Thursday, February 24, 2011

Topsy Turvy School Project

Well I thought that school couldn't be more time consuming than it had been in the last year and a half but I was wrong. It turns out taking two literature classes at once is MUCH more time consuming than math and history. Mostly it is because of the amount of reading and writing that is required in a literature class. I suppose I need to get used to it though, being an English major and all. *sigh*

In addition to all the reading and papers both my literature classes require a creative project that relates to the texts we are reading. The first one I have completed is for my American Literature class. We are reading texts that were written from the beginning of "America", including Native American and slave era samples, all the way to the 19th century. Of course it is a no brainer that any creative project for me will include some kind of doll or sewing project as it is what I know how to do best. I thought it would be interesting to make a doll that would replicate something a slave child or slave era child would play with.

I did a little research as well as asked opinions from my doll peeps on what kind of dolls were known to exist during the time. One suggestion I received was for a topsy turvy doll. If you haven't heard of a topsy turvy doll, basically they are dolls that have two sides with a dress or outfit that covers the other side. I don't know if that is a good explanation so go here to see some modern options. You can also see better pictures and buy patterns for them here.

For my doll I made my own pattern and it was MUCH harder than I originally thought it was going to be. The difficulty was in the dress. First of all the dress has to look finished on both sides and has to be able to turn which required keeping the top of the dress and skirt separate. I ended up hand sewing much of the doll's outfit which was a bit time consuming. I wanted the doll to look homemade and old so I tried not to stress out too much about the little flaws here and there.

If you are interested in the history of the topsy turvy doll, including the speculation over why the doll would be black on one side and white on the other you can read about them here.

Without further ado here is my doll! Come back soon to see the next doll I am making for my other class. I don't want to give too much away but the class is Shakespeare.... Bye for now!


  1. Hi Casie!!!! She/They look great!!!! Best wishes on all your classes!!!! hugs

  2. It's very cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:))