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  1. #1
    Join Date
    12th July 18
    Central WA state
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    eBay purchased Kilt tailoring project

    In a previous post I asked about what tartan is this? on an eBay listing.

    I wound up buying one of them, it's a MacBeth tartan. It seemed like it might fit, and I liked the colors. I'm not letting it bother me that I'm not even Scottish, much less a MacBeth.

    I have received it in the mail. It's a heavy wool, but I wouldn't know how to tell if it's 13oz or 16 or whatever. There are two moth holes, one on each apron, not visible at a distance I suspect. Each about 1/8" by 1/4". Heck the seller only cited one and he was very fair to deal with so I think he just didn't see it.

    It does fit but I want to modify it. It cost $45 plus tax and shipping = $70. Given it's basic quality I think it worth tailoring to my preferences.

    - It has a very high rise and I'm short waisted so I want to see if the top can be trimmed back. There's a band of material across the top, horizontally, that would be taken off and then used to hide the trimming. This will require some rebuilding of the lining too (which does have some type of no-stretch material in it.) Even trimming the top will leave a fell close to what I measure at.

    - It has traditional buckles, just two. I want instead to use belt loops, and velcro to hold the aprons in place. This has worked well for me in a casual kilt I have from USA Kilts. I'd have some banding attach the velcro to the back binding for strength.

    - Sometime in it's past it was hemmed, by about two inches. Since the length is right for me I want to keep the hem. Doesn't seem to be detrimental to the appearance of the sett, nor how the pleats hang. The seamstress I work with knows some technique for making hems less obvious, something she called hammering or pounding.

    - I will ask about having the moth holes rewoven.

    Any initial ideas about how to proceed, or the wisdom of doing so, would be appreciated. I won't sew this myself, I'm no good at straight lines. I'll work with my local seamstress. She charges less than one would imagine, and seems to enjoy the other work I have brought to her.

    I have a low end wool kilt that she already added waist reinforcement to, and I'm going to ask her to do the belt loop and velcro on the aprons mod to that one too. I don't have much of a butt and really need the belt.
    "Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length" - Robert Frost

  2. #2
    Join Date
    30th November 07
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    Eh... in truth? I understand what you're going for, but at the end of the day you're going to spend a lot of time and money trying to get a custom kilt that looks like a tartan sack.

    The kiltmakers on the boards know more, but some of the high-waistedness you see in the kilt serves a purpose. The way the kilt hangs off your hips starts at the natural waist, which varies for many. There is so much going on in the back of a kilt that doesn't meet the eye, but it all effects how all of that fabric hangs and moves in the back. Once you start changing that, you change the entire garment - one that was probably tailored to fit someone else. So what you get is neither meant for you or true to the original owner.

    Personally, I'd much rather have a kilt that was too long than too big. I don't have an issue with hemming. I have an old Anne Stewart from 1999 kilt that I had made high to suit a #1 uniform but hemmed to make it more day-wear friendly. Fits and hangs perfectly, but fortunately my waist hasn't gotten back to wear it was when I was a kid (well, closer). I have another kilt that I had made at great expense a few years ago when I was much fatter that is lovely, but no matter what I do with the buckles it will never look quite right.

    I'm not saying spend $600 on a new kilt, just keep in mind that there's only so much that you'll be able to do without using the services of a kilt maker. One thing to consider - get measured for a kilt - length, hips, waist, but, the whole thing - and start looking for a used kilt with those measurements. Not a sure fire way to get a perfect fit, but if you don't care about tartan you'll eventually find something.
    Last edited by Piobair; 12th April 19 at 06:21 PM.

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