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  1. #1
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    Attaching the Stabilizer

    I'm practicing my stitching and trying out different stitches on scrap fabric and am a bit stumped on the stitching to attach the stabilizer as shown in TAoK (2nd printing, 2007; pages 93-94).

    Part of the instructions include the warning to check often for dimples or visible pleats. I'm not sure how you don't end up with visible stitching on the right side of the kilt based on the stitching pattern.

    Although, I strongly suspect that the issue is that I'm working with scrap fabric and not an actual kilt under construction (KUC?). I think that the answer to my question is that when actually working on a kilt that the stitching does not go all the way through to the outer layer of the outer pleat but rather, you only work through the stabilizer material and the innermost layer of kilt. Am I on the right track with this?

    I found lots of great information on this thread from several years ago:
    http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/f...-period-70205/

    Here are some photos from that thread with the top two being, I believe, the same kilt from the back and from the front (no visible stitching). The other photos I included because I think they're very nice and show multiple ways of approaching same job.

    Picture1.jpg
    At a time like this one must ask themselves, 'WWJDD"
    What Would Jimmy Durante Do?

  2. #2
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    You are correct that the stablizer and the interfacing are pad stitched just to the inner layers and do no go all the way through to the outside of the kilt.

    The reason you do not want dimples is that you want the outer fabric to be able to float and drap over the interfacing and stabilizer without putting any stress on the outer fabric.

    And just so we are talking - using the same terms - in the four photos you show, only the flag facric Barb uses is the stabilizer. The other three photos are showing the interfacing.

    The interfacing gives vertical stiffness to the garment. The stabilizer gives horizontal strength to the garment.

    As a Contemporary kilt does not build in a weak point at the left strap hole the stabilizer ca stretch from one apron edge, all the way across the inside of the kilt, to the opposite apron edge.

    The white in this photo is the interfacing, the black is the stabilizer.

    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 19th August 18 at 07:00 PM.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

  3. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to The Wizard of BC For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
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    Terrific! Thanks you! And I see that interfacing (called canvas interfacing) starts on page 94 - I hadn't gotten there, yet.

    On the topic of "creating a weak point" with the left buttonhole; that's because you're making a hole in the length of fabric?
    At a time like this one must ask themselves, 'WWJDD"
    What Would Jimmy Durante Do?

  5. #4
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    Well having a loud stabilizer is very important
    This I called “Great Balls of Fire” thanks Harlan


    It needs to have a little tautness across the width of the back.
    You can see in the photo the extra fabric of the of the cut pleats on the inside that the stablilzer is stitched to.

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wizard of BC View Post
    You are correct that the stablizer and the interfacing are pad stitched just to the inner layers and do no go all the way through to the outside of the kilt.

    The reason you do not want dimples is that you want the outer fabric to be able to float and drap over the interfacing and stabilizer without putting any stress on the outer fabric.

    And just so we are talking - using the same terms - in the four photos you show, only the flag facric Barb uses is the stabilizer. The other three photos are showing the interfacing.

    The interfacing gives vertical stiffness to the garment. The stabilizer gives horizontal strength to the garment.

    As a Contemporary kilt does not build in a weak point at the left strap hole the stabilizer ca stretch from one apron edge, all the way across the inside of the kilt, to the opposite apron edge.

    The white in this photo is the interfacing, the black is the stabilizer.

    Now, and I assume this falls under the skinning a cat analogy, in TAok stabilizer is applied first with the canvas interfacing on top covering the stabilizer. In your photo this appears to be reversed. I'm guessing it doesn't matter the order since it all gets covered by a liner anyway?
    At a time like this one must ask themselves, 'WWJDD"
    What Would Jimmy Durante Do?

  8. #6
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    From a strictly engineering standpoint the left strap hole is a weak point in the garment.
    It is quite common to see the left strap hole torn out or where repairs have been needed.

    Heck if you have a kilt with a strap hole, just grab it and pull. You will see what I mean.



    So I have chosen to eliminate the left hole.

    With the left strap hole in the kilt the stabilizer must stop at the strap hole. This can mean the the aprons of the kilt do not have any horizontal strentgh behind them so the fabric may be subject to distortion over time.



    The basic idea behind the Contemporary style kilt is to make it as strong as possible to resist these stress points. The Contemporary kilt is designed to be worn far more often than the Iconic kilt and under the daily conditions which put more wear and stress on the garment.
    I extend the stabilizer the full width of the kilt.

    I had this kilt make by a well known name come in to my shop for repair and this is what I found under the liner.



    And this one which is sold at a premium price and called by the maker "a premium Traditionally made kilt" that has no stitching at all. The interfacing is simply fused inside the kilt. This kilt has one single layer of interfacing made of three pieces which which are cut to take the curve of the back but not sewn at all.



    And the reason my stabilizer is on one side of the interfacing than the other is all due to how I make them and not if one way is better or worse than the other.
    I construct my interfacing and stabilizer as one single, integated unit. It is installed in the kilt as a unit.
    Many kilt makers construct the interfacing out of three or more separate pieces and simply tack the pieces together. It is quite common to see kilts that have failed or distorted because there is no unified strength to the garment.

    And I use a fabric for my stabilizer that has a fusible backing. I set the stabilize with heat that holds it in place like pins until I can sew it in place. It is just quick and woks well for the way I make my kilts and for no other reason. (I never rely on the fusible as the final fastening and never use fusible where it will 'telegraph' through to the outer layers. It is just used like pins to hold something in place until it can be stitched.)

    It does not really matter if you install the stabilizer or the interfacing first. What does matter is if the straps and buckles are sewn all the way through all the layers for strength.
    Last edited by The Wizard of BC; 20th August 18 at 02:32 PM.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

  9. #7
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    ...and from an appearance standpoint the order of the layering of the stabilizer and interfacing doesn't matter since it will all be concealed with a liner.

    ...does it save any work to stitch the stabilizer and interface together first and then sew to the kilt?

    ...if I understand it, one could simply not make a buttonhole rather placing the buckle on the inside of the kilt; strapping the kilt on the left strap would be inside the kilt and only the two buckles and straps visible on the right hand side of the kilt...

    ...when you say that the stabilizer and interface and attached to the full width of the kilt I'm picturing these components literally extending from the edge of the apron to the far other edge of the underapron - the full width of the kilt. In TAoK it looks as though the interface canvas is three separate pieces - one for the under apron, one for the apron and one for the pleats essentially stretching from edge to edge (almost) and the stabilizer is from inverse pleat to buttonhole - basically just covering the pleats. I think I understand the purpose for each component. I wonder why one wouldn't just cut the stabilizer the same length as the canvas interface? For that matter, why cut three separate pieces for the canvas interface? Perhaps it's because of the curve of the kilt in the pleats?

    ...by fusible stabilizer I picture something like stitch witch. Not stitch witch itself mind you but that sort of iron on product...
    At a time like this one must ask themselves, 'WWJDD"
    What Would Jimmy Durante Do?

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Grey View Post
    Well having a loud stabilizer is very important
    This I called “Great Balls of Fire” thanks Harlan


    It needs to have a little tautness across the width of the back.
    You can see in the photo the extra fabric of the of the cut pleats on the inside that the stablilzer is stitched to.
    Not spotted this till now, but that is Laxey tartan, I remember you mentioning elsewhere you'd made a kilt from it. Well looks like Laxey though I know Manx National Dress is very similar (the tartan, not to be confused with The National Dress of the Manx which is Peree Bane, and Breeks).

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