All sewn up: The Fabled Thread’s founder sketches out her crafty digital hangouts.

'To me, there's no such thing as people who don't enjoy sewing. There are simply people who haven't tried it yet,' says Eppie Thompson, founder of the brilliant The Fabled Thread, which is riding the crest of the crafty zeitgeist with palpable – and wholly lovable – enthusiasm. A chemistry graduate and former city worker, Eppie’s working life took a leftfield turn in lockdown when she swapped finance for sewing.

The inspiration? A sampler by her 97-year-old grandmother which, in turn, led to her making something of her own for a friend’s engagement. It was love at first stitch, she says. 'From the second I pushed the thread through the eye of the needle, I was entranced by the simple, meditative process.' I knew I'd found the perfect antidote to my intense, stressful job.' From there the business appeared to grow overnight, having caught the attention of beguiled editors and customers everywhere; she’s already appeared in Vogue, Elle Deco, How To Spend It, House & Garden and Living Etc. Not bad for a business that’s just a few months old.

Here, the charming Eppie tells us all about her digital world – from the Instagram message that changed her life and why Rightmove is the acceptable face of peeping through keyholes to why Audible is her constant companion while she works.


My favourite website...



In all honesty, Rightmove. I think secretly it's most people’s favourite website. No matter how busy I am, I always seem to be able to squeeze in twenty minutes to browse bothies in the Outer Hebrides or estates in Oxfordshire. It’s the only way of acceptably peeping through people’s windows.

My favourite app...



Hands-down, it’s Audible. Given most of my day is spent doing manual activities (prepping orders, winding thread, etc), I am able to listen to a ridiculous amount of books. To me, there is nothing more wonderful than losing myself in a story and wondering where the time has gone. It makes even the most mundane tasks quite fun.

My favourite blog...



I love A Little Bird. Pre-lockdown it was a wonderful source of slightly off the wall things to do or places to visit in London. Since lockdown I have loved their suggestions on things to do at home.

My favourite podcast...



I do listen to a vast amount of Desert Island Discs reruns – I find them hugely motivational. Recently I have also enjoyed Girl Taken, The Missing Cryptoqueen, The Dropout… ahh I could go on. As you may have gathered, I spend an awful lot of time listening!


My most recent buy online...



I did an extravagantly large order of art supplies from Cass Arts. A treat to myself in lockdown. I bought a new sketchbook and lots of acrylic inks, a medium I haven’t tried before. I am very much looking forward to spending many evenings whiling away the hours with a glass of wine in hand to test them out.

Last book you downloaded or read...



The last book I actually read rather than listened to, was A Little Life. The most remarkable book. I found it completely brilliant and devastating at the same time. I feel like that one will stay with me for a while. Don’t be put off by the size of it, you’ll find yourself wanting it to be longer.

Favourite Instagrammer...



Cheating with a few, but the accounts of artists Liz Rowland, Moira Frith and Rachael Cocker never fail to inspire me. I love their wonderful art, the use of different mediums and the behind-the-scenes insight into their creative process. They motivate me to get on, loosen up and create!


Favourite tech gadget...



I am a bit of a luddite and one of the reasons I sew is to keep me off gadgets. But I recently got some wireless headphones and it has changed my life. I have always been pretty useless at calling people and now it has made it so much easier. I can call when I am cutting fabric or out for a walk and don’t feel like I should be getting on with other jobs. They have made me become sociable again!

The most useful gadget/item on your desk...



It’s not a gadget as such, but I have a very large drawing board which is the most wonderful thing. The idea of all the tidying up used to put me off being creative: a fear that I would spend the whole time getting things out, just to put them away again. My paint-splattered drawing board covers my entire kitchen table. Any time I feel like making something, I get it out and don’t worry about the mess I make.

Most useful digital resource during lockdown...



Instagram. It has been the most amazing resource for spreading the word about my business and embroidery kits. I found an incredible audience that provide more support and encouragement than I ever imagined! I wouldn’t have a business without Instagram.

First thing/app you look at on your mobile when you wake up/in the morning...



Honestly, also Instagram. Maybe it’s a habit I need to shake, although I feel no negative emotions linked to social media. For me it’s very positive: I find Instagram a wonderful source of inspiration and motivation. So, who knows if it really is a bad habit!


Last thing you binge-watched...



The Serpent – and I think I am not the only one! I was also overjoyed when two of my all-time favourite programmes came back: Grand Designs and The Great Pottery Throw Down. So, if I could I would be binge watching those!

Favourite brands have you discovered online...



I am completely obsessed with Bornn enamelware. I would quite like the entire Colorama collection but it seems to be constantly sold out.

My screensaver is...



A picture of my rather adorable dog, Roger. He is a wonderful companion and brings such a lot of joy to my life!

My standout online memory...



About three weeks after launching The Fabled Thread, I got sent an Instagram message from a journalist at FT How To Spend It who was writing an article on embroidery. Who knows how she found me – I had about 300 followers – but I have never been quite so overjoyed. Those first few features were so crucial for the business, and I am eternally grateful.


My pet online hate is...


Forms that autofill. Far too many times I have ordered something, only to find it is heading to the first line of my address and the postcode of some other random location. It trips me up too many times!

Do you have any online rules or resolutions?



I really try to avoid double screening. Without some kind of occupation, I could easily find myself watching TV, whilst staring at my phone and with my laptop out. It’s one of the main reasons I love to sew – by occupying my hands I stop myself aimlessly scrolling on my phone and actually focus on what I am watching or listening to. I spend my evenings sewing and it’s the way I switch off!

The Internet. On balance, a force for good or ill?



Definitely good! How would small businesses be able to reach an audience without it?

By Nancy Alsop
March 2021

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