Pattern Review, Sew The Show

Star Trek-Inspired Ensis Tee

Today I’m “bringing home” my September Sew the Show project — a Star Trek-inspired Ensis Tee.

We have all kinds of fun stuff brewing over at Sew the Show, so if you haven’t followed over there yet (or the FB group page here), you really should.  Just sayin’.

I got to choose the September theme, and I knew immediately what Sci Fi show I would choose as well as the perfect pattern to go with my choice!  I looooooved Star Trek: The Next Generation in middle and high school, so while I had a fleeting thought that I’d pick the X-Files, ultimately my first love won out.

And what better Star Trek shirt than the Ensis Tee?  It’s like Katie from Papercut Patterns was channeling Gene Roddenberry when she designed this shirt.  This is the precise colorblocking you’d need for a Star Trek: TNG shirt!

Creatuve Counselor: Ensis Tee

But I know you’re all here for the pattern deets.

Well, it’s good.  In my experience, Papercut Patterns really are top-notch, both in drafting and presentation.  A lot of people balk at the price of these patterns, and if those prices were in US dollars, I would agree.  But they’re not!  And I think the equivalent of about $18 USD for a beautiful, high-quality paper pattern (and don’t forget the free shipping worldwide) is pretty reasonable.

Creatuve Counselor: Ensis Tee

But back to the pattern.  This one goes together really easily.  You do have to piece together the front, back and sleeves because of the colorblocking, but once that initial piecing is done, this top sews up just like another t-shirt.  It was a fast, easy sew.

Creatuve Counselor: Ensis Tee

I probably could have used either a swayback adjustment or some grading out at the hips to take care of the pooling I’m getting at the small of my back, but it honestly doesn’t bother me enough when I wear it to mess with it.

The pattern doesn’t come with any other options — just the one view.  However, it would be really easy to hack some alternative necklines with my Lark Tee pattern.

Creatuve Counselor: Ensis Tee

I think this pattern would work really well for a pear shape, too.  The colorblocking at the shoulders draws the eye up and gives the illusion of more volume up top.  From my limited understanding of dressing various body “types,” that’s one of the goals with a pear shape.

Creatuve Counselor: Ensis Tee

All of my fabrics are from Michael Levine.  The black is my favorite bamboo/spandex jersey.  I got it at the beginning of the summer to make a black tank top and then never made it.  Oops.  The stripe is a random jersey of unknown fiber content that I dug out of a bin at Michael Levine Loft when I was there in April 2014.  It’s nice to finally use it!

Creatuve Counselor: Ensis Tee

Well there you have it!  This pattern has been in my stash since it was released — I’m very glad I finally had an excuse to make it!

Pattern: Ensis Tee by Papercut Patterns.

Cost: $25 NZD for paper pattern (about $18 USD); $17 NZD for the PDF (about $11.50 USD)

Size: S.

Fabric: All from Michael Levine.  The black is a bamboo/spandex jersey and the stripe is a random jersey from the bins at Michael Levine Loft.  Both are good quality though.

Difficulty:  Advanced beginner.  I would rate the difficulty like any t-shirt — probably not ideal for your first knit project, but once you have a few simple things under your belt and are comfortable with the curves, go for it.

Techniques required: Sewing with knits, sewing curves with knits, attaching a neckband.

Similar patterns:  Just about any t-shirt pattern could be hacked for this look.  My favorite T-shirt pattern is the Grainline Lark Tee, which would be perfect for hacking.

Modifications: None.

Fit:  Really good.  The small fit well straight out of the envelope.  I probably could use a swayback adjustment to address some of the wrinkling at my lower back, but frankly it doesn’t bother me enough to fix it.

Pattern format:  I have this pattern in paper.  Papercut has some of the nicest paper patterns I’ve worked with.  The packaging and presentation is beautiful and the pattern sheet is on sturdy recycled paper.  In fact, the entire pattern is made with recycled paper and is 100% biodegradable!


  • Quick easy pattern with a more interesting look.
  • Good fit straight out of the envelope.
  • Beautiful packaging and presentation


  • Not a lot of options for the price.  There is another view with a waistband and cuff, but that’s it.  Papercut patterns are at the high end of the indie price point, and with all of the options available now, the designers offering limited options for top dollar (Papercut is not the only one nor the most glaring), can be hard to swallow.

Overall grade: C+. I like this pattern and I think it’s well done.  But it has very few options — just a waistband and cuff.  In this day and age, for a pattern to cost top dollar, a lot of consumers will want more options.

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