Amanda Vs Ensis Tee

I think I should by a lotto ticket. Or bet on a pony race. Because yet again something I have visualised in my noggin has actually translated from AmandaBrain to the real world with success! Seriously, people. This is all kinds of a huge deal. Though perhaps my rad new Ensis Tee from Papercut Patterns and Iris Shorts from Colette Patterns are the prize?


The Ensis Tee by Papercut Patterns is a colour blocked, crew necked knit top with two options: cropped sleeve with a curved hem or cuffed sleeves and hem. Because I live in total denial of the temperatures in Canberra I decided to go the “summer version” with the cropped sleeves. This was a ridiculously easy pattern to assemble and I finally have the tension set on my serger correctly that I could use this for most of the construction. Win! The tee was super fast to construct and the instructions were clear and easy to follow. Top work, peeps!


I went with a ponti for this version as I am a total fabric renegade (actually, there was no lightweight knit stripes available but let’s keep cultivating a hardcore image). This has made a top with a bit more structure but its working with the stripes- they look nice and regular.


Yet again with Papercut, I found the sleeves a bit snug. I had gone up a size with this top from the Coppelia wrap so stupidly didn’t check sleeves sizes and just cut everything out. Epic fail. The sleeves sit quite snug and whilst they are not uncomfortable in the ponti they may look a little clingy in a softer knit. Consider this a lesson learned.

One area I went crazy with was the neckline. The pattern has a crew neck and when I made it up I looked like one of those uncomfortable awkward family photos from the early 90s. You know the ones I mean. Crew necks are not my friend and this one felt like it was trying to hug my neck to death. I used the neckline from the Grainline Scout Tee to scoop out the front neck (and took 1/2” from around the back neckline as well), folded this over and hemmed. I really like how this sits on me now and there is no risk of accidental neck hugging to death by my top!


Now, gentle readers, after your awesome advice on dealing with knit topstitching (thank you all!) I am after a bit more help. There are some wrinkles happening in front of the armhole that are a bit odd. I’m thinking this may be caused by the arscye being too high up and it needs to be scooped out. Does this sound vaguely correct or am I misreading some google advice Any tips welcome!


And very quickly, I will tip my hat to my fierce new boiled wool shorts. These suckers are Iris by Colette Patterns and this is now the 11th time I have made these. Not even kidding. To try and make this more challenging for myself all the pieces are Hong Kong finished. Yup. What is normally a 90 minute project from cutting to final press turned into a mammoth multiple evening endurance trial. They’re done, look delish inside and have prompted me to buy a bias binding foot for my machine. Because no one deserves to spend that much time on binding EVER.


What I liked about the Ensis pattern:

  • How quick and simple it was. A fast game is a good game!
  • The slight curved hem. I am always sceptical of these but I really liked it. Sassy!
  • The built in colour block. It lends itself to a Breton inspired top. Oh lal la!

What I would change next time:

  • Add an extra inch to the sleeves. I know they’re meant to be cropped but it is seriously a case of Gadget arms strike again!
  • Mega bicep adjustment (that’s the technical term, right?) Seems like I’m packing bazookas and not pistols for the gun show…
  • Fix those armhole wrinkles. It’s like my armpits have angry eyebrows. Not the look a lady is wanting to rock.



Pattern: Ensis Tee Pattern from Papercut Patterns

Fabric: White ponti from stash, 1.5m of striped ponti

Notions: Thread and twin needle in stash


Pattern: Iris Shorts by Colette Patterns, stashed and made 11 times

Fabric: 80cm boiled wool , 20cm quilting cotton

Notions: Thread , 11m of bias binding


See also: Myzeemoo, Sewn by Elizabeth, Top Notch


I am seriously crushing on this top hard and have already acquired merino to make two more. Like a wooly, snuggly boss! And on the off chance that anyone is wondering where these photos are taken I have decided to try and venture away from my lovely brick wall out to the farms a couple of minutes drive from my place. Canberra is called the bush capital for a reason!



  1. Amanda, this is such an awesome outfit. Your iris’s are spot on and the ensis tee is just perfect in the ponte. God damn it I might need to go and buy that ensis tee now. Great work on the photos – they are beautiful!

  2. I love this outfit! I still haven’t made any shorts – one of my unwritten things I wanted to do this summer. I can’t believe you have made 11 pairs! No idea how to fix the angry armpit eyebrows though.

    • Thank ye! Blue shorts are all kinds of awesome- I love them! And I totally agree about the binding foot. I just tried mine out and it is AMAZING!!!

  3. Everything about this outfit is fabulous! I’m always easy to please with good stripes, and that top looks like a lot of stripey goodness. But those shorts are awesome! I love love love the colour and clever thinking with the wool for winter! I want a pair now, and I REALLY don’t need anymore shorts!

    • No more shorts?! That is heresy! Shorts for all! And thank you- I’m quite smitten with stripes at the moment. They make everything more awesome 😉

  4. No fitting advice, just a huge WOW from me. I think I’m in love with your ensis top – it’s my fave of all the ensis tops there ever have been! You may have converted me to the pattern… In fact the whole outfit is gorgeous, and so are your photos! I want to raid your wardrobe!

  5. Oooh the shorts, the shorts!!! Ok I do head for blue things over any other colour (bower-bird-like) but still, even if they were in um, orange or something, I’d still be loving them.
    Ok now I’m able to see past the shorts, I’m loving the top too, especially the way you’ve used the stripes and plain.

    The armscye does look like it might be a bit small both front and back. However, I do know from vast experience that if the sleeve is a tad small across the biceps, they can ‘borrow’ fabric from the bodice to make up the extra room, which looks like a bodice-fit issue but is really about the sleeves. So I’d definitely be fixing those sleeves first then see what happens.
    The beauty of it is that you can fix the sleeves, stick them in, and if you still need, you can cut away the armscye a bit. Nothing you have to take a risk on or really need to muslin,. Er, bearing in mind that last bit is from someone vastly allergic to muslins 😛

    There’s a really good Threads article about fitting the bodice and armscye. I’ll try dig it up for you.

    I have to say too, I’m envious of your perfectly-tensioned overlocker. I spent all day yesterday (so it feels) wrestling with mine *cries*
    (I think we reached an understanding in the end, but I haven’t been game to put it to the test today)

    • Lovely lady, this is awesome advice! Thank you so so much!!!! I’m going to have another bash at this pattern with the merino so will start with biceps first! And yay for bower bird blue!

  6. Looking fabulous (although you usually do) – I love this combination.
    My understanding of these underarm wrinkles is the requirement for an FBA, a couple of my Skater dresses have it, and I admit I was too lazy to do an FBA. But in saying that on googling there is a mixed reaction to this theory. Some say more armscye, some FBA. Good luck!

  7. You style setter you! Gee I adore this outfit, and the photos ( the light and colours are incredible) and I sigh at the combo ( sighing with inspiration and a wee bit of envy) at how awesome a Breton style yoked long sleev tee looks with royal blue shorts. But not just any royal blue, but boiled wool? Awesome.

  8. Bwahahaha I know *exactly* where your photos were taken cause it’s just round the corner from my childhood home and we would walk the dog down there every single day. Rock that bush capital winter sunshine!! Although the vineyards still freak me out a bit…

    • All the cool kids! Yeah, the vineyards are so random- though we recently discovered Pankhurst winery so maybe fresh wine so close is the payoff… Mmm wine!

    • Merci, milady! The colour of the wool is seriously the best- I was drawn to it several times before I finally caved 😀
      And after using my binding foot for the first time I am a convert- so awesome!


  1. […] with a size M for this Papercut pattern after previous sleeve fit issues (read: buff guns) on my Ensis tee and Coppelia wrap. Whilst this was great in theory of course this was the pattern with already […]

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