Just like the plumber who stays so busy he cannot fix the leaky pipes in his own home, so too does the busy kiltmaker (in this case, me) rarely have time to make a kilt for himself. Well, my Christmas gift to myself this year was to make an exception and add another kilt to my wardrobe.
In this case, it is the Carolina tartan -- a tartan I have long wanted to wear, as a native of North Carolina. This tartan was designed in 1981 by Peter MacDonald, and formally accepted as the state tartan of North Carolina in 1991 (South Carolina followed suit in 2002). The Museum took a bulk order of this cloth for a pipe band last year, and I had some extra woven for myself. I've been looking at it gathering dust in my sewing room for many months now. So while visiting family over the Christmas weekend I decided to treat myself and finally make my Carolina kilt.
I'm wearing it here with a blue Tattersall shirt that my mother got my for Christmas from L. L. Bean (thanks, Mom!). I have always thought that Tattersall shirts look especially nice worn with a tartan kilt. I think the blue in this shirt really tones well with the light azure blue in the Carolina tartan. I've also paired it with some lovat blue kilt hose and a pair of brick red traditional garter ties.
I'm also sporting a new (to me) sporran. It's a reproduction of an eighteenth century style, with a real working hinged cantle. One of my regular clients was looking to weed out some excess from his wardrobe and, well... he made me an offer I couldn't refuse! It just arrived in the post yesterday, so got to debut my new kilt and sporran on the same day.
I'm also very excited about my new kilt pin. When I first got the Carolina tartan cloth, I thought it would be especially nice to have a special kilt pin reflective of the state's heritage. The dogwood is one of my favorite flowers, and is also the state flower of North Carolina. I did a search on line for dogwood pins and found the web site of Stuart Nye of Asheville, NC. This jeweler has been making hand wrought jewelery since 1933, and specializes, of all things, in dogwood designs! You can see a close up of the pin below.
What a perfect compliment for this kilt, which I plan on giving good use this upcoming Games season in North and South Carolina.