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Tartan of the Month: Choosing a Tartan

Stewart Hunting Modern
Stewart Hunting Modern

This is an introduction to a Little Legs Baby Kilts new feature – Tartan of the Month. Each month Little Legs will explore a tartan and bring customer insights and favourites to the fore.

So if you’re new to tartan wearing, here’s a starter for 10!

Feeling overwhelmed with the sheer number of tartans to choose from? Fear not, your ancestors from forever ago, who have probably been pretty quiet until now, can provide some inspiration. The good news is, a trip to St Andrews or wherever to find a clan is not required.  Just the correct spelling of your surname will do. Punch it into Google and, as if by magic, your tartan will reveal itself.

Scottish surnames crop up all over the world, possibly due to the Highland Clearances (1780s), gold discovered in California (1849) and Australia (1851), criminal minds en route from Britain to Australia (1868), or just Scotland’s weather. Plus Scottish folk have always been interested in the world at large and were forever off inventing stuff like the telephone, penicillin, the fridge, the television and  the toaster to bring people together.

If a proper Scottish surname is not to hand it’s “nae bother” to find a Scottish connection. It could be a favourite Highland and Islands holiday destination, a beautiful beach or just a favourite colour. Just so long as it’s not the Balmoral tartan which is reserved for the Royal family. Do not fear though, there are plenty of tartan which are “generic” or “fashion” meaning that they can be worn by anyone.

So that’s the Tartan Lite version of choosing an authentic family tartan! Next month Little Legs Baby Kilts will be introducing you to tartans you know and tartans you’ll want to get to know better!

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Tartan at the Oscars!

Mary Anne


The big award ceremonies are an international melting pot with winners chosen on talent not where they are from. With the Oscars fresh in the news it’s time to take a look at the Scottish or tartan who’s who of the Oscars.

A big impressive 2019 win for Olivia Coleman, who may not be very Scottish, didn’t wear tartan but has performed with Scottish export David Tennant (who hasn’t won an Oscar yet).

More Scottish, or tartan wearing talent who haven’t yet secured the Oscar gold but are still very good include: Robert Carlyle, Ewan McGreggor, Kevin McKidd, Karen Gillan, Kelly Macdonald and Isla Fisher. (I considered Isla Fisher Australian too but she has Scottish parents.)

Now lets rewind and see who else is a notable Scottish or tartan winner.

Frank Lloyd was an inaugural year Oscar winner in 1929! He was also one of the founding members of the Academy Awards and president (1934 and 1935). He hailed from Glasgow and was better known for Mutiny on the Bounty, for which he received a Best Director nomination.

Peter Capaldi, you probably know him better as Doctor Who, is from LLBK’s closest neighbour Bishopbriggs in Glasgow. Another Oscar winner for his short film, Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life.

Tilda Swinton who considers herself Scottish won for Micheal Clayton. She starred with George Clooney who also isn’t Scottish but would look great in a kilt!

Sir Sean Connery, from Edinburgh, was a slow burn winner after waiting three plus decades for his Untouchables win.

Before you think I had to scrape the bottom of the barrel with Tilda Swinton to even up the Scottish female winners here’s Deborah Kerr. Another Weegie (Glaswegian), and who knew the From Here to Eternitystar was even Scottish!

Annie Lennox, who won Best Original Song all the way from Aberdeen.

Kevin McDonald, director of Last King of Scotland and Oscar winner for documentary One Day in September.

Braveheart, Academy Award winner and a film with lots of tartan. It was mostly shot in Ireland because of the tax breaks – shame on you Mel Gibson.

Brave, an animated film with lots of tartan was produced by Dreamworks with a lot of Scottish and tartan inspiration. It’s Scottish director Mark Andrews cut a particular dash in his kilt at the 2013 Academy Awards. ‘Mon the kilts!

The list goes on, there are actually too many Scottish winners to mention…because like LLBK’s, a surprising amount of talent is exported from Scotland! Now there is no exact research to substantiate if wearing tartan makes you more talented than non wearers but after reading this, why take any chances. It would be safer to get your little one into their LLBK  tartan sooner rather than later. You just never know!

Craving to watch Brave in all it’s animated tartan splendour? There’s a good few tiny kilts in that and if you’re looking for inspiration for a new one, it’s a good place to start!

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Little Legs Goes Green! – The Interview

Here’s an interview we did with author, stand up comedian, blogger and generally awesome individual Lizzie McKie, where we shared some of the things we currently do to increase sustainability and environmental credentials when running our small business. Do feel free to comment and share an ideas you might have, we are constantly looking at ways to improve our practices. 

Looking at Sustainability in small business. 

It’s January and Little Legs Baby Kilts is looking forward to the coming year and working on ways to improve and expand the business. After the consumer extravaganza of Christmas and as the business grows, thoughts are turning to sustainability and environmental concerns. With this in mind we’ve got a post on sustainability and the small business according to Little Legs Baby Kilts.

Last year Little Legs introduced a new service of offering offcuts and remnants for sale to customers. What gave you the idea for this?

Many of our customers are creative themselves and I wanted to be able to do something with the offcuts of the kilt making process. In many cases the tartan are not readily available, and in the interests of reducing waste I wanted to offer customers an affordable way to purchase their own family tartan in small quantities.

What have you learned about your customers from their creations?

Well, it’s the variety of projects that has been a surprising bonus. It’s great to see what customers have decided to create. So much so that Little Legs has started a regular feature of customer’s creations called The Friday Crafting Series. It can be found on our Facebook page here:

What are the other sustainability benefits of operating a small business?

I run the business from my workshop at home which cuts out the upkeep of another premises and the doubling up on heating and electricity. There is also the elimination of commuting and associated pollutions that brings.

How does Little Legs reduce it’s carbon footprint?

All our tartans are sourced from UK, so nothing is travelling the world to get to us. In addition we have a preference for Scottish mills wherever possible.

You’ve outlined what you do with larger offcuts but is there any other waste in the production of your products?

We’re very resourceful in how we reuse offcuts. We use them to make smaller homewares, as stuffing in our tweed hearts or they are donated to local schools, nurseries for crafts. You can see some of the younger crafters creations here:

toddler creations

How else do you promote green practices?

We currently reuse cardboard and plastic packaging but we are looking at ways to reduce plastic usage. The cardboard bolts which our fabric comes wrapped in are reused as paint boards by a local artist, and we have introduced a biodegradable polythene for the (rare) occasions it’s required. We still use plastic postage bags because there is a trade off between it arriving safe (and not wet) and being environemnetally conscious, we haven’t quite come up with the ideal solution to this yet. We’d welcome comments from customers about whether they’d prefer biodegradable postage bags (grey – not pretty) as opposed to plastic postage bags (nice and colourful) or whether they have some other ideas?

Anything else you’d like to add on sustainability?

Yes, we’d like our customers to know it’s something we are constantly reassessing as new products and services become available. If you’d like to get in touch with any questions or ideas we’d love to hear from you! Comment below or email us at

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Auld Rabbie Burns

Celebrating the life of Auld Rabbie Burns

When you have a young family it can sometimes feel that going out and enjoying the things you used to do, like eating, drinking and making merry, is off the agenda. Even making the effort to do something special at home can feel a bit daunting with the number and speed of the various plates in the air.

woman and man cheering glass cup beside table during night time


However with the festivities of December becoming a fading memory and the freezing January nights all too present, there is a spark of celebration on the horizon. Because here comes a “wee, sleek it, cow’rin timorous” celebration, otherwise known as Burns Night, to cheer everyone up!

As a customer and follower of Little Legs Baby Kilts we think you might have your family outfits organised already. So here’s our guide to the rest!





Creating an atmosphere

  • It’s likely you’re eating earlier than cocktails at 8 and dinner at 8.30pm but at least it’s still dark in January and fairy lights look good at any time of year (IMO).
  • Add some tartan ribbons for hair or as table decorations.
  • Make some tartan drawings for place mats.
  • Can’t think what to have for dinner – Rabbie Burns has given it some thought whether you’re blending or baby led weaning, Burns is way ahead of you.

Family Friendly Recipes – Haggis, Neeps and Tatties

Tiny Baby

Well it’s milk…milk…or milk with a tartan ribbon around the bottle.


Pureed potato or turnip.

Baby led weaning – cooked potato or turnip batons.


Haggis and chips or anything else that looks good on the table, floor or smeared into clothing. A toddler might prefer a vegetarian haggis and this can be dressed up or down as a face or a real live actual “historically” correct haggis!


There’s only ONE choice for pudding. All natural, fresh and easy to whip up. It’s got porridge oats, cream, honey, raspberries – lets have a warm Burns Night welcome to Cranachan!

Bedtime Stories

Look no further than any Burns poem! Animals, the outdoors and weather, it’s all there in glorious verse. Something else you might find in your local bookshop is Hamish the Hairy Haggis and Horrace the Haggis – can you see a theme developing?

Whatever you do this Burns Night, have a wonderful time from Little Legs Baby Kilts!

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Baby Kilt Wearing 101: Part One

Getting the most wear out of your kilt

There are umpteen occasions never before imagined that a kilt can get whipped out and jumped into. Top of the list are weddings, christenings, Christmas, special birthdays and the odd weekend battle reenactment. It might seem unlikely that an average two year old is going into battle but it’s not 100 miles away from what parents can feel on an average Monday morning getting ready for nursery. Not that anyone is suggesting getting the full regalia out for nursery or the childminder but I have spotted one at a Tuesday morning playgroup, cleverly enhanced with leg warmers, a tank top and a sou’wester style anorak on top – this is Scotland after all. The wearer was half Brazilian and half Australian so creative licence and dramatic flare collided in a most successful fashion.

Kilt design in years gone by

The ancient kilt is easiest to put on while lying on the floor – remind you of anything? It’s a long piece of fabric which is folded into pleats while on the floor before the victim lies on top and strings it around themselves using a belt. Like many things it looks incredibly easy on youtube but can you imagine how that would work with a baby/toddler.

Our kilts

Lucky for you Little Legs Baby Kilts require no pleating, lying down or rolling about the floor…unless you really want to. All our kilts are v.e.l.c.r/o fastening! (As a side not we’re not allowed to use the “V” word because we get threatened with copyright infringement by the company itself. Even though that’s what we use, so we have to say “hook and loop” fastening. Ridiculous!)  This means you don’t even have to have your baby/toddler in your grasp to successfully attach it to their amazingly fast and sometimes furious little bodies. (We’ve all seen the advert for the nappies that pull on while the offspring crawls, rolls or squirms away – Little Legs kilts are just the same.) So, yes, you can run after, circle and snap Little Legs kilts into place before they’ve realised. The other good thing thing about velcro is it stays in place, can be reposition so the kilt can grow as they do and the wee monkeys can’t get it back off too easily! I know what your thinking – next Tuesday morning playgroup the kilt is coming out!