Random-Woven Decorative Stitched Fabric


Random-Woven Decorative
Stitched Fabric
By Joyce Drexler
Creative Director for Sulky of America

Presented by Joyce Drexler on the PBS TV Show "Sew Creative" with Donna Wilder.

Project Overview

The uses for this woven fabric are endless. It can be used in wearables, home-dec as shown, totebags, and I have even seen it used as a background for appliqued art wallhangings and quilts. It is "sew" much fun to do, you'll want to make more and more. One caution though, be sure to keep your strips in order as you move them!

Joyce's Tip

Using Solvy As A Topper To Hold Down Unwanted Fabric Fibers

When we further developed a weaving technique (by Lois Ericson as featured in "Threads" Magazine with their permission) for the Sulky "Sew Exciting" Seminar Vest, we discovered that by using a low count cotton fabric with a raw edge, the fibers wanted to poke up into the decorative stitching. To eliminate this problem, we laid Solvy over the woven piece and then stitched. To keep the Solvy in place without pins, we lightly sprayed the top of the woven piece with KK 2000, then finger-pressed the Solvy layer over it. The Solvy kept the fibers out of the way so our decorative stitching with Sulky 30 wt. Rayon and Sulky Metallic Sliver™ Threads looked fantastic.

About the Artist

Joyce Drexler
Instructor, Artist, Quilter, Author, Designer and
Executive Vice President of Sulky of America, Inc.

Joyce is widely recognized as a leader in the field of "Machine Arts and Crafts". Her books have sold well over 600,000 copies. Joyce has been published in numerous magazines and she appears regularly on PBS TV Programs. Joyce also illustrated her own designs to create embroidery cards for Cactus Punch and Great Notions.

In 1999, Joyce received the prestigious "Schmetz Golden Needle Award" in acknowledgement of her significant contributions toward enhancing the future of the sewing industry.


  • Rotary Cutter & Mat
  • Sewing Machine with decorative stitches
  • Sulky 30 wt. Rayon #1055 or color to match or contrast with your fabrics
  • 2 contrasting fabrics slightly larger than desired finished size
  • Woven iron-on Interfacing same size as fabrics
  • Sulky Tear-Easy Tear-Away Stabilizer same size as interfacing
Sulky Solvy Water Soluble Stabilizer (see tip above)

 Construct It

1. Cut a piece of woven iron-on interfacing
an inch larger on all sides than the desired finished size; place it fusible side up on an ironing surface.

2. Cut the brown and the red check fabrics the same size asthe interfacing; use a rotary cutter to further cut the brown check fabric horizontally into random width strips. The first and last strip should be at least 1-1/2" wide for easier handling. The rest can be any size. Pin these strips over the interfacing in the same order as they were cut out. Pin at an angle for easier pressing.

3. Take the red check fabric and repeat the cutting procedure, only cut it into random width vertical rows. As you cut each strip, take it to the ironing surface and weave it over, under, over, under until it is completely woven into the brown. Pin ends. Repeat until entire piece is woven.

4. To fuse woven fabric to the interfacing, use steam and press. Turn it over and press again.

5. Back with Tear Easy. Use a wide width, satin stitch type decorative stitch and Sulky 30 wt. #1055 Tan to stitch the vertical rows and then the horizontal rows.Be sure to read Joyce's Tip above before stitching.

6. If you are using this woven piece in a vest, trim top edge either straight or curvy and overlap it slightly over right vest appliquèd piece. Stitch and trim bottom to vest fleece shape.