The Fabled Thread is the work of Eppie Thompson, a sewing extraordinaire who went from City worker to needle and thread expert. Since then, she’s transformed her home into a maximalist, sewing oasis, so we couldn’t miss the opportunity to sit down with her and learn more about her home.
Eppie’s work has been featured in Vogue, Elle Decoration, The Telegraph, House & Gardens, Living Etc, to name but a few. We’re in good hands.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself?
E: I work primarily in textiles, producing work inspired by folk arts from around the world. I’m passionate about making things; be it sewing, drawing, pottery, interiors… anything.
I believe everyone has an inner creative just waiting to get out. My main aim in life, whether with sewing or through any other medium, is to try and inspire others to get making too.
Q: Why did you set up The Fabled Thread?
E: When two friends got engaged a few years ago, I decided to try to stitch them a wedding present, and I fell in love with the meditative process of embroidery. It became an outlet for me from my stressful job in the City.
When looking for kits to make, I couldn’t find anything that appealed to my aesthetic. So, I decided to start making my own. Whilst I, of course, love the pieces and designs I create, for me the core aim of the business is to encourage more people to sew. There are so many wonderful mindful benefits beyond the piece you create.
In our constantly switched-on, hectic world, I think it could bring everyone a little bit of peace.
Q: Where do you find the inspirations for your designs?
E: Storytelling is at the heart of everything I create. Whether it’s referring to regional folk tales, mythical creatures, children's books, or my own made up stories. All my designs have a narrative running through them.
It’s wonderful to make a piece of art where you know the story behind it, which might not be so obvious to anyone else looking. It creates a connection between the maker and the artwork.
Q: Describe your style?
E: I would describe my work as folk art. As with most traditional folk art, I am not trained and, at its core, the work I produce is simple and naïve. Each design uses basic stitches and simple materials.
For me it isn’t about displaying great skill, instead it is about creating imagery that tells a story. Nothing needs to look like you think it should… an elephant can be pink, a tiger can have a mane, a fish can be the size of a ship. I think my style is playful and I hope, full of joy.
Q: What would you say is your biggest triumph in your home?
E: I think my biggest triumph is having the confidence to make my home a true expression of myself. When entering it feels like you are coming into another world. I have painted the opening lines of The Jabberwocky round the door frame as you come in and for me that entirely sets the scene. It is full of whimsy, colour, pattern and life, and I hope inspires anyone who visits to unleash their inner creativity.
Q: Talk us through how you’ve styled your sitting room?
E: When I first viewed my flat the sitting room felt like a little Georgian parlour. I tried to play to this, adding matching bookshelves on either side of the fireplace, the double doors in and panelling the hallway. As it is a basement flat, there isn’t a huge amount of natural light, so the room is painted in a warm pink, with lots of red, orange and ochre tones. These colours help bring warmth to what would otherwise feel a little dingy.
As I am constantly making textile pieces, it is no surprise that the room is filled with fabric. Lots of throws, wall hangings and more cushions than I feel I should admit to. It has a wonderful cosy feel to it.
Q: What’s your favourite room in the house and why?
E: My favourite room is the kitchen as it's probably where I spend the most time. I had the table and corner bench made for the space, so the table is higher than normal making it the same height as the worktops (the perfect fabric cutting height!).
I filled the corner seat with cushions so it feels more like a sofa than a dining area. As it’s my only table in the house, this is where I work whenever drawing, painting or experimenting.
Q: Take us through the process of designing your favourite space in your home?
E: When I was in the process of buying my home I was working in a job I wasn’t enjoying, so daydreaming about the interiors of the flat became my escape. When I finally got the keys, I had literally every element of my home planned, even down to the potato masher.
I bought the fabric throughout the flat: curtains, ottoman, cushions all in one go, so I think whilst each room has its own character, there is a harmony throughout. I didn’t plan one space at a time, but rather created everything in parallel.
Q: Have you finished renovating your home? If not, what’s next?
E: I am finished with all the large renovations, but I definitely have no self-control and won’t be able to stop playing around.
The latest example is painting a new sideboard for my hallway – I’m calling it my Nantucket whaling chest. I’m lucky to be from a family of creatives, so any idea I have in mind, I call my dad and he always says “yep, I can make that”. Therefore, my home will constantly evolve as I am very unlikely to stop making things.
Q: What interior designers do you actively follow?
Q: Who are your top 3 interior-focused Instagram profiles to follow?
E: @tessnewallstudio for her completely inspiring decorative painting, @johncornallantiques for incredible eastern European antiques and @theshopfloorproject who support such a wonderful group of small artists and makers.
Q: How do you add personality to your home? Any tips?
E: I think by being brave enough to express yourself and who you are. I don’t think there is such a thing as bad taste, so if you believe in it go for it wholeheartedly. Don’t compromise and create the space you want. After all you are the one who will spend the most time in it.--
If you’ve enjoyed this blog, you might also like the first edition of Home Tours which featured interior designer Miread Turner. We might also enjoy ‘Upcycling: the ultimate guide to painting furniture’ and ‘10 furniture upcycling ideas’.