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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    What do I need to build a handmade kilt

    So, I want to build my own 8-yard wool kilt, what do I need to do this?
    I would like to order as much as I can to complete this task at the same time

    1. The Art of Kiltmaking. (Ordered)
    2. Wool tartan ( Spirit of Bruce Modern, Double width wool, 3.7 meters in length)
    3. Straps and Buckles
    4. Needles and Pins
    5. Tape measure
    6. Thread
    7. Interfacing
    8. Lining

    My measurements
    44" real waist
    47" at the buttocks
    24" waist to top of the knee
    6'2" height

    I do not have a sewing machine so will be all hand sewn.
    Please be precise if possible. e.g. type of cotton thread, fabric marking item etc

  2. #2
    Join Date
    25th September 04
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada 1123.6536.5321
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    Once your copy of TAoK arrives you will find a pretty good list of the materials and tools needed.

    But here are some comments -

    The Tartan "Spirit of Bruce" is not one listed with "The Scottish Register of Tartan". Nor on the"Scottish Tartans Authority".
    It appears to be an unlisted, proprietary design out of Pakistan. Hence why your first kilt was made from Synthetic yet sold as wool.
    So you may be looking at a custom run of fabric. Please, please check with your chosen weaver for pricing and minimum yardage requirements before committing to this project.

    How much fabric you will need depends on five factors.

    1) The circumference around your hips and buttocks.
    Obviously the larger someone is, the more fabric that will be needed.
    Most kilt makers use a hip circumference of 45 inches as the difference between ordering 4 yards and 5 yards of double-width fabric.
    2) How you plan to fold the fabric into pleats.
    Knife pleats require more fabric than box pleats.
    3) How you wish the Tartan pattern to be displayed in the pleats.
    If you choose to have the pattern display the same element down each pleat (Display to Stripe) you will need one full sett for each pleat.
    If you choose to have the pattern display the entire Sett (Display to Sett) you will need about 1 full sett more for every 6-8 pleats.
    4) The Size of the Sett of your fabric.
    An average Sett size can be between 6.5 and 7.25 inches.
    Larger Setts will need more fabric.
    5) Waste
    Please plan approx 10-15% waste.
    Things like lining up the aprons and doing the mid kilt join can use up more fabric than you may think.

    In addition to the materials and tools list you have add a strip of Broadcloth for the stabilizer band.
    Find a source for good quality hair canvas (also called chest canvas) for the interfacing.

    If you have not sewn a lot you may want to practice stitching. The idea of hand stitching a kilt is that there should be no visible stitches on the outside of the kilt.
    The mark of a good kilt sewer is one who can align the tartan elements perfectly.
    Both of these skills take practice.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

  3. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to The Wizard of BC For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    16th April 20
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    Received and read TAok, wow what a great read.

    Received the Tartan, it is wool (Burn test)

    I have 155" of double width.

    The set is 8"

    I am 44 waist and 47 at the buttocks, will this be enough?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    16th April 20
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    Surrey, England, UK
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    Photo might help

    IMG_20200516_150016.jpg

    Also question about the split

    Waist 44" / 2 = 22
    Hips 47" / 2 = 23.5

    I have ended up with
    waist apron 22.5 waist pleats 21.5
    hips apron 23 hips pleats 24

    Does this sound OK?
    Last edited by Red1leader; 16th May 20 at 02:10 PM.

  6. #5
    Join Date
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    That should be fine.
    Have you decided how you are going to make the pleats? Choices are to the set, folding so the set of the tartan is repeated in the pleats from the fell down to the lower edge, or to a stripe, so each pleat shows the same part of the sett.
    It is usual to place a dominant stripe in the centre of the over apron, and have the same centre back, or have two stripes equally placed from the centres.
    As you have a good length of material you should be able to choose how to arrange things.

    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.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    16th April 20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pleater View Post
    That should be fine.
    Have you decided how you are going to make the pleats? Choices are to the set, folding so the set of the tartan is repeated in the pleats from the fell down to the lower edge, or to a stripe, so each pleat shows the same part of the sett.
    It is usual to place a dominant stripe in the centre of the over apron, and have the same centre back, or have two stripes equally placed from the centres.
    As you have a good length of material you should be able to choose how to arrange things.

    Anne the Pleater
    I was looking to pleat to the stripe, there is a nice grey line, tried it out, and has a nice red flash.

    IMG_20200516_181845.jpg

  8. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red1leader View Post
    Photo might help



    Also question about the split

    Waist 44" / 2 = 22
    Hips 47" / 2 = 23.5

    I have ended up with
    waist apron 22.5 waist pleats 21.5
    hips apron 23 hips pleats 24

    Does this sound OK?
    Actually, for your measurements, I wouldn't be inclined to make a waist/pleats differential at the hip of 1". But it's important to know how you did the hip measurement. Did you measure directly, or did you use the towel method?
    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://theartofkiltmaking.com

  9. #8
    Join Date
    16th April 20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb T View Post
    Actually, for your measurements, I wouldn't be inclined to make a waist/pleats differential at the hip of 1". But it's important to know how you did the hip measurement. Did you measure directly, or did you use the towel method?
    I did it directly with my wife taking the measurements.

    I have your book, great information.

    I am an S shape, where my stomach sticks out and my backside does the same.

    I am trying to pleat to the line and ended up with 27 pleats and 1/16 of an inch difference between the hip and waist, does this sound OK.

    I have not started sewing yet, just basted the aprons, even the A line looks a little straight from waist to hip.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    30th November 04
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    Hi RedLeader1

    Because you haven't started sewing yet, I think you might want to re-take your measurements using the towel method.

    http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/f...80/index2.html

    Here are the instructions that I send people for measuring using the towel method:

    If you have a belly, do an additional measurement as follows. Roll a towel up and put it under your belly to kind of fill the space. Be sure it's not sticking out past your belly, and don't wrap it around to the side. Have someone measure around your hips again but around the towel in front as well. That will give a measurement that will help the kilt fit better - you'll be able to snug it in to the small of the back, and it will hang straighter down from the waist.

    I think your kilt will fit better, given your shape, if you re-measure using the towel method, use that measurement for the hips, and then split the hip evenly between the apron and pleats. You'd need to lay out the apron again and re-calculate the splits and pleat sizes, but I think you'll be happier with the result.

    It's a method that many of us use, and I'm sorry that this isn't in the book. Elsie was quite adamant that the book reflected the methods she learned as an apprentice. Elsie is also adamant that a pleat should not be pinned before stitching. I don't agree, and I urge people, especially first time kiltmakers, to use pins to hold a pleat while you stitch it. Here is a post I wrote on this a long time ago:

    http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/f...not-pin-72250/

    I've also just made a post that has all the things that I do differently from TAoK:

    http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/f...tmaking-96538/
    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://theartofkiltmaking.com

  11. #10
    Join Date
    16th April 20
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    Surrey, England, UK
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    WOW, Thanks for that.

    I think my numbers will be a lot better, hip measurements come up to 49 1/2".

    Plus 1/2"

    So now:
    Waist: 44 1/2"
    Hip: 50"

    Splits Front / Rear:
    Waist: 23 1/4" / 21 1/4
    Hip: 25" / 25"

    Does this sound right?

    It has worked out as

    25 pleats
    7/8" at the Waist
    1" at the Hips
    8 5/16" fell

    By the way if you look at my avatar I am pleating to the thin silver line to the right of the wide red, and the wide red is my centre apron line.
    Last edited by Red1leader; 20th May 20 at 08:34 AM.

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