Do you ever tell yourself you’re not going to buy any patterns for a while? Well, you shouldn’t, because that’s when all your favorite designers will come out with all your dream patterns. For me, that was Norma of Orange Lingerie coming out with the Esplanade Bra pattern. I’ve had a really hard time finding a strapless bra that fits, so making one has been on my ‘I wonder if I could do that’ list. Well, it turns out, I can!
I’m 90% sure that the hardest part of this process was sourcing all the supplies. I thought it was tough with regular bras, but between the extra long underwires and the hook and eye tapes (which I found on eBay), it got tough! I used this pretty find from fabric.com for the main fabric of the bra I didn’t have matching elastic. I bought some white elastic from Tailor Made Shop and dyed it, which was an adventure in and of itself.
Once I finally gathered all of my supplies, I got straight to work. Unfortunately my super awesome sewing table wasn’t here when I started, which I blame for all of my problems.
I had no problems with cutting. I started assembling the fabric cups and then went to bed. The next day, I realized I had made 2 right cups (one wrong side out). Womp womp. Cut another cup, sewed it together – top stitching and everything. Realized I had been using a 1/8″ SA instead of 1/4″. Gave up for a couple days.
Enter magic cutting table. I’m sure it’s not actually magic but it feels so good to have it here! I recut the cups. Again. Sewed. Topstitched. BAM. It was finally right. It was essentially smooth sailing from there. I had some machine issues, but it turns out using the right needles makes a big difference.
The Esplanade Bra pattern
So if you’ve sewn other Orange Lingerie patterns, you know she’s got thorough instructions and good graphics. However, many have complained that while the patterns were advertised as “compatible” with foam, there were never foam pattern pieces or related instructions. This was a change that sewists had to make for ourselves. Well, this is not the case with the Esplanade pattern. Not only are there foam pieces, the instructions also explicitly tell you what to do with the foam pieces! No more googling “how to sew foam bra cups” or “making foam bra cup pieces”! This is a huge improvement, in my opinion, from her previous patterns.
This strapless bra pattern features a longline style, which helps keep things in place and prevents slipping. I love the longline bra style, but haven’t been able to get my hands on any, so I was smitten with this pattern the moment I saw it.
I decided that 32DD was the best size for me in the Orange Lingerie Boylston pattern, so that’s what I went with for the Esplanade bra pattern as well.
I’m really happy with the results here! The strapless bra is very supportive and looks great on! The band ends at my natural waist.
I think for the next one, I may add a bit of fabric towards the bottom of the band (or shorten it just a smidgen), because it’s a little tight at the bottom. It’s great that it’s tight and gives support, but it’s almost too tight since my hips start widening as soon as my waist is over.