Amelia's List

the personal blog of amelia lin

DIY Guide: How To Make the Best Shark Hoodie Ever

with 20 comments

shark hoodie

So you want to make a shark hoodie. So did I! For Halloween, because I thought that 1) it would be super cute, and 2) it’s even better because then you can wear it even after Halloween, forever. I don’t know about you but I would totally wear a shark hoodie, all the time.

So if I was gonna wear this thing all the time, I didn’t want it to just be super-glued together—I wanted a legit nice sewn-together hoodie that would last years. I have done some really basic alterations on my sewing machine, but nothing like this before. So then I googled around to get ideas, and I found these shark hoodies:

and I was like… wut, the shark hoodie I imagined in my head was WAY COOLER than this. Please. And some of these are being listed for like $75 on Etsy, kid you not. I said to myself, I’m gonna make a shark hoodie that’s gonna blow these ones out of the water—and then I’m gonna make a *guide* on how I did it, and then imma put it on the Internet so other people can make it too instead of wasting $75 on one of these. So forget about those other shark hoodies! They’re just wannabes. You’re gonna learn how to make the best. Shark. Hoodie. Ever. It took me about a week of evenings spent sewing. And I’ve never made anything like this, so if I can do it, so can you.

Disclaimer: I am so not a professional seamstress and honestly I just kind of made up techniques as I went. I am certain there are more technically correct and efficient ways of achieving what I did and will readily admit that. But hey, mine turned out looking pretty good if you ask me!

Time: 1 week

What it is: Shark hoodie with teeth, eyes, satin-lined mouth, and fin


Get yourself some materials, girl (or boy, we’re inclusive here). Here was my shopping cart at Joann’s before I took it over to the cutting tables, and my purchased items on my bed. Admittedly I bought a lot of extra fabric in case I screwed up really badly and had to redo stuff.

  • Gray hoodie ($15 at Target)
  • 1 yard of the closest matching gray cotton jersey fabric I could find at Joann’s, for the fin
  • 1/2 yard of red satin, for lining the mouth
  • 1/3 yard of white felt, for teeth
  • A pack of batting (not pictured), to stuff the fin
  • An old black t-shirt, for eyes
  • An old white t-shirt, for eyes
  • Gray thread
  • White thread
  • Black thread
  • Red thread
  • A sewing machine
  • Straight pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric pencils
  • Scissors


Make the Best. Shark. Hoodie. Ever.

Measure the inside rim of the hood to figure out how long your strip of teeth needs to be.

Measure out your teeth on two stacked layers of white felt. Trace out the teeth.

Cut out the teeth.

Pin them together and get ready to sew!

Sew them together along the zigzag edge using white thread.

Pin the teeth to the hood.

Try it on and check to make sure it looks the way you want! You’ll want to do this throughout the whole process.

Sew the teeth to the hood with gray thread. I hand sewed this part because it was pretty thick to sew through the hoodie + 2 layers of white felt.

Here’s what it looks like after sewing the teeth to the hood.

Trace out two eyes on paper. My eyes will be 3 parts: white background, black circle, and white highlight, but do yours however you like!

Tape ’em to the hood, put on your hoodie, and make sure you like how they look.

Trace out the eye on your old white t-shirt.

I dotted lightly to mark my line.

Cut out your 2 eyes, but not along the line–cut about 1/2 of an inch of a buffer around your template. This is so you can fold over the edge later to hem it.

Carefully fold over the edge on your marked line, all around each eye, and pin the edges in place. Hem the edge with white thread using your sewing machine.

I used my measuring tape to trace out the black centers of my eyes.

Same thing; cut them out, but with a 1/2 inch buffer around your marked edge.

Same thing; fold over the edges and pin them in place.

Sew those edges down with black thread. I hand sewed these because they were so small but you could machine sew them if you were careful.

Now hand sew those circles onto the white eye shapes with black thread. You could use fabric glue but I wanted to be dead sure those guys were going to stay on there, forever.

Next, I put a towel over them and steam ironed them to flatten them a bit and make em look a little nicer.

Lookin’ a little better.

Cut highlights out of the leftover white felt and sew them on with white thread.

All right, go back to those paper templates you made before. Pin em on the hood and try on your hoodie one more time to be reeeeally sure you know where you want those eyes to go.

Use your templates to mark where you want to pin the eyes and pin em on.

Doesn’t hurt to try your hoodie on one more time. Our resident stuffed shark seems to approve.
shark hoodie

Sew on the eyes with white thread. I hand sewed this part.

Here’s how it looks with the eyes on.

Flip your hoodie inside out and try to get the hood laying as flat as possible, with the two sides lined up as exactly as possible. You’re going to use this shape to trace your template for the inside lining.

Lay your red lining over the hood.

Cut and pin all around until you’ve got your red fabric matching the shape of the folded hood.

Mark with a pencil where the edge is on your red fabric.

Flipped the hood back right side out so you can see how this piece is eventually going to look inside the hood.

Unfold your fabric.

Cut out the template but again, not exactly on the line; leave about 3/4 of an inch buffer all around.

Trace your template and cut out another one, facing the opposite direction, also leaving a 3/4 inch buffer.

Here’s what your 2 pieces should look like.

Lay them on top of each other so the shiny sides are facing in. You’re eventually going to be sewing them together along the edge that I’ve marked here with a tape measure.

Pin the pieces together. I used the lines I’d marked to guide my pinning by matching up the lines. This also means, once I’ve pinned it, I know where the line is that I’ve marked on the inside.

Here’s what it looks like pinned all around the edge that we’re going to be sewing.

Sew along the outside edge, on the line you marked on the inside. I forgot I’d need red thread here so I did it with white thread, but would recommend red thread for this step. Don’t sew all the way to the edge; you’ll notice I left room on either end to fold over the fabric later for hemming.

Here I’ve pinned the lining inside the hood so you can see what it will sort of look like later.

We’ll be hemming these edges next.

Pull that lining back out of your hoodie. Flip it so the shiny side is down, and start folding up the edges along the lines you marked earlier and pinning them.

Here’s what it looks like all pinned.

Hem it with the sewing machine. Again, would recommend red thread here instead of the white I used. Here’s what it looks like with one of the 2 sides of the lining hemmed (sorry, photo shows the other half unpinned instead of pinned like it should be).

When you’re all done hemming, the lining should look like this.

Time to stick it in your hoodie and sew it in!

Pin the lining inside the hood, lining up the center seam of the lining with the center seam of the hood.

Use gray thread to sew straight down the seam of the hood; this will hide your sewing pretty much entirely.

See? :) You can’t even tell I did anything, really.

Here’s what the top inside of the lining (straight above where your forehead would be) looks like at this point so you can see how it’s sewed in.

Now the lining is attached in there, but we need to sew on the sides and bottom of the lining. You should have the sides all pinned down at this point. I think it looks sharper if you made your pieces big enough so that the edge of your red lining can cover up the unfinished edges of the teeth, like I did here.

Sew the bottom edge on with gray thread, going over the seam you already sewed before when you hemmed it.

I hand sewed the sides because it was pretty thick going through the hoodie + 2 layers of white felt + satin, again tracing the same seam I’d sewed before.

Woo! Time to try it on again. Make sure it looks like what you want.

Steam iron the edges of the red lining to get them flat and crisp.

Now for the fin! Lay your hoodie flat, matching up opposing sides as best you can. Trace out a fin you like on paper.

Cut it out and use it to trace out 2 fabric templates on your gray fabric. As usual, we’re going to leave a buffer all around. But this time we’re also going to leave an extra 1 1/2 inches at the base of the fin (the edge where it will attach to the hoodie).

Cut out your templates and pin them to each other. You can see where I’ve marked the outline of the fin in pencil, and the extra fabric I’ve left all around, especially at the base of the fin.

Sew the two pieces of fabric along the outline of the fin with gray thread (again, the line in pencil). *Don’t* sew along the base of the fin. You’re going to leave an opening here to stuff it with batting.
Flip your fin inside out.

Stuff the fin with the batting and pin it shut in a straight line. Now we’ll start trying to figure out the placement you’d like on your hoodie.

You’ll get the most accurate placement if you can fold your hoodie exactly in half and keep it as flat as possible.

Eventually, when you sew it on, you’re going to sew it so the flaps on the bottom of the fin are on either side of your back, like this.

Let’s go ahead and pin it on so we can try on the hoodie and see if we like the placement.

I went for putting it on the lower back. This does have the unfortunate side effect of making it feel rather odd to sit back in a chair, as you have what feels like a tiny pillow stuck in the middle of your back. But what can I say, one must suffer for beauty.

Mark your hoodie and take your fin off your hoodie when you’ve gotten the placement just how you like it. Remember how you pinned your fin shut in a straight line to keep in the batting? Sew along that with gray thread to finally close up your fin and keep the stuffing in.

Then, let’s play our old game of fold-over-the-edges-of-the-flap-pin-it-and-hem-it with gray thread. As you can see I am sewing very close to the edge for these flaps.

Take your nice, sewn-up fin and pin it back to your hoodie. Here’s what it looks like.

As you can see, the flaps are spread and pinned on opposite sides of the fin.

Sew the fin to the hoodie with gray thread along 1) the seam at the base of the fin, and 2) the edge of the flap, always going over the seams you’ve previously sewn.

Do the same for the opposite side of the fin. This is what it looks like when you’re done.

Here’s what it looks like on the inside of the hoodie so you can better see where I sewed, exactly.

Ta da! You are done! Go put on your shark hoodie and be your fabulous self. Go show up those other pathetic shark hoodies.
shark hoodie

If you find my guide helpful to making your own hoodie, leave me a note in the comments and, if you can, a picture of how yours turns out!


Written by ooopsnevermind

Thu 11/08/12 at 3:16 AM

Posted in DIY

Tagged with , , , , , ,

20 Responses

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  1. You have a awesome talent, Thank you for sharing this. You should contact a pattern company, they would probably hire you for you being able to create these pattern. My daughter Kathleen is also a shark nut. You did everything just right. She will love her Christmas present now thanks to you. God Love you and keep up the great work. From a old woman that ran out of idea’s and found you. I will keep your web page here and watch for your other creations. Funny tho, I missed the Dragon post of yours, my son is a Dragon nut and I would really like to see how you fixed a Dragon shirt.


    Fri 09/08/17 at 11:33 PM

  2. […] Did you love the idea of a hilarious novelty sweatshirt like the dinosaur, but dinos aren’t actually your thing? Try transforming yourself (or at least an old sweatshirt) into a ferocious shark instead! We’re getting a total kick of how fun the teeth around the edge of the hood look, and we could see adults and kids alike wearing this design. Check out the full instructions for making it on Amelia’s List. […]

  3. […] Did you love the idea of a hilarious novelty sweatshirt like the dinosaur, but dinos aren’t actually your thing? Try transforming yourself (or at least an old sweatshirt) into a ferocious shark instead! We’re getting a total kick of how fun the teeth around the edge of the hood look, and we could see adults and kids alike wearing this design. Check out the full instructions for making it on Amelia’s List. […]

  4. Lovely tutorial and just what I needed too since a person I hold dear has birthday soon and they love sharks to death but the hoodies out there are such disappointments. I’m glad I found this! (now I only have to make it in like… 4 days XD” (also, we live in the same flat so this will be very interesting) … Just a quick question: Do you think it is possible to do this without like.. a sewing-machine, just by hand and die hard determination? (I might get a hold of one but I’m not sure :’D)


    Mon 02/22/16 at 6:04 PM

    • Oh goodness, I don’t know that I would have tried to do all the sewing by hand! You might be able to do it with “die hard determination.” :) Or you could just use a hot glue gun and do it neatly. Did this end up working out? Apologies for my late response!


      Sat 04/23/16 at 3:18 PM

  5. Made my shark-loving niece a shark hoodie based on your tutorial for Christmas, and it was a huge hit! I made a couple of changes – I made teeth out of white fleece (sewed them together and turned them inside out) for better washability, and I moved the fin up toward the hood a bit so it wouldn’t be quite so hard to sit down. Thanks so much for your post!

    Ray C. Freemna III

    Sat 12/27/14 at 2:27 PM

  6. This is the most JAWsome hoodie I’ve ever seen. FINtastic! Can’t wait to make my own, and wear it every single day. I’ll probably be caught sleeping in it. :)


    Tue 11/04/14 at 2:08 PM

  7. Hey I have a question. Does this handle washing at all? And if so, how should it be washed? I’ve never washed anything with felt/batting/silk and so on, so I just didn’t want to accidentally destroy it once it gets dirty.

    Thank you so much for the tutorial, it’s been so easy to follow and I’ve never done a project like this before. The shopping list at the beginning was great too, this was hands-down the best DIY tutorial I’ve ever followed. :)


    Sun 10/27/13 at 4:00 PM

    • Thank you so much for the kind words!! I am so glad it’s been useful to people, when I wrote it I really didn’t expect many people to ever read it, so I am flattered.

      I have washed this hoodie. Probably ideally you’d hand wash it, but I put it in the machine on the delicates setting and let it air dry after. The teeth did get some fuzz on them and I used a lint shaver to clean them up a bit. The fin, which I was most worried about, seemed to dry just fine and was still nice and fluffy. I used synthetic batting, not cotton batting, not sure if that would make a difference. Hope that helps!

      Also, I’d love to post pictures if you’re willing to share! You can contact me here:


      Mon 10/28/13 at 12:27 AM

  8. You have the best pattern EVER I agree that everything else out there is definitely just for one Halloween night. You saved this Grandma totally. We will have the second best shark ever out there on Halloween (next to you) and he will continue to prowl the waters long after the holiday!

    knitfrogknit (sewripsew)

    Sat 10/26/13 at 11:23 AM

  9. Great job!!


    Sun 10/20/13 at 7:28 PM

  10. Used this tutorial to make a shark hoodie for Halloween, it turned out amazing!! Added a few extra details to it, I’d love to post a pic. Just not sure how. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this!


    Sun 10/13/13 at 11:22 PM

  11. Absolutely adorable!!


    Wed 08/14/13 at 7:59 PM

  12. This is fantastic!! The “buffer” you name it…is actually a seam allowance. Great job, my dear!


    Mon 08/12/13 at 8:25 AM

  13. Great tutorial! Your finished hoodie looks very polished. I love it!


    Sat 08/10/13 at 8:27 PM

  14. […] [how to make a shark hoodie] […]

  15. […] [how to make a shark hoodie] […]

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