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White Russian’s inspiration most definitely came from the many quilted sweatshirts that appeared from designer and RTW companies over the winter. The trends seemed to be quilted fabrics and/or appliques of animal motifs. It wasn’t until I saw a slim green quilted sweatshirt on fellow blogger Kathryn that I realised how much I wanted one.
Plain quilted fabrics were the most chic, in my mind, like this one from Reiss.
Or this one from Whistles.
If you haven’t got quilted jersey or quilted sweatshirt fabric, of course you can quilt your own design onto plain fabric, as in Amy’s wonderful diamond design here.
As I started to see more and more animal motifs on sweatshirts, I came around to the idea, but wanted to do them in a single colour to avoid it looking too much like a cartoon.
Stella McCartney combined quilting, applique and the single-colour animal motif in this one.
And then there is the famous Kenzo tiger. Stars like Beyoncé have worn this, but there was a time when you couldn’t look at any major fashion blog without seeing this sweatshirt. The tiger is appliquéd and heavily machine-embroidered, not really an effect you can achieve at home without a specialist embroidery machine.
My own lion sweatshirt is directly inspired by the Kenzo tiger. I wanted to reference it in a fun way that everyone can achieve at home.
The fox motif may be a bit of a cliché these days, but I think nothing represents London’s wildlife better than the urban fox stalking the streets at night.
The two animal sweaters show off what can be easily achieved using quilting and appliqéing techniques on a home sewing machine, but really these are just the start. I included the lion and fox templates with the pattern as a starting point, but I would love to see people getting creative with quilting, appliqéing and combinations of both techniques.
The other thing I imagined people would do is slogans, so I made my own appliquéd slogan shirt from the short sleeve pattern.
My slogan is a spoof of this familiar image, which is actually a Katharine Hamnett design from the 80s.
Other options for customising your White Russian sweatshirt include embellishment. In these two examples, beads and sequins have been used to embellish either the sleeves, or the body of the garment.
And finally…. Of course, you could leave your sweatshirt plain like Fiona’s. I think she is planning on adding embellishment, but even without it, it’s still a chic, useful piece with maximum wardrobe versatility.
What kind of design would you add to a sweatshirt like this one? An animal, a slogan, or something else? Would you quilt it or applique it?