From an anonymous reader: "When you have the multiple patterns listed again, would you be able to talk about the differences between them? I'm at the very lowest end of the size range, and was wondering which would be more likely to be flattering and fit."
I have both Elan 645 and Elan 511 available right now, which are good examples of the two basic band styles of bras. This is Elan 645, a full band bra. Note that the band goes completely under the cups:
This is Elan 511, a partial band bra. Note that the band stops at the wire line of the cup, the band does not continue under the cup and that the cups are connected at center front with a rectangle of fabric
As far as differences between the two styles, aside from the visual ones that I've already pointed out, there is a bit of construction difference concerning the attachment of the bands and bottom elastic and concerning which direction the wire channeling is turned and stitched (this detail is not shown in the pattern cover art).
I have made both of these patterns in various sizes, in the smallest size available, a medium size and one of the largest sizes. The tutorials on this blog for both Elan 645 and Elan 511 were made in the smaller sizes for each pattern, I believe I made 32A or 34A. Both were for my daughter, so they were fitted to and worn by a real person, and can be seen below.
If you're making a smaller size, you do not have some of the concerns of support that the larger sizes do. Both styles were equally flattering in the smaller size and fit fairly well with the only adjustments being made to the band. Either style is suitable, and would depend on your preference.
As far as fit, with any clothing item made at home, there is almost always some fine tuning that will need to be done to make it fit correctly. I have found that the fit of Elan patterns is consistent from style to style regardless of size, so if you make a 34A in one style, it fits the same in another style.
There are merits for either pattern, for pure looks and ease of fitting, I'd pick Elan 511. It needs wires and I'll be honest, I don't carry wires that small in the right style. That pattern needs a demi wire in those really small sizes. I had to steal wires from an old bra of my daughter's that we were retiring to get the wires. Elan 645 has merits in that the cups can be made in a non-stretch fabric, and can be made without wires. Many smaller sizes do not want a wire, and this pattern will work without the wires.
I hope that helps a bit for those of you who have a smaller size, yet want something pretty that doesn't look like a trainer for a 10 year old.