Completed: Knot-Maste Top + Pneuma Bra

12 Jul

Hello hello! Sorry for essentially dropping off the face of the earth there for a minute – after I got home from Belize, I was immediately sucked into a full week of Maid of Honor duties (yes, my BFF got married!!!), including making a dress to wear in the wedding (more info on that once we get the photos back). The wedding was fantastic and I had loads of fun, but it feels pretty good to not be under anymore deadlines and have a chance to breathe finally!

This project is actually a pretty old one – I finished it ages ago. If these photos are confusing you, just know that I took them back in May when I was still in my old apartment. I was in the middle of packing – I think my sewing room was partially torn down by that point – hence the stack of boxes next to me. But, you know – better late than never!

Anyway, enough with the half-assed apologies – y’all’s is here for the SEWING, anyway!

Knot-Maste Top

This is the Knot-Maste Yoga top from Fehr Trade. When Melissa first introduced this pattern a few months ago, I bought it immediately because, tbh, it’s pretty bomb-ass. I’m definitely not the sort of person who wears workout clothes anywhere except to workout (and I am definitely the sort of person who always wants to ask the Yoga Moms at Whole Foods – you know, the ones in Lululemon with a full face of make-up and perfectly styled hair – how their workout went just because I am also an asshole), and my preferred workout duds can be described as “as little as I can get away with.” That being said, I don’t think this pattern – especially the top – should be restricted to only for exercising. I guess it depends on how much skin you like to bare outside the gym, but I totally saw this top as something I’d wear just as normal everyday clothes. And the bottoms could easily be the comfiest pajamas. Sold and sold!

Knot-Maste Top

Knot-Maste Top

Designed to be sewn in a lightweight, 4 way stretch knit (Melissa recommends using bamboo knit), this pattern features an open back that can be worn 2 ways. You can leave the ends loose for a really nice back breeze, or tie them together to make the shirt look fitted from the front (and also still get a lil’ bit of a back breeze). The idea is to get some airflow while you’re yoga-ing – but still be able to tie that floaty knit out of the way of your face while you’re in downward dog – but, again, it also totally works as something you can wear out and about and yet not look like you’re en route to a gym.

Knot-Maste Top

Either way, it’s a total mullet of a shirt. Business in the front, party in the back – woohoo!

Knot-Maste Top

I also love that it looks like a tshirt dress when it’s untied. Note to self: this is cute, make a tshirt dress.

Knot-Maste Top

Knot-Maste Top

To get the maximum impact of this pattern, lightweight + stretchy knits are key. You don’t want to make this out of anything that is even remotely thick – or even medium weight, to be honest. Think of the slinkiest, most obnoxious-to-sew knit, and that’s probably gonna be your best bet. Lightweight merino, bamboo knit, rayon, and cotton-spandex blends all work great.

For my particular version, I actually used a poly knit that I bought at Walmart, of all places. It cost me about $3 a yard, which I figured was a fair price to pay for what is essentially a wearable muslin. The weight and drape is spot on, but the fact that it’s polyester makes it pretty unbearable in the heat here – even with that back breeze. I know some people can handle poly in the summer, but I cannot! I’ll still wear this one because I’m bound and determined to suffer for fAsHuN, but I would love to make a replacement version in a more suitable fiber.

Knot-Maste Top
Knot-Maste Top

The pattern has some fun details, such as the knotted bands at the sleeves. This results in a completely wack looking pattern piece, but it comes together really satisfactorily. Be warned that there is a ton of hemming with this top – the sleeve bands and all around the bottom hem (if you’re making the longer, non-banded version), as well as the open back. The instructions suggest using a twin needle, but I opted for a zigzag as, again, this is just a wearable muslin. I also topstitched the neckband with a zigzag, so at least things would look cohesive.

As far as assembly, this was really easy to put together and doesn’t take much more time than sewing a plain tshirt. I did mess up the back overlap (one side is not as overlapped as it should be, whoops), but it doesn’t affect the fit at all. I sewed an XXS in the long (non-banded) version, and am very happy with the fit. I think the sleeves could stand to be shorter (I prefer to wear cap sleeves), if not eliminated altogether (sun’s out, gun’s out, y’all). I started to fiddle with the pattern to try to figure out a tank version and just got overwhelmed and gave up.

Knot-Maste Top

Knot-Maste Top

The only downside to this style of top is that your back bra band is visible no matter how you wear it. And while I am an advocate of going bra-less if you feel compelled to do so, this is sooo not the top for that (unless you get your rocks off being a breeze away from being considered a sex offender, I guess you do u). Which is why you get two projects in this post – I had to make a bra to wear under it!

Pneuma Bra

Pneuma Bra

The sports bra is the non-tank version of the Pneuma Tank from Papercut patterns. I’ve had this pattern in my stash since it was first released, but haven’t had the chance to make it up until this project screamed for it. Which is dumb, because it’s actually a pretty badass sports bra – it looks cool as shit, and gives me enough support for a light run (keep in mind that I don’t *need* a lot of support with the size of my rack so YMMV, my DDD+ sisters). I even wore this shit to powerwash my mom’s side deck. I just love clothing that has multiple uses.

Pneuma Bra

As with the Knot Maste top, the back of the Pneuma tank is my favorite part. LOOK AT THAT SUNBURST OF PURE DELIGHT.

Knot-Maste Top

Knot-Maste Top

I sewed this one up in a size XXS, which is my typical size for Papercut Patterns. All the elastics were raided from my stash of bra-making supplies – including the yellow strap elastic, which I weirdly bought a few years ago and have never had a use for until now (it’s narrower than I like to wear my bra straps, and also a strange shade of yellow to try to match to anything!). The outer fabric is a swimsuit spandex from Mood Fabrics – the particular one I used is now sold out, but ummm they have some pretty rad ones up on their site right now! Apparently this one comes with 50+ SPF and ~aloe vera microcapsules~, whatever the fuck that means. I’ll let y’all know if my skin gets more supple in the future.

Knot-Maste Top

And here’s the back view on me! Despite having more straps than needed, this bra is surprisingly easy to put on (I haven’t had a tangled incident yet, knock on wood) and super comfortable to wear. Now that I know I like it as a bra, I’m even more keen to make the tank version. I’ll let y’all know how that goes when I get around to doing it in 5 years.

Pneuma Bra

Pneuma Bra

Pneuma Bra

A few more construction notes – I lined the front and back with lightweight power mesh, for additional support/compression and a little bit more modesty. The seams are sewn with a serger, and the elastic is applied with a regular sewing machine. I did move the straps to a better position in the front after taking these pieces, so there’s not that weird angle between the top of the front piece and where the strap is attached. I didn’t realize how stupid it looked until I was looking at the photos, ha.

Since this top is sewn with a swimsuit fabric, that means I can actually wear it as a swimsuit! I didn’t make matching bottoms, but my black swimsuit bottoms go quite well with the colors in this one.

Knot-Maste Top

Anyway, I think that’s all for this set! Just writing about how awesome that top is makes me want to make another one in a less shitty fabric, ha. As a side note, I did also make the pants that are part of the Knot Maste duo- and they turned out great, but they are black and really underwhelming to photograph. I will not be writing a post on them, but I’m happy to answer any burning questions about them that you may have!

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37 Responses to “Completed: Knot-Maste Top + Pneuma Bra”

  1. Nilzeitung July 12, 2017 at 11:51 am #

    That’s great(*L*)

  2. bethnegrey July 12, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

    I LOVE the fabric on the Pneuma Bra top! I kept thinking: swimsuit, swimsuit, swimsuit….and I can only imagine how totally cool it looks with your bikini bottoms. Inspired, yes! And that Knot-Maste Top is incredible. One question. As a newbie sewist when I try to sew zigzag stitch on knits, it takes me forever to get the right length, etc. (who knew I could gather with a zigzag stitch…. :-o) Is there some sort of rule (guideline, actually πŸ˜‰ ) that will help me feel a bit more like I know what I’m doing? My machine is a pretty basic one, so no computer settings or fancy dials.

    • LLADYBIRD July 12, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

      I originally bought it to make into a swimsuit, but honestly – I have more than enough swimsuits considering how little I actually use them πŸ™‚ But I like that this one is dual-duty, and that it goes with bottoms I already own. So that’s a plus!

      I actually don’t have an answer to your question, as I sew on a computerized machine that has auto tension adjustments. I also use a walking foot, which helps feed the fabric evenly – that is what is causing the gathering with your zigzags. I would suggest trying a walking foot if you haven’t done so already; I won’t sew knits without mine! They can be pretty pricey, but I think the basic machines have ones that are a bit more affordable.

      • bethnegrey July 12, 2017 at 3:29 pm #

        thanks for the suggestion — I don’t have a walking foot so will check (in a couple of days) with a good shop over by where my mom lives. I’ll give it a try and let you know!

        • LLADYBIRD July 13, 2017 at 8:46 am #

          Yes, let me know how it works out! πŸ™‚

  3. TarcyD July 12, 2017 at 1:18 pm #

    I’m sitting at work wearing a t-shirt dress made out of the exact same knit from Walmart. Love the shirt design!

    • LLADYBIRD July 12, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

      Haha, twinning! I love it! πŸ™‚

  4. Dee July 12, 2017 at 3:27 pm #

    Looks great Lauren πŸ˜€

  5. Lesley July 12, 2017 at 3:53 pm #

    Oh yay. It’s been on my list to buy the namaste top so it’s good to see reviews.

    • LLADYBIRD July 13, 2017 at 8:46 am #

      I haven’t seen very many reviews of it yet, hopefully they will start coming out of the shadows πŸ™‚

      • Lesley July 13, 2017 at 4:02 pm #

        I may have accidentally bought the pattern this afternoon. Whoops!

  6. KS_Sews July 12, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

    Super cute outfit and the bra is especially awesome!

    And, make the t-shirt dress! I made my daughter 3 of them assembly line style a few months ago. She’s still raving that they’re the most awesome thing to wear, ever πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD July 13, 2017 at 8:46 am #

      I gotta get on that! So many projects, so little timeeee haha

  7. Anne Ominous (@rustoleumlove) July 12, 2017 at 6:50 pm #

    Gorgeous bra! and how was Belize? .. I might be here for the sewing but i love to travel and haven’t been yet

    • LLADYBIRD July 13, 2017 at 8:48 am #

      It was amazing! I just went as a BFF trip and spent more time drinking and getting a sunburn than I did taking photos, so I won’t be writing a post about it. But I am happy to give advice if you are planning a visit and want some suggestions! We had a GREAT tour guide who made the trip extra awesome πŸ™‚

  8. CB July 12, 2017 at 9:19 pm #

    Your talent blows me away! Both pieces look great. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Margo Bergman July 13, 2017 at 8:10 am #

    Love both pieces!!! geez…like I need more patterns but gonna go look (and likely buy) anyway. The t-shirt dress sounds like a great idea too!

    • LLADYBIRD July 13, 2017 at 8:48 am #

      Ha, I justified it because it’s different than any other pattern I own (or have seen!) πŸ˜› Maybe that will work for you hahaha!

  10. PsychicSewerKathleen July 13, 2017 at 9:31 am #

    I love so many things about that Tee – the shape in the back, the options on how to wear it, the arms but that completely open back is problematic for me as is your bra which I loved too – being a G cup sister has MANY limitations πŸ™‚ I suppose if I dropped that opening in the back enough to cover my bra but that would mean drafting a much longer back yoke or lowering the opening and that just wouldn’t end up looking like the same Tee at all!

    • LLADYBIRD July 14, 2017 at 9:26 am #

      You could always get a bra that has a pretty back and show it off πŸ™‚ Whether it’s a much more supportive sports bra (my BFF is a G and wears stuff like that frequently so I know it exists!) or even a regular bra with a front clasp πŸ™‚

  11. Helen July 14, 2017 at 10:17 am #

    Lovely tops, Lauren! Welcome back πŸ™‚

  12. Veronica Reed July 14, 2017 at 2:58 pm #

    Okay, the top is totally cute, but what I really love is that sports bra. πŸ™‚ I’ve been looking for a good pattern for my super athletic tween. Cute and sports bra doesn’t seem to go together much. I never thought of using swimsuit material for one! That expands the whole cute realm!

    • LLADYBIRD July 17, 2017 at 8:56 am #

      Yeah, I can’t even tell you how pleased I am with myself for using a dual-duty fabric! I get SO much more use out of the top now!

  13. Tomasa July 15, 2017 at 5:38 pm #

    What a fun top but that bra is fabulous.

  14. Elizabeth Neal July 16, 2017 at 12:42 pm #

    Doesn’t the top get annoying if you are doing any yoga that involves lying down? I don’t think I could be bothered having to tie it back and undo it all the time. It does look cute though.

    • melissa July 16, 2017 at 2:51 pm #

      Other people have wondered this, too, but as it’s made in a lightweight jersey, the knot is pretty squishy and really isn’t a problem in my experience. It’s designed to be worn knotted during exercise, and left open on your way to and from the studio for those who prefer a looser top in public. So you’re not really tying and untying very frequently! But there’s also a second view with an attached hem band (with little twists at the sides) if you wanted to eliminate the back knot entirely but still have the ventilation. Thanks for asking!

    • LLADYBIRD July 17, 2017 at 8:58 am #

      Melissa’s reply sums it up better than I will even try to – but yeah, if you use a drapey enough fabric, the knot is super squishy (and if you only tie it once – i.e., not a full, proper knot – it will also lay more flat). I will say I’ve not worn this top to do yoga because I prefer to practice in a sports bra + shorts/leggings, but I have laid on the floor with it knotted and it’s quite comfortable. And great for making a breeze if you do hot yoga and need to fan yourself haha πŸ™‚

  15. melissa July 16, 2017 at 2:48 pm #

    Woo! Thanks for the review! I’m glad I’m not the only one with a massive Instagram-to-blog lag time! πŸ˜‚ Glad to see you’re still loving it – they make such a great combo!

    • LLADYBIRD July 17, 2017 at 8:59 am #

      I love it SO much! You designed a seriously wonderful pattern!!!<3

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