Extending the waisline of a kilt?

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Coder
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Extending the waisline of a kilt?

Post by Coder »

I was tempted to post this in the sewing forum, but thought it might get more views here and others might have run into the same situation. Recently was cleaning out some storage boxes and ran across a "kilt" that was always too small for me - it has a 24" waist, and I'm between 28-30". There's some sentimental value, so I was wondering how I might go about extending it.

The tartan is a bright red and white pattern - no other colors. It has a tag "made in scotland" and was purchased in Europe in the 60/70's (possibly England). I can't really get more info on its provenance.

Image

It's a true wrap - flat front, pleats at the back, two tiny leather straps.

Ideally, what I'd like to do is make a rectangular "kilt extender" that I would sew onto the flap portion - I'd leave the buckles where they are and simply move the buckles on the donor kilt (ergo, 4 buckles instead of two). What's the likelihood I can find this same tartan?
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Re: Extending the waisline of a kilt?

Post by Coder »

The other thing - which never occurred to me and just now did - I could sew the donor material on the INSIDE flap instead of the outside. The kilt overlaps about 2" at the top - this would preserve the same material and I wouldn't have to worry about getting an exact match. I would have to move the straps from their original position.
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Re: Extending the waisline of a kilt?

Post by trainspotter48 »

Here in the UK some of the 'Scottish' shops will sell Kilt Expanders. These are short leather straps (around 4 inches in length) with the buckles on one end, so that you attach them to your existing kilt straps and extend the fastenings. As your kilt has 2 straps visible, you will need 3, allowing for the 'hidden' strap that initially fastens the kilt around your waist.
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Re: Extending the waisline of a kilt?

Post by Coder »

trainspotter48 wrote:
Sun Oct 02, 2022 3:55 pm
Here in the UK some of the 'Scottish' shops will sell Kilt Expanders. These are short leather straps (around 4 inches in length) with the buckles on one end, so that you attach them to your existing kilt straps and extend the fastenings. As your kilt has 2 straps visible, you will need 3, allowing for the 'hidden' strap that initially fastens the kilt around your waist.
Oh, neat! I'll have to measure to see exactly how much material I need to "gap" - I fear 4" is not enough...
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Re: Extending the waisline of a kilt?

Post by trainspotter48 »

Coder,
Your other option could be to find a leatherworker (saddler?) to make some custom expanders.
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Re: Extending the waisline of a kilt?

Post by Coder »

trainspotter48 wrote:
Sun Oct 02, 2022 4:54 pm
Coder,
Your other option could be to find a leatherworker (saddler?) to make some custom expanders.
I might have to go that route anyhow - the leather is delaminating, and while I appreciate it being original/vintage I also don't want it snapping on me when I wear it. Unless there's a hide glue I can use.
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Re: Extending the waisline of a kilt?

Post by GerdG »

I should feel tempted to remove/have removed all buckles and straps and instead use velcro for fastening the kilt. It is what you'll find on Sport Kilts and USA Kilts Casuals. It works perfectly well.
My only concern ist that the overlapping of the aprons might be too little but that applies whatever solution you go for.
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Re: Extending the waisline of a kilt?

Post by Big and Bashful »

My first kilt needed to grow to fit me as I expanded, a friend did it by letting out one of the pleats, this was a long time ago but I assume she also moved the straps to suit. I now have the opposite problem, having dropped from 21.5 stone to 17 stone 2lb thanks to health problems. The weight loss seems to have stalled but I am going to try and get down to 16 stone, then try to stop the weight loss! Then I will see if I can get my current kilt taken in by a proper kiltmonger. Same goes with my skirts, so many now just fall off me.
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Re: Extending the waisline of a kilt?

Post by r.m.anderson »

Big and Bashful wrote:
Fri Nov 18, 2022 1:13 pm
My first kilt needed to grow to fit me as I expanded, a friend did it by letting out one of the pleats, this was a long time ago but I assume she also moved the straps to suit. I now have the opposite problem, having dropped from 21.5 stone to 17 stone 2lb thanks to health problems. The weight loss seems to have stalled but I am going to try and get down to 16 stone, then try to stop the weight loss! Then I will see if I can get my current kilt taken in by a proper kiltmonger. Same goes with my skirts, so many now just fall off me.
Practical application to remember:
You can make a B-I-G kilt smaller^^^ - but you can't make a small kilt bigger***
^^^ limitations of course making a double wrap skirt hiding the bulk within
*** oh you can by inserting pleated panels and extra material

The hips (width of garment) may be made to be same as original - but the waist
is the critical factor to keep London britches pants trousers shorts and KILTS & SKIRTS from falling down/OFF !
A simple thing is to put in place a dart which makes the waist smaller.
Darts are usually done in pairs off the rear of the hips just about the buttocks for a more pleasing effect.
4 is the normal maximum.
Just remember in making waist adjustments to allow for slipping into said garment -
Allow for passage over the wider hips to rest on the level of the waist wanted and then
buckling zipping buttoning elastic tension keeping it there.
Without some tension - an outer belt or suspenders/braces are going to be needed.

Best to consider the cost of aggressive excessive alterations in the kilted quest -
May be a custom application instead of radical surgery ?
"YES SKIRTING MATTERS"!
"Kilt-On" -or- as the case may be "Skirt-On" !
WHY ?
Isn't wearing a kilt enough?
Well a skirt will do in a pinch!
Make mine short and don't you dare think of pinching there !
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Re: Extending the waisline of a kilt?

Post by Sinned »

Remember that with tartan kilts the construction of the kilt keeps the plaid pattern "in line" so any movement will probably make the pattern move "off", i.e. move away from its match. Of course, for solid block patterns then this doesn't apply.
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Coder
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Re: Extending the waisline of a kilt?

Post by Coder »

I think I found the tartan:

https://www.lochcarron.co.uk/menzies-re ... ngle-width

I've requested a free swatch from a seller on eBay, hopefully it is close enough that I can order a meter. Yes - a meter is the price of a nice skirt - but the sentimental value means it is worth it.
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Re: Extending the waisline of a kilt?

Post by ScotL »

Coder wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2022 11:15 am
I think I found the tartan:

https://www.lochcarron.co.uk/menzies-re ... ngle-width

I've requested a free swatch from a seller on eBay, hopefully it is close enough that I can order a meter. Yes - a meter is the price of a nice skirt - but the sentimental value means it is worth it.
Good luck! If you don’t mind me asking, what’s the sentiment behind this kilt? First one? Given by a loved one?

On a side note, I hope the new fabric looks the same as the old. I worry the old kilt might be faded a tad from age. But I think if it’s that important to you, you should try.
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Re: Extending the waisline of a kilt?

Post by Coder »

ScotL wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2022 11:58 am
Good luck! If you don’t mind me asking, what’s the sentiment behind this kilt? First one? Given by a loved one?
Belonged to a family member. We don't have "heritage" that would indicate kilt-wearing based on modern interpretation, so it had been purchased as a fashion item and not "our family clan's tartan".
ScotL wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2022 11:58 am
On a side note, I hope the new fabric looks the same as the old. I worry the old kilt might be faded a tad from age. But I think if it’s that important to you, you should try.
My plan is to use the fabric on the inside so it won't be visible. I'm concerned the brightness may differ between the fabrics, but that would only be apparent if I'm walking and someone were to look inside the kilt. Thankfully, the kilt overlaps 1-2". I found another place that sends samples, not free, but I ordered one (was only $6). The other option I'm considering if these swatches don't work out, is to use a piece of white/cream fabric on the inside. But I need to get wool, don't want to be mixing fabrics.
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Re: Extending the waisline of a kilt?

Post by Coder »

I ordered two swatches - one cost $6, the other was free. It took its sweet time to arrive, but the free sample just arrived:

Image

Not as "soft" as the original, red/white are slightly off as well... but it will do. I think they sent a lighter weight oz sample than what the original kilt was made of. Now I just need to wait for the second sample to arrive... if it never gets here I'll probably just order from this seller.
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Re: Extending the waisline of a kilt?

Post by Sinned »

The red in the swatch is ever so slightly lighter than in the skirt. Enough, I think for it to be noticeable unless the new material can be placed under the apron. Your call, though.
I believe in offering every assistance short of actual help but then mainly just want to be left to be myself in all my difference and uniqueness.
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