Buckles and Straps


I’ve made and attached the buckle tabs and leather straps.

photo of kilt underapron buckle and strap

The prongs on my buckles are a bit wide, and to push a hole through the tab fabric to accommodate them (without cutting any of the warp or weft threads) I wound up using a bamboo skewer to start the hole, and a pencil tip to force it wide enough for the prong to go through.

I made my straps from a belt. Not having a leather punch handy, I improvised with a drill. I made the smaller holes for sewing the straps to the kilt with a bookbinding awl. Next time I will just buy prefab buckle and strap sets and save myself the trouble; I don’t have the leatherworking tools or experience to make really nice ones.

I opted for only one strap on the apron; while a lot of mens’ kilts are still made with a third buckle to keep the apron down, they’re generally not necessary from what I understand. (Especially if the kilt is worn with a pin at the lower corner of the apron to weight it down.)

The kilt now structurally complete, I could not resist trying it on for fit; with all the basting still in it does not hang naturally but I wanted to see if my measurements turned out OK. It remains to be seen how the apron and inverted pleat will behave when the basting is removed; I suspect I may have added a bit to my waistline since I began late last year. I’m also slightly worried it might be a little too short, despite having measured multiple times before starting. I’ll have a better overall sense when the thing is completely finished with pleats hanging free.