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All about my hand embellished sweatshirts

Snug and sparkly . . . . Christmas party perfect Embellished sweatshirts are back!


dakota rae dust designer Bec is holding a grey and neon pink embellished sweatshirt out in front of her and is looking down at it

Remember these? It’s been a while  . . . ALL YEAR in fact . . . but I’m back on the dakota rae dust sweatshirt stitching.


Difficulty accessing equipment during lockdown meant I decided to put clothing embellishments on hold, but i have good news . . . they’re coming out of retirement.

I will be opening my order books THIS WEEK and adding my ornate and colourful decorations to ONE exclusive batch of garments, which will be ready to wear over the festive period. . . . did someone say CHRISTMAS JUMPER?

a blue and light pink embellished sweatshirt seen packaged in a black and white stripey paper bag

Embellished sweatshirt inspiration


If you’ve seen me at a market in the last few years you may well be familiar with my colourful embellished T-shirts, sweatshirts and babygrows.

I originally set out to create a jumper cum jewellery combo. A garment that would offer all the jazz and glamour of a piece of oversize statement jewellery, with the comfort and warmth of a sweatshirt. . .  (I think I have just talked myself into making joggers to match!!). I wanted the ability to feel dressed up without giving up cosy, in an item of clothing that could see me from overcast festival fields to family Christmas.

The resulting design was heavily inspired by patterns and ornate shapes found in costume jewellery.

Bec's colourful market pitch scene, colourful statement earrings on a stripey table cloth


How are my Embellished sweatshirts made?


Each dAKOTA rAE dUST sweatshirt embellishment consists of three layers.

1. A patterned fabric base.

Recycling and giving new life to unwanted textiles is a huge passion of mine, so this fabric is almost always sourced from a charity shop, textile recycling centre or acquired via a kind donation from a fellow maker looking to find a purpose for their fabric offcuts. I cut the shapes out by hand and machine stitch them – applique style – to the sweatshirt.

2. The base print.

This decorative print was originally inspired by a love of vintage costume jewellery. If you look closely you’ll recognise classic cut gemstone shapes and claw setting inspired notches. This large vinyl print covers the décolletage or chest area of the garment and overlaps parts of the appliqued fabric base layer.

3. The 2D printed ‘JEWELS’.

The statement jewellery inspired base print is given its rich and textured surface with the addition of an extra layer of vinyl printed components. These 2D printed ‘jewels’ are cut out by hand, then stitched by both machine and hand into place to create a truly unique and luxurious piece of clothing. 


I’m a textiles/surface designer at heart and contrast is important in my work. I love combining something old and unloved with something new, mixing a vintage painterly print with a sharp digitally designed, fluorescent pattern, or elements of machine stitch with more manual looking hand stitch. My favourite pieces to make are usually the most labour intensive, involving multiple techniques and surfaces, stitched by both machine and hand. Bring on the scissors bunions!


“I’m lucky enough to have 2 of these sweaters and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them and wear them loads / dream combo of comfy & WOW !!!”

-Jemma Emotional Waterfall Art 

If you’re considering commissioning a custom colours embellished sweatshirt, please read on for a brief overview of the ordering process.


Select your garment

I am currently offering a choice of two sweatshirt styles and the option to provide a garment of your own.

Option 1. Classic fit sweatshirt

This is a STANDARD unisex shape sweatshirt. The garment has a crew neck and set-in-sleeves. The fabric is relatively thick with a brushed fleece feel inside. Most excitingly, it is available in a wide range of colours! (please see images within the product listing)

Option 2. Slim fit sweatshirt

This garment is slightly longer and narrower, with a wide neckline and raglan sleeves. It is cut from 100% organic cotton and produced in a climate neutral factory. This sweatshirt is available in black and grey marl. This garment has been discontinued by the manufacturer and i have LIMITED numbers available.

Option 3. Provide a garment of your choice

For the ultimate personalisation service, you can commission the embellishment of a garment of your choice. This might be a something you already own and love, something you’ve brought secondhand or just selected especially for the perfect fit/style/colour.

In order to get your embellished garment back to you before Christmas I will need to receive YOUR blank garment within ONE WEEK of you placing your order. eeeeek, admittedly I have left this launch quite late, so on this occasion the turn around times will need to be tight in order to ensure no one is disappointed.

A size guide and photos for each style of sweatshirt can be found in the relevant product listing, with a diagram showing the points on each garment that the measurements have been taken. To find the best fit I recommend laying out a garment you already own and like the size of, and comparing the measurements to find the best match on the guide.

Three styles of sweatshirt show in black and white photographs

Select your garment colour

Your options will vary depending on the garment style you select. The classic fit sweatshirt comes in grey marl and black OR can be upgraded to give a wider choice of colours. The slim fit sweatshirt is only available in grey marl and black.


Select your print colours

When it comes to COLOUR the choice is YOURS . . . . stick to traditionally festive glitters and gold or opt for ALL OUT FLUORO FUN TIMES . . . all the neon vinyls glow in UV light!

You can choose up to three colours to be used in the vinyl printed areas of your embellishment, which includes that large base print and the 2D printed ‘jewels’ which are sewn on top. Colour options include muted metallics, glitters, mirrored silver and gold, neons and velvety flock.

My only advice is that when it comes to texture, contrast is king (OR QUEEN!!), so i recommend including at least one vinyl element with an interesting surface i.e a glitter, mirror or flock (velvety).


a close up of a colour swatch card


Select your patterned applique fabric

The patterned applique panel fabric is obviously harder to pick without coming for a rummage in my fabric stash. I will provide a recommendation or two, based on your colour choices, to be approved during our email consultation.


Colour consultation

Once you have confirmed your commission I will order in, or await the arrival of your garment, and be in touch via email or text to confirm your print colour choices.

Please note – garment colours cannot be changed once ordered but you may still tweak your print colours at this consultation stage. You will receive a photo of the vinyl colours you have selected and the proposed patterned fabric to compliment your print.


Close up of Bec's hands stitching an orange printed shape to an embellished sweatshirt


Drop me a message if you have any questions. . . . and if you’re keen to commission some joyful jewellery on a jumper,  make sure you’re signed up to my VIP mailing list then keep an eye on your inbox. I will message there first when the listings go live later this week.

Every garment will be laboriously appliqued, printed and stitched TO ORDER, in colours of your choice. Due to the time consuming nature of these embellishments I will only be taking orders until midnight on Sunday.

LOVE bec X


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