How a student's Adidas embroidery is making him and thousands more very happy

Floral embroidery and sportswear might not immediately appear a compatible pairing, but one student in Leeds is changing all that with his stunning Adidas embroidery.

Shibby Hussain, 20, is a medical student who took to embroidery when his first year of study didn’t exactly go to plan, and the results have attracted retweets and likes from tens of thousands on Twitter.

A floral embroidered adidas logo
(Photos courtesy of Shibby Hussain)

“I was basically going through some real hardships in my personal life and, long story short, had to retake my first year at medical school,” Shibby told the Press Association.

“It’s been the toughest year of my life so far. It was the lowest I’ve been and I basically needed something to help me feel like I was good at something,” he continued.

It was then that Shibby discovered a stitch society at university and found it to be a welcoming environment, and after receiving positive feedback on his initial work he decided to continue with his new hobby – the pineapple below was his first effort.

An embroidered pineapple and an embroidered cat
(Photos courtesy of Shibby Hussain)

“Embroidery art has been my healthiest and most effective coping mechanism for my mental health issues and reminded me that I am good at things!” Shibby continued.

But how did the floral sportswear combination come about? Shibby stumbled upon the work of James Merry, a hand embroidery artist who creates sports logo mash-ups with flora and fauna, and was inspired.

“I gave his Instagram a look and was just shocked at his work!” said Shibby. “It’s so detail-orientated and focuses on floral embroidery on vintage sports sweatshirts.

“I became a huge fan and decided to try and make my own version of one of his projects. He’s a true talent.”

So the idea was in place, but how was it completed?

“I tried to keep it simple-ish so it wouldn’t go too wrong,” said Shibby of his own effort. “I think from designing it to the last stitch it took around 25 hours.

“I printed off an Adidas logo a similar size to the one on the sweatshirt and drew some flowers on it. I scanned that and then played around with colours. Once I was settled on a design I drew some rough guides on the sweatshirt with some fabric pens I got on eBay and then just started stitching a bit every few days for a couple of hours!”

The adidas embroidery as a work in progress
(Photos courtesy of Shibby Hussain)

The finished work has now received more than 50,000 likes on Twitter, while some have even asked Shibby if his work might be available to purchase or commission, something he finds a little surreal.

“Loads of people have asked if I do commissions etc and I’ve just been laughing, so flattered that people are willing to pay me!” he said.

“It’s all just a bit insane really. This was just a mindful hobby I had and never once did I think people would like my work on this scale. The validation has been great though and it’s made me want to have an Etsy shop! Something to keep me going whilst I slog out my medical degree.”

The sweatshirt Shibby embroidered his design onto
(Photos courtesy of Shibby Hussain)

It’s clear embroidery and design are massive talents of Shibby’s, so what does he plan to create next?

“Well it’s Pride season – I’ve always wanted to make a statement denim jacket, so I might embroider ‘Miss Vanjieeee’ on the back of one.

“It’s a quote from a drag queen from Season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. She was eliminated first but her legacy, Miss Vanjie, lived on almost every episode since she left.”

Adidas haven’t been in touch with Shibby about his work, but the reaction online suggests floral sportswear is something the people are very much ready for.