Pleat Plebe


After re-marking all of my pleats, I set about stitching them down. I finished two before realizing that 1) I had forgotten to add the “buttonhole” reinforcement to the second pleat and 2) I hadn’t stitched through both layers of the next pleat. While keeping track of the pleat size, keeping tension on the pleat as you sew, and trying to keep the line straight and uniform, I forgot to go all the way through.

So, another evening’s work ripped out. I’m optimistic that the third start will be the charm. One thing that seemed to be working quite well was the pleat template I had made:

Pleattemplate Web

I figured a digital image with dimensions accurate to the hundredth of an inch would be better than trying to eyeball 32nds of an inch. I don’t think I’ll be able to use this with a tartan kilt, but for a self-colored one like this it seems helpful.

The other place I deviated from The Art of Kiltmaking’s instructions was in pinning the entire length of the pleat before stitching; not just the waistline. Barbara Tewksbury has said that she in fact does this herself, but it’s not included in the book because the book is intended to be representative of the very traditional, old school style of kilt making learned by her co-author in Glasgow in 1949. Pinning the length of the pleat was definitely a help in keeping everything lined up.