*TUTORIAL* DIY Ninja Turtle Hoodies

by Kelsey Norwood

in Children,Costumes,Patterns,Sewing,Tutorials

DIY ninja turtle kids sweatshirt

One must use creativity in sewing for boys, and these were a very fun and well received Christmas presents a few months ago. Turtle hoodies!

diy character hoodie

We’ve been wearing them all around town and getting lots of stares and comments. I take stares as a compliment.

diy character sweatshirt

Our 4th baby is due in 4 weeks, another boy, so Raphael will be joining the force before the year is out.

kids ninja turtle costume

We know ninja turtles don’t fight each other but…they’re boys. They can’t help it.

boys diy costumes

Making these would have been SO MUCH EASIER if I could have found green hoodies to embellish, but it was not to be.


So I made the whole ensemble from scratch.

Here’s how!


1. Purchase a green hoodie or McCalls pattern M6782

I made a combination of views C and D, and the pattern requires intermediate sewing skills with a zipper and set in sleeves. But fleece is pretty forgiving and inexpensive so if you think your skills are close, give it a try!

2. Print off my TMNT Hoodie Pattern which includes all the embellishment pieces you’ll need to add to an existing hoodie or one you’ve made. If you’re making the hoodie, add the embellishment pieces from my pattern BEFORE you sew the sweatshirt together.

FOR THE PATTERN: It’s all ready to cut out and use except the chest piece pattern on pages 1 and 2 – you’ll have to match up the dotted lines and rectangles and tape it together.
CHEST PIECE: Fits sweatshirt sizes 6, 7, and 8
ALL OTHER PIECES: One size should fit all


This is the Elbow Band – sew it to the sleeve BEFORE you sew the sleeve into a tube. Then finish making the sleeve as usual.

diy ninja turtle costume

Sew the Shell Pieces to the Shell Outline by edge stitching them each in the order shown on the pattern. Then sew the entire Shell Outline to the jacket back.

diy turtle hoodie

Sew the Chest Piece to both the left and right front pieces, leaving 5/8″ down the center for the zipper.

You’ll sew around the chest piece and then across the top in a curved kind of line to make it look more like a turtle shell.



Now you can finish putting the jacket together.




That’s it! My boys LOVE these hoodies so much, they wear them day and night.



And we’d love to see more ninja turtle friends running around town!

**Because this is an intermediate level project, I have assumed a certain skill and knowledge level. If you have basic questions about sewing a jacket, check the pattern instructions or other tutorials. 


1 Kendra February 10, 2014 at 10:57 pm

You are so talented! These are adorable, I have four boys that would LOVE these!

2 Shannon March 12, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Yay for boys. :)I just had my 4th boy 3 weeks ago and my boys would go crazy over these – well the older 3 would at least! I am pinning this just in case I ever feel half as ambitious as you!

3 Eleasha July 22, 2014 at 6:30 am

I am a beginning sewer and want to make this for a birthday gift. If I am able to find an already made hoodie how much would the directions change? would I have to take the hoodie apart to sew on the extra stuff? Thanks for your help

4 Marline September 20, 2016 at 7:44 pm

I am working on this right now, I am changing it up a little I am going to make pull over hoodie, also make matching pants, it’s going to be a haloween costume for my son. I am also going to make it so he can attach his weapons to it so he can have his hands free. I would love to sure a pic when done just let me know where. Thanks love this great idea. Feeding kids Roman noodles for dinner so I can sew.

5 Kelsey Norwood November 4, 2016 at 2:57 pm

Awesome! Just send your picture to kelsey at vanillajoy dot com. I’d love to see how it turned out.

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