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  1. #1
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    Pleating challenges #1: dealing with a too-wide central stripe

    Hi folks

    I thought that maybe I'd make a post every time I ran across a pleating challenge so that those of you who are new to making kilts can see how a kiltmaker deals with "issues" and so that others who make kilts can chime in on how they would have solved the same problem. So, I hope that you don't hesitate to offer other solutions and to say, hey, Barb, there's a much better/easier way to deal with it!

    Ok. So here's the first challenge. The tartan (pic below) is the Bell tartan, Dalgliesh weave. Beautiful tartan - makes a terrific looking kilt. But, here's the problem. The triple yellow stripe is about an inch across, and the central portion (blue-yellow-blue) is about 1/2". If you tried to put the whole triple stripe into one pleat, the pleats would have to be at least an inch across. That's pretty big for most kilts, and, given the sett size of 6 3/4", would mean that you'd probably be able to get only 6-7 yards into the kilt. But the central blue-yellow-blue is too narrow for a single pleat. If you choose to make a more normal size pleat (3/4"-7/8" at the hips) and center the yellow stripe in pleat, you'd need to split the outside yellow stripes. If there's any taper in the pleat from hip to waist, part of the yellow stripe will vanish. You _could_ put the center yellow stripe along one edge of a pleat and have the adjacent pleat not have the center yellow stripe, but, technically, a central element (pivot) should be centered in a pleat. Grrr.

    Here's what I did, and I think it's a decent solution, although it requires really precision pleating. I decided to put half the yellow trio into one pleat and half in the other, splitting the narrow central yellow stripe. I basted the fold before I pinned the pleat so that it would stay at exactly half the stripe and not wander. Then I was just careful about stitching so that half the yellow stripe was on each side of the seam. This solution also requires careful pressing of the pleat below the bottom of the fell.

    If this were going to be the center back of the kilt, this kilt would have an _even_ number of pleats, because the center of the kilt back actually lies between pleats. I chose instead to center the red stripe (for an odd number of pleats), which gave me only two repeats of the triple yellow stripe to have to deal with in the back of the kilt.

    If someone has a better solution, I hope you'll let us know!!

    Cheers,

    Barb



    Last edited by Barb T; 30th June 17 at 02:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Chef is offline Oops, it seems this member needs to update their email address
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    Very impressive splitting the yellow stripe!

    Is this a tartan that is better to choose a stripe to pleat to, for the reasons you mentioned above?

  3. #3
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    Actually, this would be a nightmare to pleat to the stripe. You couldn't use the triple yellow, and the green-red-green is just under 5/8". On a typical kilt, you'd need a pleat that would be wide enough at the hips to include some of the black, but the black could vanish toward the waist if the pleats had any taper, juxtaposing green against green at the waist, and black against black at the hips.

    It would only work if you were willing to have fairly wide pleats or if the pleats didn't have any taper.

    Barb

  4. #4
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    Barb
    Does your head hurt after figuring this out. I like the look, it is a beautiful job.

  5. #5
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    My head mostly hurts from banging it against the wall wondering why someone designed a tartan this way in the first place......!

    B

  6. #6
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    Wow, I got a little vertigo just reading your description. In pleating terms it appears that three is not a magic number (especially a wide three). Very informative and enlightening. Thanks for sharing your solution.

  7. #7
    Chef is offline Oops, it seems this member needs to update their email address
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb T. View Post
    My head mostly hurts from banging it against the wall wondering why someone designed a tartan this way in the first place......!

    B
    I'm guessing most tartans get designed by people who don't sew kilts.

  8. #8
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    Barb, you are a talented lady. That is a beautiful job, pleating that tartan. My head hurt just reading about it.
    "A day spent in the fields and woods, or on the water should not count as a day off our allotted number upon this earth."
    Jerry, Kilted Old Fart.

  9. #9
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    Great job as usual Barb - a question if you don't mind.

    How do you taper to the pleats holding the triple yellow stripe?

  10. #10
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    Barb,
    You are VERY cool! Thanks for looking out for us!

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