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  1. #1
    Join Date
    30th November 04
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    Kingussie kilt in Hudson Bay tartan, with an aside on an alternative kilt for a woman

    Hi all,

    At Kilt Kamp last week in Victoria, I was working on a Kingussie kilt for my daughter in 16 oz Hudson Bay tartan. I thought I'd post pics and some commentary/instructions both because it's a Kingussie and because it's a bit of a modification of a trad kilt. So, when you look at the pics below, don't have a coronary when you see where the top rides or how long the kilt is. I'll talk first about making a Kingussie kilt, and then I'll address the modifications.

    Here's a view fore and aft of me wearing her kilt (she and I are about the same size, although she's a little taller, so it won't be quite as long on her as it is on me in the pics below). The back has a central box pleat (a "tail" pleat) with knife pleats facing opposite directions toward each hip on both sides of the tail pleat (see top diagram of the sketch below the photo).





    The challenge in laying out a Kingussie kilt is to have an attractive pleating while at the same time avoiding a pile-up of deep underfolds from the knife pleats beneath the the box pleat (see second sketch above - this is something you want to avoid). The pic below shows a good solution with no pile-up.



    Doing test pleatings is a useful way to find something that works. Below, you'll see several pleating options for a different tartan, the Ancient Graham of Montrose. These two are pleated to the stripe and have very prominent tail pleats (as does the Hudson Bay tartan example at the start of this post).





    The pleating below illustrates that a Kingussie kilt can be pleated to the sett, although, from a distance, it doesn't look particularly "Kingussie". But this is what this particular client wanted - he didn't want a prominent tail pleat.



    The pleating for the Hudson Bay kilt was the brainchild of Okiwen, one of the people at Kilt Kamp. I'd tried what seemed like a zillion unsuccessful pleatings, and he suggested the one in the pic below. Brilliant!



    You sew the pleats in a Kingussie kilt the same way you do box pleats - through only one thickness at a time. Once you've sewn all the pleats, you simply fold half one way and half the other way and then finish the kilt as you would a box pleated kilt. For the Hudson Bay kilt, I cut out all the knife pleats above the bottom of the fell to reduce bulk.

    OK! Now on to the "stye" of this kilt. My daughter is a piper and a Highland dancer, and she is awash in trad kilts - she has 2 Air Force tartan kilts, a Ferguson kilt, a Wallace kilt, a MacGillivray kilt (both of the latter from pipe bands she's played in), and an Antarctica kilt (for Highland dance). What she wanted was a kilt she could wear that would sit lower and fall below her knee. You can see in the pic below that the kilt sits about 2" below the waist.



    The pics at the start of this post show a shirt tucked in, because I wanted to show the top of the kilt. But this kilt looks great with a shirt over top, as you can see in the pic below.



    OK - so how did I lay this kilt out? I started by taking normal waist and hip measurements, but I took an additional measurement at the level where she wanted the top of the kilt to be. Then I figured out the depth of the fell by figuring out what the fell would be if I were making a regular length kilt with a normal 2" rise. I then subtracted the 2" rise plus the amount below the waist where she wanted the kilt to ride. So, for hers, the fell _would_ have been about 8". I subtracted the normal rise above the waist (-2") and the amount below the waist (another -2"). So, I laid the kilt out with a 4" fell and the revised circumference. As she said, "Awwwww...it's a cute little baby fell!" Now there's a girl who knows her kilts.....Anyway, I then added the extra length to the bottom, and everything worked out. So, in short, I figured out what the kilt _would_ have been like as a trad kilt and modified it from there.

    I made this kilt to open on the right, as all of her other kilts do, because that's the way she wanted it. Because the knife pleats are completely symmetrical on either side of the tail pleat, you could easily reverse the aprons and put the fringe on the left.

    Aaaaaanyway - this is a great (and very comfortable!) option for the lady in your life who wants something more kilt-like than skirt-like but who doesn't want the rise up under her rib cage. And even thought it's made in 16 oz tartan, it doesn't feel heavy or bulky. I'm going to make one for myself!!
    Last edited by Barb T; 30th June 17 at 12:41 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://theartofkiltmaking.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    1st October 05
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    Pac. NW, Port Angeles, WA.
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    That is most impressive. You look very good in it too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    30th November 04
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    Can't wait to see yours! When are you starting it?
    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://theartofkiltmaking.com

  4. #4
    kiltedwolfman
    That looks awesome Barb!

  5. #5
    M. A. C. Newsome is offline
    INACTIVE

    Contributing Tartan Historian
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    Looks great, Barb! And you are right about avoiding the "pile up" in the pleats, that's always the challenge for me when making this style.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    13th March 05
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    Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (OCONCAN)
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    Barb, that is a very nice-looking kilt. I must say, the model is very fetching as well. Good work!
    "Touch not the cat bot a glove."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    6th February 10
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    Very nicely done, Barb! A smart looking tartan too.

    Cheers,

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