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Little Toot Creations for the fashion savvy mum

Clare Watson

Finding children’s clothes in Canberra that are funky and original can be exhausting. There are limited stores that cater for parents who want something extra special for their little ones but luckily now, more than ever, there are burgeoning handmade options for the fashion conscious mum. With online shopping constantly evolving, it’s now easy to get your kids looking super cute for that special occasion without ever leaving home. The best part is that some of these great handmade stores are owned and operated in Canberra by talented Mum’s like Bec McAlister whose business Little Toot Creations is run from her home in Canberra’s south.

Around seven years ago while on maternity leave, Bec was looking for something different for her baby daughter and was struggling to find anything she liked. Teaching herself to sew over the next couple of years, she created Little Toot Creations as a store on madeit.com and started selling small handmade garments. The name ‘Little Toot’ is a homage to her family and is a way to reference all the fun she experienced as a child, something she carries into her handmade designs.

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“For me, childhood was all about running barefoot in the backyard, catching tadpoles in the creek, enjoying special treats with Nana and being on the water with Pop in his boat ‘Little Toot’,” says Bec.

Further expanding into handmade markets, she recognised that there was a niche for handmade children’s clothes with buyer’s appreciative of both the hours of dedication it took to hand make each garment and the individuality.

“A lot of handmade labels, when they get busy, tend to outsource,” she says. “I never wanted to do that, even when I was at my busiest and I was considering it, what stopped me was the fact that as soon as I hand over responsibility to someone else, it’s no longer my handmade creation and I think it stops being as special.”

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Setting up a workshop from her home allowed Bec to work from home while her children were young. It also allowed her to continue to expand the business she loves. As Little Toot’s popularity grew, she picked up a number of regular customers who knew what they liked and even now, often request custom orders when they know what they want. With styles that change depending on Bec’s taste, she always ensures that the core elements of her work such as practicality, individuality and quality remain with each new release of clothing.

Her latest release is a collaboration with American fabric designer, Andrea Lauren. Licensed to use the images from Andrea’s fabrics, Bec created a number of different styles with the funky fabrics including everything from a nappy cover and matching tee to dresses and shorts for the older kids.

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Little Toot focuses on keeping their products simple with a high level of quality and seven years after she began, Bec is still excited to see her garments on other people’s children.

“Not that long ago, I went to a party and there would have been five or six children there wearing my designs which always makes me feel like what I’m doing is a great thing,” shares Bec.

There’s also more to the handmade scene than just clothing with the latest release from Little Toot also including a twisted knot headbands for girls and funky bandana bibs for both boys and girls. Also on offer are cute items such as handmade library tote bags in a range of fabrics and fabric button hair ties.

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Over the years, Little Toot has expanded into other commercial products including necklaces, lunchboxes and other back to school favourites. However, Bec ensures she has personally tried and tested each product to ensure they are something she would use for her own family.

The easiest way to get your hands on Little Toot Creations is through the online store but if online shopping isn’t your thing, they also offer some products at Childplay Toys in Philip and will also be heading to Muddle Puddle Market from 9am to 1pm today (Saturday 7 March) at Weston Creek Community Centre.

You can find Little Toot Creations online at Childplay Toys in Phillip and the Muddle Puddle Markets.

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Clare is a first time mum with a passion for writing, fitness, country music and good coffee. Born and bred in Canberra, Clare has watched the city transform over the years into the cultural star it is today. She is also quickly learning just how draining motherhood can be and is always on the look out for silver linings on the toughest days of motherhood. More about the Author

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