Sewing for the Soul

It’s been a bit quiet around here lately. I changed jobs last month and the few weeks leading up to that decision were pretty stressful. I lost my sew-jo and most of my enthusiasm for almost everything else.

Sewing is usually my go-to defence against stress but when that fails me, going to the gym, riding my bike, and more recently, running, are just some of the other tools I employ to keep me sane. I wouldn’t call myself a fitness freak but my brain needs to be active and doing something to keep it on track.

With that back story sorted you can understand what a wonderful distraction the sneak peek at the newest patterns from Papercut were for me.

They jump started my sew-jo AND my fitness-jo!

I stitched like a wild woman then I reinstalled the Couch to 5k app on my phone, along with the entire season of Project Runway 12 and hit the treadmill. It’s winter here but we have the odd nice day when I can get outside. My goal is to get back to comfortably running 5kms and then join my local ParkRun every Saturday morning. I run slower than I can hand stitch but I can run, and I feel good!

So, enough about my pavement pounding goals, let’s talk PATTERNS!

There are three new patterns in the collection, cleverly called TRI:

The Soma swimsuit which includes the one-piece plus two bikini and two pant variations, that’s 5 options in one pattern.

The Anima Pant in three lengths, with or without cuffs.

And finally, my favourite, the Pneuma Tank with optional drapey over top.

On top of these three patterns Katie has also re-released four previous patterns with new variations and all are also now available as PDF downloads.

Coppélia, Ooh La Leggings, SJ Tee and Undercover Hood.

If you already own one of these older patterns, don’t panic, there will be tutorials on how to mod them on the Papercut blog soon.

Pneuma (translation: soul) is my favourite of this collection because I have given far too much of my precious fabric money to Lululmeon (except for this year since I am RTW Fasting). I really like their workout gear but they are super exxy and so I may a squealed just a little bit when I saw the line drawings for the Pneuma Tank.

It’s been tricky lately to get finished garment photos. The weather doesn’t co-operate on the weekend and after work it is too dark. Luckily last weekend was beautiful and sunny so I headed into town to meet Kat and Nikki for a mega-photo-shoot-catch-up. We chose the ANZAC Memorial which has just undergone a huge restoration as part of the lead up to ANZAC Day’s 100th commemoration in 2015.

It’s pretty there with lots of great background variation but, more importantly, has lots of bushes and other nooks for quick and (kind of) discrete outfit changes.

The Pneuma is really easy and quick to sew and the instructions are written for a standard sewing machine but you can also use your overlocker or coverstitch machine.

It has wide elastic under the bust and thinner elastic around the arm holes, neck and across the back so it feels snug and comfortable. You zig zag the elastic in place and I finished it with my coverstitch. You need a fabric with high lycra content for the bra top and something nice and drapey for the tank. The straps are bra strapping.

The cross over straps are a really nice feature and super easy to adjust when sewing. I recommend safety pins when you attach them to test their length or you may get stuck like I did, unable to get out without sticking yourself with the pins.

And then your husband will laugh and laugh and laugh…

The extra black straps you see are my sports bra underneath. I guess didn’t actually need to wear a bra for the photos but obviously I do need one for exercising.

Just keepin’ it real, yo.

I have paired my Pneuma with a knee length pair of Anima pants. They are sewn in a medium-weight grey marled fleece with the cuffs and waistband contrasted in black.

They are really comfy but actually a bit thick for exercising. Also I cut a size medium, a decision based on the combination of thicker than normal fabric selection and me worrying about needing extra booty room. They are a bit too big so next time I will use a merino or merino blend and cut the small size.

They have a wide elasticated waist with drawstring (that I didn’t manage to capture in any of the photosgraphs, oops) and I used eyelets for the tie holes instead of button holes, copying from a pair of RTW track pants.

You can whip these up really fast on an overlocker. I just threaded up all 4 spools and went nuts. You only need to top stitch the faux fly and waistband on your sewing machine and then you can put them on while you sew the second pair 😉

As per usual Kat and I ended up with about a million and one photos…but this time we can blame Nikki 😉

I had 2 weeks off between my old and new job when I sewed these up so I also made a long pair in thicker fleece to keep me warm while temporarily unemployed.

I call them my Temporary Lady of Leisure Pants.

Nerdy Husband calls them my Please Don’t Wear that Crazy out in in Public Pants and I’m happy to admit that they were never sewn for exterior excursions but they make me smile and they give you a different perspective on the pattern.

They are also really warm and perfect for winter.

I already have a second Pneuma in the works and plan to pair them with some cropped Ohh La leggings (pattern and fabric for which have been sitting on my “to sew” pile, literally, for months) and I also caved and added the Undercover Hood to my pattern collection. If they work out I’ll need another pair, of course, plus Pneuma #3 and #4, and two more pairs of Anima pants and then I am sure I will be 100% weaned off of Lululemon.

Which means more money for fabric 😉


You can check out Kat’s Pneuma and Anima here.

Also we met this donkey and his friends.

Photography and modelling is hard work…

…so we rewarded ourselves afterwards with high tea at Logan Brown.

View this post on Instagram

#HighTea #LoganBrown

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I was so, so good!

Little teaser: I also made the Soma one-piece, but those photos will have to wait for some beach-appropriate weather.


Pattern –

I want to make another knee length pair (or two) but next time I will use a merino, or merino blend and cut a size S

Fabric – Various fleece from Spotlight. Lycra and cotton from The Fabric Warehouse

Other notions – Cord, eyelets, various elastic, bra strapping

28 thoughts on “Sewing for the Soul

  1. Pingback: Crossing Off The List: Soma Swimsuit | the curious kiwi

  2. I love the Temporary Lady of Leisure Pants, they are fabulous. The rest is also great but I think these pants give Nikki’s husband golf pants a run for thier money

  3. Congrats on the great new tops and bottoms as we’ll as the new job. Love the Pneuma top also with those great straps. Thanks for taking the time for the outdoor photo shoot. It’s always fun to see other parts of the world while exploring sewing projects.

  4. Pingback: Twinsies – mind and soul! | The Monthly Stitch

  5. As someone whose sew-jo is so-low, I feel for you! I’m glad you’re finding your fun again, and getting back to the passions in life. And it’s great to have something else you can turn to! You look fabulous in these and I can’t wait to see your beautiful perky self soon!

  6. Great post, hope you settle into your new job soon. I was so happy to hear that some (most?) of the PaperCut patterns are available in PDF form. Your Pneuma top looks great!

    • Thanks xx I think all the new patterns are pdf now and perhaps she will do the rest eventually, not sure, I love the options of either but you have to own at least one Papercut pattern for real, her packaging is amazing!

  7. I have the ooh la leggings pattern waiting patiently to be used – but it may be joined by other Papercut friends soon. Those patterns look great. I’m on the RTW fast too so I am on the lookout for great patterns too. Well done you!

  8. Great photoshoot! I’ve been waiting to see some versions of these patterns pop up in the blogosphere before hitting the buy button, they look great! Did you find it easy to find the bra strapping, does it come on a roll?

    • Thanks xx

      The bra strapping was sold by the meter and I could only find it at one shop and only in black and white. I know you can get other colours but I didn’t have time to source any. Gingermakes managed to find some in pink, so cute! You live in a much bigger city that I do so hopefully you could find it easier 🙂

      Have you hit the ‘buy’ button yet? 😉

  9. So glad you’re getting back into the groove! And I love your makes! I’m on the RTW Fast as well & man-oh-man, I’m in need of some running tops for summer so of course I’m beyond thrilled for this new pattern. Love your twinsie photos too – it’s always so fun to see what the two of you come up with!

  10. I LOVE that Pneuma top!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m excited to see someone make it up. I’ve been thinking about making a Lulumeon knock off after I saw another sewing blogger make her version (
    So, the bra in this sounds like it’s not a true and serious compression bra? And the strapping is for bra strapping? It would be great to mash up my TNT Jalie sports bra or the Fehr Trade XYT top bra for the compression. Or maybe re-draft to squish to boobies in place for running.

    Thanks for sharing, everything looks so fantastic!!

    • Ohh that top is gorgeous, now I want that one too!

      The bra top isn’t a true compression top, that’s right, but perhaps if you could source the right fabric?? Personally I have never felt supported enough in those kind of workout tops anyway and instead spend large on high quality comfortable sports bras to wear underneath. I would love to see if you could work out some sort of mash-up, interesting 🙂

  11. loved seeing all your new things……..very cute. love those pants so much. i’ve been looking at them retail……too expensive for me so good to know about this pattern. those swimsuits are really cute……but not for me, sadly. i work out hard but still can’t do one of those. plus, i’m just a bit too old now for that look. again, sadly. thanks and hope the new job is going well.

  12. The ooh la leggings pattern looks really cool – I’ve been wanting to make myself some leggings as it seems like work out clothes are the only clothes I buy now. That pneuma top looks great!

  13. I was thinking about you the other day, wondering what was up – congratulations on the new job!

    I love the workout gear, I’m loving this collection from papercut patterns. I think I’m a little too large for their range, but I suppose if I do more exercise I might fit?

    • It would be worth taking a look at her size chart because I was surprised by what size I needed to cut, much smaller than I thought. Also she has added an extra size at each end on her range. I think sewing pretty workout clothes is great motivation. I had a lot of fun picking out my fabrics – I have three Pneumas now in my sewing queue! 🙂

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