This article has been written by Little Miss Fancy Frocks – the dynamic mother-daughter duo who lovingly create handcrafted clothing for adults and children. Visit their Facebook page here.
Minerva Crafts have kindly sponsored this article. Visit them for all your sewing and crafting needs.
Our topsy turvy doll is a double-headed doll made of cloth wearing a pretty dress. Turn the doll upside down and you have another doll wearing a different dress.
The upside down doll has a very controversial past and is rooted in the American Civil War. It has been suggested that the double ended doll was originally a white doll at one end and a black doll at the other end and slave women gave the dolls to their children.
You will need…
1 fat or long quarter of skin coloured cotton fabric
1 fat or long quarter for each dress
¾ metre of lace for each dress
1.25 metres of ribbon for each dress (this includes the ribbon for the pigtails)
Wool for the hair
Soft toy filling
Threads to match the dresses and the doll, and black and red thread for the lips and eyes
You will also need a sewing machine and sewing needle
½cm seam allowance is used throughout unless otherwise stated.
Cut out the doll
Cut out four doll bodies.
Mark the eyes and the lips. Mark the centre of the back of the head as this is where the hair will be attached.
Using red and black thread use chain stitch to stitch the lips and eyes.
Stitching the bodies
Stitch the bodies together leaving the waist open.
Turn right side out and stuff with toy filling.
Stitch dolls together
Fold under the waist seam allowance on each doll and oversew the two dolls together at the waist.
Preparing the hair
Cut the wool in 20cm lengths. We found it easier to wrap the wool around a placemat and cut at the top and bottom.
Stitch the hair in position with chain stitch.
Gather the hair into two pigtails and stitch each pigtail to the side of the head. Add a ribbon bow.
Making the dress
Cut each fat quarter in half, so that each piece is 56cm across x 25cm. One piece will form the skirt and the other piece is for the bodices.
Each dress will consist of one skirt, two front bodices and four back bodices (each bodice is lined).
Stitching the bodice and the skirt
Stitch the side seam of the skirt leaving a gap of 6cm at the top and stitch the shoulder seam of each bodice and press open.
Ribbon and lace
Use the ribbon and lace to decorate the front of one bodice per dress and each skirt. The second bodice will form the lining of each of the dresses.
Lining the bodice
With right sides together stitch as indicated leaving the waist edges open.
Turn right side out and press.
Oversew the side seams together, 4cm from the waist. The unstitched area forms the armhole.
Gather the top edge of the skirt and stitch to the bodice through all layers. You will have two dresses.
Dressing the doll
Place a dress on each doll.
Stitch the back seam of each dress from the skirt to the neckline.
Joining the waist seams
Hand stitch the waist seams together.
Turn up 1cm on the hem of each dress and stitch together. This can be done by hand or machine.
Now your dolls are finished and ready to be played with.