kilting question

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While reading "The" kilting book it seems that a box-pleated kilt
may be a little easier to make than a knife-pleated kilt ? Do you
have an opinion ?

It seems you can then avoid a few time consuming steps like ...
trimming the pleats in the fell, adding stabilizer and using less
fabric .

I am sure i will have some questions about the sizing and splits

thanks for any help

Re: kilting question

robb wrote:
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Robb, I don't remember any reference to making an entire
kilt with box pleats.  Page # ?  Are you talking about "The
Art of Kiltmaking" by Barbara Tewksbury and Elsie
Stuehmeyer.  It may be that she talks about making something
like a Utili-kilt?  The sequence for a kilt is :  front
apron, first pleat (which is extra deep), knife pleats
around to the (wearer's) right side, extra deep box pleat,
and underapron.  Maybe you saw the instructions for the deep
box pleat just before the underapron?

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If you want the nice swing that a kilt provides, you *need*
all that fabric.  On an adult male, anything less than a
seven yard kilt (3.5 yards of 60" fabric split lengthwise
and joined) would look skimpy.  And you need the deep
facings at each edge of the two aprons, for the weight and
body they provide.

I suppose trimming the pleats in the fell might be
eliminated but remember, the depth of the pleats is *much*
more than 3-to-1, even if you are 'pleating to the stripe'
rather than 'pleating to the sett'.  There is a lot of
overlapping fabric, as much as 8-10 layers, so the bulk
would be substantial if you don't trim it above the fell.
And really adding the canvas in not onerous, and it is
hidden by the lining, so even if you don't get it laid in
perfectly, it won't show.

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Yeah, that's the math part I struggled with a lot on my
first one.  Scan the chart and examples in the book and
print off several copies, then make several different
combinations until you think you "get" it.  E-mail me
privately with some of the measurements, we don't need to
bore everyone here with that.

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I will happily offer any help I can.


Re: kilting question (need more help)

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Hello Beverly,
I do have the ("TAoK") book that you have mentioned here.

I have perused and read through sections/ch 4,5,6,7 numerous
times and have worked out my record sheet that i am pretty
confident with as all the numbers seem to work out according to
the instructions. I calculated the pleats using traditional and
calculator method (whew).

I have marked up my fabric and am ready to start ch 9.

Q1 - Basting the edges of top apron ?
I basted the  the edges of the the top/front apron and ran into
my first *need help* problem.
The book says to skew and stretch  the fabric at the curves of
the top  apron chalk mark so that the tartan lines in the folded
under piece line up exactly  with the lines on the top side. Do i
do this for both sides of the apron  ? I am finding this very
difficult is it suppose to be ?

Q2 - Sewing first pleat and deep pleat on left side of top apron
Maybe i keep skipping or missing the instructions ... but where
does one line up the edge of the left edge of top apron for the
deep pleat ?

And when i do try to fold the basted left edge of the top apron
over to form the deep pleat the apron keeps bunching or warping
where the deep pleat forms at the top/shaping part of the apron ?

If i undersand the proces hen i would guess that i am suppose to
put the top edge of the apron exactly on top of the first pleat
as if the apron were a pleat ?  but it would be nice to read that
or have an experienced person tell me.

Thanks for any helpful advice,


Re: kilting question (need more help)

Top posting for a reason:  Robb, I know you need this info
ASAP, but I'm in the middle of a major remodeling, and my
life is very upside-down right now.

You have most of your info correct, but I need to know, did
you buy 100% wool or are you using "something else"? Is it
tartan or plain?   Are you going to do knife pleats or the
box pleated version you discovered?  That first deep pleat
is critically important, as well as the opening you'll leave
at the waistline of the second pleat for the strap.

The "skewing" of the apron and underapron facing is very
important, and difficult. :-}  Most of the ripples are dealt
with when you get to the basting and pressing at the very
end.  I'll  dig out my book so I can follow along on your
questions but it may be a day or two.  Sorry!


robb wrote:
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Re: kilting question (need more help)

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Hello Beverly,

Thanks for the reply and help.
It is not really ASAP ... i am thankful  for any help and
whenever it might come.

When your rightside-up again :)
This first kilt is the  learning experience (a muslin of sorts)
I am using a plain weave cotton tartan(plaid) with a 4 3/8 "
It is about 10 oz weight.
I am planning to do the knife pleats (to the stripe).

The first pleat/deep pleat /apron is the first real hurdle i have
hit so far.

Thanks again for your help,

Re: kilting question (need more help)

robb wrote:
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Robb, just letting you know I have your message flagged, I
will not forget you. Things are pretty hectic at the moment,
between sick dog, bathroom remodeling and DGD wants my help
with her special occasion dress.


Re: kilting question
responding to
athensohkiltguy wrote:
Hey, Robb,
I've just finished my first box-pleated kilt, following Tewksbury and
Newsome's wonderful free supplement to TAoK. It works! I actually located
(and confirmed with Barb Tewksbury) several little mistakes and a number
of vague spots or inconsistencies, and annotated my supplement copy. I'm
working on my second box-pleated kilt now. Regarding your question, yeah,
I took up the box-pleated design as my first kilt because it saves a
number of steps and does use nearly half the tartan fabric as the
box-pleated design I've set up for kilt #3. (I've used ca. 1.6
double-width or so yards in both kilts, as opposed to an estimated 3.3
double-width yards for the setts I'm likely to use in the future
knife-pleated kilts, so about $150 cheaper.)

If it's at all helpful to you, I'd be happy to send you my sheet of
"mistakes, corrections and elaborations" that goes with the supplement,
and also a detailed checklist of the 41 steps necessary to make the
box-pleated kilt, with correspondences to the pages in TAoK and the
supplement. (Hey, I'm a plant scientist, as a geek I've got to lay
everything out just so, so I can follow along exactly.)

Let me know if any of this is helpful. I'm no more than a novice myself,
and have made plenty of boneheaded mistakes on my first kilt, but now that
I've got the layout and design done, my second one is easier (although not
much quicker, I'm trying to go even more slowly and do things as
"perfectly" as possible).


robb wrote:

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A day without kilting is like a day without sunshine

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Re: kilting question
-----Original Message-----=20
From: athensohkiltguy
Sent: Friday, February 11, 2011 1:09 PM Newsgroups: alt.sewing=20
Subject: Re: kilting question
responding to=20
athensohkiltguy wrote:
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Hi, cool and Wow,
how did you find that OP under all the dust ?  was it fun making the=20
kilt ?

I thought as you , Just from reading that "supplement" it seemed it=20
would be less time consuming to make the box kilt and i liked the=20
style too.

I eventually went with a knife pleat ...
Because my double width, clearance, remnant bolt (~ 2.25 yd) of=20
pseudo tartan/plaid fabric,  i chose for my muslin/practice kilt, had=20
an asymmetric  sett at about  4-5 inches so it was difficult to make=20
an aesthetic box pleat (size or number of boxes) without more fabric=20

I was able to get just enough eye pleasing knife pleats to make the=20
needed width and then  *barely enough* left over fabric for the=20
aprons, the  inverted and hidden pleats etc. Those extras were made=20
slightly smaller than the recommended  sizes in "The" TAoK book.

On the errors you found ? You said you contacted Tewksbury, did she=20
mention possibly writing up an addendum/supplement for the book to=20
correct the errors ?

If not, i would definitely  be interested and appreciate the  info to=20
update my TAoK book.

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I am an amateur  novice as well, I had my share of errors ...

In a rush initially, I made errors calculating and measuring my length=20
and where my true waist really was. When i discovered the problem=20
later (after cutting but before stitching) my fabric was now 2.5" shy=20
of a proper fitting kilt. I ended up adding material to the top edge=20
that forms the waist band at the top of the kilt so that i could fix=20
the waist and length problem. Fortunately that top 2-3 inches was a=20
kind of safety zone.

I really have a "franken-kilt" :}

Making the kilt was really fun, i would like to make more but the time=20
and effort has stalled me for now.

I should have listened to Beverly, in this group, she warned me about=20
not making a muslin kilt, to  just make the real thing  with some real=20
fabric and just  move slow  and careful. Live and learn i guess.

If Tewksbury does not plan to print an addendum i would definitely=20
appreciate the helpful changes to make to my TAoK.
Were there any errors in the box pleat supplement ?


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Re: kilting question
robb wrote:
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Bows...  ;-)


Re: kilting question
robb wrote:
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Robb, I did make a "practice kilt" before making the real
one.  You shamed me into finally organizing some pictures of
the process on my site:

I have lots more pictures of the McKellar tratan kilt, I'll
try to get those pictures up soon.


Re: kilting question
On 2/12/2011 9:50 PM, BEI Design wrote:

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Pendleton for a practice kilt???    *hyperventilating*
stitches @
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Re: kilting question

Pogonip wrote:
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The Pendleton was "only" $24.00/yard, and we bought 3 yards
of 54" wide.  The McKellar double wide tartan was $85/yard
and her teacher brought back 3.5 yards.

The Pendleton was lovely to work with, but the Scottish
Dalgliesh tartan was heaven. /


Re: kilting question
"BEI Design"  wrote in message=20

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Hello Beverly,

I wish my practice kilt turned out half as well as yours.

For inspiration, I will  keep an eye out for more of your kilt-making=20

Having gone through the process, I now have a greater appreciation for=20
the effort that goes into them.

Looks like I may be guilted into posting  pics of  "franken-kilt" :)


Re: kilting question
robb wrote:
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Keeping in mind, I have been sewing fro 66+ years. :-D

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I'll make a stab at getting more of the McKellar kilt work
up soon, but I have a large embroidery job to finish first.

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So do I!

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Please do, I'd love to see your work.


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