Hey there, party dudes! Hope you all had a great weekend! Today I have something a little bit different to show you- exercise wear! Before we get started, I’ll just warn you that you’re about to see some pasty white limbs… it’s been a long winter!
When Katie at Papercut Patterns asked me to test her new collection, I was really excited. I guess I’m a bit of a shallow person, but I hate working out in old t-shirts. I’m already red and sweaty- I definitely don’t need frumpy, disgusting clothes to make me look even worse! But I’m also a bit of a cheapskate and don’t want to pay premium prices for things I’ll only wear to run in. So this collection really addresses a wardrobe gap for me. (Sidenote: Melissa at Fehr Trade has a nice collection of workout clothing, too, if that’s something you’re interested in, but I don’t like to wear super fitted clothes for running. But if you do, check out her patterns!)
The Pneuma Tank is a sports bra with attached tank panels. You can make it as just a sports bra, too, but I like having more coverage when I run. From the front it looks like a regular tank, but there are openings at the side and back that show the bra underneath. The pattern is available as a paper pattern or as a PDF, which is nice, since Papercut Patterns were previously only offered as hard copies.
I used a nylon-spandex blend from Spandex House for the bra, which gives nice compression. It takes just a tiny amount to cut out the two pattern pieces, about 18″ x 18″! You could make a matching bra from leftover scraps any time you make a pair of leggings! I love that it uses so little fabric!
The pattern calls for bra strapping instead of fabric straps, which is a cute touch. I chose this fun pink color from Pacific Trimming and used less than two yards of it. The jersey I used is thicker than what I should have used, but I wanted to use up something from my stash (it’s some sort of double knit from Mood Fabrics, leftover from my very first knit garment, this Renfrew top!) and I had just enough to make this. It’s a little bit bunchy right under the straps where it’s gathered and stitched to the bra- using a regular-weight jersey would solve this problem.
Sewing this is really straightforward. I stitched it up on my sewing machine, using a stretch needle for the bra portion and a regular ballpoint needle for the tank part. The tank openings are just turned and stitched, and the bra openings are finished with elastic. It’s nice to be able to decide how tightly you want the bra to fit around your rib cage so you can really customize the fit. Mine is supportive enough that I can run in it, but I have a small chest, so may not work for running if you need more support. This would also be nice in a softer fabric like a cotton-lycra for lower-impact activities like yoga. You could even sew this up as a swimsuit top!
It’s a little tricky to get into the top without twisting up the straps, but that’s easily sorted out. One thing I’ll be keeping an eye on is the stretch recovery of the bra strapping. I can imagine it stretching out over time, which could be annoying, but the straps are the last things you add to the tank, so you could go back and shorten them easily if you needed to.
I’m excited to have some fun with my workout wardrobe, so I’d like to make a few more of these! Since I used stash fabric for the tank, I only used about $6 worth of fabric and elastic for this top, a far cry from what stores like lululemon charge! I’m going to keep an eye out for nice stretch mesh- wouldn’t that be breezy for sticky summer running?
Now all I need is motivation to run! Last year I really enjoyed running, but this year I’m struggling to force myself to do it. I’m having a really hard time getting up early enough to run and shower before the dogs need to go out. Any tips or tricks from my running readers? Or are there other kinds of exercise that you prefer?
*Bonus points to Kat for pointing out that the names of the pieces in this collection (Anima, Soma, and Pneuma) mean Mind, Body, and Soul. Deeeeeeeefinitely did not know that. Can we just blame my ignorance on the American public education system?