Halloween intrigues me a bit, probably because I’ve never really celebrated it. Halloween is just not as big here in Australia as it is in the US. But when I made this ribcage top to wear to a medical themed birthday party I realised it could also work well for Halloween! Given that Google Analytics tells me that many of you lovely readers are from America, I thought I’d share this project with you!

To make this top you will need a cheap white, fairly thin top (it needs to be pale and thin so you can see through it to trace the design), some contrast fabric for the heart, needle and embroidery thread, a small scrap of fusible web (like interfacing that’s sticky on both sides to appliqué the heart), paper and pencil, cardboard or more paper, some images of a skeleton/ribcage (I just did a google image search and printed off a few that I liked), and the most important tool – a black sharpie, or other permanent felt tip pen.

Start by drawing your design in pencil. You can draw freehand, trace your design from another image, or base it on another design, tweaking it to get it the size and style that you like. Or you can use my drawing, above, and re-size it and print it off. You can see that I re-did several sections of mine until I was happy with it. Go over your design with the black marker so it’s clear and dark.

Slip your design inside the top, line it up so it’s centred and pin through the top layer of the singlet and through the paper (but not through the back of the top). Place a piece of cardboard, or several sheets of paper inside the top, underneath the image, to protect the back of the top from any marker that might soak through. Then you can start tracing the design onto the top using your marker.

Once you’ve finished tracing the design, you can leave it as is, or you can add an appliqué heart to add some colour and texture. To make the heart, cut a small square of fusible web and iron the shiny side to the contrast fabric, with the paper side facing up. Draw a heart on the paper, cut it out and then peel the paper off.

Place the heart shiny side down on your top and iron in place. Be aware that ironing over the marker might smell a little bit. Use the embroidery thread to do a few decorative stitches around the heart.

Your top is now finished! Hooray!