X Marks the Scot - An on-line community of kilt wearers.

   X Marks Partners - (Go to the Partners Dedicated Forums )
USA Kilts website Freedom Kilts website Scotweb websiten Burnetts and Struth website The Scottish Trading Company
Xmarks advertising information Celtic Croft website Xmarks advertising information Celtic Corner website Xmarks advertising information

User Tag List

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    30th November 04
    Location
    Deansboro, NY
    Posts
    3,176
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Moving buckles to make a kilt smaller or larger

    Hi all,

    XMarks gets many posts asking what to do if a kilt is either too small or too big. Because the answers are buried in individual posts, I thought I'd make a thread that explains what to do.

    The easiest thing to do is move the buckles. Although it's possible to actually alter the kilt, alteration requires taking the kilt apart and rebuilding it. This is a big job and not something that most people can do themselves. Moving buckles and straps, on the other hand, is something that anyone can do.

    First, I'll give instructions for moving buckles and straps, and then I'll comment on how much is "too much". The instructions below are slightly different for a kilt with a traditional "buttonhole" (where the strap comes through the pleats) and for a kilt with a "hidden" apron strap and buckle (which is a common configuration in box pleated kilts).
    ----

    THE INSTRUCTIONS

    For a kilt with a traditional buttonhole:

    Buckle(s) on the fringe edge: Carefully snip the stitching around the cloth tab that holds the buckle on the kilt. Move it toward the back of the kilt to make the kilt smaller, or toward the front of the kilt to make it bigger. Sew the tab back on using heavy thread through as many thickness of the kilt as possible without stitching all the way through the lining. I use Coats and Clark Button and Craft thread. If you have tartan scraps, you can replace the cloth tab so that it matches the tartan in the new position.

    Buckle next to the buttonhole (where the strap comes through): Don't move this one (moving it doesn't accomplish anything).

    Strap(s) on the fringe edge of the apron: Don't move these either.

    Underapron strap: Carefully snip the stitching that holds the underapron strap. Move it toward the underapron center to make the kilt smaller, or toward the edge of the underapron to make the kilt bigger. If you want to make the kilt bigger and the strap is already on the edge of the underapron, your only choice is to replace the strap with a longer one. Sew it back on using button and craft thread, sewing through as many thicknesses as you can without stitching through the lining on the inside.

    For a box-pleated kilt without a buttonhole:

    Buckle on the fringe edge: Carefully snip the stitching around the cloth tab that holds the buckle on the kilt. Move it toward the back of the kilt to make the kilt smaller, or toward the front of the kilt to make it bigger. Sew it back on using heavy thread through as many thickness of the kilt as possible without stitching all the way through the lining. I use Coats and Clark Button and Craft thread. If you have tartan scraps, you can replace the cloth tab so that it matches the tartan in the new position.

    Buckle on the underapron: remove the buckle and tab as above. Move it toward the underapron center to make the kilt smaller, or toward the edge of the underapron to make the kilt bigger. Sew it back on using button and craft thread, sewing through as many thicknesses as you can without stitching through the lining on the inside. If you have tartan scraps, you can replace the cloth tab so that it matches the tartan in the new position. If you want to make the kilt bigger and the buckle is already on the edge of the underapron, you can move the inside (underapron) strap instead (moving it toward the front of the kilt).
    ------

    HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH??
    If a kilt has gotten too small, it's really obvious because the unpleated underapron shows beneath the fringe edge of the apron. So, depending on the buckle placement of the original kilt, moving buckles to make a kilt bigger is typically not a very forgiving process. On the other hand, making a kilt smaller can soak up an amazing number of inches. On an average size kilt, moving buckles several inches to make the kilt smaller is not even noticeable, because the apron just covers up a few pleats.

    So, how much is too much to move buckles? Even an inch of expansion is likely to be obvious. On the other hand, many inches of contraction is easily hidden. Awhile back, I made a post showing a kilt where I moved the buckles 11", and it's still not obvious. The post (http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/f...oo-much-59745/) shows that the person is a large person, but it makes the point!!
    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
    19th September 04
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    90
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you so much for this post Barb. One of the great things about Xmarks is having your questions answered before you even have time to ask them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    30th November 04
    Location
    Deansboro, NY
    Posts
    3,176
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, even better!
    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
    Join Date
    11th December 12
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    90
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Now this is great information to have on hand. I have some older SWK's that I might just have to try this method on. Thanks Barb!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    22nd July 08
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    2,867
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks, Barb! Now if only I could find the time to do these alterations I could rejoin the land of the kilted without fear that every time I put one of my kilts on, it'll fall down to my ankles. Went down from 38" waist to 32"... So yeah, pretty much every kilt I own needs alteration so I'll have plenty of opportunity to practice my skills... Someday. Lol.
    Duos habet et bene pendentes!

    To my eye, the peacock -- the male peacock, has escaped his cage, and I don't think anyone's going to be able to corral him or get him back into the cage of conformity. He's on his own now, and he's flying high!
    - Bill Cunningam (NY Times photographer)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    5th January 08
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Posts
    234
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for some great information. I need to take a couple of inches out of one of my kilts, so it's good to know how to do it properly - and that it will most likely not be noticeable.
    ---
    "Integrity is telling myself the truth. Honesty is telling the truth to other people." - Spencer Johnson

  7. #7
    Join Date
    19th September 12
    Location
    Highland, IN
    Posts
    323
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Great instructions. I had to do this to my kilt a few weeks ago, and I'm glad I did it correctly!

    I did have a difficult time deciding how far to move the buckles and straps. I ended up measuring the kilt laying flat and doubling the measurement and subtracting my current waist measurement, which seems the obvious choice, but I landed on the strap fitting on the tightest hole. If I did it again (which I hope I'll have to) I'd get someone to help me mark the location of the middle hole as I wrapped the kilt around myself tightly.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    30th November 04
    Location
    Deansboro, NY
    Posts
    3,176
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just wrap the kilt around you without putting the strap through the hole, nice and tight, and see where the straps are with respect to the buckles. Measure how much you need to move them, write it down, take the kilt off, and move the buckles and straps that amount. Easy peasy.
    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

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

» Log in

User Name:

Password:

Not a member yet?
Register Now!
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.2.0