Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

Poem-another sign of love- a kilt story July 17, 2013

She gets these notions, ken?

Strange notions.

That because my great,





grandfather was a Scot

I need a kilt.


I won’t wear a kilt,

I said.

I am not connected to

my Scot’s heritage

I said.

That’s all right,

she said,


eight meters of fabric

and starting to pleat.


I won’t wear a kilt

I said.

What kind of belt buckle?

she asked.

So I picked the clan buckle

of my great

great etc



I won’t wear a kilt

I said.

Which pleat design?

she asked.

So I picked the pleat to the sett

(or so she tells me)

and she ironed

and ironed

and ironed

late into the night

and then she sewed

and sewed

and sewed

each stitch by hand

for night

after night.


I don’t want a kilt

I said.

She sewed

a linen shirt

and knit a lace jabot

and created sock flashes

and sock garters.

I ordered the socks and

the sporran from


she said.


I really don’t want…

I said

Try this

she said

arranging a leather pocket

dangling from chains

around my waist.


I squawked

It can’t go like that!

That’s like saying

X marks the spot!

She laughed

at my dismay.


Just try it all

she said,



I sighed

but did.

Walk up and down so I can see the swing,

she said.


she said

and led me back up the hall.


For our anniversary

she said

will you wear your kilt?


I said

and did.



True story.

Outlander inspiration is clear.

Diana has a lot to answer for.

But most of it is good.

Verra good.


Here’s the proof:


and the more modern interpretation:


We should have taken some pictures from behind to show off…

(cough) the pleat to the sett.

It’s verra lovely.


Always remember “Happy Wife, Happy Life” or as Diana wrote him in the book plate for his copy of  The Scottish Prisoner, “No one looks better than a man in a kilt.”

Diana sign ScottishPrisoner kilt comment


FYI- Here are a few of the posts written back while I was making the kilt with photos of the process:

Note the dates- It’s been nearly 18 months since I finished.  He’s worn it ONCE before today, back for that final drooling fitting.  Plainly I caught him in a moment of weakness today.  Or else he’s been reading Outlander again on his own.  Good lad.

6 years later, here’s a lovely shot of the swing from behind! 🙂



Modern pict, in miniature June 11, 2012

Filed under: anecdotes,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:40 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

NB.  Beaufort is pronounced Byoo-furt in this one.

Just a snap shot in words.


“Beaufort T. Scott!  Is that your mama’s blue eye shadow all over your face?” Sadie looked again and rammed her hands onto her hips, elbows jutting out menacingly.  “And why on Earth are you wearing your sister’s skirt?

“It’s not a skirt!  It’s a kilt.  Kilts are for men.  Mama says so!”  He thrust his tongue out to emphasize the point.

“It’s a gingham skirt with a calico ruffle, Beaufort.”

His lower lip quivered.  “It’s a kilt!”

Joline’s kitten pounced by, narrowly missing a lucky grasshopper.  Beaufort bent over to examine it, demonstrating that he was wearing his ‘kilt’ in the traditional manner.

Sadie raised an eyebrow.  “Careful that cat doesn’t reach up and slice off your privates.”

In alarm, the little boy swooped up the cat and dangled it protectively over the privates in question.

Sadie bit back a laugh.  The poor little cat looked for all the world like a pipe major’s badger sporran hanging there, tail twitching between the little boy’s knees.

“Ah, Beaufort,” she sighed.  “You’ll be the death of me.”


and it was good December 10, 2011

Filed under: projects — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:54 am
Tags: , , , ,

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.


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.



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!


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