Introduction: Pants Kilt - NachoMahma Kilt of Righteousness


From the Braveheart school of thought and manly man fashion, convert a pair of pants into a manly kilt.
Made to show off your Instructables team color - ibles ORANGE. Take one for the team!

 Wait, there's more, we'll also throw in the handy Ipad sporran.

A garment inspired by Weinergate, what a tangled web he wove. Yeah, I happen to be one of his constituents but good, no tweets.

I don't know if iblers NachoMahma or Yokozuna would recommend this over the hospital gown with the open butt back option but there is something refreshing about a summer breeze.

What should we call this, man-kilt - The Milt or pants-kilt - The Pilt? And for our friends in the UK, trouser-kilt - The Trilt? I may need to find a puffy shirt.

Be a player on the playa, for you burners out there.

Don't get pants'ed, get kilt'd.

Step 1: Aye, You Need Supplies

I had a pair of old pants that would not pass the thrift store triage and destined to be rags anyway so I decided to upcycle them into a kilt. I cannot claim any Highland heritage and getting sloshed on St. Paddy's Day doesn't really count but a kilt is a traditional garment that exists as a symbol of national pride and borne from utility.

You will need a pair of pants to hack.

You will need additional fabric to form the pleats.  I recommend a sturdy cloth that does not stretch too much.  The color choice can be matching or contrasting.

You should have basic sewing skills.

I recommend doing this by machine.  If you only have a multi-stitch sewing machine, that is fine.  I am lucky to have a serger too.  I realized the limitation of my serger in trying to punch through too many layers of fabric and broke a set of needles but I am getting good at rethreading it as it got caught up in those bumpy  seams.

It's nice to have a straightedge and rotary cutter with cutting mat.  It makes it easy to slice off sections of material.  Using scissors would have gave some jagged edges.

An essential tool to have is a seam ripper tool or utility knife.  You need it to effectively rip out seams saving the drudgery of pulling out the sewn thread runs by hand..

CAUTION: Sewing requires use of sharp needles and scissors or cutting tools.  Know how to operate your machines safely.  Only floor the sewing machine if you have a driver's license.

Step 2: Kilt Basics

Basic design is an apron-like front and pleated the rest around.

The pants will be modified with pseudo-pleats as a kilt is traditionally made from a long bolt of cloth and the pleats are gathered along.  

You can take a look at this cargo-kilt instructable to reference another variation on the traditional kilt.

A kilt "breaks" at mid-knee.  I think I need to bring the hemline up on mine a bit, it's a prototype.

Put the pants on, if they still fit, hopefully or else you will have to mod the waistband, and kneel on the floor. Just measure up from the floor to the waistband or mark with tailor's chalk where the pants touch the ground.   I really just held it up like I was wearing it an put a piece of masking tape to mark the spot.  Allow an inch or two so you can either hem or finish off the bottom edge.

 I left the front fly opening/zipper assembly integral to this design. I guess that is the redundant secondary means of egress you should be engineering into things. If you are a pointer or a setter like Old Man Nacho, you have the option.

Cut off the legs of the pants squarely where you marked them.  Save the cutoff pieces to use for other parts of the kilt.

Step 3: More Slicing and Dicing

Use your seam ripping tool to unhem the bottom of the cutoff pieces.

You can use the seam ripper or better yet just cut away the inseam at the crotch area.  It wasn't worth my time to take apart the double overlocked seams that were used in constructing the pants.  

Cut up to the crotch so you end up with overlapping flaps that lay flat.

We can now plan out the pieces we will be adding.

Note that I do not have measurements for anything.  This is really eyeballing the pieces and sewing the pieces to fit.  A serger has an automatic cutter that trims the seam as you go along so any excess material or seam allowance will be cut away.

Step 4: Front Apron

Take one of the cutoff pants leg part and cut away the side seams to open up the piece.

You should have a piece that is perfect for the apron.  It is attached just below the fly opening.

We will add additional material to each of the sides to from the gussets of the faux pleat that we are making.

Cut additional material that is the height of the apron panel.

You can figure out what pleat size you want but I think I just used the width of my plastic straightedge as a guide.

You should have a gusset piece that folds over.  

Fold the gusset in half and sew a straight seam on that fold.  This gives it the permanent  State Trooper uniform look crease.  Be aware of your finish sides if you have a fabric that has a good/print  side and a rough side.

Attach gusset pieces to each side of the apron.  Be aware the the fold will be on the inside.

Lay out your apron part on top of the pants.

You now need to visualize how you are going to attach everything with finished seams on the outside.

I used masking tape to lay out the top position.

Cut  the pants top so that you have an edge to attach the top part of the apron and top edges of the gussets.

This is where the serger comes in handy,

Mate the pieces in the correct orientation and serge.

Layout flat again to see where you need to cut an edge to mate with the gussets.

Serge accordingly.

The apron has excess length which will be trimmed in the final fitting.

Step 5: Tail Covering

Well, flip the pants over and now we have to bridge the gap on the backend.

With a similar process, we will make an additional covering piece just like the front apron.

Use only a panel from the cutoff leg pieces. Actually, I think it was just one of the scrap pieces from cutting out the area behind the front apron. It seemed big enough to cover the gap.

Cut side gusset pieces.

Fold in half and sew the permanent crease.  I serged it this time because the gussets were sized too wide.  Put together, the width should be about the width of the back apron piece.

Dry fit the pieces and mark the layout.

Cut an edge on the pants

Attach the top edge.

Lay flat again and mark the side gusset edges.

Cut the edge and attach the side gussets.

Step 6: Intermediate Pleats

You can have more pleats in the back.  This seemed to take on the gladiator look with wide panels but I guess if you took some loud golf pants to mod, you would want to pay attention to the plaid design and figure out an appropriate pleat size.  A real tartan pattern would deserve more attention to detail.

I wanted to add just two more pleats to the kilt to even out the spacing.

Cut out gusset material that will be the length of your pleat to match the tail covering apron piece.

Sew the permanent crease down the fold.

I also sewed the top of the gusset at a 45 degree angle to close it off.  You can also go with a different design of the pleat to give it a flat fold and closed off top.

Cut a slit where you want the additional pleats to go.

Dry fit and figure out how to serge it together with finished seams.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

I bartacked a spot on the top of the gusset to hold the pleat in the direction/side I wanted it to fall.

I serged together a top portion of where the two tail covering pleats meet.

Go around and rough out an edge so that the bottom of the kilt will be even.

I then ran the serger around the bottom to finish the edge.  Traditionally, this is where you have a selvedge or factory edge from the bolt of cloth.

Try it on and see if you need any adjustments like the hem and maybe press out the pleats to see if they fall correctly.  Do as I say and not as I did.

Step 8: Bonus Sporran

A sporran is that little hanging pouch worn hung from the belt or belt loops by a small chain.

I still had a leftover piece of the cutoff pants leg.  It was the perfect size to fit an Ipad so I didn't want it to go to waste.

Go grab your kid's Ipad.  I haz none.

Seam off the cuff end of the cutoff.  This creates the bottom for our "case".

Cut down the two sides up to the height of the Ipad.

Fold inside the excess fabric.

Put a straight seam to finish the opening edge.

Cut a piece of fabric that the size of the opening flap that will fold over.
Cut it longer so some of it will tuck inside the case to present a finished look.

Sew on the backside the top flap and lining fabric in a semi-circle shape to give a half-moon cover.

Flip inside out and admire your handiwork.

I had some paracord laying around.  Hmmm, what did I use that for?

Bartack it the inside top of the case.

Cover with the lining fabric of the top flap.

Usually you have something like tassels but I used the Instructables cloth patch.

I attached it with some sticky-back velcro military-style.

Step 9: Saints Preserve Us...

So here you go, the mighty Instructables styled kilt.

Think about some variations:

Reflective riding kilt 
Reflective hunter's orange vest kilt 
Orange vest construction worker/flagman safety kilt (may not be good for the roofing trade, but hey..)

EL wire for accent detailing.
LEDs for glowing pleat panels.
TV-B-Gone unit in your sporran. TV-B-Kilt.

Anybody want to put an e-textile spin on this? I bet Lynne Bruning  would love for you to model it at a Maker Faire.  It would be groovy.

So how is it worn? You still put it on one leg at a time.

What's underneath? Well, it's an ancient Chinese secret... It nobody's fn business.

Aye, nay wee bagpipes blowing in the wind.

Be sure to press the Like button and text "FREEDOM!" below.

BurdaStyle Fashion Challenge

Participated in the
BurdaStyle Fashion Challenge

Halloween Easy Costumes Challenge

Participated in the
Halloween Easy Costumes Challenge