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Casual Kilt

Added Apr 26, 2010

by bjeppson

Portland, Oregon...






Our friend Mikey wanted a kilt for hiking. I did some research about traditional Scottish kilts and then adapted the idea into a simplified and more casual Americanized version. I did not use a pattern.

The front apron part is formed by a deep pleat (about 8 inches) and there are a dozen other box pleats around. All pleats are sewn to make ironing easier. Everything is topstitched and bar tacked to make the kilt more durable. The cargo pockets are sewn only at the hip line and hang free from that point. The waistband is closed with two very large metal snaps. I adjusted the belt loop length to accommodate an extra-wide belt and added a key clip, seen just above the pocket. The pockets close with snaps that match those on the waistband.

Traditionally kilts go just below the knee, so I went with that approach. I believe it was 21 inches. With all the pleating it takes a length of fabric just over 4 yards. The pleats are stitched down to the fullest part of the hip, which gives it a nice fit. The trick is to pleat the fabric so it fits both the waist and the hips. It takes a bit of calculation and a lot of pins.

The first seam is the hem. Next, stitch the inside seam of each pleat down to the hip line. Sew the pleats from the bottom up to the hip line. Then you start adjusting the pleats above the hip line to fit the waist. Sew a couple pleats, press, check measurements, then do a couple more.

From beginning to end, it took me about six or seven hours to make. I then made one for myself and it took less than five hours. I have a couple more requests and I expect they will take even less time. Mikey is happy and, yes, wears it regimental.

This product is for sale
By bjeppson at Kilts by Buck

Material Notes

The fabric is an 8 oz. cotton twill that is brushed on one side. Mikey picked it out and asked to have the brushed side on the inside for comfort reasons. I cut it on the cross-grain in order to avoid calculating where to piece the thing. Also, I wanted to be able to turn the selvage up just once and stitch it for the hem to avoid bulky hems, which are a mess with pleats. I recommend a cotton-poly blend that will wash better, or you will be a slave to your ironing board after each wash.




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20 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Missing

    Sep 12, 2017, 10.12 AMby joannimollins

    Well done mikey..

  • Missing

    Jan 30, 2013, 11.05 PMby Linda Breske

    My son asked me for a kilt for Christmas (late already) and I have been trying to copy the kilt for Mikey. I am having a lot of trouble getting the pleats to come out evenly. Are there better instructions someplace? Help, I want to at least make it in time for his birthday (March 1).

    1 Reply
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    Sep 10, 2012, 04.48 PMby Lela1983

    Looks great!! It is exactly what a few of my friends have been asking me to make for them for Ren faire or Steampunkery… your discription has been very helpful!

  • 411_large

    Apr 29, 2010, 12.47 AMby bjeppson

    After several requests, I added a bit more text about construction. I hope it helps. Also, for those who have asked, I added the link to my kilt sales site.

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    Apr 28, 2010, 02.16 PMby margaretchandler

    This looks fantastic! A friend has recently asked me about making him something very similar. Could you share details? Did you use a pattern? How much fabric did you use? How LONG did this take? It’s absolutely impeccable.

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    Apr 28, 2010, 06.35 AMby nessys

    I just hope he doesn’t meet up with any poison ivy . . . (or if he was to visit Australia – Blackberry bushes – ouch!!) :)

    Nice work. I do think there is something very appealing about a man in a kilt! Very manly.

  • Missing

    Apr 28, 2010, 02.57 AMby witchmommy

    Reminds me of the Utili-kilt…only cooler. :-) Wonderful piece!

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    Apr 28, 2010, 02.49 AMby sew4my3

    This kilt is fantastic! I heard that someplace here in the Wisconsin area is a group of tradesmen that wear kilts, but I would think that with climbing ladders and such that regimental would be impractical. LOL I really like the fabric and design elements you chose. Very masculine.

    1 Reply
    • 411_large

      Apr 29, 2010, 12.48 AMby bjeppson

      Yeah, I would probably avoid ladders. Now that I have started wearing kilts, I find the most difficult part is getting in and out of cars. Takes some practice.

  • Burda-avatar_large

    Apr 27, 2010, 11.46 PMby claudine01

    Mikey rocks that kilt.

    1 Reply
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      Apr 28, 2010, 01.01 AMby nuiwida23

      I couldn’t say it better!

  • Missing

    Apr 27, 2010, 08.41 PMby spikklubba

    Wow, that looks great! Very nice sewing and good design.

    I wish I could make my husband wear one :)

  • Cara_kiss_large

    Apr 27, 2010, 05.21 PMby caramia-made

    So fantastic!!! I have never seen a kilt worn without the tartan. It looks so cool! Great work! (Hopefully the mosquitoes aren’t too bad when he’s hiking, ha ha ha!)

  • 1_large

    Apr 27, 2010, 11.03 AMby sunriseruby

    This is great!

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    Apr 26, 2010, 12.17 PMby badyan

    I am amazed! I think I might persuade my dad to wear one…

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    Apr 26, 2010, 10.27 AMby bridlin

    Just great! My man already has a traditional kilt, and I bet he would love this one!

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    Apr 26, 2010, 06.26 AMby Ralf Schmitz

    i love this quilt and thank you as well for your translation of the word “regimental!” (i really like to get better in english :-)

    1 Reply
    • 411_large

      Apr 29, 2010, 12.51 AMby bjeppson

      Ralf, you could start a kilt trend in Germany. They are very comfortable.

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    Apr 26, 2010, 05.36 AMby Geeky Seamstress

    brilliant :-)

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    Apr 26, 2010, 04.35 AMby calicocouture

    This is awesome. I love it!

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    Apr 26, 2010, 03.59 AMby mirandabananahat

    This is gorgeous! Very nice job. And bravo Mikey – I love kilts, keep wearing them!

  • Missing

    Apr 26, 2010, 02.45 AMby rasita

    Absolutely love it! I made my husband a chocolate brown kilt with hidden pockets. Have you seen utilikilts? they are very similar to this. Great job!

    1 Reply
    • 411_large

      Apr 26, 2010, 06.25 AMby bjeppson

      Yes, I saw Utilikilts and, in fact, went in their store in Seattle. They’re priced a bit steep for my taste, but they are great. I decided on box pleats and did some other things, but the idea is the same.

  • 5196510037_0646d0f80e_o_large

    Apr 26, 2010, 02.07 AMby kelepso

    WOW! This is amazing. And strikingly masculine. You did an awesome job. I would wear this in a heartbeat, just because.

    1 Reply
    • 411_large

      Apr 26, 2010, 06.26 AMby bjeppson

      Experience the wind between your thighs and you may never wear pants again.

    • This is a question
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