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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Super job, Mr. Newsome! (a review of my new kilt)

    I doubt there are many (any?) on XMTS who would consider me to be anything other than a dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist when it comes to Highland attire. And they'd be right. In my book a kilt is all wool, thick as an army blanket, and is made up in the tartan most closely associated with your name. It should rise to your waist, not sit on your hips, and hang no lower than the top of the knee. Period.

    Now close on a year ago David Pope had a run of MacMillan Hunting done up in "muted" colours-- what we in the clan refer to as "mud MacMillan", and with some judicious trading I ended up with a kilt-length of tartan. This sat on a shelf for several weeks while I pondered whether to have a kilt made, or recover the dining room chairs. Eventually the decision was made, and I hopped into my car and headed down to the Tartan Museum in Franklin, North Carolina. Actually, that's not quite true. Matt has quite a long list of customers, and it wasn't until I had (finally) made it to the top of the list that I hopped into the car and headed south.

    As I have said before the only way to judge any garment is by the "3Fs" -- Fit, Fabric, and Finish. Well, since I supplied the fabric, there was no doubt that it was going to be exactly what I wanted as to tartan and weight, so that was one down and two to go. After a few minutes with his tape measure I was confident that Matt would get the fit right; I'd seen a several of Matt's box-pleat kilts on people, and they looked good-- but I wasn't ordering a box-pleat kilt... The final test-- finish-- is all about the craftsmanship, the actually artistry, involved in making any tailored garment... and... I'll admit it. I am one picky sonofabitch when it comes to having things "bespoke".

    Well, today my kilt arrived, and the Fit, Finish, and Fabric are all A+ and, frankly, as good as any kilt I have ever had made. I am 100% satisfied, and just a bit more than delighted with the way it turned out.

    Here's why:

    Out of the box I hung the kilt up for a couple of hours to "relax" the fabric and remove any slight "folds" from shipping. (Incidentally the kilt arrived well packed and virtually "wrinkle free".) I then pulled the two rows of basting stitches, and strapped it on. Now at this point I have to confess I have always been rather skeptical about the way Matt fits the left hand belt inside the kilt. That said, once it was snug it wasn't in the least uncomfortable, so I'm sure it's like driving on the other side of the road-- it's a piece of cake once you get used to it. Any how, once adjusted the kilt fit perfectly, and hung to the exact top of my knee. Heading into my wife's office I sought her opinion and she opined that while the dining room chairs were looking a bit shabby, the tartan definitely looked better across my seat than under it. What she didn't notice, and what will undoubtedly surprise many of you, is that the kilt has Kingussie pleats.

    Now I first saw this style of pleating years ago, in some now-forgotten museum I visited in Scotland as a callow youth. Since then I had always hankered after a Kingussie kilt, but one doesn't argue with his tailor, and I never thought I'd be able to have one made; that is, not until Matt Newsome mentoned them here on XMTS. Now I have one, and I have to say that this style of kilt has several advantages over a more ordinary knife pleat kilt:

    First, it uses less fabric, leaving enough over to have Matt make me a matching waistcoat cut on the bias.

    Second, because it uses less fabric, it is cooler to wear than the traditional 8-yard kilt, something David Pope pointed out when we were at this year's Loch Norman Games, manning our clan tent in a monsoon!

    Finally, and this is no joke, because of the way in which the pleats radiate out from the centre of the kilt, it is incredibly comfortable when seated. This means that for those events like Burns Suppers and Tartan Balls, sitz-marks are a thing of the past.

    So, would I have another one made? Well... maybe. The ultimate test is coming up in two weeks at the Greenville Scottish Games, and once I have had a chance to wear it "in the field" so to speak, I'll let you know.

    In the mean time-- Thanks Matt, for a job well done!
    Last edited by MacMillan of Rathdown; 16th May 11 at 07:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    2nd May 10
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    Roseville, California
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    I'm a bit sceptical

    Now Mr MacMillan, I know you to be an esteemed and honorable man, but this yarn you have told, while although entertaining and well written, is lacking the requisite photographic evidence to support your claims. Please submit such evidence forthwith, or suffer further scorn and ridicule from your peers and kinsmen!!

    Best regards,
    Brooke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    5th October 08
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMillan's son View Post
    Now Mr MacMillan, I know you to be an esteemed and honorable man, but this yarn you have told, while although entertaining and well written, is lacking the requisite photographic evidence to support your claims. Please submit such evidence forthwith, or suffer further scorn and ridicule from your peers and kinsmen!!

    Best regards,
    Brooke
    I was thinking the same thing, but you've said so much better.
    [COLOR="SeaGreen"]"Blood is the price of victory"
    [/COLOR]- [I]Karl von Clausewitz[/I]

  4. #4
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    26th March 08
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMillan's son View Post
    Now Mr MacMillan, I know you to be an esteemed and honorable man, but this yarn you have told, while although entertaining and well written, is lacking the requisite photographic evidence to support your claims. Please submit such evidence forthwith, or suffer further scorn and ridicule from your peers and kinsmen!!

    Best regards,
    Brooke
    Ditto.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    17th December 07
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    Kinsmen and clansmen all, you will just have to hold your water until I can get some photos taken at the Greenville Scottish Games.

    That said, I can wholeheartedly endorse the kilt making skills of Matt Newsome!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    25th December 08
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    Lotus Land
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    14th October 10
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    All in all, a delightful thread, so far, ... pictures, or not.

    I, my brother, and my son are in Matt's queue for Kingussie kilts in the Blaylock Reproduction tartan. Reading MacMillan senior's post just pegged my Jonesing meter.

    PS: By the way, for those who may not know (like me until recently), the word Kingussie is pronounced kin - you' - see (or something akin to that).
    Last edited by mookien; 17th May 11 at 02:15 PM.
    I changed my signature. The old one was too ridiculous.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    16th September 09
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    holding our water

    Quote Originally Posted by MacMillan of Rathdown View Post
    Kinsmen and clansmen all, you will just have to hold your water until I can get some photos taken at the Greenville Scottish Games.

    That said, I can wholeheartedly endorse the kilt making skills of Matt Newsome!

    I think we should give MoR some credit for having taken the time to paint a vivid picture with words. Of course I'd still like to see a photograph, and hope that eventually we will, but 800 words of eloquent kilt review has got to be worth something!

    Any member of the rabble with a camera at the Greenville Scottish Games is hereby charged with photographing this allegedly lovely, MacMillan hunting muted, Kingussie pleated beauty!
    - Justitia et fortitudo invincibilia sunt
    - An t'arm breac dearg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    11th April 10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMcG View Post
    I think we should give MoR some credit for having taken the time to paint a vivid picture with words. Of course I'd still like to see a photograph, and hope that eventually we will, but 800 words of eloquent kilt review has got to be worth something!
    Itís worth precisely 80 percent of a picture. So he still owes 200 words or 20 percent of a picture.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    17th December 07
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    The 20% Photograph...

    The sharp of eye, looking closely at my avatar, will see that I am sitting behind the wheel of my car revelling in the new found comfort of the Kingussie kilt made for me by Matt Newsome. More photos to follow in a week or two. Promise.

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