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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: https://www.facebook.com/littlelegsbabykilts/

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 laura@littlelegsbabykilts.co.uk

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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.

Baby

Pureed potato or turnip.

Baby led weaning – cooked potato or turnip batons.

Toddler 

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!

Pudding

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!

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How to keep your Little Legs warm in a Christmas kilt.

If you’re looking for some traditional Scottish Christmas gifts or hand crafted loveliness going back though the centuries it’s going to be a tough job. Mainly because Google is going to tell you that Christmas wasn’t widely celebrated in Scotland and it only achieved holiday status in 1958. Fortunately for you Scotland caught up fast, which could be because the national dress is warm, wooly and cosy not to mention colourful and often RED!

Certainly tartan lends itself to Christmas decorations – ribbons, stockings for the fireplace with a cracking great tartan stag’s head above. So why not carry on the theme and keep your little one cosy in their little tartan kilt! But wait, it’s not trousers, it could get chilly, how to keep your little one warm for the festive kilt look? What about some under kilt leggings, wooly or other. A kilt and an Aran jumper or cardigan is a winning combination. Anything bulky and wooly will work. Even that super cute Christmas jumper with the penguin on it.

So that’s the little one dressed and if you’re feeling adventurous and thinking about adopting more traditions from around the world here’s a few to consider:

  • A traditional Christmas Eve gift for boys in Greece is a boat.
  • In Caracas people roller skate to church on Christmas morning. It’s so popular they even close the roads. (We should totally try this KBC folk!)
  • A 1974 Kentucky Fried Chicken ad campaign in Japan was so successful that even now, although Christmas isn’t a holiday there, families spend Christmas Eve in a KFC.
  • And it’s fried caterpillars for good luck in the coming year for lots of South Africans.

I wouldn’t blame you if after reading about fried caterpillars and roller skating you decide not to spend Christmas day with the family  in A&E. It might be easier to stick with the tartan decorations and your little one in their Little Legs baby kilt. Whatever you decide to do, or get roped into, enjoy some tartan festive time!

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How to Frame a Baby Kilt

When Little Legs becomes not so little anymore. 

 

One day you look up and your little one is no longer so little and you’re at a loss to know what to do with the ever admired and remarked upon baby kilt that they wore to weddings, Christmas and christenings. A photograph sits proudly on the sideboard of not just your household, but several others, and as you finger the hem and wonder what to do with this kilt made for little legs.

There are a few options of how to remember your baby’s kilt wearing days, now they are 10, 12 or 15. • Pass it down through the family
• Put it on Teddy
• Sew it into a quilt.

However if none of these appeal there is another option. (And by the way, there’s no need to wait till they are 10.) With tartan and stags and all things Scottish brightening up our living rooms a baby kilt in a nice frame is a pleasant addition.

Here’s how:

1. Before you start, make sure the item is clean and pressed.

2. Select items to be displayed with the kiltA photo of your little one in the kilt, any accessories, a reminder of the occasion: confetti, a program or song sheet. Try a few displays of the items out and see what looks the best. Or a simple kilt might be just perfect on it’s own.

3. Choose a Frame
A kilt is a bulky item, even a baby kilt, so one of the easiest ways to frame one is by using a deep frame. This is sometimes called a shadow frame. If there isn’t one to hand, try a standard frame, it might fit. Lots of places sell deep frames but if stuck for ideas both IKEA and Amazon stock them.

4. Attach the kilt to the back board of the frame. There are a few
choices on how to attach it, including:
• Self-adhesive velcro
• Sewing pins
• Command strips
• Double sided sticky tape.

Additional items can be placed with double sided sticky tape or blu tack.

5. Once attached hold the backboard up inside the frame.
• How does everything look?
• Move things around if they aren’t quite right.

6. Reattach the backboard to the frame and it’s ready to hang.

7. Sit back and admire your handy work and reminisce about the little legs in their baby kilt…unless they’re only 3 and have made off with the double sided sticky tape, scissors or pins!