Statement of Intent

This is Old Fools outlet for kilts and other unbifurcated garments for men or women. It is not for furthering cross dressing or costuming. It is for the furthering of alternate apparel for men and sometimes will discuss bifurcated (trousers, pants, etc.) garments as well. Since women can and do wear anything they want little will be said about womens clothing. That is not to say that nothing will be said about them. If men want to dress and look like a woman that is fine with me and some do it very well. Here, however, the intent is about men that want alternate mens clothing. The Old Fool (me) is not an expert in this field but he sews, has made several kilts, modified store bought kilts and wears them. I also wear sarongs, pareu, lava lava and anything else that is comfortable and practical. Some of my kilts might be called skirts but I am comfortable with that.

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So I said to the boys "hello girls".
"We're not girls" they replied.
I said "you're dressed like girls".
They immediately pointed out that I was the one wearing a skirt. I had on a kilt.
I then asked "when was the last time you saw a female in anything but pants?"

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Old Fools Kilts: How To Convert a Traditional Casual Kilt to a Work Kilt

Now was that not easy?
Cheap too. Cost two dallah American ($2,00 USD) at the thrift store for the carpenters pouch with belt.

I really bought it because the belt size is a maximum of 38. I haven't seen that number in years so when I saw that I had to try it on. It fit. So, not trusting the people in Chinaland to label things accurately, I measured it. They were right on. I took that as a sign from the numerous Gods of Vanity that I should have it.

The kilt is a Wallace from Stillwater Kilts. Made of Acrylic in Pakistan by slave labor. Acrylic is a comfortable wool like material that burns like a fuse when exposed to open flame. It's machine washable and dries quickly. Stillwater sells them cheap. They only come in one length (24 inch) and I have to hem them to 19 inches. I make a number of other modifications while I'm at it.  Obviously a person of my small stature is not among what is considered normal height. Oh well, I've never thought that being normal is necessarily a good thing.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Old Fools Kilts: Kilted Old Man in the Garden

or  Is that a topless fat bearded old lady out there?

This my home grown polyester camo work kilt. It is worn almost daily. It is a good thing it is wash and wear.

The shoulder bag is twenty-five cent canvas bag I picked up at the Thrift Store.  It carries all the small garden tools that I use everyday. I wear it most often like a messenger bag.

Blogger has gone stupid on me and I'm not going to waste one second trying to fix something that is being fixed everyday by so called geniuses. To me it is broken and it is easier to move elsewhere than fix it.

I figured out who went stupid and it was not You Tube. My apologies to You Tube for shooting my mouth off, or in this case my keyboard off, before finishing the editing process. I am looking forward to the day when my PC can determine that I am being an idiot and heads me off.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Old Fools Kilts: Kilted at the VA

Sewing is part of my philosophy of grow your own, make your own and roll your own in everything you do. If it doesn't turn out well then at least you will have a new appreciation of what you buy.      ~Tom Swaim

A year ago on St. Patrick's (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig) day I wore this get up to my yearly visits to the VA.  It was a hit. I know that  Kilts are not Irish but the peasantry does not so it seemed appropriate. It was a hit with the staff but the other veterans did not know what to do. I was in and out so fast that they were still looking at their feet when I left.

Except for the vet crossing the parking lot who stumbled over his own jaw there were no fatalities or injuries.

The staff, both mail and female, reacted with enthusiasm and we "passed a good time". Most of the vets seemed to be of Vietnam vintage, are conservative and it is my impression that they think anything in a skirt should be given two dolla' and taken to the back room for three minutes of pleasure. No one made any offers. I know it was not the big mustache that put them off because I've seen them bigger than mine on some select ladies in this area.

This year I went naked for my check up, that is without kilt. It wasn't near as much fun.

The kilt may not be traditionally Irish but the Scots are traditionally Irish, whether they like it or not, and the blood runs both ways. Besides in times "Grand  Scheme of Things" the modern Kilt is a new thing even to them

The Black Watch kilt in the photo is a very inexpensive mail order acrilic (fake wool) of very light weight with knife pleats.  I buy them for cheap from Stillwater Kilts then sew down the pleats, taper the waist if necessary and hem them to fit my height. This one has had an added pocket under the front apron as seen in this post in April of 2011. Nothing ever fits me off the rack.

If you outgrow your clothes when you gain weight do you ingrow your clothes when you lose weight? If so then that is what happened here. It fit fine when I wore it to the VA but I tried it on a few days ago and could not wear it.  There is a little leeway with kilts but I had lost girth that was outside the envelope. I took care of that over the last two days.
Here it is on my makeshift work table which is my settee. This doesn't look like much but it was quite a job. It takes longer to take it apart than to put it back together. I have a whole new appreciation for re-tailoring clothes. I took six inches or so out of the waist and now it fits perfect.

I have another that needs attention but it is a reverse kingussie and I sure do dread it. It is symmetrical so it is going to require removing material from both sides which will require a bigger tear down. When I made it I did so with an eye to the future because I was and still am determined to get rid of the beer gut. It is still going to require a major tear down but the advantages to making your own clothes is "if you made it you can fix it".

Someday when I have it on I will try to get a photo.  It looks feels and smell like a kilt so I guess it is one unless I run into the kilt police.

Daylight Saving Time: Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.
— Anonymous

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Old Fools Kilts: Sewing Is Winter Work or excuses for having all this fabric laying around.

Sewing is just not summer work for me. It should be because I'm stuck inside quite often because of rain, heat and humidity but I can't seem to get enthusiastic about sewing until it is cold.

I have several projects in queue but in no special order. The picture at the top is an ancient Egyptian kafkan and I have a vertically striped piece of fabric that I'm going to try to make it out of.  I think however that I will use a basic Roman tunic pattern since they come out about the same. It will be near ankle length since it is for winter time sitting on my butt at the computer.  It will probably look more Moracan than Egyptian.  I used a floor length plaid flannel night gown and alternately a huge 5x T shirt for that purpose last year (not at the same time)  and it worked quite well.

<--Sort of like this only a little longer.

I acquired two pieces of 11 ounce wool in light grey this summer for a ridiculously low price ($1.50 usd) that when pieced together will make a nice knock around casual kilt providing I don't find anymore moth bites out of it.  I'm going to try slash pockets as well.

The leftovers from the last wool kilt are enough for another but I'm holding off until I lose more inches in my waist and ass. At the rate I'm going that may be after I'm dead.

The leftovers from my polyester everyday very light weight work kilt are more than enough to make another. I made the one I have in a reverse kingussie (all pleats point to the center of the back) and I have lost enough weight to have to modify it slightly. The problem with the kingussie is that to make it smaller it has to be done on both sides in order to keep the apron centered in front and the center pleat centered in back. All kilts for my personal use will be left to right knife pleats from now on.  Easier to make and easier to modify. The added bonus is my prehensile butt cheeks don't seem to grab at the fabric so much when I stand up. An experiment in large removable cargo pockets is on the agenda.

Right now I'm trying to get a few plants in for Autumn and gathering firewood for this winter.

I find myself quite often these days just gazing into the distance.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Old Fools Kilts: Only Wool Kilt so far

 I found this nearly four yards of 13 ounce wool tweed at the thrift store for pocket change. It was less than a dollar a yard and there is enough for two kilts if I am careful.  I'm not a very big guy so it doesn't take much for me.
My cutting table

On to the cutting board it went.  Sounds easy so far.  It took me the better part of two days to decide where to cut and how much.  Then it took about 15 minutes to cut it.  After cutting I had to rest before starting this pleating. I was so psychologically exhausted just from making a decision.  I just knew I would do something wrong but I didn't. What a wuss.
I love this iron on interfacing.  It is so much easier because it stays in place while running through the sewing machine. This is just before sewing on the waist band itself. The sewing went well with out swearing. I celebrated by swearing.

Front apron closed.
Front apron open. Pocket is visible and secured
Pocket open.  By opening the side of the pocket this way I was able to have a smooth apron when it is closed and still be able to access the pocket without looking too goofy.  Even with this it looks like you are groping your crotch when you go for your wallet.

The pocket is deep and wide to keep it from being bulky.

This is my favorite kilt.  It is comfortable summer and winter. It feels good against the skin. I goes with about any color and it fits perfect.  I expect it will be with me until I go to the cutting table at the University.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Old Fools Kilts: Kilted After Bath Towel

I have been using towels as lounging sarongs for as so long I can't remember when it started. Near as I can tell it started when I really started spending a lot of time on a boat of my own.  When we were in Baja Sur I even attended a yachty get together in one wrapped as a pareu and wearing a top hat. That particular one was acquired in the mid 1960's in my hippy days and I finally wore it out after about 30 years. They just don't make anything to last. (Sarong and Pareu are essentially the same just different names from different localities.)

This after bath towel was made from two heavy large bath towel that were on sale at the Dollar General. I bought them for the color and they are too heavy for this application but they are what I had at the time. I intend to do it again someday but I will use really light terry cloth next time.

This side view shows how shallow the pleats are. Unlike a real kilt I wanted as little overlap of material as possible so the pleats were made shallow and wide. No effort was made to iron in creases.
A pocket of course. Every boy needs a pocket for his pocket knife, rocks, frogs and whatever else he may find. It was on the other side but since this towel is held together with Velcro and I carry a camera and tools sometimes it would literally fall off.  By moving the pocket to the opposite side away from the fastening I hope I have corrected that.
Front view. You can see the outline of where the pocket used to be.
I made no effort to make this into anything but a  comfortable kilt like towel wrap.

It is extremely comfortable winter and summer although in the summer it is a little heavy. I have a couple of after bath towel wraps that are without the pleats and lighter weight that are worn like a pareu with Velcro closings but because of the pleats this is more comfortable.  It feels like nothing is covering your butt at all. Every time I put it on I think of what someone said about Utilikilt "It's like being naked with pockets".

Friday, May 13, 2011

Old Fools Kilts: Ironing pleats

If the world were a logical place, men would ride side saddle. 
 ~Rita Mae Brown

Ironing is so out of style these days that when I bring it up I am sometimes treated as if I have suddenly sprouted another head.  Eyes glaze over, especially the females, and men snicker. Children have no idea what I am talking about.  I happen to like to do it. It is a mindless thing that accomplishes something while my mind is free to wander about on it's own.

The picture above is of a wool kilt that I made and it does not need ironing often but I had just moved a Velcro closure strip because my waist has gone down two inches since I made it.  I'll tell about this kilt in another post.

I hadn't intended to do this job at this time but SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) had a pair of pants that needed hemming so I had the irons out anyway.  When I set up the sewing machine I automatically set up the ironing board. Having it handy makes sewing so much easier.

The reason for two irons is so I have a cold iron for drawing heat out of a pleat I have just steamed. That helps to set it.  The white steam iron on the right is very light and does a good job of steaming.  The iron on the kilt is twenty years old or more as it still has a cloth wrapped cord. I works fine but I bought it for it's weight (thrift store one dollar).  It weighs more than double the new iron.  For years I have looked for a cast iron type that is set on the stove to heat but every time I find one it is an antique and to costly for me. Mostly those end up as doorstops or bookends I think.

The technique I use is to set it on a pleat just ironed while ironing the next.  This iron will cover two pleats.  It may sound tedious but the results are worth it.