Marlborough II

Here is my second go at a Marlborough Bra by Norma from Orange Lingerie.


The fabric I bought as a kit from Etsy with some extra red powermesh. I fell in love with this kit because of the beautiful fun colours. It looks beautiful and I did a better job of putting it together -BUT, it was a mistake, very sadly, when will I learn not to buy fabric online!? You can just never tell what it is going to feel like or sew like, how thick it is and what the quality is like. I wish I had learnt from previous failed purchases! The fabric, I have no idea exactly what it was, but the machine just wouldn’t go through it, I tried every different needle and thread and I just had skipped stitches everywhere! It was a little like a very thick swimsuit fabric. Generally speaking my machine rebels against knits a little anyway.

The general fit of the cups was much better, I changed the pattern pieces for the top and the bottom of the cup, on the bottom I widened the angle between the two base sides, and then lengthened the top piece accordingly. This slightly helped the pointy shape, I’m more of a round shape, and just gave a little more room in the cup.


This worked very well but I  will just angle the left hand edge of the top cut in a little next time as the top of the cup didn’t need to be wider really.


The kit didn’t come with a matching bow and as I bought the kit just after Christmas there was no red bows to be found, so I settled for making my own, I think the double colour adds something though.

I also lined the cup this time and the extra support from that was really great and made the insides much neater though I still left one seem unfinished this time. I used a tutorial from Miss Maddy Sews.

IMG_0010One of the issues with the kit I bought was that the elastics were fairly poor quality, the band looks fine here but after a couple of wears it stretched badly and didn’t give me the required support I needed, At some point when I can face it I need to take this elastic off and put on a new band and this bra will be sooo much better but at the moment I can’t face unpicking my hard work.

I changed the strap placement at the back of the bra by extending the top of the wing as you can see here, leaving the rest of it the same size and that definitely helped the comfort.

I was going to make matching knickers for this one, but after finding out that the band needs changing I’ve decided to hold out until the next one. A good sew just a shame about the kit I bought, I will learn. Honest.


It’s still pretty though!

Marlborough – the trial bra


There are many ladies of my acquaintance who like me has trouble to find a bra that fits. Of a drawer full of lingerie I probably only have 2 that fit me really well, provide adequate support and don’t hurt by the end of the day. As quite a busty gal a lot of the designs in my size, 34G, are white, black or nude, more expensive and vary so much in size and style even two from the same shop can differ greatly. Consequently I’ve decided to make my own. As a confident sewer and someone who has made many of her own clothes for many years here is my journey to find the perfect fitting, comfortable but attractive underwear.


I’ve started with the Marlborough bra from Norma at Orange Lingerie, having seen other people’s versions on various blogs. The pattern was released in bigger sizes and is available as a digital download.

The first attempt I consider to be a toil, as I am expecting the fit may need adjusting somewhat. Given my measurements I have started with a 34G. The instructions were easy to follow, and as it’s my first of these I decided to buy a kit rather than all the notions individually. The kits come in ‘small’ or ‘large’ and this is the size of the elastics included rather than the size of fabric, due to the level of support needed I have chosen large elastic to keep the girls in their place, as is recommended on the pattern.

Here is the outcome.


Whilst the construction was successful, ultimately it wasn’t quite the right fit and as expected adjustments needed to be made. To begin with the fabric was too thin to give the support I hoped for. As you can see in this picture it pulled quite badly across the lower cup. This would be a little less of a problem if I had lined it but for the toil it was important I felt to get to as many of the seams as possible so that if it only needed small tweaks then I would be able to adjust it. Hence these nasty unfinished seems inside.


And a few stray threads…

Another issue with the thinner fabric was that rather than shaping my boobs to the bra instead my boobs shape distorted the bra shape. This left me with a slightly unattractive flat spot under each nipple where the shape wasn’t right for me and a slightly pointy silhouette.

The cups themselves seemed fine when I first put the bra on but over time the age old attractive quad boob appeared. Definitely the cup size needs to be increased a little, but the actual frame and band fitted me well. The band was a little high around my underarm so I’m planning on shaving a cm or so from that on the next go.


I decided to take this one apart and re-use the elastics on a future version that will hopefully fit a little better, did you know that steaming elastics can help them shrink back to their original shapes.  I have to say I put it together way too well for a toil, it took me longer to get the elastics back out un-harmed then it did to put them together!