Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Sewing Bigly in 2017!

Sorry, I couldn't resist. Clearly, we're sailing into uncharted waters as a nation, but my goals for the coming year are crystal clear.


My son will be getting married in October, and get this.....he's asked the old man to make him a kilt! I am deeply touched and honored beyond belief, but at the same time scared to death. Maybe you remember that this has been on my sewing bucket list for about 3 years now.






Here I was picking up my tartan, the "Loud MacLeod", with my mom at Scotland by the Yard in Quechee, Vermont. It's been on mothballs ever since! My plan is to make myself a kilt first, (read: make all the mistakes on mine), then tackle his.



I have this Folkwear pattern, but won't be using it for the kilt. There is, in fact, no "pattern" for a kilt. A kilt is totally made based on the wearer's measurements and the amount and sett (repeat) of the tartan. It's a little overwhelming. I will use the pattern for the Prince Charlie jacket and vest.



So here's to the New Year! My year of SWAP, sewing with a purpose.



My goal.....


Two 8 yard kilts

Two Prince Charlie (or maybe Argyle) jackets

Two vests

A Glengarry cap for me


Oh, and something snazzy to wear for the rehearsal dinner I'm hosting. Time to roll out the tartan!


I also promise to never utter the word "bigly" again!



  1. You can sew up those kilts and they will be fabulous - I just know it! If you can make a boat, you can make a kilt (that's how I see it anyway). Congratulations to your son. Sounds like a busy and exciting time!

  2. Congratulations and Happy New Year. Can't wait to watch the kilts come to life!

  3. This is a project I have contemplated since marrying into the clan McAlister 40 years ago. I'll be following your progress with interest. I also have the folkwear pattern. My son wore a kilt rented off the internet to prom. Consequently I have a lovely picture of him grinning like a Cheshire Cat, with three beautiful girls draped around him. He was the sensation of the dance.

  4. I'm looking forward to seeing these projects. They all sound like fun!

  5. Over the years I have done several plaid, pleated skirts. Plaid comes with built in sewing and marking lines-don't be afraid, it will be easier than you think :-)
    Barb from Canada

  6. Happy New Year! With your attention to detail those kilts will be fabulous. I look forward to watching your projects come to life.

  7. I'm pretty sure it will be awesome ��

  8. Episode 4, series 3 of the Great British Sewing Bee has a kilt as the big project. Amazing to watch, and may have pattern details. A friend of mine decided to save money and made her daughter's highland dancing kilt. She had to set it up on a table in their spare room so that she could gradually check the the pleats and tartan matching.

    My tartan is Macleod too!

    All the best with this - looking forward to seeing the results.

  9. It's a good thing you are making these outfits, since to purchase them will run you upwards of 1000-2000 per outfit. I wore the outfit to my grandmothers funeral, with the bagpipe send off ceremony and the full 9 yards. I was surprised how comfortable it is wearing a kilt and have often wondered I have not tried to make one. I have the same pattern as you and also the burda version of the same thing. Maybe a working class chore kilt might be order for the spring and summer. I am looking forward to seeing your workmanship, it is always perfect. Good luck - Corey

  10. Did I ever tell you're my hero???

  11. I can hardly wait to see your process with the kilts! I made one some 15 years ago for my teenaged son - we were singing with a choir where one of the on tour uniforms was ethnic dress and he wanted a kilt even though we were traveling through the deep South at the end of July! So I made it out of a cotton tartan using a Big 4 Costume pattern. I'm certain the directions weren't authentic but I do remember pleating and pleating....It would've been FAR easier in wool I can tell you, but he loved it and I was quite proud of it. my only suggestion woud be too baste, baste and baste some more! Also there's a couple of fellas on YouTube (sorry I don't remember their names) who make their own kilts; they are not the more military/formal style like you are making, these are the UtiliKilts. Still, really interesting info they share. And it's a wonderful thing to sew for your son's wedding. Congratulations to all!

  12. I love Scotland by the Yard! I live pretty close to Quechee and really enjoy working with plaid. The satisfaction of doing plaid well is totally worth the time.