stitches through the fold. Also score the fabric between thumb and forefinger to get a nice crisp fold. As I always advise, tie a small tag in the end of your double thread to give you something to pull against when gathering. Add the curved leaf shape at the end, stitching through both layers of fabric taking care to avoid catching the stem with the leaf stitching.

The Third Step For Making A Shibori Leaf Design

Additionally, the 6 other leaves need to be formed. So, stitch each and every one of the leaves and their central stem. Make a fold and sew a central row of stitching to create the main vein of the leaf. Then stitch through both layers of fabric around the shape of the leaves taking care, again to not catch the stitches of the short stem.

Here is the fabric with all the stitching complete.

Shows finished shibori stitching for shibori leaf design

The Fourth Step

Finally each and every thread is pulled up tightly and a small cotton tag is tied in the ends to ensure the stitching stays tight. And at that stage it is dyed and at the very last all the stitching is unpicked to reveal the design.

Let me finish by sharing a couple of other leaf designs formed in exactly the same way. There are also some other blogs I have written giving further suggestions for making leaves in shibori. Look here, a forest of leaves to create and here, 4 lovely leaves to stitch.

If you would like more guidance take a look at my self-paced online course.

Wishing you every success with creating with shibori. I hope you come to love it as much as I do!!

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