September is normally a busy time for me. School starts, and I am trying to figure out my schedule, meet new students, and take care of technical stuff relating to the use of test data in regard to possible interventions for students in need of extra instruction. Teachers really do not just stand at the front of the room and lecture, particularly at the elementary level. I spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out where each student’s strengths and weaknesses are, how they learn, and then what to do in order to help them. It’s complicated, as they say.
The kilts are lined up, waiting patiently for me to get home from school or the YMCA so that I can start sewing. Right now it’s very busy, which is surprising for this time of year. I am hoping to get it all out of the way so that I can have my sewing vacation in November, but it’s not looking good.
Usually, I go to the games at Quechee, VT, and talk to people, explain what I do, hand out lots of cards, and maybe take an order or two. Then people call when they’re ready to order, and it goes from there. This year people just walked up and ordered kilts. No hemming (bad pun) and hawing, just got measured, gave me a deposit, and off they went. So now I am accumulating a pile of tartan that will turn into a pile of kilts after the required number of hours of sewing on each one.
One interesting note– I have a kilt right now that I am making larger for a customer whose shape has changed as he has gotten older. This is pretty common. What’s unusual is that the kilt was made by Thomas Gordon & Sons, maybe about 30 years ago. This kilt is the first one I have ever altered that had EVERY detail and feature that Elsie learned at Gordon’s when she was an apprentice there in the 40’s and 50’s, and which I learned from her. This kilt was still in great shape–it just no longer fit the person. It was COMPLETELY handsewn. The deep pleat was nice and deep, the interfacing was all in there, and the steeking was very carefully done. The whole thing was beautiful, and I was able to get it about 5″ bigger in the waist, which is what was needed. The only thing that was a bit worn was the lining, but even that would have been serviceable had it been big enough to put back after the alteration was done. This is the difference that quality construction makes, and it’s what I hope my kilts will look like after 30 years.
I didn’t take a picture of this kilt, which is too bad, because I had to get it back to the customer for a very important occasion in a big hurry, but I have another one, also from Gordon’s, that I promise I will take photos of.
I’ll write again soon. Must sew.