Many of us have a story about turning to our crafting during a difficult time. Surprisingly, Ashleigh Kiser of Sewrella is no different. What started as a way to find solace after her great grandmother’s passing has since become her passion, and her job! We’re smitten with Sewrella, and all her kits featured on our website. Check out her new Designer Homepage to see them all in one place! Read on to learn more about her inspiration and her process, and see 8 of her awesome kits below.
Five years ago, Ashleigh’s Grandmother Betty was ailing and Ashleigh was at a loss. Betty had been a crafter herself, sewing wedding dresses and her kids’ clothes. Since Betty was a crafter, Ashleigh was inspired to find a project that would keep her hands busy, while Betty was in and out of the hospital. Soon, Ashleigh found herself in the yarn aisle, holding a ball of Fisherman Wool-Ease Thick & Quick (!) and a crochet hook. Later that day, she learned a few basics crochet stitches on Youtube, and and made her first scarf in the hospital waiting room. After Grandmother Betty passed away, Ashleigh kept crocheting.
Her ‘something to keep me busy’ hobby has blossomed into a career as a blogger and designer! But it started off simply, with blankets and basic hats. Hats her family is still teasing her for! “Like many new crocheters my tension was REALLY tight. I didn’t know how to loosen my tension or that I could change hook size, so they were really stiff. So stiff, in fact, that the top of the hat wouldn’t fit on your head and stuck up off the top – they are lovingly referred to in my family as the ‘nipple hats’ – ha!” Her skills and vision have grown so much, but she still feels like she’s just getting started.
Ashleigh started her blog Sewrella as a diary during her pregnancy. First, after making a square for a granny blanket for her baby, she posted it online. Then her ice cream theme got a thousand hits in one night, so she shared the design on her blog! But it wasn’t until her Heirloom Cabled Sweater that she finally felt confident as a designer. When she tried the bodice on after seaming it together, she teared up – it fit! Not only that, but it looked great, too! She wore it to visit Lion Brand in NYC for our Blogger Bash earlier this year, and “felt on top of the world!”
Who inspires her most of all?
Lucille Ball – powerhouse business woman, with style and a ‘boss girl’ attitude!
The Golden Age of Hollywood inspires her. Especially the distinct and feminine designs that make “the feminine shape sing with the perfect drama,” she muses.
Consequently, she hopes to find such a romantic signature in her own designs!
One of her favorite patterns with Lion Brand is her Ava Poncho – inspired by Ava Gardner. This piece is easy to make, easy to wear, and the relaxed style is a nod to Ava’s humble beginnings. It’s feminine, but with a bit of Midwest style, where Ava grew up on a ranch with many siblings.
Ashleigh loves this quote of hers: “Although no one believes me, I have always been a country girl and still have a country girl’s values.”
She loved designing with this showstopper in mind, and we love how it turned out!
Check out her Ava Fringed Poncho (Crochet Kit) here.
When planning a new design, she gets listing. Since she knows the silhouette right off the bat, she starts brainstorming other components, like the yarn and seaming techniques. As a result, she makes a sketch of the FO, and works backwards. Somehow, all the pieces come together in the end! Netflix is always going, just for the voices of a familiar show, and she’s got sparkling water nearby. If she’s getting close to finishing, “I’ll break out the wine!” She works for countless hours to find that one ‘moment of bliss’ – “that feeling when you wear something you made with your own two hands.” She calls it a ‘pure and unchanging joy’, and likes to think her Grandmother Betty sees what she’s up to, & would wear her designs.
Her big dream? To see one of her pieces worn in a movie! “Anybody know who to talk to about that? Ha!”
Next, she’s stitching away on some spring & summer projects. She’s looking forward to the new Lion Brand yarns on the horizon, and we can’t wait to see what she’ll whip up with them. Follow her on Instagram, and keep up with all her latest designs. Check out some of her favorite projects below!
To see all of Sewrella’s Lion Brand Kits, check out her new designer homepage by clicking here.
Sewrella’s Bubblegum Pullover Sweater (Crochet Kit) is a fun pop of color to welcome spring! But if bright pink isn’t your thing, it does come in six other lovely colors. Her First Love Cardigan (Crochet Kit) is super-cozy, since it’s worked up in our Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Bonus Bundle. A perfect layering piece for when you can’t tell what the weather holds! The Parisian Tunisian Top (Crochet Kit) really nails the romance that inspires Ashleigh – especially the flutter sleeve.
This Laikini Cardigan (Crochet Kit) is light, due to an open-weave for warmer weather. Ashleigh used 24/7 Cotton in Mint, and it’s so fresh for summer! Her Cappuccino Cardigan (Crochet Kit) is a little cozier, because it’s made with our beloved Scarfie. The Le Nuage Wrap (Crochet Kit) is a lovely accessory to dress up any OOTD. It comes in eight beautiful colors, so you can plan ahead and make it for a special occasion. ‘Le Nuage’ is French for ‘the cloud’ – float on!
For projects for around the home, check out Sewrella’s Kaleidoscope Blanket (Crochet Kit). It’s sure to add a focal point to your rooms, with a pleasing variety of understated hues. Another fun home projects is her Magnolia Bobble Pillow (Crochet Kit). It’s is an adorable accent pillow, which could match with many decorative palettes. The Mykonos Bag (Crochet Kit) is a fun project you can take with you on the go!