# How to make a Cargo Kilt

## Step 1: Step 1: Measurements

First you will need to make a couple measurements to calculate the amount of fabric you need. Make sure you write these down as you will also need them when we start pleating the kilt. Make sure you are using a fabric tailors tape, not a metal carpenters tape.
The only 2 measurements you will need are waist and knee length.

First is your waist measurement (measurement A in the picture). Don't use your pants size, kilts are worn much higher on the waist so measure around at your bellybutton, with the tape measure as parallel to the floor as possible. (This number will be divided by three and used extensively throughout this instrustable so if you want to round your numbers up to make the math easy go ahead. The difference can be covered by the front and under aprons.)
(Note: If your hip measurement is larger than your waist measurement then use your hip measurement. The belt will bring in the waist, or if you know how, go ahead and taper in the waist while pleating.)

Next is to measure your knee length (Measurement B in the picture). Kilts should go down to your kneecaps, ending right about the middle of your kneecaps. The best way to measure this is to kneel on the floor and measure from your waist line, at your bellybutton, down to the floor.

Record these measurements
Waist:
1/3rd Waist:
Length:

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

Now a few definitions:
Front Apron: The non pleated front of the kilt that shows when you wear the kilt.
Pleated Length: The heavily pleated length that comprises the back of the kilt.
Under Apron: The non pleated portion that wraps underneath the front apron when you wear the kilt.
Waist Band: The very top, unpleated portion that runs the length of the kilt.
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loki831 month ago
hay I'm wanting to make this but am having trouble with fabric choice, what do you recommend?
1 month ago

I have not made one of these but have studied them on men and discussed fabric with a guy who makes them. (I also work at a fabric shop!) I'd try denim, or canvas or a sports weight (heavier) twill. Duck will be practically indestructible, but it's also really stiff, and lots of guys don't like that. You can also try wool suiting material if you're going for a formal look, and gabardine might work. Also, if you can find it on sale (it can be expensive) you might even try upholstery material. Just make sure it's something you can clean easily. Anything much lighter in weight than what I've suggested here will flutter in the wind and won't hold up as well. Go to your local fabric store tell the employees what you're doing and have a look around. When you're confident of what you want you can either buy there or buy online. Good luck.

Mitty351 month ago

Thank you. I love this. It took a few reads to finally une'er stand (no fault on your instructions) but this is awesome. Been wanting one for so long, but the cost has kept me from getting one. Will try my hand at it

wolfyrepress2 months ago

A traditional highland kilt consist of 8 yards of material. I have one that was custom made for me when lived over there.

circlecityguy5 years ago
Any advice on how to attach the snaps? I've done nothing but butcher them and the fabric each time if tried to attach.
uglymike (author)  circlecityguy5 years ago
I'm assuming you got the same kind of cheap post and anvil set up I got when I got my snaps. The 2 main things is be sure you setting them on a hard surface, like a patio or garage floor, don't try it on a tabletop or counter. Also be sure to hit the post squarely. They do make a pliers type tool for setting the snaps and it'll work well for most of the snaps on the kilt, but it doesn't work well for the snaps far from the edge of the fabric If your interested in other options keep in mind the purpose of the snaps is simply to keep the front apron from flying open in the wind. Traditionally kilts used straps and buckles along the edge of the apron to keep it closed. I've used buttons and buttonholes in place of the snaps for a Tuxedo style kilt, and a big industrial zipper along the edge of the apron for a punk kilt. I've even seen others use velcro under the apron to keep it closed. I just used snaps for the look on this kilt, so feel free to use your imagination. Mike.
4 months ago

so the snaps on the front apron (not the waistband but the 'decorative' part) are supposed to go thru both aprons? they aren't just for decoration, right?

MelissaK16 months ago

Great Instuctable! I made one of these for my husband several years ago (no way was I paying \$300 for one) and they are fun to make. If you want to take the extra time, sewing a top-stitch along the edge of each pleat makes a great looking finished product. It is a pain, but you never have to worry about ironing your kilt again.

Water Proof Kits with Reflective Taps

So pleased to see your guide line about kilt making. But it is really very difficult to make a kilt at home because it require some machine to place the metal snaps on it. It will be easy to make a Tartan Kilt instead of utility kilt because Tartan Kilts requires only attention. Just have a look the new design of Kilts at

which are not easy to made at home but with some tool it can be done at home too.

I have also made a kilt for Security purpose it is waterproof as well. Check the design

terrygilmore9 months ago

would wnyone want to make one for me. I will be willing to pay a reasonable price.

uglymike (author)  terrygilmore9 months ago
You may want to try placing an ad on Craigslist, try the arts and craft section. You can work with someone local and would available for fitting. Plus less likely to be scammed.
jsudar1 year ago

Thank you for an easy and well described process. I've sewn for um ... 44 years, and this was well done. I made my S.O. a kilt. He didn't want pockets as he has a pouch.

uglymike (author)  jsudar11 months ago

I've made some without pockets and I think they still look sharp. Thanks for the pics, your kilt looks great.

These are awesome instructions! I have made two so far and am about to make a third one. Thank you so much!

uglymike (author)  kristen.blomquist11 months ago

Your welcome. Hope they are being enjoyed.

mmunoz201 year ago
thanks, I got my sister to sew it for me and it came out great! I wore it to a beard competition in Houston and got a lot of good responses.
uglymike (author)  mmunoz2011 months ago

Few things go together better than beards and kilts. Best accessory ever!

www.helderclothing.co.uk

info@helderclothing.co.uk

IF U WANT TO KNOW OUR HANDMADE KILT PROCESS IS UNDER FOLLOWING
:-

### we also can make it in leather etc. it depend on you what you like to wear.

www.helderclothing.co.uk

info@helderclothing.co.uk

IF U WANT TO KNOW OUR HANDMADE KILT PROCESS IS UNDER FOLLOWING
:-

### we also can make it in leather etc. it depend on you what you like to wear.

www.helderclothing.co.uk

info@helderclothing.co.uk

IF U WANT TO KNOW OUR HANDMADE KILT PROCESS IS UNDER FOLLOWING
:-

### we also can make it in leather etc. it depend on you what you like to wear.

www.helderclothing.co.uk

info@helderclothing.co.uk

IF U WANT TO KNOW OUR HANDMADE KILT PROCESS IS UNDER FOLLOWING
:-

### we also can make it in leather etc. it depend on you what you like to wear.

www.helderclothing.co.uk

info@helderclothing.co.uk

IF U WANT TO KNOW OUR HANDMADE KILT PROCESS IS UNDER FOLLOWING
:-

### we also can make it in leather etc. it depend on you what you like to wear.

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Mike, thank you so much for this excellently-written instructable. Every step went smoothly and easily. And the fit was perfect thanks to your efforts. I used your instructable 4 years ago to make my son's first kilt for his senior prom, at his request. It still makes appearances to this day at college functions. I have also made a faded camo cargo kilt, using your instructions, that we like even better. He gets compliments and admirers everywhere he goes in these kilts. Thanks again!

cemama1 year ago

Thanks for the detailed instructions! I whipped this up last night for my five year old son who feels that clothing should be optional in the summer. I'm going to have to play with it a little to make it work better for playing but so far we're both happier! I'm happy he's decent, he's happy to be as little clothed as possible. My son spends his day in the dirt and rocks and so forth and the kilt kept up with him.

I didn't have any interfacing (and it being the middle of the night when I decided to do this, I couldn't go buy some) so I finished the waist with grosgrain ribbon I had leftover from another project. I used long strips of Velcro to fasten instead of snaps, which would have made it adjustable except that I made it exactly his size rather than too large as I should have. I kept the 2" pleats and really liked how they came out. A nice over sized look. The total time from googling "cargo kilt" to admiring the finished product was a little over two hours, but I didn't do any belt loops or pockets (all the reasons why little boy pockets are classic are also good reasons not to provide them!)

uglymike (author)  cemama1 year ago

Wow, 2 hours, that's fast! I glad he enjoys it. I know Utilikilt has optional "modesty snaps" that snap the front to the back for working high up or on ladders, that may help with mishaps during play. Though at 5, I'm sure he's still outgrowing his cloths pretty quickly.

1 year ago
Well, the two hours was because I skipped the pockets and waistband and belt loops, which all take a lot of time, and he only needed seven pleats and I did simple rather than box pleats (I'll probably do more pleats on the next one to give him more coverage for playing). I want anyone else considering this for children to go ahead and try it... If it took me five hours to make one he'd just outgrow in a few months, I'd probably not bother! Now my hubby wants one and I'm fine spending more time on his.

I asked my son last night if he liked his kilt. He said, "I love it! I want to have trillions so I can always wear one!" It's honestly a little mystifying to me (he has never once used the word love in connection with clothes) but I see that there are lots of men who love them. No reason to leave boys out of the fun.

I'll definitely check out the modesty snaps, thanks!
zdeklown1 year ago
cant wait to try this. nice job ugly mike. got any sugestions for fixing loose pleats in a factiry made camo utilakilt?
uglymike (author)  zdeklown1 year ago

I can't speak from experience as I don't have a Utilikilt, but several commenters here have mentioned using "crease savers" (low temp plastic fishing line) ironed along the crease to make it keep it's shape. I haven't tried it yet, but plan to on an older kilt. Otherwise I just use plenty of heavy starch when I press my kilts. It works fine, until I sit down.

kd0afk1 year ago
why don't you taper the pleats from the waist to the fell line?
uglymike (author)  kd0afk1 year ago

I know that's correct traditional way to do a kilt, but I was trying to make the project as simple as possible for those without a lot of sewing experience. I also was trying to make it easily adaptable and easily modified for those with more experience, or more daring.

GreenWenonah1 year ago

I made it... but my camera isn't working :( I didn't do my math right and had to sew on both an apron and under apron to get adequate length but that worked out alright; I left a small gap in that seam, hidden at the deep crease of a pleat, for a hidden pocket that hangs off the back of the inner apron. If you do this, make the pocket deep enough to fall between your legs when you sit. I also did away with the hold-down snaps since it seems pretty secure as is and a pin is so much cooler. One last modification is a box pleat (1 inch overlaps) down the middle of each pocket front and back with the creases sewn in and gussets on the edge of the pockets, creases also sewn in. This ensures the pockets will lay flat when empty but can expand significantly as needed. I'll take some pictures of the pockets when my phone decides to talk to my camera again.

I plan to iron in some crease savers (like a low temp fishing line) from the uniform shop on base to more firmly fix the pleat creases and stitch down the inner creases of each pleat (one line of stitching 1/8" in from the crease) to reinforce the crease and encourage the pleats to fall properly.

My next kilt will have much deeper pleats (probably all boxed) to allow a better fall and a slight scallop off the top of the aprons so my belt can ride down in front a little without bulging out below the waist.

uglymike (author)  GreenWenonah1 year ago

I'm happy to hear you pleased. I love hearing about all the different modifications people do with this project. I'm totally stealing the box pleated pockets for my next kilt.

simboka2 years ago
I've been having issues with my pleats and fabric that I have to assume somebody's figured out a solution to already. But using the Jo Ann's heavy cotton duck, my pleats when I sit get splayed out. But when I stand back up, they don't fall back into place and I'll have to almost individually crease them back in proper form. Any thoughts? My thinking was to wash it more, because it does seem rather stiff still and maybe if it was more broken in, it'd fall into place easier.
uglymike (author)  simboka2 years ago
I used the same fabric from JoAnn's and have the same problem. I always use heavy starch when I iron my kilts, which gives a good crease but doesn't compleatly take care of the problem. I've taken to placing a couple of baste stitches where the kilt is pleated on the inside. Each pleat has a crease that shows and one that doesn't when you wear it. It's that crease that doesn't show you can stitch. Just go in about a 1/4 inch and hand stitch it close to the bottom. This keeps that part of the pleat from splaying out and helps everything to fall back into place. It's not perfect and if you find anything else that works let me know.
2 years ago
I brought this up on reddit's r/sew and starch was the initial idea too. I made a little stitch inside the pleat already to help me just to line it up better when ironing. But it's right on the edge, I'll consider moving it in more. It just seems like the fabric itself is a very stiff fabric. But since this instructable is 4 years old, I assume you've washed it enough that any amount of loosening up would've been achieved by now.

I also may try experimenting with both a heavier and lighter fabric.