A Liquid Solvy and Totally Stable Project
As shown by Joyce Drexler on PBS TV's
"America Sews with Sue Hausmann"

Project Overview

Carol Ingram, now a Designer for Sulky, won first prize in the Wearable Arts category in one of our very first "Everyone Loves Sulky" Challenge. This gorgeous outfit received numerous oohs and aahs as it traveled around the country for a year in the Sulky Challenge Display. And, as a result, we forged a wonderful friendship with an amazing designer and artist.

"The liquid form of Solvy allows total fabric penetration to 'firm up' the more flimsy cottons. It also allows hooping for free motion without slipping in the hoop, and there is nothing to get in the way on the bottom during free-motion work. Totally Stable stays in place when you have to manipulate a more inticate design. It saves confusion and frustration with several layers" -- Carol

About the Artist

Carol Ingram
- Artist, Designer for Sulky of America®, Cactus Punch®, and Fabric Traditions®

Carol is an accomplished artist in the Fine Arts field, including oil painting, pastels and pencil drawing. She has studied art extensively in college and under private instruction from notable national art instructors. her background brought Carol to a cooperative designing relationship with Cactus Punch, and they have produced seven top-selling computerized machine embroidery "Signature Series" cards from Carol's original artwork. She has also designed an embroidery card for Husqvarna Viking.

In 2001 her first line of fabric, "Snow Follies" was produced by Fabric Traditions.

Her 40 years of sewing experience has provided her with special insight into combining art and textiles into a versatile product.

She presently is a designer and educator for Sulky of America. She has taught at Husqvarna Viking Sewing Conventions, and does free-lance teaching at local sewing stores around Florida. She was a first place winner of the Everyone Loves Sulky Challenge in 1996. She has also contributed many exclusive designs for other Sulky books and presentations for PBS TV sewing programs such as Martha's Sewing Room, Sew Creative, and America Sews with Sue Hausmann.


  • A Garment Pattern in your size that you will follow to construct the ensemble. (if you are going to make fringe, see Step 6 before cutting out that area of the pattern.)
  • A Zig-Zag sewing Machine, with free-motion capability and:
    • Free-motion Darning Foot
    • Braiding Foot
    • Applique Foot
    • Tailor Tack or Fringe Foot
    • Cording or Beading Foot
  • Machine Needles
    • Jeans Needle and Top Stitching or Embroidery - Size 14/90
  • Sulky® Threads
    • Sulky 30 wt. Rayon - 1055
    • Sulky Clear Invisible Thread
    • Sulky Original Metallic Threads - 7001 - Silver, 7004 - Dark Gold, 7010 - Dark Copper, 7051 - Black, 7021 - Prism White
    • Sulky Sliver Metallic Thread 8051 - black
    • Sulky White and Black Lightweight Bobbin Thread
    Sulky Stabilizers
    • Solvy®
    • Totally Stable™
  • Corordinating fabrics
    • Coarsely Woven Silk Tussah
    • Silk Lining Material;
    • Tiger or Large Animal Print Fabric
      Carol used an Alexander Henry Print but any large animal print can be used.
    • Ultra Suede® Scraps
  • Decorative Designer Yarns
    • 'Forest Floor' Collection
  • Notions
    • 1 yd. Fusable Interfacing appropriate for fabric weight
    • 1/2 yd. Trans-Web paper-backed fusible
    • 8" or 10" German made Hardwood Embroidery Hoops
    • Air or Water Erasable Pen
    • Fine-Line Permanent-Ink Marker
    • Teflon® Pressing Sheet or Press Cloth
    • Pin Weaving Board
    • Sulky® KK 2000 Non-Flammable Temporary Spray Adhesive
    • Small Sponge Brush
    • ScrapWrapper™
    • Assorted Beads and Fabric Glue

    The raw silk fabrics chosen for this outfit are exquisite. It is a rich and beautiful outfit, perfect for the Goddess or the Tigress in you.


  1. Ultra Suede Pin-Weaving
    1. Cut pieces of fusible interfacing to match the sections on your pattern pieces that you have chosen to be the pinwoven sections. Pin the pieces of fusible interfacing, fusible side up, on a pin-weaving board. Cut scrap pieces of Ultra Suede into 1/2" strips slightly longer than the width of the area you are weaving. Using decorative yarns as the warp and the Ultra Suece as the weft, weave and pin sections for the back yoke, and separate sections for the front of the vest and the front of the skirt.
    2. When weaving is completed, cover the pin-weaving with a press cloth or pressing sheet and steam, heavily enough so the pin-weaving adheres to the fusible interfacing. Remove from pin-weaving board. Steam again from the back. Stay stitch around all edges to secure and stabilize them.

  1. Attach Pin-Weaving
    To attach the pin-woven section to fashion fabric, lay it over the fashion fabric section that matched it. Pin an extra strip of 1/2" Ultra Suede over the seam and, using either Sulky Sliver Metallic #7001 or Sulky Sliver Metallic or Rayon of your choice, do a decorative stitch over each edge of the joining 1/2" Ultra Suede pieces. This finishes the edge nicely and anchors the pin-weaving.

  1. Free-Motion Embroidery
    1. To prepare the "Tiger Print" fabric for Free-Motion Embroidery, mix Sulky Solvy (normally 1 yd. of Solvy to 8 oz. of water) to make a liquid stabilizer,except use about 1/3 less water to make the solution stiffer.
    2. Use a sponge-type paint brush to brush the liquid Solvy over each Tiger to be embroidered, extending the liquid Solvy out past the design to stiffen all of the fabric section that will be encompassed by your chosen hoop size. Hang to dry, or speed drying with a hair dryer.
    3. Secure one stiffened section in an embroidery hoop and completely free-motion embroider over the Tiger with Sulky Metallic 7001, 7004, 7010, 7021, 7051, and Sulky Sliver 8051, using the fabric as your color guide. Hoop and embroider remaining Tigers.

  1. Yarn Leaves
    1. Use a disappearing or water soluble marker to draw a freehand outline of the large leaf on the garment either above, below or to the side of the tiger, or… if freehand drawing isn't your finest gift, trace the leaves on Solvy or Super Solvy with a fine-line, permanent-ink marker. Pin the sulky to your garment.
    2. Using the cording or beading foot, couch down decorative yarns with Sulky Invisible Thread (clear for light yarns, smoke for dark yarns); use a blind hem stitch to allow the threads to "bloom" a little. A zig-zag stitch holds the fluffier threads too tightly to the fabric and doesn't allow them to "fluff".
    3. Pull the Solvy away when finished. If any Solvy remains, spritz with water (if your fabric will accept water), and it will dissolve away. Before applying heat, remove the marks from the air or water soluble marker.

  1. Ultra Suede Leaves
    1. To prepare the garment, use a dry iron to press Sulky Totally Stable onto the wrong side of the garment and under the areas for the Tiger and Leaves.
    2. Trace the Ultra Suede leaf design onto Sulky Totally Stable and press it onto the wrong side of the Ultra Suede. Cut out leaves. Peel off Totally Stable. Spray underside of leaves with Sulky KK 2000 Temporary Spray Adhesive and position them on the garment again and again until you are pleased with their arrangment. (Be sure to leave room for your Tigers.)
    3. You may want some of the leaves underneath the Tigers and some overlapping the Tigers. If overlapping is desired, save some leaves to apply after the Tiger is appliqued on.
    4. Use Sulky Gold Metallic #7004 to applique the leaves on with a small satin stitch.

  1. Applying the Tigers
    1. After embroidering the Tigers, Iron Trans-Web™ paper-backed fusible onto the back of each Tiger.
    2. Cut out the Tigers leaving 1/8" edge of fabric around them for appliqueing to the garment.

  1. Making the Fringe
    1. Make the fringe by initially cutting the garment longer than needed. Using a Sulky Metallic Thread, stitch a decorative stitch where you want the top of the fringe to start; this serves as a securing line to stop any fringing above that line.
    2. Pull the threads of the fabric until it's fringed as much a you like. (On Carol's garment the fringe along the side of the skirt was prepared as a separate piece and inserted into the seam.) The more coarsely woven the fabric, the better its "fringing" ability.
    3. Position the Tigers where you want them on the garment and fuse them in place from the wrong side, using a pressing cloth or Teflon Pressing Sheet if your fabric is heat sensitive.
    4. Rehoop one of the Tigers which are now on the garment. Using a straight stitch, free-motion stitch around the outside of the tiger, changing colors as needed. Follow the same procedure to finish the remaining tigers.

  1. Making the Ultra Suede Flower
    1. Cut the small flowers from Ultra Suede using either the Totally Stable method in step Four or the Solvy Method in Step Three.
    2. For the "loopy thread" effect, use a Fringe Foot or Tailor Tack Foot (which has a bar down the center allowing the threads to be looser and fluffier) and Sulky 30 wt. Rayon Thread #1055, Tawny Tan to satin stitch around the flower.
    3. Make the flower centers using wooden beads with tiny tassles made with the Scrap Wrapper and Sulky Metallic Threads which are then inserted and glued into the beads. Glue the beads to the centers of the flowers with fabric glue.