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…


Yoga top! Fehr Trade XYT

Photo Jul 07, 8 30 41 PM

It’s my first successful piece of handmade activewear! I’ve been thinking about sewing activewear for a long time, and the recent explosion of sporty sewing in blogland lately, naturally coinciding with Melissa’s release of several great-looking patterns, pushed this project up my list. The other catalyst for this project is my total dissatisfaction with the (cheaper) yoga tops available – they’re simultaneously too tight and too loose and I seriously don’t like the gaping that always occurs in inverted poses… clearly I need to make my own!

Photo Jul 07, 8 31 20 PM

This is Fehr Trade’s XYT Top, which I bought immediately after release and then didn’t make for months, as I do. This top is definitely my absolute favorite yoga top, and I want a whole slew of these! The tops come together so quickly, but not quite easily… it wasn’t an effortless road to this point, and there are still improvements needed. My first XYT top was made a couple months ago, and it ended up in the trash as soon as I managed to wriggle out of it. It was one of those times when you don’t even entertain thoughts of how it could be made better, there’s just no hope for redemption. My measurements put me firmly in the XS size, which I was nervous about, and I graded up to a S for the waist and hips because I am not a fan of negative ease. I think my fabric must not have been stretchy enough, or maybe somehow people like that much tightness, but phew, it was bad. I sewed the double-layer bra too, which was fiddly, looked terrible, and was SO tight.

Photo Jul 07, 8 29 32 PM

For this version I sewed S at the bust, grading to M at the waist, and then even L at the hips. I do not like negative ease! I also just sewed a single bra layer. You may want more support for running, but the two layers really aren’t necessary for yoga. I also added a wide band that is slightly smaller than my hip measurement at the bottom to help hold the top in place for the bendy poses. I love the band on my cation dolman top for that reason, and it works great here too. This top feels just perfect on, but i have some odd wrinkling around the neckline that seems to be because there is more fabric on the outer garment than on the bra layer. I’m not quite sure how to fix this. In my next version I plan to tighten the elastic just a touch along the bottom of the neckline, as it still gapes a bit, and maybe this will help? I am such a knit newbie I don’t know where to start! The good news is, though, that I just do yoga at home, don’t care all that much, and like the feel and fit of this top so much that I’m sure I’ll get enough practice making it to figure out what’s going on!

Photo Jul 07, 8 31 49 PM

And here’s the reason for these blurry indoor photos – there was no way I was going to brave the foggy chill outside! It’s chilly even standing next to the window…

Finished: Cation Dolman Sleeve Top


I’ve a finished garment to show! Two, actually, both the Cation free dolman sleeve top in shades of purple.  Purple seems to be my color right now, pretty much everything I’ve made or bought lately (besides neutrals) is purple. It is a nice color…

This pattern is absolutely fabulous. I cut between a small and medium, just in case, but really should just cut a small. I love how flattering and slouchy it is. It’s just perfect for so many things!

playing with cats!
playing with cats!

It really is a fantastic yoga top. The wide band at the bottom keeps the top in place during inversions and the dolman sleeves allow for plenty of arm movement. My house is always chilly too, so the sleeve length is perfect.

Cindy warned that the neckline is on the wide side, and that is true. This lavender version is not quite work appropriate, but I don’t  mind the wide neckline at all on the weekends. For my second, dark purple version I brought the neckline in a little, and shortened the sleeves due to lack of fabric. The fabric is a really drapy, clingy rayon that is so soft.

Photo Nov 03, 12 40 10 PM
Instagram photo from nearly a month ago…

I bought some sweater knit the other day to make another one of these. It’s one of those perfect instant gratification projects! Up next for me is a pair of Thurlows. I have high hopes, but we’ll see. Pattern is traced, fabric is prepped, and when Dandelion takes his afternoon nap later I’ll be cutting them… out of purple corduroy I’ve had for at least three years. It’s a coincidence!