Still Sewing, but WIth Renewed Urgency

Sorry I’ve been rather quiet.  It has been a difficult few weeks because I just haven’t felt well. and it has been difficult to sew AND get some rest so that I would feel better.  The main problem seems to have been a pinched nerve in my neck, no doubt caused by my posture while sewing for long periods of time.  It is a miserable way to spend two weeks I can tell you.  Heat, rest, and massage seem to be the only things that helped.  I have returned to work, but I’m now a bit behind.

I have been pretty busy for July and August.  There are 3 kilts and a few alterations awaiting my attention.  The most interesting one so far was one for a young man who is evidently an athlete competing at the games.  His kilt was slipping down, and consequently appeared to be too long.  When I took the kilt apart to do the alteration, which involves cutting the top off, reshaping the aprons, and reshaping the tops of the pleats, here’s what I found:

It’s more a case of what’s NOT there: no hand stitching(these pleats were sewn on a machine), no waist stabilizer, no interfacing, and no steeking worth mentioning.  I won’t even show the serged seam that joins the two pieces, but it’s not pretty.  This kilt comes from a company that offers a good price (about $200 less than what I charge), but as in most other cases, you get what you pay for.  Here’s the problem:  it won’t keep its shape because of the lack of internal structure.  It’s like those discount men’s suits that are advertised on the television.  You may look OK the first few times you wear it, but it won’t last. Here’s the same kilt AFTER I worked it over:
Now it will stay in shape, and hopefully last for many years.  I am really hoping that it won’t be too short now, since it’s not going to stretch out and slip down over the hips as he wears it. Customers have no way of knowing what they will be getting until it’s too late, and the lure of a “good deal” is too much to resist.  Many customers really have little idea of what a kilt SHOULD look like on the inside, which is why I’m showing it all now.
On August 25 I will be up at the Quechee Scottish Festival in Quechee, VT.  If you go, be sure to stop by my booth  to say hello!  Frank will have his loom, and I will have the usual assortment of things, including the tartan dog coats.