Voices of 2019: EKA Students Reflect on Their Experience


Four Edinburgh Kiltmakers Academy students come together to talk about the course as it draws to a close:

"I have been wearing kilts for 50 years. I thought there was much more to kilts than just wearing them."  

Q1: Where did you hear about the course?

I saw it online. It was on the Gordon Nicolson Kiltmaker’s website. I saw it in conjunction to when I was looking at another course. I was searching for kiltmaking and then I found it.

Q2: What interested you joining the course?

I have been wearing kilts for 50 years. I thought there was much more to kilts than just wearing them. All my kilts had been given to me in the classic, made form. I find it really interesting how people can be so creative with them. I come from a historical background, I run a clan’s society and organise gatherings. So, it is something that is very much at the forefront of what I do. But in terms of tartan, it’s an amazing thing. It’s an organic thing that grows all the time. You don’t have to just look back, we are actually looking forward to some fantastic tartans. There are actually some tartans that are very difficult to work with - some that the boss has designed! But I find it challenging and fascinating.

Q3: How are you finding the course so far?

I was taught to sew when I was at school… but that was the sum total of my experience. First of all, I have a very good teacher. I didn’t have a clue when I started, and I am very much slower than some of the others. But the tortoise always gets there in the end. The other thing of course, when I looked at the course it is different to the one I joined now. I did not realise the amount of extra work that is involved. So, I would say anyone looking to join the course should make sure they have that time in their life to dedicate to it. You have to devote the time to make sure your stitches are good and in the right place.

Q4: What are your plans after finishing the course?

I have many brothers, sons and nephews. They all know I have been doing this course. They haven’t directly asked me yet but… I’ve got lots of people to do. I have lots of interest from people in my association to so I very well may go down that route. I do quite a physical job at the moment, so it is a nice way to balance it out.

 

 

"When I retired I thought, "this is the time to do it!". 

Q1: Where did you hear about the course?

I heard about it in the Scotsman two years ago. I was working at the time, I was thinking about it now and again. When I retired I thought, “this is the time to do it!”. Then I found the information and applied.

Q2: How are you finding the course so far?

It’s been brilliant: really informative, quite easy going. Kirsty (Course Leader) has been fantastic. She is really supportive. She is great at explaining things and always happy to help. I’ve really enjoyed it.

Q3: What are your plans after finishing the course?

I don’t have specific plans. I haven’t advertised anywhere that I can make kilts. I would like to make kilts for friends and family, I have two sons whose kilts are a wee bit tight to say the least… there’s some alteration work there! But yeah, I’d like to keep making them.

 

 

"I've surprised myself at how much I've enjoyed it".  

Q1: Where did you hear about the course?

I heard about it from a friend who had already completed the course. She told me about her experience, and I thought it sounded good. It suited me because I was looking for something to do but was not a full-time job. It was perfect as I had just retired… even though I know I don’t look it! I was really looking for a hobby to do, that was something different, so I came along to find out more. 

Q2: How are you finding the course so far?

Really good. I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve surprised myself at how much I’ve enjoyed it. I’ll be sad when it finishes. 

Q3: What are your plans after finishing the course?

Yes and no. I would still like to keep making kilts. In fact, I’ve got a friend getting married, so he is my number one customer! That will be the first kilt that I make. So, I want to keep making them but as something I can do at home when I want to.

 

 

 

 

"She told me about this course, and I thought, "I want to give this a go!".

Q1: Where did you hear about the course?


I was at a wedding and I got talking to the person who made the kilts. She told me about this course, and I thought, “I want to give this a go!”. I had never done any sort of dress-making before. I had only done cross stitch before – which is completely different – so I thought, this would be a challenge.


Q2: What interested you joining the course?


I looked to find the course. I wanted to learn kiltmaking, so this course came up.


Q3: How are you finding the course so far?


It’s… hard but I am enjoying it. There have been a few “toys out the pram” moments but I’m enjoying it overall. I would like to keep doing it as well.


Q4: What are your plans after finishing the course?


I would like to make kilts. I would like to make them for friends and family too, but I would like to do it properly.