I asked this question a year or so ago, but am still on the hunt for instructions
on how to do the old fashioned madeira applique by hand, the kind we see on
vintage/antique linens done on silk organdy (made in Madeira). I know how to
do madeira applique hems the way we do it for heirloom sewing, but this is
something a little different.
What's different about it, is something I see on several tablecloths and runners
I have, which are very old. There is an applique (of handkerchief linen or batiste)
on the front, and ALSO an identical applique on the wrong side of the piece. These
are appliques (for example leaves or a flower) sewn in the middle of the piece....They
are out there floating around the center, all by their lonesome. Not
a hem or border (which is pretty too, but I know how to do that).
Now, how in the world someone managed to do this is beyond me! The appliques are
attached by hand hemstitching (looks like the pinstitch we do by machine) and there
is only one row of stitching around the applique...joining the applique on the back and the
identical applique on the front, at the same time!
I could easily attach one applique to the front, and hemstitch it in place, but can't figure
out how they attached two identical ones at the same time, still having the edges meet
perfectly on both sides. There is only one row of hemstitching around the appliques,
which is how I know they were done at the same time. (organdy is sandwiched between
the two appliques...one on front, one on back).
Clear as mud? LOL! If not for embroidery stitches on the front of the piece, it
would be sortof reversible.....the front and back looking exactly the same. How is
that possible? Well it is possible, because someone did it and they did it to look
Does anyone have a clue how to do this? I emailed the Royal School of Needlework in
England, and they didn't know. Reading some old 'Fancywork' magazines, I thought
one of those sharp gals might know if anyone did, wish I could ask them but that
publication hasn't been around for a long time.
Any ideas on who I might contact? If you managed to make it to the end of this long
message, thank you very much! And thanks in advance for brainstorming with me!