Friday, January 30, 2015

Utilikilts and Ebay

I now have a rather large collection of kilts. I have not counted them for a while but I would guess over 25. I should write up something on my collection at this point. Post for another day.

In this post I will talk about the Utilikilts I have. My first Utilikilt was purchased in the summer of 2008. What I liked about that kilt was the soft feeling of the cloth and it was machine washable. Being a utility type kilt the pockets on the side were very handy. There were a couple of things I did not like about it. Minor really but they bugged me none the less. One was the pleats would curl up. The second was the hem was not parallel to the ground. As for the pleat curl I have been told that happens for a number of reasons. I don't know if this is the real reason or just someone's guess. It could be just a behavior of cotton or because of the type of thread used to sew down the edge of the pleats. Who knows but I guess I can get over it. As for that tilted hemline. The utilikilt were designed to be worn at pant's waist rather than the higher natural waist of a traditional tartan kilt. Look at just about any guy in jeans and notice the belt line. It will be tilted down toward the front. More noticeable if the guy has belly. The Utilikilt (at least the earlier versions I have) the distance from the top to bottom of the kilt is the same all the way around. They had a "beer belly" option that would account for the tilt.  I have never run into one with that option. So when you wear the kilt the waist will be tilted down in the front so the hem will also be tilted. Lower in the front.

My kilt was particularly bad about this tilt. I did not realize it for almost a year. I examined it more closely and found the length in the front was longer then in the back. That made it worst. It would have been better if that was the other way around. So one day I decided to modify the hem to try to remove that tilt. You can see the modified length in one of the pictures below vs the other kilts that don't have any adjustment. To do this I left the back alone and raised the hem starting at the side to up about an inch and a half in the front. So now the kilt hem is parallel to the ground. Unfortunately there was a minor problem. When I ordered the kilt I had a custom length which I purposely made a little on the short side. So my kilt was set to about an inch above the knee cap. Guys have legs too get over it. So now I needed to bring up the front. The length was already backwards as I said above. So now I had to raise the front. The end result was the kilt is shorter than before and it was short enough to start with. So this kilt is now more for knocking around the house working on projects.

 I wanted to get another Utilikilt but those things cost some money. What kilt does not cost a lot. So I started to look around Ebay. Guys will get these kilts and then end up not wearing them so they turn up on Ebay. I set up a search on Ebay for Utilikilt and would get an email when one showed up on the site. Did not take long for my query to get a hit. I ended up getting three kilts over about a year and a half. The first two I obtained were standard style Utilikilts. They are way too long but that is good because I can now re-hem the thing and get rid of the tilt without the end product being too short. I have not done so yet. I noticed something else. The first one I got on Ebay did not have snaps under the belt line. The one I purchased in 2008 has snaps. Turns out this Ebay kilt was an earlier model. The design and manufacturing process has changed somewhat over the years.

 I am going to digress here a moment. Inside of the kilt there are a couple of labels. One has a date code among other information. I wish the people putting Utilikilts on Ebay would photograph that second label. Most just photograph the first with the size.

On this photograph notice the label showing the factory of manufacture and the material 65% poly and 35% cotton.  After that is 08/08 which is the date:  August 2008.  That is my first Utilikilt.

The last one I got on Ebay was a Mocker style. The Mocker kilt was intended to be the kilt equivalent of a pair of Docker pants. Nicer material then the standard Utilikilt. Also, the pockets were built into the kilt rather than hanging on the side. More pants like. So this was a much nicer kilt. I don't think this kilt was ever worn. I won't be able to change the hem on this one as the length is just where it needs to be. I don't want to end up making it any shorter. So I will put up with the tilt.

Here are the four I have now. My first is in the upper left. The Mocker is in the upper right. The two longer standard ones are on the bottom. No I don't have a dog sporran. That is my helper who just wanted to lay on the kilts during the photo session.

In this photograph you can see the missing snaps under the belt line of the 2005 model. My 2008 model has the snaps. I have no idea when they added the other snaps but that was a good idea. That kilt without the snaps has a date code of 2005. I will add a couple of snaps to this 2005 model when I modify the hem. That second kilt is also long so I have plenty of material to work the hem.

Here is my modified hem. You can see it is shorter in the front to make up for it lower at the waist. From the side the hem is now parallel with ground all the way around.

On the other kilts the the distance from top to bottom is the same front to back

On the Mocker the pockets are built into the pleat rather than hanging on the outside. I have circled the pockets which you might be able to make out in the photo. On the back there are two hip pockets rather than just one on the standard.

That is my review of my Ebay Utilikilt purchases. If you want a Utilikilt try searching Ebay. You might find one that will save you a few bucks.

Kilt on my friends!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Another Kilt Blog

Ran across a new kilt blog. This is a nice one as the writer provides a lot of updates. Unlike mine where I might do a few a year. Looks like Matt started this one in January of this year. Check it out: Year of the Kilt