We’re all sick, so I’m going to be brief. GeekBaby was a wee highlander this year.
Total cost ended up being under $10. We got a yard or so of plaid, a spool of thread, and some hook and eyes. The drape is attached to his tee shirt with a safety pin. He already had the white undershirt and wooden sword.
I have the McCall’s men’s highlander pattern, and used that to start. But instead I ended up relying a lot on Wikipedia for maybe a more traditional kilt. I don’t really know. I measured GeekBaby from hip bone to hip bone around the back and front to see how much pleated distance I needed, and from hip to opposing shoulder to see how much I needed to drape over the shoulder. Then I made one pleat and measured the finished pleat size. Dividing the back hip to hip measurement by the pleat size gave the number of pleats I needed. Then I unfolded the pleat, and measured how much fabric went into it. Multiply this by the number of pleats to get the total length of fabric needed for the pleated section. To that measurement, I added the front hip to hip measurement on either side of the pleated section for the flat front panels, and on top of that a good yard on one end for the shoulder drape. I had to join two panels to get a long enough piece, but if you do this carefully, you can bury the seams inside a pleat. The pleated part and front panels had the top folded down to make a crude waistband. All other rough edges were trimmed neatly, stitched at 1/8 inch and then fringed. Took me an afternoon and evening to make the whole thing, so it was relatively short.
If you want to do a kilt costume or a plaid skirt for young kids, I highly recommend using shirting flannel. The plaid is smaller in the shirting and looks better than the larger plaids did.