Shawn L. Bird

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and it was good December 10, 2011

Filed under: projects — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:54 am
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I have seen The Kilt worn.  It is good.

  • The way the pleats fit smoothly from waist to hips, accenting the slight curve.
  • The way the pleats swing with the stride.
  • The way it accents the positive.

>>sigh<<

We had to adjust the length of the sporran chain, though.  Hubby stared aghast at the initial placement and exclaimed, “No!  That’s like saying ‘X marks the spot!'”

After I stopped laughing, I moved up the chain, and then investigated proper sporran placement at X marks the Scot and the Tartan Authority.  2-3″ below the belt buckle is correct for the top of the sporran, apparently.  We’re still waiting for the arrival of the belt and buckle, but I think we’ve got it close.

Photos? you suggest.

Umm.  Well.  The Husband is a trifle shy.  He is nervous of appearing on the internet in a kilt.  I’ll work on him.  When all the accoutrements have arrived, I will take a photo.  If I have to remove his head, I will.  I keep getting requests for the final product.  Patience!  ;-P

I have seen.  It is good.

Trust me.

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1. hem the approximately 8 yards of fabric

2. set the lining

3. pin the pleats according to hubby’s preference

4. press the pleats

5. manipulate the pleats from the fit at the hip to the narrower waist

6. hand stitch the 7-8 yards of hip pleats into position

7. baste pleats onto the lining

8. hand stitch the waist pleats

9. add apron fringe fabric

10. add waistband

11. pull threads to make fringe

12. add buckle closures (2)

13. figure out inner closure…

14.  add hanging loops (sporran loops- rather than hanging loops, actually)

15. sigh dramatically as spouse models completed kilt!

 

All done! December 6, 2011

Filed under: projects — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:38 pm
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Today, the straps and buckles arrived from Scotland at last, and so I was able to finish off the kilt.

I started by sewing down the waistband. You’re supposed to match the plaid across the front apron. If you look closely, you’ll see that the very centre matches, but the print on the band is smaller than the apron. This is because while it turns out the the Saskatchewan tartan is balanced left to right, it isn’t up and down (though it looks like it is!). I needed the full width (divided in half) of the fabric for my tall husband, and so I was forced to cut the waist band from the end.

I made the under closure with a strap of velcro on the apron that connect through a loop on the inside of the kilt.

The leather straps from Scotland needed stitch holes, so I used my Dremel drill to make them. The buckles are attached using fabric straps, that are matched to the plaid. The hole for the buckle prong is a half inch button hole. The fabric straps are hand stitched down, and well camouflaged.

And that’s it! My first kilt is complete! After some 30 hours of ironing and stitching by hand and machine later, the project in Saskatchewan tartan is complete. The sporran has arrived from Scotland via eBay, as has a pair of “Lovat green kilt hose.” The garters and a set of flashes are done. Now, we have to wait for my November 22nd Scotsweb order. Apparently the kilt belt is still not in, and the order won’t be shipped until Friday (December 9). A clan crest buckle, ecru hose, and a kilt pin will arrive with it.  An additional purchase was a kilt hanger.  A regular skirt hanger can’t take 3 lbs of kilt, but a kilt hanger is wider and has 4 clamps.  With luck, we should be able to completely outfit the husband of the house in his finery by Christmas. Stay tuned!

Would I do it again?

Well. Yesterday I picked up 4 metres of green and blue Alberta tartan…

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1. hem the approximately 8 yards of fabric

2. set the lining

3. pin the pleats according to hubby’s preference

4. press the pleats

5. manipulate the pleats from the fit at the hip to the narrower waist

6. hand stitch the 7-8 yards of hip pleats into position

7. baste pleats onto the lining

8. hand stitch the waist pleats

9. add apron fringe fabric

10. add waistband

11. pull threads to make fringe

12. add buckle closures (2)

13. figure out inner closure…

14.  add hanging loops (sporran loops- rather than hanging loops, actually)

15. sigh dramatically as spouse models completed kilt!

Bird-13

and there we are September 2017…

 

kilting continuance November 23, 2011

Filed under: projects — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:22 pm
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The latest report on the kilt making!

1. hem the approximately 8 yards of fabric

2. set the lining

3. pin the pleats according to hubby’s preference

4. press the pleats

5. manipulate the pleats from the fit at the hip to the narrower waist

6. hand stitch the 7-8 yards of hip pleats into position

7. baste pleats onto the lining

8. hand stitch the waist pleats

9. add apron fringe fabric

10. add waistband

11. pull threads to make fringe

12. add buckle closures (2)

13. figure out inner closure…

14.  add hanging loops

15. sigh dramatically as spouse models completed kilt!

At last report, I was anticipating having to re-do the stitching.  After subsequent measuring, I decided that I was just going to leave it.  The measurements are close enough (1/2″ off).  I am not sure whether I am actually going to put in a lining, but if so, I’ll be able to tighten the top two inches of the kilt  with the one inch waistband, I think.

I would be finished, except I determined that the 3 lbs of fabric requires MUCH sturdier buckles and straps that the wimpy pair I’d picked up at the fabric store when I bought my fabric.  I have therefore ordered a sturdier set from a kiltmaker in Scotland.  I will be inserting the straps into the waist band when they arrive, so I’m at a stop.

I am also waiting for a package from http://www.scotweb.co.uk/ that includes a clan buckle, kilt belt, and kilt hose (aka socks).  I have made garters and flashes.  I had very good luck on eBay this week and managed to obtain a lovely sporran with a gorgeous engraved silver cantle.

So!  Things are progressing quite nicely.  Finishing will depend on the mail arriving from the UK, but in my experience, that should mean within the next couple of weeks.  I tend to have UK parcels arrive much sooner than parcels from Eastern Canada or the US for some reason.

While I wait, I’ll be stitching up a linen tunic.   I had to go through several collections before I found the perfect one:  Simplicity 3519.   I like that this one is uni-sex.  It can be used for a variety of costuming purposes.  I will be making B, the one they show in green on the top right of the photo.

 

kilt progress November 19, 2011

Filed under: projects — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:27 am
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I don’t think I have ever ironed more in my whole life.

I’m making progress on the kilt.  Today I re-measured for the length, waist and hips, and made the first cut of the fabric,   serged all the edges and then hemmed all 7 metres.

Then began the pleating!  The DH wanted it pleated to the sett, and so it is.  Because he’s a big guy, I went with 1″ pleats.  After all the pleats were done at hip level and below, I shaped the waist edge.  The same edges were brought closer, into about 5/8″.  They were pinned and basted down.

And then the rest of the basting was done, measuring, ironing, and fiddling.  I’ve decided to stop for the night since it’s 2 a.m.  The DH will have to try on what I’ve got, and then I’ll actually get sewing down all those pleats, one at a time.  At last count there were 32 of them, but I think I may have added a couple.

With only pins and basting holding it together, here is the front apron:

Here is the back view. I’m really quite proud of my pleating to the sett.  I think it came out wonderfully.  When it’s sewn down, it should be quite impressive, fitting neatly over the hips!  It’s hard to tell there are any pleats at all, at first glance- but they’re there!  Trust me! (or click on the photo below and ‘control +’ to enlarge it and see for yourself.)

A good evening’s work, I think.  I’m looking forward to the first fitting tomorrow!

 

the latest obsessive project November 16, 2011

Filed under: projects — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:27 pm
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I have decided that my husband needs a kilt.  Never mind that he ‘doesn’t feel all that connected’ to his Scottish heritage,  that he has some concerns about the (ech hem) free movement beneath a kilt, or that he has maintained, “I’m not going to wear a kilt, Shawn” whenever I asked him.

I tend to be persistent when I’ve got a notion in my mind.

So I’m sewing him a kilt.    I’m not inclined to go too crazy with this, I don’t need to spend several hundred dollars, or anything.  But I think he’d suit a kilt, and I mean to get him into one.  I don’t expect him to wear it in public necessarily, but if he is going to change out of his work pants anyway, why not change into a kilt rather than ugly sweat pants?  The pressure is subtle.  “Women like kilts darling.”  “You’d be gorgeous in a kilt.”  “Ooooh.  Look at how great this guy looks in a kilt…”

I was able to find some official Canadian provincial tartans at the local fabric store, and after considerable deliberation, ended up with a Saskatchewan tartan.  I would have prefered a British Columbia or Maple Leaf tartan*, but those were not available.  I thought he’d suit the tones of the Saskatchewan tartan, and while theoretically, you’re not supposed to wear family name tartans unless you’re part of the family (I read on the Clan MacKenzie website, “no one should wear a tartan to which he is not by name or descent entitled. To do so is foolish and ill-mannered, invites scorn…”  Yikes!), anyone is allowed to wear  “the “District”, “Caledonia” and “Jacobite” tartans.”  Provincial tartans count as District tartans.

At present, I’m debating the pleating pattern.  From the research I’ve been doing, it seems there are two main ways to pleat: a traditional pleating to the sett, which keeps the whole pattern (sett) of the tartan visible through the pleats, and Regimental pleating, to a stripe.  Here is my fabric, roughly pinned to help decide this question.  My friends on Facebook were unanimous that they preferred the Regimental, but my husband (who is now apparently resigned to the idea that I’m making him a kilt, whether he wants to wear it or not) has pronounced that he likes the traditional pleat to the sett.

It’s interesting to compare the choices.  Traditional is pinned on the left.  The centre and right Regimental pleats are centred on different stripes.  Isn’t it interesting how different each result is, although they’re all made from the same fabric?

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Saskatchewan tartan- pleated to the sett, or 2 Regimental pleating options

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The genuine, expensive (aka $60+ per meter) tartan wools are made with a finished selvage edge, and when made to measure, they don’t need to be hemmed.  Unfortunately, inexpensive polyester based tartan fabric (on sale half price at $7/m) has a rough selvage, so the first task is to hem the fabric.  There are two options: machine hem or hand hem.  There will be 7 metres of fabric, and I’m not particularly inclined to hand hem all that when my machine should make a perfectly respectable job of it.

Stay tuned for more progress reports!  Goals for this week:

1. hem the approximately 8 yards of fabric

2. set the lining

3. pin the pleats according to hubby’s preference

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The next steps (at least as far as I figured them out so far):

4. press the pleats

5. manipulate the pleats from the fit at the hip to the narrower waist

6. hand stitch the 7-8 yards of hip pleats into position

7. baste pleats onto the lining

8. hand stitch the waist pleats

9. add apron fringe fabric

10. add waistband

11. pull threads to make fringe

12. add buckle closures (2)

13. figure out inner closure…

14.  add hanging loops

15. sigh dramatically as spouse models completed kilt!

I’ve based these steps on this very helpful article!

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* April 8, 2012- I have since learned that I should be thankful I didn’t start with a Maple Leaf tartan.  It is not a symmetrical pattern, and therefore requires quite clever engineering to pleat.  So! That’s a hint: be sure your first kilt has a symmetrical tartan.
 

 
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