Portsmouth dressmaker extraordinaire makes fabulous dance, wedding and prom outfits
Hunched over her sewing machine until the early hours of the morning, beads and fabric and frills scattered around her, Tuesday Young puts everything into ensuring her costumes perfect.
For more than three decades she has been making clothes – at first through necessity and now as a much in demand costume designer.
The 57-year-old started sewing as a child and, after more than 20 years working with other people, has just completed her first year having ventured out on her own with her business called Tuesday’s.
She says: ‘I’ve been sewing since I was seven years old, I used to watch my mum do it.
‘My daughters Robine and Megan were dancers and, as any dance mum will tell you, it can be very expensive, particularly if they do competitions.
‘So, to save money, I made the costumes myself. I wasn’t daunted, I was a needlewoman and I couldn’t afford £300 to £1,000 a costume. I made everything – leotards, leggings, dresses, jumpsuits, even headpieces. There was so much diamante, frills, lycra, straps. There was a lot of pressure because I wanted them to be perfect. But I really enjoyed making them.’
The girls’ costumes drew admiring glances from the other dancers and soon Tuesday started receiving requests to make their costumes. Robine, 28, runs Elipsis Academy in Buckland and Tuesday makes the costumes for the dancers in a studio in Megan’s garden.
Tuesday’s business now encompasses much more than just dance-wear. She creates wedding dresses, prom dresses and even costumes for musicians.
Well-known Portsmouth singer Katy Grace performs as Kate Bush and Tuesday makes the floaty bohemian clothes for her music vidoes and live performances.
Tuesday says: ‘Clients come to me with rough ideas of what they want.
‘But I won’t copy anything. I will work with them to make something unique.
'My favourite part is seeing people smile when they get what they want. I love to see the satisfaction on their faces.’
One of her most enjoyable projects was a black and red Gothic wedding dress.
She smiles as she remembers, ‘It had a bustle and frills all over.
‘It was amazing to see the bride in it and looking so happy, especially as I only had only had six weeks to turn it around.
‘I do my best to make people’s dreams come true.’
She now makes the costumes for her four granddaughters, who are all dancers.
‘It’s so lovely to see all the children up on stage in their costumes', she says.
Tuesday’s studio is filled with boxes of fabric and draws full of sparkly stones.
There are dance costumes, a half-finished wedding dress on the tailor's dummy and a prom dress hanging up.
Her favourite fabric to work with is silk. She says she wouldn’t dream of buying cheap fabric because it costs more in the long-run trying to make it hang correctly.
However she worries that dressmaking will become a lost art form.
‘People don’t dress-make’, she sighs. ‘It doesn’t pay you to because it’s not cheap.
‘When I was a teenager you could buy a piece of fabric from the market and make a nice pair of trousers for a couple of pounds.
‘You can’t do that now because fabric is expensive.
‘Dressmaking is a dying art. You can buy dresses so cheaply now online.
‘My mum sewed for us because that’s all she could afford.
‘And that was the same with me when my children were little.’
Soon she will start working on the 12 bridesmaid dresses for Robine’s wedding.
It seems the only person she doesn’t make outfits for is herself.
‘I just don’t have the time!’ she laughs.
‘Being a dancer and now teacher it was always helpful to have mum make my costumes and now my dance school’s costumes’, says proud Robine, a mum-of-two.
‘Once people caught on to her business they were in with both feet.
‘We were often up late working on our costumes and fabric ideas in between other orders as mum is the kind of person who puts customer service first.
‘She will go to the ends of the Earth to give a customer exactly what they have asked for’.
To contact Tuesday search for Tuesday’s on Facebook or email [email protected]