Almost any “quick” project I undertake turns out to be another protracted, unfinished project. I suffer setbacks, or interruptions occur, or I am otherwise sidetracked. So, when I determined that Hazel, the American Girl doll who is enjoying her first holiday season with my great-grandniece, needed some outfits for the holidays, I knew that I had to keep it simple and go for quantity over quality. I settled on some “ugly sweaters” made from holiday socks as “just the thing.” For quick tips and how-tos, I turned to YouTube, where girls have posted very amateur video tutorials for each other on “no sew” doll clothes from socks.
|My favorite -- from fuzzy socks|
In theory, it should work to cut the foot off a woman’s sock and with a couple of snips for armholes make a sweater or dress for an 18-inch doll. However, I have found that it’s asking a lot for a sock to stretch over the AG doll’s body, and then it’s not very attractive. The little girl demonstrating this technique came to the same conclusion. Stretching the leg of a sock over her doll “Katherine” – and none too gently, I might add – she surveyed the result and said, “Hmmm. I am not a fan of this,” proving what I already knew – flimsy little socks just aren’t going to work. The little girl enthusiastically continued her tutorial anyway: “Don’t throw any part of the sock away,” she said. “Be creative. Make a hat or a headband. Be creative!”
So, with her encouragement and some ideas of my own, I pulled a couple pairs of holiday socks from my drawer. I love holiday socks and I used to wear them, but eventually I heeded the wisdom shared by my mother-in-law: such socks constrict the flow of blood in our legs and should not be worn. Anyway, I had socks to donate for experimentation and an idea on how to make a sweater that might work, so I set out to be creative.
|Two sock tops|
I cut the foot off of each of a pair of socks. Next, I cut the legs vertically according to the design on the sock. (Well, okay, I muffed that on the first sock.) Then I opened each section flat and matched them up, right sides together. (The band will be the neck opening.) Then I sewed the two sections together at the sides, leaving an opening of at least 1 ½ inches for the armhole. (A fairly wide armhole is necessary to accommodate the doll’s open hand.) That’s pretty much all there is to it, except that I shaped the shoulder a little better and hemmed the armholes and the bottom.
It’s a quick way to make some doll clothes, but once you cut the sock, I’m afraid it might continue to stretch and lose shape. But then, it’s okay if these little ugly sweaters don’t last forever. One thing leads to another. Today I’ll finish the project by “quickly” stitching up some stretch pants. KW