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  1. #1
    Join Date
    19th February 17
    Brisbane, Australia
    0 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)

    Making your own kilt. Where to start?

    Good afternoon,

    My Mother is ambitious to try and make her first men's kilt. In your opinion, what is the easiest style of kilt to start with? For example, a 4-yard box pleat? Perhaps a 5 yard-knife pleat? Your feedback on a basic, introductory kilt style for beginners would be appreciated.

    Warm regards,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    25th September 04
    Victoria, BC, Canada 1123.6536.5321
    2 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    There is the old addage - "If you want to break the rules, the first thing you must do is know what the rules are."

    This is just as true in kilt making as anywhere else.

    So contact Barb Tewksbury at www.celticdragonpress.com and get yourself a copy of "The Art of Kiltmaking".

    Even if you want, or choose, to make a different type of kilt this book will give you the understanding of the rules which you can choose to break if you wish.

    There really is a very big difference between including a lining because a traditional kilt has a lining, and knowing what is hidden behind that lining and why.
    Last edited by The Wizard of BC; 3rd March 17 at 08:29 PM.
    Steve Ashton
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

  3. The Following 6 Users say 'Aye' to The Wizard of BC For This Useful Post:

  4. #3
    Join Date
    7th September 14
    1 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    First, I give a nod of agreement to the wizard.

    My own experience on a 'first kilt' was an XKilt. I can say it's simple now, but it wasn't at the start since I'd never made one. The XKilt experience aided understanding of some of the important basics, among them the concepts of splits, the deep pleats at the apron and precision in measuring and stitching (even though by machine). Barb's 'the art of kiltmaking' soon followed along with the box pleat suppliment. I've been practicing stitching with pieces of tartan.

    Someone with sewing experience likely doesn't need the first steps I took, but you'll find lots of agreement that TAOK is not to be overlooked when one is determined to make their kilt.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    30th November 04
    Deansboro, NY
    4 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi all,

    Personally, I don't think it really matters what kind of kilt you start with. If you're interested in making a traditional kilt (which is all hand sewn), the only real difference between a 4-yard box pleated kilt, a 5-yard knife-pleat, a Kingussie, and an 8-yard knife-pleated kilt is 1) how many pleats you have to sew and 2) which way pleats fold. Other than that, the entire rest of the kilt is made exactly the same. So pick the kind of kilt you'd like to wear, and make that one.

    OH - and, as Steve Ashton and I have said many times on this forum, it's going to take you several 10s of hours to make your first hand-sewn kilt, so thinking of doing a "practice" kilt is pretty much a waste of time. Buy the best tartan you can afford (real kilting tartan is, in fact, the easiest to work with), and think of it as not only the first kilt that you make but also the first kilt that you plan to WEAR. The H*** with practice! You're going to put so much time into sewing your first kilt that you're going to want good fabric and your best workmanship, not just a practice piece that you won't want to wear in public (as Steve said, you don't want to make a 50-yard kilt......one that only looks good at 50 yards......)
    Last edited by Barb T; 28th June 17 at 07:49 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://www.celticdragonpress.com


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