Saturday, March 5, 2011

Making a kilt

This is not a "How-to" post. I may write one of those later, complete with pictures and diagrams. I'm not working on any right now and, with this economy, I don't expect to be doing any for a while. Most of the people who've approached me about it are generally a bit taken aback by how much it costs.

I don't make Utilikilts. They are very cool and quite reasonable in price. They are also their own company (go figure!).

The kilts I make are designed to fit the person I'm making them for. I take measurements and everything. I also use real, 100% wool tartans and I sew them by hand. It's really the only way to get them to lay just right. You can get close with a machine, I'm not saying you can't, but an iron, needle and thread is the best way.  I've been told I do it the "authentic" way but, really, what's "authentic?" A brief look at the history of the kilt will show that, depending on how far back you go, I'm doing it the wrong way.

The question I get asked the second most, usually after "How much does it cost?", is "where do you get the fabric from?"  I buy all my tartan fabric through Scotweb. They have the best quality of tartan fabric I've ever found and every tartan pattern I've ever looked for.

I was honestly surprised by what 9 yards of wool tartan looked like in the box when I first got it.

9 yards of quilting cotton doesn't fold down that small!

It was so soft and easy to work with, I just loved it.
The finished product didn't turn out so bad, either.

That's the Irish National tartan and the young man had just tried to climb a Jacob's ladder at the Renfaire. I'm surprised there's not still hay on it.

I need to make more of these. Not just because I love a man in a good kilt but because the fabric is a joy to use and soft to handle.


  1. I LOVE kilts. I have limited genealogical info, so I can only guess at the clan our surname came from. I so wish I knew which tartan was "mine"!

    I traveled around Scotland, backpacking, and it was a joy of my life. No Nessie spotted, but we did see Prince William in a St. Andrews pub, and my English genes, Irish genes and Scottish genes all began warring. I think that's why sometimes I wake up tired...

  2. I'm German...what can you make me? lol

  3. Jill, I can make you a beer wench.

    Elizabeth, I am totally jealous. I've yet to go to Scotland, Ireland or England. I'm Irish, Scottish, Welsh, French and German. I like to get drunk and fight myself, but I usually surrender pretty quickly then meet myself at the pub for a round or two.

  4. Alan is being given a trip from his work this year and we are hoping to go to Ireland and Scotland.
    As far as kilts Alan married me in a utilikilt, but in addition his first sewing project while getting to know me before we started dating was me walking him through sewing his own kilt. I do utility style not traditional, but either way. KILTs rock!