DIY Guide: How To Make the Best Shark Hoodie Ever
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
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.
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.
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!
Trace out the eye on your old white t-shirt.
I dotted lightly to mark my line.
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.
Same thing; cut them out, but with a 1/2 inch buffer around your marked edge.
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.
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.
Unfold your fabric.
Cut out the template but again, not exactly on the line; leave about 3/4 of an inch buffer all around.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
As you can see, the flaps are spread and pinned on opposite sides of the fin.
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!