Every so often, I goof. This was one of those goofs. There is a pattern for a kilt, of course, in my collection of patterns. I decided to try it out yesterday afternoon.
I don’t know if the stars were misaligned or not. But the whole process went smoothly right up until the time came to fire up the sewing machine. Then, keeping those pleats in order turned into a right mess. The directions were also quite unclear on a lot of things, notably how much sewing needed to be done. The diagrams clearly showed seams running down the inside line of each pleat. The directions, already poorly written, were unclear on the subject of sewing in the pleats to keep them from shifting. I chose to follow the clearly-outlined diagrams to make the kilt.
That turns out to be wrong. Or, if it’s right, it’s not right in the way that the diagrams indicated. I don’t know how to fix it, but I have quite a lot of plaid fabric which is now stitched in untenable ways, and is now ugly to boot.
I think I’ve had this fabric since 2008 or so. It’s not ideal to begin with, but now that I had fabric and a pattern and skill, I figured I would try. Chalk it up to a learning experience — cut out the ruined sections, store what can be saved, and maybe try again in a year.
I think the other thing that I would do to make this go smoothly next time, too, is make some kind of an ironing pad to put under the kilt. Trying to get this thing up off the floor after pleating it, onto the ironing board to press it, was a small nightmare in itself, and it didn’t go well.
On the other hand, I know what to do now. I have a really clear sense of how to make this pattern work, and how to make it successfully. The pattern is not a true kilt, either the “little kilt” which is just the waist band to the knee; nor the “great kilt” which has an elaborate fall that gets arranged up and over the shoulders in a flowing structure. No, this is something half-way between — a pre-pleated and ironed “great kilt” with a built-in waistband to hold it together and keep the pleats from collapsing. So, in a year or two, maybe I’ll try this again. In the meantime, what to do with three yards of unrefined plaid…?