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  1. #1
    Join Date
    19th February 17
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    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,

    Kris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    25th September 04
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    Victoria, BC, Canada 1123.6536.5321
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    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
    www.freedomkilts.com
    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
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    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
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    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

  6. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to Barb T For This Useful Post:


  7. #5
    Join Date
    24th March 12
    Location
    Strathmore, Alberta
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    Red face kilts making question

    Hi Barb;
    If you were making a drop waist with a longer below the knee length would you say a Kingussie pleat over a box pleat.
    Kelsey saw a long kilt in Halifax and now wants me to make her one. She called it a maxi kilt.

    C-A Drymen

  8. #6
    Join Date
    25th September 04
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada 1123.6536.5321
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    Drymen Kilts,

    First of all, if you are wanting to make something for a woman that will be longer than a man's kilt, may I suggest that you look at a lighter weight fabric. Something in the 10 oz range. As this is to be longer than a man's kilt, you may be using wider fabric. The weight of all that fabric adds up really quick.

    A man's 8 yard kilt made from 16oz fabric will weigh in at right around 4 pounds. The average woman does not expect or want to wear something that robust.

    And if you are making something for a lady you may want to make a skirt not a kilt. A kilt is one of the most complex garments. Right up there with a man's custom made suit coat.
    Lady's skirts usually do not have all the internal elements that a man's kilt does.

    It will still be Tartan so many people will still refer to it as a kilt even though it is actually made like any other ladies skirt. I have seen lengths from ultra mini down to hostess length and skirts with pleats all around or no pleats at all, called a kilt just because of the Tartan fabric.
    Last edited by The Wizard of BC; 10th August 17 at 02:48 PM.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

  9. The Following User Says 'Aye' to The Wizard of BC For This Useful Post:


  10. #7
    Join Date
    12th January 13
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    The thing to remember about a kilted skirt, however, is that it hasn't the yardage of a "real" kilt and therefore none of the same movement that makes a kilt so lovely. So if you're making this for someone else, make sure to find out if she's okay with that first! (I'd rather carry the weight and have the movement-- I'm not into Duke Ellington but I think do kilts are one place where it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!)
    Here's tae us - / Wha's like us - / Damn few - / And they're a' deid - /
    Mair's the pity!

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  12. #8
    Join Date
    3rd January 06
    Location
    Dorset, on the South coast of England
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    I have made and worn long kilts, and once they are on, the weight is not really important. The fitting is the vital thing, as if not done correctly they can be very uncomfortable.

    I have one kilt 30 inches long, as the fabric was 60 inches wide and I didn't realise, thought it was 54 and didn't check. It is actually my favourite kilt as it flows beautifully. It weighs almost four pounds, but doesn't feel heavy when worn.
    It is a reverse Kingussie style, and it does seem heavy when you first pick it up - and it slithers off anything it is laid upon, it has to be hung up on a very sturdy hanger by the half dozen loops I sewed into it. I don't know what the fabric is but it rustles slightly when worn. I used military style webbing to reinforce the waist and eased the garment in almost 2 inches over the whole length - it is made without a rise as I am short waisted. When buckled it slightly compresses my waist and without the easing in it would tend to wrinkle and move up over the waistband.

    Anne the Pleater
    I presume to dictate to no man what he shall eat or drink or wherewithal he shall be clothed."
    -- The Hon. Stuart Ruaidri Erskine, The Kilt & How to Wear It, 1901.

  13. #9
    Join Date
    30th November 04
    Location
    Deansboro, NY
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    Here's another alternative for a kilt for a woman:

    http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/f...t-woman-75461/
    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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