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Minerva Crafts for craft suppliesThis 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.

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Upside Down Doll Project

Make an upside down dolly

 Our upside down 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.

Template for doll

Cut out the doll

Cut out doll bodies

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 doll body

Stitch the bodies together leaving the waist open.

Turn right side out and stuff with toy filling.


Stitch dolls together

Stitching reversible doll

Fold under the waist seam allowance on each doll and oversew the two dolls together at the waist.


Preparing the hair

Making hair for a dolly

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.



Making dolls pigtails

Gather the hair into two pigtails and stitch each pigtail to the side of the head. Add a ribbon bow.

Making the dress

Making a reversible dolls 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

Making a dress for a toy doll

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

Decorate a dolls dress

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

Lining a dolls dress

With right sides together stitch as indicated leaving the waist edges open.

Turn right side out and press.


Side seams

Side seams on a dolls dress

Oversew the side seams together, 4cm from the waist. The unstitched area forms the armhole.


Doll's skirt

Sewing a dolls dress

Gather the top edge of the skirt and stitch to the bodice through all layers. You will have two dresses.

Dressing the doll

Making a reverisble doll

Place a dress on each doll.

Stitch the back seam of each dress from the skirt to the neckline.


Joining the waist seams

Sewing a reversible doll together

Hand stitch the waist seams together.


Skirt hem

Hemming a dolls skirt

Turn up 1cm on the hem of each dress and stitch together. This can be done by hand or machine.


Finished reversible doll


Find further toy projects to sew for children here

Sewing toys for children