Steeking & removing excess fabric in kilts

There was a discussion of the word "steeking" from February,
in which it was stated that properly made kilts don't have the
excess fabric (above/behind the steeking) cut out. (And
which Google won't let me post a follow-up to.)
I just finished what I would call a "semi-traditional" kilt in a
moderately heavy cotton (about twill weight, but not twill), and
did not cut the fabric away. I will definitely do it the next time!
Sewing through something like 6 layers of cloth from the pleats, plus
lining,
plus waistband (2 sides) was like sewing through steel plate!
Using a #100 (demin) needle, my machine (Bernett 410,
whose motor is nowhere near as weak as everyone says it is)
made a sound a little like automatic weapons fire as it punched
through
all that cloth.
+ + +
While we're on the topic of kilts, any tips on how to iron the thing?
The fabric has a print which is in 2-inch wide bands, which dictates
where the creases go on the lower part, and makes any misalignments
painfully obvious.
At the waist, of course, the pleats get squeezed together, but this
means it won't lay flat on the ironing board and makes it really hard
to
get the pleats straight while ironing.
-- AMM
Reply to
AMM
That was my message. ;-)
Following the instructions in the book "The Art of Kiltmaking" I carefully cut all the excess fabric in the pleats from the top to the bottom of the fell. Then I sewed in the hair canvas interlining, with loose darts to follow the curve. Then the lining, and by the time I put on the top band it was still pretty thick, but not nearly so bad as if I had left in all the pleat fabric. I was fortunate to have a local expert to turn to for help.
The book recommends (and I did) carefully basting the pleats with tailor tacks at the hem, lining up the pattern *exactly* as it is at the bottom of the fell, then again two inches below the bottom of the fell, and at least two or three additional lines of basting between those two. That holds all the pleats in place for pressing.
Then you place the fell area over a ham, press really well with a damp press cloth, leaving each area to cool before proceeding. When the fell and aprons are pressed, drape the kilt over the ironing board with the fell hanging *just* off the small end, and using a damp press cloth, press all the pleated area. Again, let each section cool before moving.
This was my first real kilt, and it's the "practice" one, I'm going to make my DGD a competition kilt in August. I put pictures of the completed kilt up here:
formatting link
,
Beverly
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BEI Design

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