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  1. #1
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    the little bits of hem in a properly-made kilt

    I thought I might post a few pics about the little bits of hem that are put into a properly made kilt so that nothing sags out from under the bottom of the apron. Tartan is Weathered Douglas, if you're interested. Oh - and this is Lochcarron tartan with one of the turned (tuck in) selvedges that's being discussed in this thread http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/d...757/index.html The selvedge is visible, but they did a pretty good job putting it in a good place in the tartan for it to blend as well as it could. But it is unavoidably darker in color than the other blocks. It's also stiffer than the rest of the tartan, so it's hard to turn up a smooth taper.

    On the left side of the apron, the point of the deep pleat should be completely hidden, as below (red arrow).



    In order to accomplish that, you turn up a little hem tapered from a max of about 1/2" at the point of the deep pleat and tapering to nothing at the edge of the apron and at the lap point of the apron on the first pleat.







    On the left side of the underapron, the kilt bottom is also turned up a little to keep the point of the underapron edge from showing below the bottom of the apron. The hem starts about 9" from the edge of the underapron and tapers to about an inch at the raw edge, and the hem is stitched _before_ the facing is folded and tacked.





    If you are putting a hem in a kilt, you turn up the hem an extra amount at the point of the deep pleat and along a taper at the underapron edge. Remember that, if you want to hem a finished kilt, you need to open up both the apron and underapron facings, turn the hem up, and then remake the facings.
    Last edited by Barb T; 30th June 17 at 02:23 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
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    Excellent post, Barb! I saw this done on all my tanks and was wondering why. The kilts I have made myself don't seem to sag, probably because they are new. I'll have to go back and see about putting in tiny hems where needed.

  3. #3
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    30th November 04
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    Your book is on its way!
    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
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb T. View Post
    Your book is on its way!
    Awesome!

    Now.. if I can just find a book on patience..

    Hmm.. just noticed this. The kilts I have made don't sag at all when laid out flat. However, I did noticed a little sagging in the edge of the underapron once I put the kilt on my body.

  5. #5
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    Knowing these little details let's one evaluate the quality of a kilt and it's maker. We become better educated "kiltsumers". Thank you Dr. Tewksbury!
    Convener, Georgia Chapter, House of Gordon (Boss H.O.G.)

    Where 4 Scotsmen gather there'll usually be a fifth.
    7/5 of the world's population have a difficult time with fractions.

  6. #6
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    I knew that there must be a reason for the hemmed section, and now I understand why it is in there. Thanks for teaching me something new today.
    His Exalted Highness Duke Standard the Pertinacious of Chalmondley by St Peasoup
    Member Order of the Dandelion
    Per Electum - Non consanguinitam

  7. #7
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    I'm getting more and more respect for J. Higgins, the maker of my most recent kilt.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    25th September 04
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    Victoria, BC, Canada 1123.6536.5321
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    When the master herself shows you some of those small details that go into a well made Traditional Kilt it inspires me to show you the other side of the coin.

    In making a quality Contemporary Kilt you taper the aprons just as you do in a Traditional Kilt but because the Poly/Cotton fabrics used don't take a compound curve like wool does we have to do things just a little different.

    In the following pictures you can see the apron edge. Note that although tapered the line of the taper is a straight line.

    We also have to hem our fabrics as they do not have a Kilt Selvedge.

    So, the first thing I have to do is lay-out and mark the pleats. I don't have a Sett to follow so the total distance between the pleats is determined by the stiffness of the fabric.

    I lay-out the pleats first because with the large grid on my tables I can insure accurate 90 degree angles of pleat to hem.

    I them mark out the apron edges, Deep and Reverse Pleats. Again, the depth of these is a function of fabric stiffness.

    Now we come to those pesky apron tips. Because I lay-out and hem the fabric before anything else I have to lay-out the Apron Tips at the same time as the Hem so I can sew them all at once.

    Here's what it looks like on the table.



    And here is the same area from the back side. You can see the continuous hem here.



    So what does this look like after the pleats are formed?

    Well, here is the back side of the apron just as it will be when finished.



    No matter if you are making a Full Traditional Kilt or a Contemporary Kilt, if you want it to look good you taper your apron edges and you take care of the apron tips. How that is done is all a function of the fabric.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    21st December 05
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    Thanks for the explanation Barb. I have often wondered what these little areas of hemming were for when the rest of the kilt had a selvedge instead of a hem.
    Vice-President and Regional Director for Scotland for Clan Cunningham International, and a Scottish Armiger.

  10. #10
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    I raise the outer edge of the under apron pleats at the waist, so there is a triangle of double fabric 1/4 to 1/2 an inch higher than the rest of the top edge of the aprons, tapering down to nothing at the start of the pleats.

    Fascinating.

    Anne the Pleater

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