Making Socks ~ Tutorial for American Girl dolls

You asked for it, so I will give you “my” version of how I make the socks for my dolls. This tutorial will be shown for the American Girl dolls, but any doll size could be adapted. I’m sure there are lots of different ways to do them, and I didn’t look at anyone else’s way so I could say this is how “I” do them. This tutorial is pretty simple to follow and can be used with little girls tights to make thigh highs or anklets. The thigh highs just go up higher and have an elastic stretch lace piece added before the seam is stitched up the back side, to keep them up.

I found this 6 pack of socks at Walmart for $4.97. Get the biggest size in the socks because you get “more” sock fabric for the same amount of money…

I turned the sock inside out and took it to the machine, placing a piece of paper behind it. I took a pin and placed it where I wanted my stitching at the toe area on the sock to stop. You’ll just have to find what works best for the length you want. It’s called trial and error till you know. I don’t really have a pattern guide…I just stitch in the shape of a foot and ankle.

After it’s stitched, it should look something like this…

Turn it over and gently tear the paper backing off.

Trim the extra sock fabric off with scissors and try it on your dolls foot. If you need to make any adjustments, make them now. If you like the way it fits, you can zig zag the edges on your machine.

Take the one sock you are happy with and lay it on top of the other sock, putting a pin at the bottom like the first one.

When you turn them, they should look something like this…

Now if you want to wear them like this, you are all done…


However if you want to wear them like anklets, you’ll need to turn the wrong side out so your scalloped top edge will be on the right side and the seam in the back will be on the underside. 

The raw edge will show on the bottom of the foot and back at the heel but the shoe covers it. Here are a couple more pictures to show you the difference.

So here’s the skinny on the socks… if you want to wear your socks like crew socks, wear the seam to the inside…If you want to wear them like anklets, you’ll have to turn them wrong side out so the turned down cuff won’t have the seam showing in the back. Get it?

If you find a decorative stretch lace, you can stitch it to the top of the sock before the back seam is stitched in place. Just thought I’d throw that in if you wanted to get creative on me…

Okay, who is making socks today???

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Charlotte A. says:

    I’ll definitely be making some socks but it will have to wait a little while since I have a long day at work. You make it look so incredibly simple. I’m sure there has to be a learning curve but it still seems so simple. Thank you so much for sharing your method and putting it into a tutorial for us.
    Hope you have a good day!
    Take care.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Charlotte,
      I’m glad the tutorial on the socks might be something you can use… I hope your day wasn’t TOO long… and you go to enjoy your dolls just a little bit.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. The Ides of March. That’s today. It sounds so ominous, but it’s just the 15th, and every month has one.
    With so much snow falling (elsewhere, not here), it’s a great day for a sock tutorial. For Noel, you’ll have to find some very thin fabric, I imagine.
    Can you link auctions on Ebay? I’m supposing the sisters’ dresses will be photographed together and separately but auctioned separately and a few minutes apart?
    I love the jacket idea from yesterday, especially with Easter coming, and I too am looking forward to the hat tutorial. It’s definitely time to add a Tutorial category to things we can look up and find on the blog.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Marilyn,
      Today, March 15th, was actually the day that our dear Scruffy died, 2 years ago, and it’s also the day, Reuben was born… 2 years ago. One died and one born on the same day. George didn’t realize that until we had Reuben for maybe 2-3 weeks, when he saw Reuben’s birth date on his papers.
      I’m trying to figure out what to do about the auctions… have them separate or together? I’d like to see how the sister sets do, but what if someone really wanted just one of the dresses…I’m in a quandary about what to do.
      I’m running late today, so I better get back to my sewing…
      Thanks for your thoughts, Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Thank You!!! that was interesting…. I’ll have to go ‘sock shopping’ soon! I’m sure I can do it this way! 🙂

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Mary,
      I can just see everyone sitting at their sewing machine making socks in the next few days!
      I’m glad you liked it…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Walmart is going to have a run on socks and will be wondering why? Love this and your socks.
    No sun today in the sunny place. Maybe even a few sprinkles.

    • I usually use the pointy tip where the big toes goes. Then, the seam is on the inside of the sock rather than up the back. I do that with tights too. I really like how the sock top is the decorative part and no elastic needed.

      • Jeanne W says:

        HI Joy,
        I don’t understand what you mean by the toe…can you send me a picture of how you do it? You might be right about the run on socks in Walmart… that would be funny if we knew for sure… :o)
        Thanks Joy,
        Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Vicki Avery says:

    Wow! Gorgeous hats yesterday! Can’t wait to learn more. And now a lesson on making socks! So much inspiration! Thank you!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Vicki,
      I”m glad you enjoyed the hats yesterday and the socks today! Happy to inspire you….
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Linda Doyle says:

    Oh thank you for that, Jeanne! I wonder why socks for dolls are so expensive, and wished I could make my own, so here I found out how!
    Does anyone remember back in the day when we were little, and had dolls come with socks that stretched out the minute you took them off and never got back to their normal self? That was so very frustrating for me!!! I guess that was back before socks had any “give” to them.

    This sounds easy to do, and I’m going to give it a try. Thank you very much!!

    • I remember well, the Ginny socks. I’m thinking they may have been made from rayon, but they never remained the same once stretched.

      • Charlotte Trayer says:

        Yes, they were rayon, which has no give and no memory! And other dolls besides Ginny had them!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI LInda,
      I DO remember those socks on the dolls. If you took them off, they were pretty much worthless. I bet lots of dollies got new socks today!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Thank you so much for the sock tutorial and I know I could adapt it for thigh highs. I bought Samantha a couple of pairs of lace thigh highs a few years ago, but now I can make my own!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Laura,
      I was happy to show everyone how to do the socks…and I’m sure you can manage how to make some thigh highs… Glad you enjoyed the post today!

  8. Those are really cute! I like the way you used the top edge of the sock to make a finished edge for the doll socks. One question–you said to zigzag edge, but can it be serged?

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Carolyn,
      Yes, the edge can certainly be serged… I just used the zig zag because I thought everyone might have that on their machine. I’m glad you liked the tutorial…
      Blessings Jeanne

  9. Charlotte Trayer says:

    Hi Jeanne, and thanks so much for the socks tutorial!! I’ll be printing it off to add to some of my other general doll-sewing info.

    One thought I had, a trick I learned years ago at Stretch & Sew (I was a certificated instructor), and it seems we used it for a particular application (a ribbed collar, I think, but that was over 30 years ago, so memory is a bit fuzzy), but only that. However, I could see using it for this, and it may only be doable on larger doll socks, not the small ones.

    If you want to preserve the top edge and be able to fold down the top, you could do the pinning as you suggest (right sides together) but start stitching from about where you want the cuff foldline to start, and stitch to the toe. Turn the sock right side out, kind of finagle the edges out by the cuff and sew from the cuff edge to about where you started the previous sewing. Don’t overlap, though. You might even wish to make a Tiny nip in the seam allowances at that point, so the cuff part SAs will lay flatter while you stitch them. Zigzag each part separately, of course, turn the sock right side out and turn the cuff down. Voila! You have a finished seam showing completely down the foot! (you might want to try it on a scrap to see if it will work for you, and if you like the effect.)

    Do this only if you know the socks will only be worn with the cuff turned down, though!!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Charlotte,
      I actually have done it that way before but thought it might be easier to teach it this way first. I didn’t do the little clip though…I’ll have to give that a try.
      Thanks so much…
      Blessings, Jeanne

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