Can you believe we are already on Day 8 of our 12 Days of Christmas Freebies!? Last year, one of our most popular freebies was the Mermaid Tail Blanket and we have received countless requests for a modification to turn the Mermaid Tail into a shark. We’ve heard your cries, so today we are bringing you a free pattern and tutorial to create a Shark Tail Blanket! The pattern is available in dolly size and 2 kids sizes and sews up pretty quickly. These awesome blankets are a HUGE hit for gift-giving and are perfect for practically every kid on your list!
Sizing is very forgiving because the blanket is intended to have a loose, comfortable fit. I will list finished measurements at the end of the post. You can use fleece, minky, sweatshirt fleece, flannel or even a quilting cotton. These blankets are not tight, so you could easily line it (just cut 2 main blankets) or add batting to the tail or fin if you want more body/weight there.
Grab your free pattern pieces here. If you need help putting the pattern together, pop over to the faqs and troubleshooting page or ask in the facebook group . Print and assemble the pattern. I’m going to use my serger for a lot of the construction. If you don’t have a serger and are using fleece or minky, get your walking foot out! It will help reduce slipping/pulling and feed the fabric through your sewing machine more evenly.
Fabric – 54″-60″ wide. Recommended fleece, cuddle/minky, sweatshirt fleece, etc. I suggest washing your fabric before you begin to pre-shrink & help prevent color bleeding in the future. Fabric requirements below do not account for extreme shrinkage, fabric cut off grain, pattern matching, OR fabric that is less than 54″ wide.
Children’s Shark Tail Blanket
- Main Blanket – 1 & 1/8 yards for Child or 1 & 5/8 for Older Child
- Tail & Fin – 7/8 yard
- Cuff – 1/3 yard
- Teeth – 1/8 yard
Dolly Shark Tail Blanket – I usually use scraps from my kid-sized Shark/Mermaid Tail blankets to make the dolly tail. If you are making a Dolly blanket only or wish to buy fabric separately, I’ve included fabric requirements below for Dolly only.
- Main Blanket – 1/2 yard
- Tail & Fin – 1/4 yard
- Cuff – 1/4 yard
- Teeth – 1/8 yard
Basic Sewing Supplies
- scissors and/or rotary cutter, pins/wonderclips, coordinating thread, pinking shears (optional), turning tool or chopstick.
All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise stated
I recommend reading through the instructions entirely at least once before beginning your project!
Print & assemble pattern and cut out all pieces:
- 2 shark tails on the fold
- 2 shark fins, mirror images
- 2 sets of shark teeth
- 2 cuffs
- 2 main blankets
Measurements for Main Blanket & Cuffs are printed on pattern pieces.
Now we need to shape our tail. Lay both main blanket pieces together in front of you, and fold in half widthwise.
Lay your Main Cutout pattern piece in the bottom corner. Be sure you do not place the pattern piece on the fold.
Cut piece away through all 4 layers. You could do the cutout on each main blanket piece separately if your fabric is too thick or moving around too much.
Now both of your Main Blanket pieces should be shaped like this:
Set aside for now.
Find horizontal centers of both Shark Teeth Pieces and both Cuffs. Aligning center points and long edges, place teeth on cuff pieces – both teeth and cuffs right side up. The teeth will be 1/2″ short on each side to reduce bulk. Pin in place.
Carefully sew along side and top edges of teeth, leaving long bottom edge unsewn. I used a straight stitch to attach teeth, but you can also use a small zigzag or satin stitch to applique teeth on.
Both cuff pieces should look like this once teeth are sewn on.
Lay both cuff pieces in front of you, right sides up, teeth along the top edges pointing down.
Flip one cuff onto the other, Right Sides Together. Pin or clip down the side seams.
Sew down each side seam with a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Fold the top edges of the cuff down, enclosing side seams and aligning raw edges. The teeth should now be at the bottom of the cuff, pointing upwards towards the fold. Set aside.
Grab both of your shark fin pieces and place them Right Sides together.
Pin or clip around both curved edges, leaving the straight bottom edge open.
Sew around both curved edges. Trim the seam allowance and clip the corner.
Turn Right Side out and poke the point out using a chopstick or turning tool.
Locate one of your main blanket pieces and lay it in front of you Right Side up. Measure up 1″ from where the blanket starts to taper in, and place the fin Right Side Down. The bottom edge of the fin should be placed at that 1″ mark. Be sure your fin is curving downwards.
Baste fin in place and locate your other Main Blanket piece.
Place Main Blanket pieces Right Sides together, sandwiching the fin in the middle. Pin or clip along the sides.
Sew down each side seam, leaving the top and bottom edge open. Be sure to catch the fin in the side seam.
Place your Main Blanket in front of you, Wrong Sides Out. Now grab your cuff that we prepared in Step 2. With Raw edges facing upwards, slide the cuff into the Main Blanket with right sides together. Your Shark Teeth should be touching the right side of the Main Blanket.
Match up side seams and align raw edges of the cuff with the raw top edge of the Main blanket. Pin or clip around the opening.
Sew the cuff to the main blanket.
Once cuff is attached, set aside.
Locate both Shark Tail pieces and place them Right Sides together. Pin or clip around all curved edges, leaving the straight top edge open.
TIP: If you want your tail to be open, but want decorative topstitching, be sure to do it now before you sew the tail pieces together.
Sew around all curved edges, leaving the straight top edge open. Trim seam allowance and notch the curves. I like to use my pinking shears to trim & notch at the same time!
Flip Shark Tail right side out and poke out the corners with a chopstick or other turning tool,
Now is the time to add decorative stitching or topstitching on your shark tail. DO NOT add decorative topstitching through both layers if you would like your tail to be open.
Now we will attach the shark tail to the main blanket. Lay your Main Blanket in front of you, Wrong Sides Out. Then place the Shark Tail below it with points facing upwards, Right Sides Out.
Insert the Shark Tail up into the Main Blanket and align the raw straight edge of the Shark Tail with the raw straight edge of the Main Blanket. Pin or Clip through all 4 layers. This will close your tail. If you would like your tail to be open, skip down to the next area with highlighted text.
Sew through all 4 layers.
If you would like to keep your tail open – insert the tail as described above, but pin/clip around the opening rather than through all 4 layers; similar to how we pinned around the opening when we attached the cuff. Then, instead of sewing through all 4 layers at once, only sew through the 2 layers in the round.
Flip your Shark Tail Blanket right sides out, and we are all finished!
Now, proceed to make a Shark Tail blanket for every Shark-loving boy or girl on your list! And don’t forget about dolly, too. 😉
Check out these amazing Shark Tail blankets our M4M team & testers created!
As always, we would love for you to share in our Made for Mermaids Facebook Group and tag us on Instagram #madeformermaids #madeformermaidspatterns 🙂 Join us tomorrow for Day 9!
Shark Tail Blanket Finished Measurements:
Child Blanket with closed tail – 22″ Wide x 39″ Long
Older Child Blanket with closed tail – 22″ Wide x 48″ Long
Dolly Blanket with closed tail – 9.75″ Wide x 13″ Long
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Child Blanket with open tail – 22″ Wide x 46.5″ Long
Older Child Blanket with open tail – 22″ Wide x 55.5″ Long
Dolly Blanket with open tail – 9.75″ Wide x 15 & 3/8″ Long