Monday, May 11, 2015

Hammerhead Shark Plushie Pattern and Tutorial

I know, I know, it's not Shark Week for another couple of months...but what can I say, I was still high on the thrill of having done so much cute sewing for the SHB Sew-Along. Speaking of the sew-along, we'll be doing a roundup and announcing the winners by the end of the week. It's been ridiculously difficult choosing because of how good the entries are! We wish we could give prizes to everyone, but alas, we must try to narrow it down to three winners.

Like these three sharks. Each shark represents a category? 

Anyway, I didn't know what to sew next, so I figured I might as well clean up my hammerhead shark plushie pattern. I spent a whole naptime digging through my box of self-drawn patterns, only to realize that I must have recycled the original pattern pieces, because who needs more than one hammerhead shark? This meant I had to redraw and retest a new pattern, which resulted in two more sharks: the red one was a little longer and skinnier than looked proportional, so I had to make the pink one to test my modifications. Yay, a trilogy! I love trilogies. Although, a trilogy of shark sounds like it might be on the menu of a very un-politically correct, not-at-all-environmentally-minded exotic meats restaurant.

The final pattern and brief instructions can be downloaded here, and I ask that if you link to it, you link to this blog post and not the direct download link. As always, any sharks that you make from this pattern should be for personal, non-commercial use only, i.e. please don't go selling these sharks at craft fairs and such.

If you're an experienced sewer/plushie-maker, it should be a relatively quick project; I finished my second shark, from cutting to sewing the side closed, all in an hour,  so when SHB woke up there was a new toy to chew/lick/suck on. I guess in that way, the trilogy of shark is on his menu.

If you've never made a plushie before or just want a step-by-step tutorial, I took the time to photograph the making of the last shark.

1) Sew mouth onto ventral (belly) piece. 
2) Sew fin pieces. Put the mirrored pieces right sides together (RST), sew, trim, and then flip. 
3) Place the dorsal pieces RST and sew A-B, the eyestalk edge.
This is what it should look like after you've sewn the pieces together. 
4) Sew the eyes onto the eyestalk over the A-B seam.
Mine is just a plain black circle, but you can also make a more standard eye with a black pupil on a white eyeball. 
5) Pin and baste the dorsal fin in place... 
...and sew all the way from point C down the back, around the tail, and ending at the dot on the pattern. Backstitch.
6) Pin and baste the side fins onto the ventral piece.
This looks so weird, doesn't it?
There, it looks more normal with the dorsal part flipped down. 
7) Sew the dorsal part to the ventral piece, leaving a gap in the side between the two dots. Backstitch. 
You'll use this gap to turn and stuff the shark. 
8) Turn right side out...
...and stuff! Use a chopstick to poke the filling into the eyestalks and tail first, then plump up the rest of the body. 
9) Ladder stitch the side gap closed.  
10) You're done! Enjoy your new sharkie friend!

All the sharks posing with the shark panel on SHB's quilt. 

Part of me is very tempted to make fifty more sharks from all my fleece scraps (sharks in every color of the rainbow!), and another part of me (the saner, more reasonable part, to my husband's relief) says there are better things I could be doing with my time (and our available storage space). So as much as I enjoy mass producing plushies, I will refrain (at least until SHB is old enough to request more, at which point I will happily acquiesce). But for those of you who don't already have two sharks too many, I hope you enjoy making one (or twenty) so that I can live vicariously through you!

Or maybe the pink and blue shark could get together and make lots of little baby sharks, while the goofy-looking red shark looks on like the most clueless third wheel ever... "Dude, can't you take a hint?"


  1. Too cute! I feel like I'll need to make one of these. My husband likes sharks, and I do actually have a little Dr. Seuss-ish book about sharks that my mom got for Hobbit last Christmas because of that. (I'm all about plushies that go with books.) Do you think this would work with fabric that isn't fleece? I found another free pattern online for a whale made out of denim, and I do have a few pairs of ratty garden center jeans that need recycling. So I was thinking it would be cute to use those for both plushies!

    1. Yes, I love toys that go with books! I'm not sure about using non-stretch fabrics for this, as I've never tried it, but theoretically it should still work!

  2. Your creativity is boundless, and the pictures of SHB always leave me smiling. :-)

  3. Although I don't exactly need a hammerhead shark plushie, I might make one to keep my plush Cthulu and octopus company! Thanks for the pattern and the detailed tutorial!

    1. Oooh, a plush Cthulu! Yes, I think they need friends :)

  4. By the time SHB turns 7, you will average a kids birthday party a month. These plushies, actually any of your plushies are ideal gifts. Ask me how I know...perhaps not!

    Little bags, dress up costumes, customised tshirts, even quillows are all excellent gifts too.

    1. Haha yikes, I guess I can look forward to that?

  5. This is adorable! I need to make one for my nephew. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Thanks for this pattern! Very cute, will definitely need to make my nephew one and I think my daughter will need one too !

    1. Everyone needs a shark friend in their life! :D

  7. Oh, these are way too cute, hoping to squeeze in time to make one for little D.

    1. Or maybe Super Ruby needs a Super Shark sidekick?

  8. Oh, these are way too cute, hoping to squeeze in time to make one for little D.


Thank you for taking the time to tell me your thoughts! I appreciate reading them and I try to reply to most, if not all, comments, especially when they are questions. I ask that you keep your comments polite, and if you're a spammer, don't bother because your comment will just be deleted! Also, if you're commenting on a post that's more than two weeks old, it will be moderated.