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  1. #1
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    Adjustments for scaling with very small kilts

    I have just finished a little kilt for my 5 year-old daughter, who has an 18 inch waist. I used 3/4 inch buckles and straps from Highland Xpress. I made it according to Barb's book but I don't know how I did it, but when I finished it and tried it on, the waist was almost 2 inches too small and she had to suck her tummy in to do up the underapron strap. 3.5 hours later, I have now let out the underapron edge by 2 inches, also moved the apron buckle forward one pleat (that was also tight), and attached another section of top band and canvas. The cause was not the pleats, as I was within 1mm tolerance across all 13 pleats, so it must have been in my measurements of the aprons, but I cannot figure out where as yet. You will note from the after shot that I couldn't be bothered with any flaring on the adjusted underapron edge as it is invisible anyway. And yes, I bone-headedly attached the underapron strap to the wrong side when I did the adjustment but as it is invisible I couldn't be bothered taking it off and reattaching.

    Is there any special adjustment people make for very small kilts? I had also wondered if part of it was the smaller buckles as well as my underapron measurement.

    Before (don't worry about the position of the yellow centre stripe - it is just on a bit skewed):





    After:

    Last edited by Michael A; 7th February 17 at 03:51 PM.

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  3. #2
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    30th November 04
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    I love the tartan and the pleating! BTW - VERY nice job stitching the fell!!

    In terms of making a kilt for a little person, there's really nothing that you need to do differently. Having said that, little ones grow fast, and, depending on when you started stitching, she might have grown. So, I typically add _a lot_ to the waist and hip measurements, and then put the buckles and straps on at the size the child is currently. No one will notice, especially if a kilt is pleated as you have done it, to the stripe. And you can easily move the buckles and straps as she grows.

    This little gent (my darling grandson!) looked great in his kilt a year ago (see pics below) when he was 16 months old, and he wore it again last weekend when he's now nearly 3.





    I made the kilt about 2" too big around, but only about 1/2" too long. Even if a child grows 3", it doesn't mean that the kilt will be 3" too short - all you're really worried about in terms of length is how much they grown between waist and knee.
    Last edited by Barb T; 9th February 17 at 06:42 PM.
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://www.celticdragonpress.com

  4. The Following User Says 'Aye' to Barb T For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
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    Thanks so much Barb for that. I have two more children's kilts to finish before April 1st (the Brigadoon gathering), so I will do as you have done and allow more room in the waist at the outset.

    It's funny, once you get into kiltmaking. So far since Christmas I have made that red Grant that we skyped about, then Cecelia's little kilt, I am half way through a box pleat (on which I have mucked up the pleat width - the colour band on which the stripe appears is narrower than the pleat at the fell, but I don't care as I am only making it to wear to functions in summer), and I have just ordered two kilts' worth of Buchanan. My wife wants me to make a Billy skirt for her, but I refuse to attempt anything with an asymmetric sett while still a novice, so now her brother wants an 8 yard Buchanan too, so I just ordered 8 yards 56" and I will rip it and use each half for each kilt/skirt. And now someone from lodge wants me to fix his kilt!

    It's an insidious obsession! That said, I aim to do as many as I can at this early stage as something of a DIY apprenticeship

  6. #4
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    30th November 04
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    Uh oh! Another one caught by the bug!!!

    The thing I love about kiltmaking is that every kilts is different. And even though the process is the same for each one, just about the time I might get bored with one particular job (pleating, or steeking, or something), that part is done and the next part is a little different. Not like needlepoint, which I get bored with very quickly, or even knitting, which I enjoy in small doses but find to be too much of the same thing before a project is done.

    And don't be at all intimidated by an asymmetric sett. Just be sure to buy a single width of fabric, and just treat it like a regular pleating job. If you need advice, just holler.
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://www.celticdragonpress.com

  7. #5
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    I couldn't find single width without weaving to order, which was very expensive, hence my solution of making two Buchanan kilts out of a ripped 8 yard piece of double width. I got Strathmore 13 Oz.

  8. #6
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    Hi Michael,

    All mills will sell a single width of asymmetric tartan ripped from a double width piece if you ask. They know what the issues are. If you're going to be making a lot of kilts, you should get merchant accounts with the major mills, and you'll not only get a discount but you can easily ask for things like single width pieces of asymmetric tartans. PM me or email me if you want to chat about this.
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://www.celticdragonpress.com

  9. #7
    Join Date
    3rd June 15
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    A note of warning about a Billie Kilt ... unless you are a very slim size 8-10 it's not a great look.
    The yoke is a pain to get well fitting and sit nicely if you've had some kids and like chocolate.
    A traditional kilt made shorter is much more flattering and the wider aprons are much better at hiding fluffy bits.

  10. #8
    Join Date
    3rd June 15
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    Oh ..
    your daughter looks great in her kilt...But come on dad A glitter one? Frozen Fabric? My Little Pony?
    You know you can!

  11. #9
    Join Date
    9th August 16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Grey View Post
    Oh ..
    your daughter looks great in her kilt...But come on dad A glitter one? Frozen Fabric? My Little Pony?
    You know you can!
    Ha ha!

    My wife has acquired a large bolt of different fabrics with all different patterns on them, all on cotton. I was thinking of making such a decorative skirt for the girls, but since cotton does not hold a pleat for long, and I don't have a sewing machine (nor do I know how to use one or which one I would buy if I did), I wasn't sure whether it was worth the effort if every time they sit down they ruin the finish. My understanding is that if I made a cotton kilt/skirt, it would need to be a utility kilt sort of set up (but I would still use buckles).

  12. #10
    Join Date
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    Here are the two I made from 11Oz Strathmore in MacKinlay and MacBeth for my middle and eldest daughter respectively. I used a hidden underapron buckle for both and made them an inch or so shorter than a boy's kilt.
















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