Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Kilty Goodness

These pics were taken in a hurry when I got home from work tonight, because I was keen to give you guys a look at the kilt I made this weekend!

a) please overlook the slight creases etc because I wore it on Sunday and couldn't bring myself to press it again before taking these pics, and
b) the fading evening light has made the colours a bit off no matter how I adjust it, in reality it's a black background with navy blue check.

The front! Kilt lesson 101 - the flat piece at the front is an 'apron' and there is another inner apron underneath! The aprons are traditionally 5/12ths of the waist size, with the remaining 7/12ths given over to the pleating. The pin on the front apron is a large Celtic design brooch I bought in the UK 20 years ago.

These button straps are a bit of a temporary fix, ideally they'll be replaced by adjustable leather straps and buckles. I couldn't source them in time, but I'll replace them when I find something suitable. I made this to a traditional kilt plan, where the under apron has a wide inverted box pleat between it and the start of the pleats. I wasn't sure why, but it makes perfect sense and means that the front apron can move freely and the pleats still hang nicely.

The back! Or, where the action happens! I pleated this 'to the sett', which means that the pleats are sized to allow for the distance between each check. I made each pleat the size of 2 setts, or in this instance about 22cm. The distance between each pleat is 4cm. If I had more fabric (the lenghth I used was just under 6m) I would have made the distance between the pleats a more traditional 2.5cm (1 inch) which would have put even more fullness and swing in the back. Traditionally a standard men's kilt uses about 7m of fabric.

See how the check pattern travels across the top of the pleats, that's the result of pleating 'to the sett'. Neat huh? And the pleats are slightly narrower at the top to allow for hip vs waist sizing. (Oh, and ps: HARD. Worship my sewing skills!) On the left hip you can just see the strap from the under apron. The under apron fixes closed with a single strap that passes through a bound buttonhole concealed by a pleat, and fastens on the outside. Neat trick, and you start dressing by fixing this strap through the buttonhole first. The pleats are cut away at the top inside to reduce bulk, and a lining hangs freely from the inside waistband. The plan on how this is made is probably best described here.

So, there you have it. This was heaps of fun to make, and the fabric was a 1.5m wide remnant labelled as 2.5m in length (actually just under 3m) that I bought for only $20. $20! It's not in fact a wool, but a surprisingly drapey cotton that has a hand like wool suiting. I cut it along the length and pieced it end to end, taking care to match the check and hide the join in a pleat.

I plan on wearing it to the gay and lesbian Mardi Gras Fair Day on the weekend, so hopefully I'll get a shot of me wearing it!


thombeau said...

Andrew, that is nothing less than fabulous. And so are you!

Lara said...

Spunky! Clever! Is there anything this man cannot do?

Lara said...

P.S. Thombeau, you are looking more and more like Inigo every day!

The Other Andrew said...

Awww, thanks guys!!

thombeau said...

Lara: LOL!

Andrew: XOXOX

Campbell said...

Very impressive Andrew. Maybe I should commission you with some Campbell tartan!

The Other Andrew said...

LOL! I'm Scots on my father's side Campbell, and we 'supposedly' have the right to wear a particular tartan, but then I've read how so much of that clan tartan stuff is Victorian fantasy!

Michael said...

Amazing. And I didn't even get bored during the sewing parts!

::performs tiny respectful bows::

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

yers, hard to wade through how much of the Scottish stuff is really Scottish and how much is Victorian tatt... a bit frustrating really.

TOA! very lovely work! how did you get the kicky pleats lying so sharply? just ironed the crap out of them?

I have 2-3 of my Nanna's kilts, made to measure from Fletcher Jones in the 60's, and they are beautiful pieces of work. buckles and straps and all good things. I used to wear them in the late 80's with black shirt and pointy shoes. oooh they are lovely!

I wonder if FJ still do nice things like that. a friend of mine got the Australian tartan made up for a kilt in the early 90's. there's a tartan we're all entitled to wear, eh?

I love a sharp pleat :-)

Mousicles said...

Utterly beautiful work. But your sewing is always so neat and precise. Well done.

Mikey (TLE) said...

Very nicely done. And here I thought they were just yards and yards of fabric wrapped around and secured with a great big pin... I need to know more about my own Scots ancestry. Clearly. Evanski and I will probably head to fair day this weekend as well. I might have to commission you to make a set of "his and his" kilts for us at some stage. At the conclusion of the "great 2009 weight loss program". And the word jumble is "rehed" which made me chuckle for some reason.

NannaPeter said...

You'll soon be the Audrey Hepburn of Newtown. I can see you off to work wearing Armani & Gautier knock-offs. Weekend wear being Calvin Klein or Bos knock-offs.

I'm frightened what you will achieve when you have complete mastery of the sweing machine!!

jason said...

worshiping indeed!


spyder said...

Who let you loose with a new sewing machine?
(Oh how we miss your work at Fight Club)

Cecilia said...

I bow down to your amazing skills! What a fab way to inaugurate your new sewing machine

LaDivaCucina said...

That looks a bit short to be going sans knickers, darlin'! Take a clue from Sharon Stone and watch when you cross your legs! hehe! Great job, I can't even begin to fathom making anything with pleats! Lx

Michael Guy said...

I love this, Andrew! You lost me on the math bits, though.

Speaking of bits...tad breezy?!

The Other Andrew said...

Thanks for the fantastic comments everyone! I haven't worn it sans knickers (yet?) but given that it's knee length, and front is weighted with a kilt, except for a bare bum flash if I'm not careful, I should be right! :)