Over the last two years I’ve noticed with pleasure that my topsy-turvy dolls get very popular in the lead up to Christmas. Perhaps it’s because they’re a bit unusual. Of course, topsy-turvy dolls are traditional but they’ve been out of fashion for a long time. Thankfully the trend is changing and now they’re ‘new’ fashion. Many older people who stop to chat at my stall tell me that they had a topsy-turvy doll when they were young, and many have knitted them.
Topsy-turvy, upside-down or double-ended dolls often reflect fairy tale favourites such as Cinders and Cinderella, Captain Hook and Peter Pan, or Red Riding Hood and the wolf dressed up as grandmother. When I designed mine, I knew I couldn’t make a passable version of an animal so I opted to go for ‘Rags to Riches’ which is loosely based on Cinderella. One end of my doll shows a pretty doll with a sad face and work clothes (patches on her skirt and a headscarf, ready to do the chores). The other end shows the same pretty doll with a happy face and a party dress with a necklace, ribbons and a wrist bag in which a personalised card can be put. I try to put a bit of sparkle or pearls in the decoration on the dress and sometimes the happy doll has a sparkly ribbon in her hair, or rosebuds adorning her hair.