Found some gloves, made a doll. I’ll show you how I hand-stitched this unicorn with no machine. There is a downloadable free cutting diagram in this post too.
Gloves and socks belong to the same closet drawer, yet glove animals are often neglected in the craft world.
Google sock animals, you get anything from monkey to rabbit, human to alien. Where are the glove plushies?
This post I’m gonna tell you briefly about my glove doll design process, and most importantly how you can make you very own unicorn glove doll.
There is no sewing pattern for this craft tutorial today because every glove is of different proportion and size. Instead, I will provide a free printable pdf of the cutting diagram for handy reference.
How the unicorn glove doll came to be
My sewing machine is a hand me down, scratched up, with a screw loose, literally.
I keep a screwdriver at arm’s reach.
Today, I reached into my stationery drawer, rummaged through the 1,000 pens. To my horror, it’s gone.
My screw driver is gone.
My plus one must have returned things to where they really belong. Screwdriver belongs to the toolbox, you know, under the box of used light bulbs and coil of wires, in our walk-in-closet-the-storeroom.
Then it hit me
As I opened the door to my dark and tightly packed storeroom, something soft hit me on the head.
I looked down. It was a stack of work gloves.
Raw, unbleached, beige with specks of grey. These gloves are coarse and rustic. I love it.
He bought this pack of 5 pairs for an inventory guy at work. This guy has an allergy from stacking boxes. It turns out, he is a temporary staff, and they never met again.
Made to promise never to touch his plants, these gloves are of no use to me… unlike the heaps of oversized tees from the 90s, ribbons from a decade worth of gifts, rice hemp sack, potato nets, socks…
The design of a Unicorn glove doll
Talking about socks. They get all the limelight in the craft world. What about gloves?
Glove is fabric
Glove is fabric, too. Highly elastic knitted unbleached cotton fabric, shaped like a hand.
They beg to be turned into glove animals.
Different from flat pieces of fabric, or reclaimed tee shirts. These knitted gloves can’t be flattened with a swift cut.
A glove has 5 digits of different lengths. I want a doll that utilises this unique quality of a glove.
Plus, a self-imposed challenge of making it zero waste.
I sketched out the design, and a rough plan in using all 5 digits.
It is important that I use only 1 glove, and not a pair to make a doll.
I made a few quick sketches. The obvious choice was a rabbit. But, I think I’ve seen a lot of those. Skip.
A unicorn makes sense as it has an extra horn, which will take up an extra digit.
Zero-waste unicorn glove doll
I made several more sketches of different diagrams with a different cutting pattern. Then i settled on one with the least amount of waste so far.
I’ll be showing you step-by-step, on how to DIY unicorn glove doll, in the following order:
- Horn, Wing, Mane
- Facial Features
Cutting the glove
I tried the glove on for fun, I like how stubby it looks.
Then, like the diagram below, I cut the glove up into small pieces.
The knitted glove is very elastic. The material frayed as soon as I cut into it. Fingers crossed, I cut along the knit columns as closely as possible. I think that reduced fraying, even if only a little.
Glove Doll Body
First, I worked with the biggest pattern piece. Starting with the biggest chunk of work seems to build momentum for any project.
The body and leg piece is the largest area, covering most of the palm and the 3rd and 4th finger.
Turn the pattern inside out. Working on the wrong side.
With 1/8″ allowance, I sewed a running stitch along both sides of the body opening. Working from the neck to the legs.
When done, turn it inside out again, now you have a completed body.
Easy-peasy right? Love how fast it is to make a glove doll compared to rag doll from scratch. The body and legs are practically a given!
I used polyfill here. You can use any soft, airy filling. Nothing too dense as it may be hard to shape the big gaps between the loose knits of the glove.
Now, you have a humanoid softie.
Next, we are going to need a point to connect to the head. Yes, a neck it is.
Thread a needle with 2 threads, start anywhere along the circumference of the neck opening, make a running stitch all the way around.
As you reach the end, which is also the beginning of the round, do not tie a knot.
Instead, pull the thread slowly, gathering the fabric at the opening to about half its original length.
Tie a knot to secure. Make sure it is quite tight so it doesn’t break apart from the next step.
Push the raw edge inwards like the image above.
Ta da. We are done with the biggest part of this unicorn glove doll project.
Put it aside till assembly later.
Sewing the Unicorn Head
Pick up the fabric piece on the lower left of the glove.
The narrow end is the snout, the other, the back of the head.
Again, we are going to sew on the wrong side of the fabric. So, please turn it inside out.
Put a running stitch across the longest opening (like the image below).
On the snout-side, sew the centre half of the opening shut with a few running stitches.
Turn it inside out.
Now you are working on the right side.
Forming the nostrils
Like wrapping a present, fold in the bottom, then the top overlapping it.
Stitch only the overlapped portion with a whipped stitch.
Like the image above, keep the gaps opened at the side. They are the nostrils.
The unicorn head is now ready for stuffing.
As you do so, compare with the body we made earlier on, just so you are happy with the proportions.
Hold the head, repeat the closing stitch you made on the snout side.
Now keep the head aside with the body, while we proceed to all the other attachments.
Glove Doll Arms
The thumb portion gives us the 2 arms.
They are quite small, therefore very difficult to turn.
Therefore,while working on the right side of the fabric, I whipped stitched the arms closed.
No special technique here. As before, Stuff and set aside.
Making the Tail
The tail portion is even skinnier than the arm, and so it should be.
Working on the right side, I used a running stitch fro beginning to end of the tail.
Using a pointy chopstick I frayed the last 2 inches of the tail fabric, to make it look like hair on the tail.
Raw Edge Ears
From the tip of the index finger’s we cut 2 tiny ears.
Of all the pattern pieces for this glove doll, these 2 are the smallest.
Work quickly in a draft-free room, or weigh down with binder clips.
We are leaving the raw edge on the ears to resemble fur.
After cutting according to the diagram, spread the pieces opened.
You have 2 tiny triangles.
Bring the 2 sides of the triangle base to meet in the centre.
Place the ears onto the back of the head.
Whip stitch into place.
The horn made from the little finger’s.
For colour contrast and structure, I twined 4 yellow threads around it like a candy cane.
So far, you have completed:
- head with ears
It’s time to put them together.
Assembling the unicorn glove doll
It’s time to bring all the glove doll parts together.
Working form top to bottom, I ladder stitched the head, arms, horn and tail to the body, in that order.
You have most features in place except for the wings and mane.
No preparation is required for these two.
The wings are fashioned from the wrist part of the glove.
Open the pattern flat so you have a spread.
Align the edge with the centre back of unicorn body, behind the arms.
The mane was added last, it was not part of my original plan.
I added the mane later as I felt there was too much waste.
Though the diagram indicates a wasted portion, it can easily be made into extra layers of the mane. Or should you have an idea what I could do with it please let me know.
Starting from behind the horn, secure it to the head and body using a running stitch.
Fray the edge with a chopstick just like we did with the tail.
Hand-stitch facial features
I used 4 blue threads for the eyes, and 4 pink threads for the mouth.
This my first time making a glove doll. It challenging to design due to its material limitation.
Try your hand at designing your own glove doll, and please, please upload and tag me @noisybeak on instagram.