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I've been designing and making textile figures for many years. I have also recently taken up knitting and crochet again after a lengthy break  and I'm LOVING IT!  Textile Creations UK (http://textilecreationsuk.blogspot.com ) is my new website/ Blog, which includes all my knitted, crocheted, sewn, woven textile creations.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Topsy -Turvy Upside Down Cloth Dolls

It was at the middle of the 19th Century that doll manufacturers started producing dolls with a head at either end. A wide skirt attached to the doll's waist hid whichever head was at the bottom. The clothes were therefore, sewn on and not removable and the arms were flap hinged to enable them to hang easily from the shoulder, so as not to stick out from underneath the dress. These dolls were often designed to tell stories incorporating several characters or simply to provide more versatility. Some souvenir costume dollmakers used this method to produce pretty stockinette-faced dolls, one dressed in Spanish costume, but when turned over a Dutch doll was revealed.
The variations of these upside down rag dolls seem endless: Cinderella in rags/ball gown; black doll/white doll; happy/sad doll; awake/sleeping dolls; winter clothes/summer clothes; day clothes/ nightgown.

When making such dolls, you need to make sure that the skirts are long enough to cover the hands and head of the doll beneath and you must ensure that the hairstyles are secured so that they don't flop down below the hem line.

In the mountains of North Carolina craftsmen there were also known for these doubled ended dolls to illustrate the characters in their stories. Some of the dolls would have 2 characters some would have 3 characters all into one doll. In Cinderella, for example, there would be a doll pair representing Cinderella and her two wicked step sisters and another pair representing the step mother and the Fairy Godmother.   


Alice in Wonderland  set of 3 dolls: Alice, Mad hatter and Queen of Hearts . Made from stockinette created by a company called 'FUN TO LEARN',Co. Down, Northern Ireland. makers of excellent Topsy-Turvy Nursery Rhyme dolls and other fabric made toys.

Snow White/Wicked Step Mother pair. Made from stockinette. Made by 'FUN TO LEARN',Co. Down, Northern Ireland

FOR SALE £25.00 GBP (see below)

 Little Red Riding Hood double-ended dolls made in France. This version even has legs: Grandma, Red and Wolf. 

FOR SALE £30.00 GBP (see below)

Cinderella Rags to Riches 
Pattern Available

There's no high-tech way to buy items from me on-line. It's a question of emailing me with: Item Description; QTY; Country to be sent to; Listed Price (as shown beside each listed item) and I will check the postage charges and send you a payment request via Pay Pal, unless you are in the UK and wish to pay by cheque in pounds sterling (GBP).