Textile and Fashion Design

Relining Winter Coats

At last Brown Street Bespoke’s favourite winter coat has been relined. It was lined with a ghastly white polyester which I strongly suspect was not the original lining for a 1960’s coat. The lining always felt cold and marked easily. I have relined the the coat with a fine East African cotton print and the sleeves with silk from a kimono. It looks and feels so much better for the upcoming winter.

I think Brown Street Bespoke’s vintage Womble print cotton would make an ideal quirky lining or shell. Email me if you would like a coat/ jacket to have a Womble make over!

Coat Lining


Where would we be without our daughters?

I wonder if I would ever have had the opportunity to design and make flower headdresses back in 2009 if our daughters weren’t involved the the school of Dance and Theatre Arts.DTA Flowers 2009


Would I have subsequently pursued an in depth knowledge of pattern making by enrolling in a Graduate diploma in Fashion at Otago Polytechnic if I had not made those headdresses.

I do know that I would not have helped with Cos Play and sewing ribbons on Pointe shoes in 2015 if I did not have my girls. They are an inspiration!

Big Little Girl


2015- Collecting and Tailoring


Brown Street has a bit of a weakness for jumpsuit patterns. Oh dear.. there are many more in my collection. However, they are perfect for my favourite vintage fabrics.

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A beautiful tweed coat transformed into a tailored jacket and a vest. Sometimes a thread traces a more accurate line than chalk. Interfacing stabilises the hem line.

Wizard of Oz Costume Design

For the past 10 weeks I have been working on the costume design for Columba College’s production of the Wizard of Oz. It has been a wonderful experience to have been working with Directing ‘legend’ Gladys Hope, choreographer Anna Nees and to have Teresa Andrew as my amazing mentor. The cast were outstanding young people who were great to work with. All in all it has been a very intense and rewarding experience which I would do again!

Below are some photos generously shared by Kelk Photography.

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A Winter Coat or Two

This winter I have rediscovered the joy of wearing a coat. Rather than layering jerseys and cardigans I have been wearing a coat that is of the right weight and cut for the day’s planned activities. For example, if it is an indoor day then this Valentino coat worn like a warm dress/tunic would be a great idea for our not always warm Dunedin houses.

Valentino Pattern


The fabulous selection of coatings at The Fabric Store may inspire you to have a coat made for your lifestyle and body shape. Come and talk to me about your ideas at Market 22 this Saturday.

The gorgeous coat, pictured below, was commissioned as a warm outer layer. The contrasting lining, which is hidden in the photos, is an extra special visual treat for the owner!

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A Bespoke Commission.

Bespoke means made-to- measure. And Brown Street Bespoke is passionate about making such garments. Enquiring and ordering a garment from Brown Street Bespoke should not be a daunting experience but one that is enjoyable and rewarding.Vintage Promo 14 6

The first step is for you to decide what you would like made- jacket, coat, shirt, trousers, dress, skirt…. The starting point for the decision could be a length of fabric you already own or it could be a dress that is the perfect fit and design but needs to be replaced. Please contact me by telephone, email or text.  We will then organize a time to meet to discuss the garment design and to take measurements. At this time I will also give an approximate cost for design, patternmaking and garment construction.

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At the first consultation I will discuss style and design of garment. I will listen to your ideas and look at pictures and or an existing garment that you may have brought to illustrate what you would like made. I will show you some designs and we will agree on the garment design. We will then discuss possible fabric selections and I will take your measurements. I will give a final quote for design, patternmaking and garment construction. When we are in agreement the client is expected to pay for half design, patternmaking and garment construction costs before proceeding to make the first patterns and toile.

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About a week later there will be a second consultation. You will try on a toile to check the fit and design of the garment. We will make final selections of fabric from swatches that I will provide and from those you may have collected. Before I purchase the garment materials (including fabric, lining, interfacing, buttons etc) I will ring or email the client with an accurate quote and confirm choices). At this stage the client is expected to pay the final installment of the design, patternmaking and garment construction costs. IMG_2666

The third consultation will be about a week after the second.  You will be able to try on the final garment. Sleeve and hem lengths will be finalised and the overall fit will be checked. The client will be expected to pay for materials at this point.

In a few days time your garment will be complete and ready to wear. Perfect!

I look forward to meeting you in the future.


Anchors Aweigh

“Anchors Aweigh 2013” is a new pattern from Brown Street Bespoke. The first finished items with the Anchors Aweigh theme are these are these Duffel bags. These bags are designed to have a vintage feel but at the same time look very contemporary. They are very practical with a nylon lining which makes them very suitable as a beach bag, gym bag or luxurious swimming bag. A duffel bag will complete the look if you are wearing one of Brown Street’s  mens “French Tour” shirts ( hopefully I will get two completed before tomorrows Market 22.