Barb Tewksbury


Barb is a frequent contributor to and Honour Roll member of XMarks the Scot, an online forum about kilts and kiltmaking. She also teaches an annual kiltmaking workshop with Steve Ashton (owner of Freedom Kilts). The summer 2018 workshop will be in Victoria, BC.

Barb Tewksbury wrote and illustrated The Art of Kiltmaking after learning traditional kiltmaking from her co-author, Elsie Stuehmeyer.

Over the past 20 years, Barb has made hundreds of custom-made kilts, squeezing time for kiltmaking into the spaces of her career as a full-time Professor of Geology at Hamilton College. As a geologist, she travels to lots of interesting places, but she rarely goes without a kilt or two to work on and has stitched kilts in places as far-flung as Iceland, Egypt, and South Africa.

If you are interested in inquiring about having her make a custom-made kilt for you, please contact her via our contact page.

Barb and Matt Newsome (formerly curator of the Scottish Tartans Museum) collaborated on a supplement to The Art of Kiltmaking that provides additional instructions for making a traditional box pleated kilt. You can download a free pdf of the supplement here.


Elsie Stuehmeyer is, without doubt, the pre-eminent kiltmaker in North America, and her experience in making and fitting kilts is truly staggering. She has quite literally made thousands of kilts over the past 60 years, in every imaginable tartan, for people of all shapes and sizes. She is so well-known as a kiltmaker that people book her a year in advance when they know that they will need new kilts. Her kilts have been worn by beginning dancers and champions, commoners and royalty.

Elsie learned the art of kiltmaking at age 15 as an apprentice at Thomas Gordon's in Glasgow in 1949. Since leaving Scotland in 1973, she has made a career of kiltmaking in the United States. In addition, she has patiently taught kiltmaking to scores of students over many years. She tempers her insistence on correct methods, and meticulous sewing with a lively personality and a vast collection of hysterically funny stories told with a delightful accent. If you should pass through Petaluma, California, keep your eye out for Elsie's unmistakable license plate - KILTMKR.