Handmade Kilts for Babies and Toddlers by Laura Gilmour

Meet the Maker

Reproduced here is a little getting to know you piece I wrote for the Glasgow Etsy Team, a community of makers here in Glasgow.

Today we speak to Glasgow Etsy member Laura Gilmour, the creative behind Little Legs Baby Kilts, she is based in Kirkintilloch, at the foot of the Campsie Hills. She works from her home studio and manages Little Legs around looking after her 2 boys, Rory and Arthur.

How did your business begin?

After having my eldest son, Rory, I found myself new to Glasgow and unable to find a job. With my dusty old sewing machine I made a baby kilt for a friends wedding, never thinking anything more than it was just a cute outfit. Friends saw the photos and I was inundated with request to make kilts for their babies. A few months later, having nothing to lose I started a business. Initially I sold on Etsy only, then set up my own website. I did eventually find part time work in the NHS, but the business grew to the stage where I could give that up and concentrate on Little Legs Baby Kilts fully.

Where do you create?

When trying to find the balance between looking after the kids and managing the business it was really important that I could have a dedicated space to work from home. When we moved house in 2014 we changed one of the bedrooms in to a studio. My entire business is cramped in to that one room, but it’s so nice to be able to shut the door when “work” time is over. It means that I can be flexible around the needs to my family too, utilising nap times and working evenings.

Where does your love of making come from?

My granny was a seamstress. Left widowed at a young age with 4 kids to look after she worked from home making curtains. I guess, this is where my desire to make things stems from, but I also loved making things as a child. My dad is an engineer and a bit of a hoarder, we used to spend hours in the garage creating things out of bits of old junk. I just love the thrill of turning something (especially something unwanted and discarded) in to something useful or beautiful.

How big is your crafting stash?

Massive! Even though I have a dedicated studio, I still have tartan literally bursting out of the room! So much so that I’ve now started selling my tartan remnants, as well as tweed and tartan by the metre. This has sold much better than I ever expected. That’s not to mention my non tartan crafting stash. I’m developing a reputation amongst my friends as being a bit of a hoarder.

What does your average working day look like?

As with most days, it starts with getting the little ones up and out the house to school and childcare, which usually involves a cycle along the canal with the dog. I then like to settle down with a coffee and some music to tackle my email inbox. It never fails to amaze me how much time is taken up with admin rather than sewing. Then I’ll make a start on the weeks orders, which includes cutting fabric for up to 25 kilts before I make a start on any sewing. Sewing takes up the remainder of the day. I have to admit I’m not very good at self care and often work through lunch. I really need to prioritise time to eat, go outside and breathe a little!

How do you stay inspired?

When you’re making to order, and doing the same thing most days it’s really important to mix things up a bit to prevent it feeling like a “job”. I have to be very mindful to make something for myself to inspire and reignite my love of sewing. Sometimes that’s clothes for myself, other times it’s patchwork quilts. Anything that refocusses me creatively works.

Where are you happiest?

We holiday often in Orkney and it’s definitely my happy place. I’m happiest on a windy beach in Orkney, peering into rock pools and watching the kids and dog splash in the water.

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