Hi All! I have been busy this week with houseguests, but now I’m ready to get back to the kilts. This post will serve two purposes: the first one being answering question #2, and secondly, an update about the second half of my summer.
To answer the question about men’s and ladies’ kilts, I need to define several terms.
Kilt: the handmade, pleated garment made of various weights of tartan. A kilt may be pleated to the stripe or to the sett. A kilt has a pleated seat, and plain aprons. It opens at the right front, and may have either two or three buckle-and-strap closures.
Kilted skirt: a machine-sewn garment, usually pleated (but not reproducing the tartan exactly) with shallow pleats in the back, and a flat apron in the front. I have frequently seen these open at the left front instead of the right.
Kiltie: a machine-sewn pleated garment for younger wearers, usually having shallow pleats, and fewer pleats than a real kilt. This is often worn by pre-premier dancers as a less expensive alternative to a made-to-measure kilt.
Now to actually answer the question. When I make a kilt, there is no difference between one that I might make for a man and one that I would make for a woman except for the shaping. By this I mean that generally speaking, there is not as much difference between the waist and hip measurements of most men when compared with the waist and hip measurements of women. Because of this difference, it is often necessary to have the pleats taper quite a bit on a woman’s kilt, and also have more shaping in the aprons. Other than that, everything is the same. Men’s and women’s are usually made of the same fabric, although more women tend to choose the 11 oz. and 13 oz. tartans. They both open at the right front, and have a 2 inch rise. (every now and then I make a kilt with a 1 1/2 inch rise for a woman who is very short-waisted) The only difference that I can think of is that a man’s kilt will have sporran loops attached at the back. Occasionally my female customers ask me to make the kilt a bit longer than a man would wear it, which is fine as long as they are not pipers or band members.
Summer Update: Today is July 30. In 12 days, I will be heading out to Traverse City, MI for the USIR, which is the US Championship of Highland Dancing. I will be a vendor at this gathering, which will also include the North American Championship as well as other pre-premier events. I’m going with Patti Smith, another kiltmaker from VT, and I am looking forward to a fabulous week. After that, I have one more week before I head back to school. As some of you may know, I teach reading and math at the elementary level in a program called Title I. I expect to be very busy this fall with a roster of approximately 20 students. My older daughter is getting married on September 25, so I expect to be really busy with wedding-related activities as well. I will try to continue to post regularly!