Pneuma yoga top


I have long admired this one-piece bra plus drapy overlay style of exercise top, so when Papercut Patterns released the Pneuma Tank I wanted it immediately. Papercut is a little outside of my budget, though. Then black friday happened and for some reason I went crazy and bought all the indie patterns I denied myself for years, Pneuma and Coppelia among them.

I made the bra out of a activewear lycra I’ve had for a while, with the overlay from a very lightweight and drapy bamboo knit. The bra went together nicely. Surprisingly well, actually, and I’m pretty proud of the finish. It’s far better than my two XYT tops, but I’m pretty sure that’s due to the experience gained from those tops. The overlay went together well too, until the steps where you attach it to the bra. I was disappointed with the instructions here – there must be a better way and it looks pretty terrible inside. I also had to hand tack the overlay a lot to prevent the ugly insides flipping out. I made the straps out of 1/4″ elastic covered by the blue lycra. I’ve done that with bra making too, and while I do not like the process at all I do like having perfectly matched straps.


The colors are weird in these afternoon photos. We get the most beautiful sunlight in this room in the late afternoon, and while it’s totally inspiring and peaceful in person it does not translate well in photos. I had to take photos then, though, as I was wearing the top to yoga in an hour and there was no way that thing was going back on my stiff-shouldered dress form!

Closer to the real colors
Closer to the real colors

So, about its performance. I’ve been attending bikram yoga classes about three times a week. It started with a groupon that my coworker convinced me to get, and I actually have come to really love it. It’s about training the mind as least as much as training the body, and teachers and students alike are absolutely wonderful and supportive. I’m finding myself a little particular about tops now, though, since it’s so hot and they get so wet by the end of class. The XYT tops I made out of the supplex seem extra hot and I’m also a little embarrassed to wear them outside – they look a bit homemade. This top fared well in class, though this is one of those grays that shows sweat very obviously. It doesn’t really matter, it’s hot yoga after all, but I was a little self-conscious. The bamboo knit also got a bit over-saturated by the end of class, but again, what can you expect. It actually did pretty great for a natural fiber!

For next time I may shape the bra front a bit closer to the XYT. I wore one of those last night and had forgotten how much I like the neckline! I want to make another one of those too, now that my activewear skills have improved!

Finally, this is what it’s like to work in my back room in the afternoons…


14 thoughts on “Pneuma yoga top

  1. The style is really cute — love the criss-cross straps and the overlay. So many people are making the cutest activewear — shamefully, I’m one of those people who just go to workout class wearing an old t-shirt from the 90s and stretch pants from Target! Perhaps I need to up my game a bit, but I’m not a big stretch fabric sewer, so we’ll see!

    1. Nothing wrong with an old t-shirt! I’d do that a lot more if sleeves and a crew neck didn’t suddenly feel incredibly restrictive and awful 15 minutes into the hot class. Making activewear is a different experience, even from other knit garments, and I feel like a total beginner again. The insides are so sloppy!

  2. Oh I love this! Such a cool silhouette. I love that it’s just a simple tank but is really unique and stands out at the same time too, without being too in your face about it. Love love love. I’ve also been wanting to try hot yoga so badly! Do you feel like it’s a better workout than normal yoga?

    1. I’ve only practiced regular yoga at home, but I’d say they are similar in intensity, and if anything bikram is even a bit easier. Honestly, the biggest reason I settled on the hot yoga is because the studio close to my house and I love the group feel! For me the heat mostly becomes an additional mental challenge and it also encourages self care outside of class. You will have a rough session if you show up dehydrated and a little pampering after the class comes very naturally. The bikram sequence is the same every time, but I feel like it is very well-balanced.

  3. Aw, kitty!

    I think it’s cool you’re working on your own activewear; probably more inspiring to work out when you’ve got a great new top to wear! I’m in the old t-shirt and leggings camp, but I’d love to upgrade this year. I’m intimidated by the fabrics, though – how did you pick out the ones you wanted to work with?

    1. I do feel pretty great putting on my own yoga top, especially since the fit is rather good compared to my RTW tops! I’m a total beginner with this, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend my method for choosing fabric… The lycra is an “activewear knit” from Fabric Mart that I bought for an XYT top when that first came out. So far I just blindly trust what FM puts in that category of their site! The gray bamboo knit was chosen because I liked the colors together and the fabric turned out to be so light, drapey, and clingy that the semi-fitted tee I made out of it was seriously indecent to wear outside the house. It works great in this application, though! Anyway, you should totally make your own exercise clothes! (basically I selfishly want to copy your ideas because I’m sure they would have that effortless, cool vibe you’re so good at…)

  4. Really really cute! You and I must be on the same wavelength because I ordered this pattern a couple of weeks ago! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have a question about the straps, did you make little tubes of the lycra and then put the elastic through? Sorry if that’s a dumb dumb question, I just wanted to clarify since I might want to do something smiliar ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. ooh, I can’t wait to see yours! I’m guessing prints may be involved ๐Ÿ™‚ I thought for a second about making tubes of lycra and then dismissed it as it sounded miserable. I just cut strips of lycra 1/8″ wider than double my elastic, wrapped the lycra around, and stitched it down with a wide, short zigzag centered over the strap that I hope looks like a design feature… In the future I’m going to cut the lycra wider still, at least 1/4″, probably 3/8″, as it was near impossible to stitch perfectly and the white elastic peeks through in places. For this top I just colored the little flashes of white with a matching sharpie…

      1. Prints are ALWAYS involved! Ok, I’m lying, one is going to be a wild print and the other will be basic black.

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