An Easy Way to Turn a Sock into a Pair of Doll Tights

Although my tights pattern for both the Cabbage Patch dolls and 18 inch dolls are really quick and easy patterns to make up, sometimes it can be a little tricky to find just the right stretch fabric.  So this month I am sharing a tutorial on making doll tights from a ladies sock that one of my wonderful customers, Peggy, has sent me.  Peggy loves to create doll clothes using socks and was kind enough to send me some step-by-step pictures and instructions.   She says, ‘The nice thing about it is that it is easy to find so many great pairs of socks in really great colours and designs.’

I am sure you will enjoy this tutorial as much as I did.

Peggy doll clothes socks1

1. New ladies knee sock lying flat


Peggy doll clothes socks 2

2. Pull the sock onto the doll so that the top of the sock is at waist level, mark the bottom of the foot and crotch level with pins


Peggy Doll Clothes socks 3

3. Take the sock off the doll and lay it flat again before cutting. Top pin marks the crotch, bottom pin marks bottom of foot. Cut across the sock at the bottom pin level


Peggy Doll Clothes socks 4

4. Move the crotch level pins out to the sides and cut up the side creases from the bottom to the level of the crotch pin marks on both sides (about 6-7” for an American Girl doll). The sock is now split up the sides to crotch level


Peggy Doll Clothes socks 5

5. Turn the sock so that two sides are formed to make legs


Peggy Doll Clothes socks 6

6. Turn the piece inside out and pin across the bottom, up the inside of that leg, across the crotch and down the opposite side again


Peggy Doll Clothes socks 7

7. Serge a rolled hem across the bottom, up the inside of the leg, across the crotch area and down the other side. Be careful to catch all the fabric well in the crotch area so that it doesn’t run, sometimes it is necessary to go over that area a second time


If you don’t have a serger, sew using a small zigzag stitch or knit stitch.  I would also recommend dropping the cutting blade if you use the serger.

If you want to make tights without feet, Peggy finishes the lower edge with the rolled hem the length she wants before sewing the leg seams.

Peggy Doll Clothes socks 8

8. Turn to the right side and put on your doll. Tights fit doll beautifully. Natural ribbing top band of the knee sock becomes the waist band of the tights


Peggy Doll Clothes socks 9

9. Stripy socks make stunning tights

Thanks so much Peggy for sharing your tips on sewing doll tights from a ladies sock, I’m sure there will be lots of people out buying colourful ladies socks to turn into cute tights for their dolls this Christmas.


Happy Sewing


By Rosie Saw

23 responses to “An Easy Way to Turn a Sock into a Pair of Doll Tights”

  1. Crystal

    This is a wonderful and creative idea!! I am going to have to try this. Thanks Peggy for sharing with Rosie and thanks Rosie for sharing with us!

  2. Cherrylmaree

    I love this idea..even my little grand-daughters ( 9 & 6 ) will be able to make these…clever lady. thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas to everybody.

  3. Sophia

    Thank you so much for this really clever idea. My eldest granddaughter, who has just learned to sew, is making clothes for her younger sister who has an American Doll so this is a perfect project for her to use up all their one type socks that the “dryer” has eaten the matching one or the one sock that doesn’t have a hole in it and doesn’t match any other kind. Great way to recycle!!

  4. Cheryl

    Thank you for this wonderful idea. I have a request for anyone who has made these tights. I want to make some for my granddaughter’s American Girl Doll but I don’t have her doll to measure. Can anyone provide a length and crotch length for tights with feet and without feet?

    1. Peggy Stirling

      If I was at home I would give you the exact measurements, but I am out of the country for another week or so and the best I can do is to have you look at the photos #7 & #8. It is of the finished pair of tights. By fluke I managed to place the doll and tights on my cutting mat that is measured out in inches and half inches. You will get a good idea of the correct size by counting out the inches marked off next to the doll. I am thinking that from the top of the sock to the bottom you will need to cut it at the 11 inch mark. Then measure from the bottom to the crotch level at 6 or 7 inches. Since the socks stretch so easily in both directions I wouldn’t panic about having it totally exact. Good luck with it. I would love to see how yours turn out. There are more great ideas for using knee socks and shorter length socks and I hope they’ll be coming soon in Rosie’s blogs. There are so many options and fun things to make with socks. Good luck with it.

      1. Pam Whitaker

        Peggy if you are going to do much sewing, go to Walmart or Target and buy one of their 18″dolls. Strip the doll and you have a perfect model to go by!

  5. Cheryl@ Sew Can Do

    Great idea & tutorial. I’ve pinned this to try later! Thanks for sharing.

  6. pmb

    I cut crotch at 4″ and leg at 7″ total length 11″. The width is 1& 3/4 wide.

    I also make leggings = reduce leg length by 2″ and hem.

  7. Susan townsend

    What a great idea I rather like the stripped socks. What a great idea! I will have to make a pair for my Grandaughters new American Doll
    I have spoent 2 months making clothes for her doll and I have so many packages its crazy. I klike to wrap individually so it looks like more and it looks like enough for 10 dolls :-) But again thank you for sharing.


    Susan, I did the same thing last Christmas for both of my granddaughters. They each had 27 different complete outfits and then I bought storage trunks and accessories (hangers, etc.) to store everything in. I wrapped each outfit separately and placed them inside the wrapped trunk. They were thrilled. This year I made more stuff for them all year long. I did a lot of playing around with different ideas that were inspired by things I found online and came up with the knee socks into tights idea among several other sock transformations that will soon be shared in some of Rosie’s future blogs.
    I know your granddaughter will be as enchanted as mine were last year. This year I bought them each their own sewing machines and they will learn to sew their own doll clothes from Rosie’s tutorials. They are very excited abut learning to sew and at 7 & 8 years old have already started on projects.


    Hi Mrs.Rosie ,
    I just finished my first pair of tights and they look great.
    It was simple and I am certienly going to make another pair but not right now I am about to go make a sarong
    Thank You for all the help you have given me, I have always ENJOYED sewing but now I am LOVING sewing.
    Thank You sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    Much . I love your dolls .I got Caroline For christmas , my mom won her in a giveaway.What are your dolls names?
    Amy L.

  10. Deana

    I love this idea! Just made a few pairs with my daughter and used the leftover toe pieces to make a cap. Super cute. Thanks for this.

  11. Glenda

    Thanks for the legging directions! They look great!

  12. Mary Rose

    I saw this and tried it straight away! thanks so much :)

  13. mandie

    super cute!!! love it! :)

  14. Alicia

    Thanks so much! I just made two pairs of leggings from one pair of socks! Your tutorial was perfect and so easy to follow! Thanks!

    1. Alicia

      I even used the leftover sock end to make a cute beanie to match!

  15. Pam Whitaker

    Alicia, the left over can be also used to make a tube top.

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