Pneuma Tank meets XYT!

I bought the Pneuma Tank the moment it was released.  Only I didn't make it up straight away because I didn't have enough bra strapping to match fabrics in my stash.  I could have used my coverstitch and binding to finish edges and extend into straps (and I will do this one day), but I kept thinking how great the Pneuma tank would be if you could change the straps, on whim / with fabric choice, just like the XYT workout top.

I used the XYT as inspiration rather than use the actual pattern pieces.  This is only because I prefer a slightly different neckline than the XYT.  I used my support tank sloper to draw in an X back that would connect with the front of the pneuma tank. You could totally use the XYT pattern though...just remember to extend the upper back pieces to meet the front of the pneuma.  If you lay the XYT front on top of the pneuma tank you will be able to see how long this extension needs to be.

 I used elastic to finish the edges.  I stitched it down with a zig-zag rather than my coverstitch because I was getting low on matching thread.

The bra part of the top is from cotton lycra and the tank fabric is a lightweight, cool knit remnant.  I decided to leave the hem raw.

I would not be surprised if this becomes my favourite running top.  I like top / bra combos because it is one less thing to pull on if you are exercising in the wee hours of the morning or if you are packing to go on holiday and it saves trying to co-ordinate bra / top in the dark, if, like me, you want everything to match.  This top should be much cooler than my support tanks because the main fabric is lightweight and probably does not contain lycra and the style is loose fitting.

Support Tank

I have a sewing friend who teases me about being a little bodgy with my patterns.  You know, just sort of laying them out and cutting something different around them, hacking them off a bit, pivoting here, laying different patterns over the top of each other  and coming up with something else.  Well, I have recently bought myself a supply of pattern tracing paper, which seems to have become a bit hard to find in Australia lately and am making a bit more of an effort to do things properly (well, sometimes).

One pattern that is definitely worth making up properly is my basic exercise top.  My favourite workout tops ever were combinations of Burda WOF 11-2007-123 and Jalie 2563.  In later versions, I had to remember to take the Burda in at the waist and out at the hips, lower the neck of Jalie, adjust the Burda straps if I was using them, raise the fold line for the inner bra etc.  Not anymore...now I have created a Support Top Sloper, based on my t-shirt sloper, with various lines drawn in for different necklines, armholes and backs.

I then used this sloper to make a pattern for a design that has been floating around my head for a couple of years now.  I put tracing paper over my sloper and marked my design lines.The design lines are just colour blocking / fabric changes, and do not incorporate any shaping.

  I then traced off the sections and added various seam allowances to make a pattern.

Here is the finished product.

Detail shot, showing construction methods, as I am submitting this in the PR active wear competition.  I bound the edges using a binder and my coverstitch machine.  Seams were overlocked.  Seams were enclosed wherever possibly to minimise chafing.

Inside shot to show the support tank. It was made out of a double layer of mesh.

The fabrics are from Glitter and Dance.  The main fabric is a cotton lycra and the contrast panels / inner support are from stretch mesh. I bought them, along with some glitter knit, to make my daughter a leotard using Jalie 2674.

Mint sports bra

I used the same fabrics as my support tank to make a sports bra (cotton lycra and stretch mesh from Glitter and Dance).  

The pattern is one that I made by cutting up a RTW bra.

The side seams are enclosed between the inner and outer layers.  the edges are bound using my binders and coverstitch machine.  The underbust elastic was attached with an overlocker, turned up and zig-zagged in place.

Surf Version

Last year, I muslined Fehr Trade's surf to summit top.  I put a lot of effort into it but stopped short of perfection when end-of-year stuff got too busy. 

I took my muslin on holidays to the beach to test it out in the surf.  I needed to make more changes!  I needed to tighten it up a lot.  I would take the seams in, go back to the beach, come home, take the seams in again.  I did this 3  or 4 times over....very conservative adjustments as I am not comfortable with tight fitting clothes generally.  I especially had to narrow the sleeves.  I was bodysurfing at Noosa, and every single time I caught a wave, my sleeves would get pushed up past my elbows.

With the holidays over, I was in no rush to change my pattern and make another version, but...PR is having an active wear competition.  This has motivated me to get the pattern and muslin out again.  Here is my next version.

I still need to make some slight changes around the neck, but I am much happier with this version.  I am especially happy with the fit through the back, which was loose and floppy before.

I stuck to my folded over band neckline, as I think it holds up better for bodysurfing, and I changed my darted sleeve to a 2 piece sleeve.

I used the curved back hemline.  I overlocked the bottom edge without hemming...this is a method I have seen in RTW surf tops.  It may sound like a cop out, but I did adjust the settings on my overlocker and sew test strips in order to get my most beautiful stitch!


Oversized linen t-shirt dress

Initially, I planned for this fabric to be a cardigan.  Then I tried on a dress whilst on holidays, and thought maybe I could re-create it in a more flattering colour.  Only it has ended up a bit short, due to fabric limitations.  And possibly, it is a bit sheer to be worn in public, unless as a beach throw-over.  Happily, it is perfect for wearing at home.  I have been living in my missoni tank dress all summer, and I think this one will take over from the tank dress as the weather cools a bit.

The fabric is a linen knit from EmmaOneSock (this colour was called grape, and does not seem to be currently available).  In the past I have had trouble binding the necklines of linen knits.  This time, I interfaced the binding with a tricot fusible interfacing, and had no problems.

For the pattern, I started with the drape drape 2 t-shirt, no. 4.  I used the half of the pattern not on the fold, raised the neckline, lengthened as much as a could and cut a curved hem.

And it seems I have enough fabric left on the sides to cut out a short-sleeved, light weight cardigan....suggesting that perhaps if I had lay the fabric out fully, and played with the pattern layout, instead of trying to cut out in a too small space, I would have been able to cut a longer dress.  No worries, it will get plenty of wear just the way it is.