Pneuma Compression

With my chest size (what a way to start a post!) I can get enough bounce control with a regular compression sports bra. I much prefer the cropped tank style since there are no clasps or hooks to cause ab-workout bruising along my spine and no strap sliders to come loose after multiple wash-wear cycles.

Papercut Pneuma Navy Straps

To adapt the Papercut Pneuma Tank pattern, for higher impact workouts with greater oscillatory bounce, I needed further compression to flatten dem’girls against my ribcage. I didn’t want to compromise ribcage expansion (yes, breathing) for the sake of compression though so it wasn’t simply a case of grading down the pattern. What I needed was increased tension of the fabric.

Papercut Pneuma

Simple answer? Two layers of lycra. The inside is the navy nylon lycra I used for my first pneuma tank and the outside is printed lycra from Funki Fabrics leftover from my Halogen bikini.

Papercut Pneuma Halogen 1

The two layers enabled me to sandwich the straps between them to give a really nice finish. I guess this could make it reversible but my strapping is plush on one side and satin on the other so not quite reversible for this make.

Papercut Pneuma Halogen 2

I had a small amount of navy fold-over-elastic so I used that to finish just the front neckline to bring the colour scheme together.

Papercut Pneuma Halogen 3

The double layer works a treat. Not only is it an excellent wicking layer to line the printed lycra (some areas of the design are white unprinted lycra) but bounce and jiggle are completely eradicated. Win.

Some interesting (but not too in depth) resources on the physics of sportsbras and the female anatomy during exercise: Sports Bra Basics, Breast pain and sportsbras, Breast pain research, Bra Physics


10 responses to “Pneuma Compression

  1. I have this pattern waiting for me to find the right amount of motivation to sew it. 😀 I like the double layered fabrics and concealed strapping. That’s a really nice finish. I’ve considered ordering from Funki Fabrics, because they have a wonderful selection of prints to choose from. Are you happy with the quality of your fabric?

    • Yes, I like the quality of the lycra from Funki Fabrics. They print onto white lycra that is medium thickness (I’ve sewn with thicker and thinner). It hardly curls at all when it’s cut which is unusual. I used the same fabric for a bikini that stood up really well in the water and sunbathing. No fading of the print and it didn’t go see through when wet either.

      It is printed on white which isn’t a problem for this particular print, but for a darker print I imagine when stretched further, some white might show through. I know Amy ( mentioned this for her swimsuit make with some cherry printed Funki Fabric lycra.

  2. Hi! That is absolutely brilliant. I have the same question as Michelle- is the quality of the printed lycra good and is it also wicking fabric?

    I have just ordered some great looking printed wicking fabric from Spoonflower for a new gym top but it would be good to know if I can get similar wicking prints a little nearer to home – I know there is a plentiful supply of plain colours. 🙂

    P.S – I’m having a Simplicity pattern giveaway on my blog this week!

    • Any nylon-lycra combo is essentially wicking because it allows moisture to evaporate easily, it’s just the natural fibers like cotton that aren’t wicking. So yes, this does the trick.
      Printed wicking fabric is hard to find in the UK. For plains UK Fabrics Online have a nice range – this is what I used on the inside of this sports top (and previously as a single layer for the sports bra under my other Pneuma make). It curls but feels a bit more substantial that FunkiFabrics lycra. I’ve bought a few things from SewingChest ( and have been impressed with their service. The bra strapping I used here is from there, excellent quality. I noticed they sometimes have printed lycra too but I haven’t made a fabric purchase with them yet.

      And Fehr Trade has a list of sports fabric suppliers (both UK and international) on her blog too.

  3. Looks great and love your fabric choices. Incrediblŷ neat finish too 🙂

    • Thanks. It’s always so much easier to get a neat finish the second time I sew with a pattern… perhaps I should double back on some of my earlier patterns!

  4. I’m working on this tank myself right now and was trying to decide on how to increase the compression. Was debating on doubling up on the fabric or trying some power mesh. Glad to hear that doubling the fabric worked! Using leftovers from a pair of capris I’m making. Love this pattern!

  5. Pingback: Pneuma Tank | Artistic Musings

  6. Pingback: A sports top to match your trainers | Clipped Curves

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