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  1. #1
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    a little encouragement here please

    Well, I'm back to square two!

    This is my first kilt and I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to sewing. Oh yeah, I'm also a lefty. My first 5 tries were just coming up with a method for pleating a kilt left handed. With that problem solved, on to the dirty work of pleating. Pleats 1 & 2: a bit wonky but passable (at least the stitches were neat and tidy-about 12 to the inch). Number 3 was a bit better, number 4 almost perfect! Numbers 5 & 6 practically perfect in every way. I stood back and looked at my work and much to my horror-next to number 5 &6, pleats 1, 2 & 3 looked like a first grader stitched them. Oh well at least I'm really good a ripping seams. Only 25 more pleats to go! (AGAIN)

    Sooo... all you long time kilt makers, a little encouragement here please. How many kilts did you make till you got it right? Is that first one you made sitting in the back of the closet, never to see the light of day? Or did you do what I am doing and just keep ripping out pleats on the first kilt until you got it right?

    How many times can one rip out a pleat before the wool looses it integrity?

  2. #2
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    18th February 05
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    Not to discourage you, but I'm still looking for the perfect kilt. Being a perfectionist can have its limitations. I go for near perfect and hope no one notices. Hang in there.
    Past President, St. Andrew's Society of the Inland Northwest
    Member, Royal Scottish Country Dance Society
    Founding Member, Celtic Music Spokane
    Member, Royal Photographic Society

  3. #3
    Join Date
    25th September 04
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    My personal record for ripping out a line of stitches is 35.

    I still can't get near to the work of someone like Barb T. So I just keep practicing.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

  4. #4
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    So what's your solution to the left handed problem then? I just learned how to sew the pleats right handed myself and went back to my evil habits for the rest of it.

    Be well,

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by The F-H.C.A.G. View Post
    So what's your solution to the left handed problem then? I just learned how to sew the pleats right handed myself and went back to my evil habits for the rest of it.

    Be well,
    After trying to teach my right hand to hold a needle and realizing that I wanted to finish this kilt before Christmas 2010, I knew I had to find some method for working from the waist to the fell. Being a leftie I am used to figuring out how to live in a right handed world. I started working on some type of clamping system to hold the waist taught. I kept rolling around ideas until the quilter section of my brain remembered about the tabs on the sides of quilt frames. The top and bottom of a quilt are held taught on rollers but the sides are held taught with strips of muslin that are basted or pined on. I grabbed some fabric from my stash and ripped a strip about 6” wide and a couple of feet long.
    The rise is a pretty simple section to stitch, so after taking a few anchor stitches, I baste on the strip of fabric and using Elise and Barb's method, tuck that strip under my thigh, and voilà! Tension. It is one more step of the pleating process, but only takes a few seconds to baste on and take off.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiltman View Post
    Not to discourage you, but I'm still looking for the perfect kilt. Being a perfectionist can have its limitations. I go for near perfect and hope no one notices. Hang in there.
    Thanks for the words of non-discouragement. I just finished re-stitching pleats 1, 2 & 3 AGAIN! and they are looking a lot better than the first ones. I realize this is my first hand sewn kilt and am not expecting perfection this time around ; just respectable. Perfection will come at a later time....But when?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wizard of BC View Post
    My personal record for ripping out a line of stitches is 35.

    I still can't get near to the work of someone like Barb T. So I just keep practicing.
    I feel a little better now.

  8. #8
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    Blackbeard, I'm a leftie too. My solution to the problem is to the follow the directions in Barb's book but imagine myself looking in a mirror.
    I've used this trick since I was in first grade as a way to deal with living in a right-handed world.
    I simply cross my left leg over my right, tuck the Fell under my left knee and stitch with my left hand just the way Barb does but from the other side of the pleat edge.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Wizard, I tried that method first but since my hand is in kind of an underhand position, it started cramping. The method I devised (see above) works for now but since it does involve one more step I'll try your method again after I am a little more comfortable stitching pleats.
    …..When I'm a little less TENSE.
    I keep telling myself: "Relax your sholders and breath"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    30th November 04
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    Someone who is a perfectionist and who is willing to take pleats out until they look good is going to make a better kilt the first time around. You sound like that kind of person, so hang in.

    Oh - and one other thing. I do pin a pleat before stitching it, and, when I do Kilt Kamp, I teach people to use plenty of pins in a pleat to hold it while they stitch. I find I take out a lot fewer pleats if I pin first. My book doesn't say to do that because my co-author is absolutely rabid about stitching without pins. But, I've found that I can't do what I consider acceptable work if I don't pin.
    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

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