Step 1: Measurements

The first step is to take a few measurements to figure out the amount of fabric you will need. Be sure to write these down since you’ll also require them when you begin to pleat the Kilt. Make sure that you use fabric tailors tape and not the metal carpenters’ tape.

The only measurements you’ll require are your waist and your knee length.

First, measure your waist (measurement A on the photo). Don’t make use of the pants size Kilts are worn wider at the waist. So you should measure your belly button. With the tape as close to the ground as is possible. (This number is divided by three and utilized extensively throughout this Master. So when you’re looking to round up your numbers for ease of calculation, do it. The difference could be hidden by the front or under the aprons.)

(Note Note: If your hip measurement is greater than the waist measurement, then take your measurement of the hips. The belt should be pulled into the waist. Or, should you be able to you can, just draw the waist in while pleating.)

The next step is to determine your knee’s length (Measurement B on the photo). Kilts should be able to reach your kneecaps and end in mid-way between your kneecaps. The most effective method to determine this is to lie on the floor and take a measurement from your waistline from your belly button, towards the floor.

Take these measurements

  • Waist
  • 1/3rd Waist
  • Length
  • For instance, my measurements are
  • Waist: 45 Inches
  • 1/3rd Waist 15 inches
  • Length: 24 inches

Here are a few definitions

Front Aprons: This is the pleated but not pleated side of your kilt, which is visible when you wear the kilt.

Pleated Length: A long, heavily pleated length that forms the back of the kilt.

Under Apron: The unpleated portion that wraps around the front apron while you don the Kilt.

Waist Band The top part is unpleated and extends the length of the kilt.

Step 2: Calculating the Amount of Material and Getting Supplies

The non-traditional American style kilt, such as the one we’re making is made with an apron on the front (the portion of the front that is not pleated) approximately 1/3rd of the waistline. (Aprons for traditional Scottish kilts are approximately half the length of the waist.)

To determine the quantity of fabric needed for the pleated portion of the kilt, you need to take your waist measurement, then divide by 3. Then multiply it by 8, then include an inch. This is what is the total length of the kilt’s fabric, which is the amount that goes through the waist. The size of the pleated area will be equal to the length of the knee plus 2 inches.

Length of Pleated Portion (this length will comprise the measurements required for the under and front aprons, but do not add the lengths of the front and under to this) Waist measurement subdivided into 3 times with a seam allowance of 1 inch

The Pleated Portion’s width is Knee length plus 2 inches

Waist Band length measured at the waist, multiplied by three times four-plus inches the seam allowance (wait until you have completed the pleated part before cutting this piece, I’ll detail the reasons in step 4.) Waist bandwidth 7 inches

The length of the fabric must be equivalent to the width of the pleated portion of the kilt, plus one inch of the seam allowance (go ahead and buy the length a bit larger to give you a better idea). Make sure that the size of your fabric will be at least nine inches larger than the measurement length. This should leave enough fabric to cover the waistband and pockets.

For example, the measure of my waist is 45 inches. The length of the fabric I require will be a minimum of 120 inches (45/3*8+1=121) equivalent to 3.3 yards. I then rounded it up to get 4 yards. The length of the fabric I received was 60 inches. I’d have enough to make two kilts.

You’ll require

Sewing Machine (Not Shown)
Iron (Not Pictured)
Scissors
Tailors Tape Measure
Pins
Fabric chalk or pencil

You’ll need to purchase
Fabric
Matching Thread
Interfacing (Enough to be able to)
22 Snap fasteners (plus the hardware needed to attach them)

Step 3: Making the Pleated Portion

I’ll be using pleats that are 2 inches in this instructional. This will be sufficient for pleats to be held well and look nice.

You’ll have to cut the pleated part of your fabric using the numbers in step 2.

After cutting in half, fold the ends over 1/2 inch, and sew an edging. Then fold the top over by 1/2 inches and stitch a hem too. I would like to point out that some fabrics have one “good” or “Front” side as well as a “bad”, “wrong” or “Back” side. If you are hemming the ends and bottoms then fold them over onto the wrong side.

After sewing the edges after sewing, take a 1/3 of your waist measurement at the other side and mark it using your chalk. This is your Front Apron and Under Apron.

Once you’ve marked the fabric you can start pleating. I’m sure that you have a long length of fabric, so start this on a large table. Put a large towel on top of the fabric as you’ll have to iron pleats each time.

With the bottom length that is hemmed of the fabric in your direction with the unhemmed edge facing away, you’ll start your pleat at the right edge of the fabric. The pleat facing to the left. Make sure you measure 4 inches from the mark on your apron to the left and then draw the fabric towards its edge on the apron in front. Be sure that the folded line is the straightest as is possible.

Measure 6 inches further from the fold, then draw to less than 2 inches below the fold. The fold at the top should align with that of the fold below.

Be sure that when you pleat you take measurements of at the two ends of the fold in order to keep pleats of 2 inches. You should press pleats using an iron each fold for 2 or 3 times.

Once you have pressed, place each pleat to the top the bottom, middle and top. Continue to pleat until you reach the under apron line at the opposite end on the material.

When the entire length of fabric is pleated and pinched then transfer it to the machine. Sew each pleat to the fold’s edge from the top of the fabric, down to 5 inches. Sewing the tops of pleats allows them to keep their shape for longer.

(Note Note: Take out the top pins when you stitch the pleats’ pleats’ tops, however, you should leave the remaining pins as you work in the kilt. It makes the kilt much easier to manage. I’ll typically remove them when I’m ready for the pockets)

Step 4: Making the Waist Band

For the waistband, you’ll require an amount of fabric that is 1 greater than the length of that of your pleated part seven inches long. Re-measure the top part instead of making the calculation since the length might not be precise after the pleating and hemming.

Hem all four faces of the material to 1/2 inch.

Cut an interfacing piece similar to the inside of the waistband. Attach it according to the instructions for interfacing.

Sew one side of your waistband with the edge of the pleated section 1 inch away from the top, aligning the ends.

Fold inwards and cover the front half-inch away from the top of the pleated part Press and sew along the edges and across the sides.

Step 5: Attaching the Fasteners

You can now do something you’ve been waiting for, put on the Kilt.

Put the kilt around your waist in the same place you’d naturally wear it. Cover the left side with that on the other side, making sure it’s comfortable. Mark with a washable marker where the waistband comes to the right (you might need someone to assist you in this).

Then place the kilt on an unfinished table, with the waistband towards your body. The under apron should be folded (on to your left) towards the middle on the inside of your kilt. Then, fold the apron in over the under the apron and match it to the mark you have been making while you were wearing it.

Then you can determine the location where the snap fasteners are likely to where they will. It should be approximately 1 inch away from either end. It is a wide waistband so you will need two snaps on both ends, on the sides and the bottom part of your waistband. There are two on the edges of the apron as well as two more through the apron until at the edges of your under-apron. Making a hole in both layers simultaneously is the best way to make sure they’re in the same place. Apply the snaps according to the instructions included together with your snaps.

Then we’ll add snaps on the face of our apron. This will be used for decoration as well as to hold the apron when wearing the Kilt. There are many options that you could apply your pattern. I generally do two rows of 3 with the tapering towards the middle. It is possible to experiment by placing snap tops of various designs until you come up with something you like. Be sure the apron, as well as the under apron, are aligned prior to punching holes through the two fabrics (pin the Apron and the Under apron to each other to keep it from shifting). Once again, you should punch holes in both fabrics simultaneously to make sure they’re aligned.

Step 6: Making the Belt Loops

You will need a 1inch wide strip about 30 or so inches long, depending on the number of belt loops you want. I use 7 belt loops as you will see below. The belt loops will end up about 1/2 inch wide.

You will need to fold the edged to the center of the strip. Pin the folded strip about every 3 inches

Once it is fully folded and pinned you need to press it with an iron. Go a couple of inches and then pull out the pin and continue to the next, removing pins as you go.

Once the entire strip is pressed take it over to the sewing machine and sew down each flap.

Cut the strip into shorter pieces, 1 inch longer than the width of your waistband. They should be about 4 inches.

To attach the belt loops you will fold the ends over about 1/2 inch and sew to the top and bottom of the waistband. You are going through quite a few layers of fabric, so be sure you are using a strong needle and take it slow, moving your machine by hand if needed.

You can use whatever spacing you like for the belt loops, I use one on each end of the apron, one on each hip, one at them \ middle of the back, and one for each space between the loop at the back and between each hip for 7 total loops.

If you want you can wear the kilt as is now, but it is a cargo kilt so we’ll move on to the pockets.

Step 7: Making the Pockets

We will be making the pockets separate from the kilt and then attaching them. This is both easy and allows the pleats in the kilt to move. We will have two sides “Cargo” pockets and a back pocket. The measurements are approximate, don’t sweat it if you’re a little off. Also, feel free to make the pockets bigger or smaller if you wish.


First is the back pocket. Cut a piece of fabric 7 inches wide by 15 inches long.

Hem both short edges 1/2 inch.

Fold 1 short edge over 5 inches, making sure the hemmed edge is facing out. Then fold the other edge over about 1 1/2 inches, again facing the hemmed side out. (there should be about a 1-inch gap between these flaps).

Sew the long edges together about 1/2 inch from the edge.

Once the pocket is sewn together turn it inside out, or rather right-side-out since you should have sewn it together inside out.

Press with an iron.

Run another seam along the long edge about 1/4 inch in from the edge. This will hold the flap in the gap down and keep your pocket flat.

Now fold the short end over the long, with the gap coming down over the front of the pocket, and attach the snaps.

Now the cargo pockets.

First cut a piece of fabric 9 inches by 28 inches.

Hem the short edges 1/2 inch.

Fold 1 short edge over 9 1/2 inches, making sure the hemmed edge is facing out. Then fold the other edge over 2 inches, again facing the hemmed side out. (there should be about a 2-inch gap between these flaps).

Sew the long edges together about 1/2 inch from the edge.

Once the pockets are sewn together turn them inside out, or rather right-side-out since you sewed them together inside out.

Press with an iron.

Run another seam along the long edge about 1/4 inch in from the edge. This will hold the flap in the gap down and keep your pocket flat.

Now fold the short end over the long, the fold of the crease should be right in the center of the 2-inch gap. Then attach the snaps on the flap. (pictured are 3 snaps along the top. They will be to attach the pocket to the kilt and explained it in the next step).

Step 8: Attaching the Pockets

To attach the pockets we will sew the back pocket to the kilt and use snaps to attach the cargo pockets, making them removable.

To attach the back pocket first put on the kilt and have someone help place the back pocket in a “natural” position. Have them pin it into place, butting the top of the pocket to the bottom of the waistband.

Once pinned, open the flap and sew through the back of the flap (in between the flaps) onto the kilt.

To attach the cargo pockets first get someone to help to place them in position and pin them. They should be positioned on your sides at the hip, about 3 or 4 inches down from the bottom of the waistband.

Once pinned, position 3 snaps across the top. The snaps will go all the way through the pocket, from the front to the back, as seen the picture. The back part of the snap will go through the kilt allowing you to snap the pocket to the kilt and remove the pocket if you want.

Now that you have your Cargo Kilt wear it and enjoy. Share your own pics in the comments.

Clean it per the fabric’s directions, and use starch when ironing to help keep your pleats crisp.

Feel free to modify as you see fit. You can use buttons instead of snaps, or velcro to fasten the waistband. I think next I’ll try attaching the cargo pockets with grommets and carabiners.

Step 10: Making Wider Pleates

Since I initially posted this I got a PM getting some information about making a kilt with bigger creases. It’s an incredible inquiry and one I figure others might want to know. While utilizing more extensive creases you might wind up with either an extreme or too little texture and there could be a hole between your cover and the beginning of the creases. To keep the kilt even you’ll have to do the accompanying.

Sort out your front cover length, undercover length, creased length, and absolute cut length as though you were utilizing 2-inch creases (see stage 2 in the instructable).

Front cover and undercover lengths are 1/3 your midriff estimation
The creased length is 6/3 (or two times) your abdomen estimation.
Absolute cut length is abdomen estimation/3 * 8 + 1

To alter it for longer creases choose your ideal crease length
Take your ideal crease length and duplicate it times 3
A partition that by your creased length Use just the entire number, drop the rest of. This will be your all-outnumber of creases.
Take your all outnumber of creases and duplicate it times your ideal crease width times 3 and deduct from your determined creased length.
Partition that number (which is in inches) by 3
Take that last number, add it to your front cover length, undercover length and take away it from your all-out cut length.

Clearly, you’ll have to do these estimations before you cut your texture.

Model: I have a 45-inch midriff and I need 4-inch creases
Ordinarily (for 2-inch creases) I’d have a 15-inch front and undercover, my creased length would be 90 inches and my absolute cut length would be 121 creeps as figured in sync 2.
My computations would be
4 in creases * 3 = 12
12/90 = 7 (dropping the rest of).
7 * 4 * 3 – 90 = 6.
6/3 = 2.
The new front and under covers length is 17 inches.
The complete cut length is currently 119 inches.

I’ve given this a shot two or multiple times with various midsection estimations and it is by all accounts right. I need to prescribe gathering your midsection estimation together to a number separable by 3 however, it makes the computations a lot simpler and when you test fit the kilt in sync 5 you’ll take in the distinction and not notice.

To check your number related utilize these 2 recipes.
Crease width times # of creases in addition to front cover length = your midsection estimation.
Crease width times # of creases times 3 or more front cover length in addition to undercover length in addition to 1 = all out cut length.

I realize this is somewhat convoluted however I trust it makes a difference.

Go ahead and message me on the off chance that you have additional inquiries and post a pic of your finished kilt in the remarks segment.

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