Moving buckles - how much is too much??
Moving buckles is the easiest way to fix a kilt that's too big. But how much can you move buckles before the kilt starts looking terrible? In several posts, I've offered the opinion that a kilt can be made many inches smaller by moving buckles, and no one will notice. But, I've never had pictures to back up the assertion until now!
One of our band members lost 70 pounds over the winter (!), and her band kilt no longer fit. "Falling off" wouldn't be any exaggeration. But, the band didn't have any extra kilts for her to swap, so we decided to try just moving the buckles.
The buckles and the underapron strap needed to be moved 10.5"!!! I wasn't optimistic that the kilt was going to look very good after the move, but we didn't really have much choice. I was flabbergasted with the outcome, and I thought I'd post some pics to show you.
Here's a view of the kilt front, back, and side *after* the buckles had been moved 10.5":
What's remarkable to me is that the kilt looks perfectly fine. In the back view, there's even a new center back stripe.
And to show you just how much I moved the buckles, here's a view of the apron side of the kilt unbuckled to show you how much of the pleats are now covered by the apron edge. Even one of the old loops is now covered by the apron:
OK - so could you really move the buckles on any kilt 10.5"? No, certainly not. This piper was a big person, and 10.5" is a smaller percentage of her kilt than it would be for someone smaller. But the main point is that you can move buckles much farther than you'd think possible and still have the kilt look fine and dandy.
On the other hand, if a kilt is even 1/2" too *small*, the underapron shows, and it's really obvious that the kilt doesn't fit. So, rebuilding a kilt is really necessary if it's too small. If it's too big, just move the buckles, and no one will notice.
Last edited by Barb T; 6th June 10 at 05:48 PM.
Thanks Barb, Great pictures,
Whisky for the gentlemen that like it. And for the gentlemen that don't like it - Whisky.~Major Jock Sinclair-Tunes of Glory
I doubt anyone would notice anything at all unless you pointed it out.
That's why we buy our kilts from you.
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THAT is impressive. Excellent work in a tight situation.
So what did you do with all the extra fabric? Trim the kilt down, tuck it under, or?
After you move the apron-edge buckles toward the center back of the kilt, you move the underapron strap toward the center of the underapron (in this case 10.5").
When she put the kilt on, the underapron edge now actually wraps around her 10.5" before the strap goes through the kilt buttonhole. If that doesn't make sense, I'll draw a sketch. But that way, you haven't altered the kilt itself, and the buckles and strap can be moved back again to fit someone bigger. In a band, that's really the only good solution to kilt fit - you can't be taking a kilt apart and altering every time the kilt moves from one person to another.
Last edited by Barb T; 8th June 10 at 04:17 AM.
11th June 10, 05:00 AM
When I lost that much weight and moved the buckles on my old kilt, I took that excess underapron and folded it under at the buckle. It seemed to swing better that way while I was dancing. This was on a 12oz tartan so it didn't add too much bulk, but I would imagine that folding under wouldn't be much of an option with a heavier tartan.
When she put the kilt on, the underapron edge now actually wraps around her 10.5" before the strap goes through the kilt buttonhole.
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