While designing Halloween-themed items, I sketched out a t-shirt with a plush heart and loopy crocheted “ribs” that would not necessarily be anatomically correct (at all!) but would still evoke both spookiness and cuteness! I wanted to borrow from today’s skeleton trend and make it a little more Twinkie Chan. What I really like about this project is that you can pick your favorite color t-shirt or tank top and wear it year-round. You can even make the heart a removable brooch and give it to somebody at any moment! (Oh hey, Valentine’s Day project!) You can also have lots of fun decorating and customizing your heart, giving it a face, arms, legs, heck, you could even sew clothes for it if you want!
The pattern is below! Please note, that I did this really quickly before leaving on a trip to Seattle to see the Plush You opening at Schmancy (today, Friday, 5pm – 9pm!). I need to shoot better photos, and there are probably some weird mistakes in the pattern itself. Let me know if you attempt it!
You will need:
- T-shirt (I suggest washing it first in case it shrinks. Also, crochet CAN get a little heavy, so this project might pull your shirt down a little if it has a loose/wide/cut-off neck, which mine did!)
- White worsted weight yarn
- Pink (or Red) worsted weight yarn (I used Red Heart Super Saver, so a heavier worsted weight like Super Saver or Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice would probably work best for this project.)
- H hook
- Pins, tailor’s chalk, or disappearing ink fabric marker to help mark areas on shirt
- Needle and thread to match your yarn colors
- Optional: 1 inch pinback and felt, buttons, or safety eyes
Sc dec (single crochet decrease): Pick up a loop from next st, pick up another loop from st after that, YO, pull thru 1st 2 loops, YO, pull thru last 2 loops.
With Pink, you will work a 3D heart. There are many different ways to create a 3D heart, so you can use whatever pattern you like or find. Here’s one I whipped up:
Make a magic circle, or ch 3 and sl st to 1st ch to form ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 1 and work 4 sc into loop. Sl st to 1st sc to join. (4)
Rnd 2: Ch 1, TURN. Work (2 sc) 4 times. Sl st to 1st sc to join. (8)
Rnd 3: Ch 1, turn. Work [(2 sc), 1 sc] 4 times. Sl st to 1st sc to join. (12)
Rnd 4: Ch 1, turn. Work [(2 sc), 2 sc] 4 times. Sl st to 1st sc to join. (16)
Rnd 5: Ch 1, turn. Work [(2 sc), 7 sc] 2 times. Sl st to 1st sc to join. (18)
Rnd 6: Ch 1, turn. Work [(2 sc), 8 sc[ 2 times. Sl st to 1st sc to join. (20)
Rnd 7: Ch 1, turn. Work [(2 sc), 9 sc[ 2 times. Sl st to 1st sc to join. (22)
Rnd 8: Ch 1, turn. Work [(2 sc), 10 sc[ 2 times. Sl st to 1st sc to join. (24)
Rnd 9: Ch 1, turn. Work [(2 sc),11 sc[ 2 times. Sl st to 1st sc to join. (26)
Rnd 10: Ch 1, turn. Work [(2 sc), 12 sc[ 2 times. Sl st to 1st sc to join. (28)
Here’s where you form the top of the heart, one side at at time.
Rnd 11: Ch 1, turn. Work 7 sc evenly, then skip 14 sc, then work 7 sc evenly. Sl st to 1st sc to join. (14)
Rnd 12: Ch 1, turn. [Sc dec in FLO, sc dec in FLO, 3 sc evenly] 2 times. Sl st to 1st sc to join (10)
Rnd 13: Ch 1, turn. [Sc dec in BLO, sc dec in BLO, 1 sc evenly] 2 times. Sl st to 1st sc to join. (6) Break off leaving 8 inches of yarn. Weave through remaining 6 sts, pull closed, and finish off. If you want your heart to have a little stuffing in it, now is the time to stuff. I left mine un-stuffed.
Now you will work on the other side of the heart.
Rnd 11: Join at the 1st skipped sc of the previous Rnd 11. Work 1 sc in this sc, and in each remaning sc. SL st to 1st sc to join. (14)
Rnds 12-13: Repeat previous Rnds 12-13. Weave in all ends.
If you want your heart to have arms and legs (and a face): Join your yarn wherever you want an arm and/or leg. Ch 7, sk 1st ch, and sl st in remaining 6 chs. Sl st one more time back into the heart to join limb. Break off and weave in ends. Length of limbs is easily adjustable by adding or subtracting chs and sl sts. I think limbs make the heart funnier because they look like little veins and arteries, but a plain heart is probably cuter with a cleaner look. If you want to glue, stitch, or paint a face on the heart, now is the time!
Placing the heart on the shirt in the right place will help you plot out your ribcage. Put the t-shirt on, place the heart where you want it to go, and mark the center of that spot with a pin (careful!), chalk, or invisble ink pen. If you want to sew the heart to your shirt, do that now with matching thread. If you want your heart to be removable, it’s a good idea to still mark the right spot on the shirt so you don’t forget, and then glue or stitch on your pinback.
With White, ch 6.
Row 1: Sk 1st 2 chs and work 4 hdc evenly across.
Rows 2-27: Ch 1, turn. Work 4 hdc evenly across. 27 rows for me equaled approx. 10 inches long. If you want your spine to be longer, you can keep going. Break off and weave in ends.
All the ribs have the same basic pattern, just different lengths.
With White, make magic circle, or ch 3 and sl st to 1st ch to form ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 1 and work 1 sc into ring. Then work 3 hdc into ring. Don’t join rounds.
Rnd 2: Work 4 hdc evenly around. Continue to work hdc evenly and form a tube until you’ve reached the desired length. Then sc in next st, and sl st in following st. Break off leaving about 8 inches of yarn for sewing.
4 inch tube: Make 2.
6 inch tube: Make 2.
7 inch tube: Make 2.
You can make more ribs in longer lengths, but I’m sticking with 3 pairs of ribs for this basic pattern. It will already look like you’re hosting a tamponathon.
- Weave in the starting-tails of the ribs to keep things tidy, but keep the 8 inch ending-tails for sewing.
- Sew each rib to the sternum with the ending-tails, starting with the 4 inch ribs on top, the 6 inch ribs next, and the 7 inch ribs last. I leave a row or two of hdc on the sternum sticking out, and then attach the 4 inch ribs. About half way down the sternum, I attach the 7 inch ribs. Then I attach the 6 inch ribs in the middle. At this point, your project will look like a facehugger from Aliens.
- Pin the sternum to your shirt. You may want to put the shirt on first and mark where you want the top and bottom of the sternum
- Sew the sternum to the shirt. Check out the chart. The red dots show where I put my stitches.
- After sewing the sternum down, your ribs will be hanging freely. Play with the placement a little bit and mark where you want the ends of the ribs to be. Sew the ends of the each rib securely to the shirt.
- Put it on and have fun! I would recommend hand-washing and air-drying to preserve your hard work!
* This pattern is intended for your personal use only and not for creating items to sell. Please do not sell this pattern or re-post it without my permission. Thank you!