Ginger Made: Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank!

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!)

Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank | Ginger Makes

Seems like a regular tank top…

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.

Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank | Ginger Makes

… but what’s that peeping out?

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!

Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank | Ginger Makes

Why, it’s neon leopard!!!

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.

Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank | Ginger Makes

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!

Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank | Ginger Makes

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.

Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank | Ginger Makes

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?

Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank | Ginger Makes

Love the curved hem!

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?

Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank | Ginger Makes

This is a stretch, right?

*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?



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137 responses to “Ginger Made: Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank!

  1. I knew I already wanted to sew this, but now I’m extra convinced! The neon is awesome and who doesn’t love an excuse to buy from spandex house?
    I love running – conveniently my doggy is big enough to run with me, so I get two things done at once.

  2. Love the pop of color in the back, and I had no idea there was a whole world of sewing patterns for exercise wear out there! This just might be the push I need myself to start running again!

  3. It’s so cute! Almost makes me want to exercise. Almost.

  4. I bought an alarm clock on Amazon (Clocky) that jumps off my night stand and runs away from you all while making R2D2 noises blaringly loud. Does it work? I haven’t had the guts to use it yet… But I bet it would!

  5. Wow super cool colour combo going on here. And I love the pre-workout warm-up photoshoot too.

  6. gilliancrafts

    That’s really cute! I like the flash of neon – very fun. I HAAAAATE running, so I’ve got no tips for you there… but maybe more fun tops will help?

  7. What a great top! It looks so professional and different! All this exercise wear is making me feel really unfit though!

  8. I’m excited to see you made this! I ordered this and the anima pattern this morning. I hit the big 3-0 at the beginning of June, so I’ve been challenging myself to workout for 30minutes everyday for 30days before I turn. I’ve quickly realized I need more workout attire! I really needed a self-imposed challenge to get motivated after we moved. I’d been sedentary for far too long. I also signed up for a half-marathon in September, so I have a longer-term goal to train towards.

    Very cute version of the top! I’m eager to see what other varieties you conjure up!

    • I need to just bite the bullet and sign up for a half-marathon. I wanted to do one last year, but all I could get myself to do was a 10K! I’m already into my 30s, so I should really get in better shape! :)

  9. So cute!! You make this look very RTW. In a good way…This looks like a great top, the hemline has a nice line to it. I am a runner and I like to look good while out on a run too. I just did a half marathon yesterday and to stay motivated, I have a running partner. After each run, before we part ways, we set up our plan for the next run. Knowing someone is waiting keeps each of us accountable and it’s a great social time as well.

  10. Love it! I have been impatient waiting to see the new Papercut Patterns show up on blogs! I’m sewing up my own Pnuema and I decided to try lengthening it so that it can be a dress. :) Hopefully it works out.

  11. This tank top is absolutely fa-bu-lous, I LOVE the crazy print peeping out! I kinda hate running so the only thing that motivates me is cool sportswear. I was thinking of making up this pattern with my leftover fabric from my Soma swimsuit, but yeah… after seeing yours, it would be too plain, I might need to go on an awesome print hunt first :)

  12. misscrayolacreepy

    This would be the perfect top for yoga!!!

  13. I love this! It looks really great. You’re occurs are cute as always. I thought about this pattern so I can get back into running too. Now, I’m convinced. I do like a less fitted top, too. I think it would be great for yoga, something I want to get into…too ambitious. Question, so you think it would work for bustier women? Boo, I just reread that portion.

    • Well, I think it just depends what you usually wear when you run. If you use a regular sports bra, I think this would work. But if you require something beyond that, like one of the special bras with cups and things, this might not be enough support for running. It would definitely work for yoga, though!

  14. Excellent make! This is such a cool pattern – these style tops are super-trendy in hot yoga right now: How cool to be able to make your own! :D

  15. Teresa

    Oh this is awesome. Running clothes is the one thing that I said I don’t want to sew, but you are changing my mind. This is definitely my style of running shirt!
    And running tips…find some running buddies. I love my group of running ladies I meet with on Monday mornings (just 4 of us). I definitely wouldn’t get out of bed as early as I do to run, unless I knew there were friends waiting for me!!!

  16. Super cute top, love the colors and fabric you selected. Meredith (oldest twin) is home for summer and she bought Jillian Michaels’ yoga. We started that two nights ago, I didn’t realize yoga was so intense!

  17. Super cute exercise top! I don’t like to run in skin tight clothing either. Well I just plain don’t like to run! ha!! Like you I ran quite a bit last year. This year is another story. I have been doing some really fun dance workouts I found on you tube. They have been fun for the whole family! I’m dancing up a sweat while Vito looks at me in confusion and my husband points and laughs. ;)>

  18. Ahhh! This (and you) are so cute! I absolutely love it. This would be killer for yoga. But very lazy and occasional jogger over here, so no tips on how to get motivated, sorry. Though having cute gear to work out in always helps. ;)

  19. Such a cute top! I can’t wait to make my own. I too am in a running funk though I somehow still manage to drag my butt out the door at least once a week. let me know what gets you out of yours – maybe it’ll work for me! i wonder if a new top would help… ;)

    • Last year I signed up for a couple of races spread out across the spring and summer, so that was motivation. I signed up for a race the last weekend of April, but bailed on it because it had been an exhausting week- terrible, I know!

  20. That top is so cute! I’d definitely wear this by the pool. I think it’s important to have nice clothes for working out. It’s a great motivator. No one wants to look like a frump when they’re already sweating!

  21. cute!!! I love cute running clothes:)

  22. I like the colour inserts on this – it looks so comfy and pretty too. I don’t do any running at the moment. I wold love to start again ;)

  23. Love this top! I don’t really need it for the type of running I do (“the 25 minutes why isn’t this over yet” variety ;-) ), but maybe I could make this for my gym class.

  24. Kay

    LOVE this version! the fancypants neon leopard print truly makes it. im usually one to work out in super ratty old clothes, but this new pattern line is totally changing my mind. :)

  25. ARGHHHH ARE YOU SERIOUS? This is sooo good – love that pop of neon leopard print!! I am totally volunteering you to take me spandex and bra strap shopping next time I’m in NYC… you always get the best stuff so I obviously need your expertise :)

    Also, I started running again this year, and yeah, I don’t care too much for it either! I realized it’s because I think it’s kind of boring… and I don’t like listening to music (I mean, I do, but I also like to sing. No one wants to hear that! Ha!). I’ve started listening to podcasts and, dude. I’m actually excited for my run now! I get to nerd out and it’s awesome.

  26. Hadn’t even heard about these – I too love the idea of having a blousier tank over the bra. Nice! Might need a bit more ‘pard though . . . ;-)

  27. You had me at the neon leopard. Honestly I hadn’t looked twice at this pattern until I saw your make. Love it.

  28. This is such a cute top! I love how the contrast fabric peeks out.

  29. Oh my goodness, this is too cute! And the idea of making a matching pair of pants is genius!

    I’m dithering about whether to buy this pattern or not – I bought the XYT pattern, but haven’t made it up yet – it does seem very tight fitting, and I’m in need of looser fitting sports tops at the moment, but this pattern seems like it might be at the other end of the spectrum, too loose and floaty, and I think I’d end up needing to wear a sports bra under this anyway, which would ruin the lines of the top!

    Maybe I should combine them to make my ultimate sports top!

    • I guess it depends on how much support you need- it seems like if you normally wear a no-frills sports bra, this would be enough support, but if you need something more… engineered (?) you might not like it. It’s supportive enough for me but it helps to use a fabric like the one I did.

  30. This is so cool! I usually look like crap when I exercise so this little number almost makes me want to take up running again…almost ;o)

  31. I’ve admired Melissa’s work and the uncharted path she took in sewing world (releasing workout patterns), but I haven’t delved into that category yet. Being that I’m so into lingerie, I have a hunch it will be soon though.

    I’m also interested to see how the straps hold up to multiple workouts and washing. Should be interesting! They’re easy to shorten to even if they lost their elasticity quickly, it will be an easy fix.

    Okay, so you’re going to think I’m crazy, but I get up at the butt crack of dawn to work out. A little bit before 5 is my wake up call. I know, I know, but no one gets in your way at that hour!

  32. Oh it’s so cool to see these patterns made up! I’ve been super curious about how they’ll look! I could probably use some of these cute tops – or really any cute workout wear! I’m definitely in the “ratty-stained-t-shirt-and-stretched-out-leggings” camp when it comes to workout clothes! Thankfully, most of my “working out” happens on my living room floor when I do “yoga”. Your top is so cute – I love the neon leopard print and pink straps! A cute top like yours might be just the motivation I need to go for a run! (PSYCH!!!)

    • I need to start doing living room yoga, if nothing else. I’m so out of shape, dude- the thought of trying to toes is enough to make me laugh and laugh and laugh!

  33. so interested in these new patterns! i bought new running shoes just today and peeked at exercise wear and eeks… no thanks! i started running after my first kid and have gone through super obsessive must run everyday phases, and sporadic run phases… i’m trying to get back to my obsessive phase (because of some mushy bits i’d love to eliminate, ahem) and i’ve been supplementing with some yoga. i enjoy the exercise, but it is so hard to get going in the morning! i have a list of podcasts i listen to to keep me entertained, so that helps. i guess, when it comes down to it, this body ain’t getting any younger, and i feel a thousand percent better about myself when i exercise!

  34. This top is fantastic!! Love the peep of neon in there too.

  35. I LOVE this!!!! That’s a great use for our new favorite fabric!!

  36. sarah

    I love the tank- I have a lululemon top that I love thats almost exactly the same…I can imagine dozens of these! As for running in the morning, I can only get up in the AM for runs if I belong to a running group, I’ve promised to meet another person or I’m running a race. Otherwise, its afternoon or evening runs for me. You have to listen to when your body has the most energy. That said, I’ve been known to bribe myself…

  37. Omg this tank is amazing! So stylish it looks $$$$. This looks like something lululemon would make, only better. I really hope you make yourself more of those. I am the same way with workout wear – I hate spending a lot of money on it but I also don’t like ratty stuff either. I don’t run, I do HIIT workouts at the gym and Pilates.

  38. I love it! Both the style and your take on it. How cool! I love the straps and the detailing and the fact there’s an internal support. Have to head over to check it out right now!!

  39. I love this top! And I don’t even run, hehe. But this is a great look to go for some denims depending on the jersey you use. I also liked the swinsuit from this collection very much, so many variation.
    Have fun running!

  40. This looks so cool – I love your leopard print take on it. I think I’d probably need something a bit more supportive for running, but I reckon this would be a cool holiday top anyway.

  41. Love this! Such cute colours.
    My top tips for getting into running again – podcasts and music to listen to, set a goal by signing up for a run or picking a date to do your own challenge. That totally gives me motivation to get moving as I will want to make the goal.

  42. joellestlaurent

    i’m really digging this top! i love how the crazy spandex you used is peeking out, super fun! i have a larger chest and really need good support for running and other high impact activities, so i’m a bit concerned about the support factor. but i can see it would be perfect for yoga!!
    and also, podcasts are the best when running!!

  43. Such a great running top! Lov ethe leopard print underneath.

  44. Kat H

    Aaah, look at how freakin’ awesome your top looks!!! The leopard! The pink bra strapping!!! So, so fabulous. :-)

    (I really need to find somewhere to get some bra strapping that isn’t black. *sigh* Ah well.)

    Much as I would love to, I can’t take the credit for knowing the meaning behind Anima/Pneuma/Soma. I asked Katie when I saw the names and she told me. ;-) (But then, it’s kinda nice appearing to be sorta educated in a way….!)

    • Hahahahaha, at least you asked the question! Let me know if you’d like me to send you some strapping- they have quite a few colors in the Garment District!

  45. Lee

    You are selling this pattern! Love your version. I had the same problem getting back out running again after a challenging winter. I forced myself for a week or so and now it’s much easier because it actually makes me feel good. Having a partner to meet or some manufactured positive incentive has also worked for me.

  46. Looks awesome. I love the little neon leopard peaks through the tank. Run with style my friend. :)

  47. I was a bit dubious when you posted you’d sewn a sports top but your top is awesome. I love the bright leopard fabric you’ve used. I’m tempted to sew one for the gym. Decent looking sportswear is always ridiculously expensive.

    • I just don’t understand why it’s so expensive- there’s so little fabric used! I’m excited that there are more sewing patterns available for this sort of thing now.

      • im not certain about lululemon given their sheerness fiasco, but im going to assume under armour is of that price because of their heat tech fabric. no lie, i ran in 30 degrees and the cold gear top kept me so toasty.

  48. senjiva

    I think this is the only workout-wear thing on the internet that I have said “ok, I think I could wear that”. Because it’s loose around the belly area. I wonder how this would fare with some actual bra cups built in for larger busts?

    • I bet it would be easy to insert cups. I’d probably cut out the front and back pieces in power mesh lining and sandwich them in between the layers.

      • senjiva

        That’s a good idea! I still haven’t met a sport bra that I liked. I tend to wear an old cotton bra under my sport bra so that the bust doesn’t squoosh into sweaty mono-boob quite so quickly. (TMI? sorry).

  49. My tip would be to create a “blank training plan”. This can be a great way to keep up with exercise when you’re not feeling particularly motivated. I use it and just make it a goal to get out there and do something at least four times per week, and I’m always quite surprised by how happy I feel when I check off one of those little boxes (adults love gold stars too, who knew!??!). Here’s a good post that explains more about it:

  50. I thought her collection was really lovely. I would totally wear this top just around town. I love drapey tanks but hate dealing with the bra strap situation.

  51. So so cute! Love the fabrics that you chose. I have been really eyeing the bathing suits in this collection. Running motivation is a tough one, I have slacked off myself a lot this past year. A few of us are going to try to run at lunch at work today, I will let you know how that goes…

  52. I got very excited about the release of this pattern… in PDF form too! Good to see it made up in some fun colours and prints… home sewn sports wear should be fun in my opinion.

  53. Amy

    I was really happy to see this pattern. I’d just wear it as regular ole tank!

  54. Alexis

    Could this be sewn on a regular machine, or does it need to be sewn on a surger?

  55. have you thought about making this in a moisture wicking polyester fabric? im obessed now with making sure all of my workout clothes are moisture wicking.. i was sold when my leggings weren’t in a puddle of my own sweat.

    PS – where do you run? We can totally be running buddies, except my routes are usually in brooklyn or the treadmill if i’m in the city

  56. This would be an awesome summer top

  57. This is gorgeous, I love the demure grey, with the flashes of crazy print underneath. I’ve never had an inclination to make sportswear, but now I really want to make one of these. Can’t help you with running motivation I’m afraid, I’m really not a runner :/ but whatever exercise you do, you’ll look awesome!

  58. I LOVE this so much! It makes me so happy that you made it up with the leopard <3 I was going to make my sample almost exactly the same, but at the last minute decided to keep it neutral so that people could project their own ideas onto it without getting clouded with mine. You'll stop traffic while running :-)

    • I’ve never even thought of that, but it makes total sense- I bet it’s hard for people to think of how they would make up a pattern if there’s a really strong aesthetic in the sample! This is why you’re good at your job!

  59. Love this! It looks both comfy and unique. What a great design and great use of materials and colors!

  60. M. Powers

    I love the neon against the grey! I saw the new Papercut collection, and while I don’t think that’s the sort of sports bra that will help me in high impact activities (I need a little more um, restraint haha) it does look awesome on you! And I think I need the Soma swimsuit and the Anima pants this summer for sure :)

    • The swimsuit is on my to-do list… then I just need to get a beach day on the books! I never, ever, ever go to the beach. Do you?

      • M. Powers

        I grew up at the beach so it’s something I always felt like I do… but since living here, I’ve been like three times. It’s tough to just plan a beach day for some reason!

  61. stephanie@mabelmakes

    Oh I think I need this pattern in my life asap! I’m always on the lookout for new tops for wearing to yoga and this looks perfect. Love your version with the pop of neon and animal print! So cute

  62. I love this version! This looks so good for yogaclass! Your neon animal print inspired me…

  63. Amy

    Rawwwwww leopard! Liking it

  64. Loving this Sonja! Especially the flash of neon leopard print, it’s the perfect top for using a flash of funk fabric. I liked the look of this pattern instantly and now I REALLY like it!

  65. I took up running a couple of months ago and I love, love, love this top! I like how it’s bright and fun as well as functional and okay to work out in.

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