thread 2017: q&a with Miesje Chafer

thread 2017: q&a with Miesje Chafer

Hooray! Miesje Chafer will be returning to thread 2017 as one of over 50 unique exhibitors in our vibrant marketplace. Miesje will be bringing her own distinctive style to the Great Hall, with her fabulous stand stocked with bold and bright hand screen printed and handmade accessories for you and your home! We have our purses at the ready…

Equally brilliant news, is that Miesje will be sharing her passion and craft as a tutor in the workshop programme. Her two hour class will have you inspired and making a make-up or project bag, working out the size and basic construction of a make up/project bag, using a sewing machine and a bit of hand stitching. Lovely stuff, we’ll see you there….

Where did your love of textiles come from and when and how did you make the leap to it becoming your full time profession?

It’s so difficult to pinpoint where my love of textiles come from as I feel like it’s something that’s always been there. I remember my grandmother showing me how to knit when I was really young and I’ve always returned to textiles in one form or another throughout my life.

Miesje in her studio

Miesje in her studio

I started off with a short screen printing course, which then lead me to make various small items like purses which I started selling at a local fair. People seemed to like my designs so I continued to develop and practice until I had a range of products that I was happy to take to some bigger fairs. After a while I found it was taking up more and more of my time so I decided to go part time in my nursing job, and then eventually decided I wanted to do it full time so left nursing entirely, left Oxford, moved to Southsea, found a lovely studio and voila!

Do you have any tips to anyone thinking of starting their own textile business?

Hmmm, I would say start small and start with something you love. Ask friends and family for feedback and don’t be scared to try a fair – if people are buying your work then you know you’re onto something. And if there are days when it feels like it’s all going wrong and you hate it all (which there will be!), don’t give up! If you’re doing something you truly feel passionate about you will find your way.

Who and /or what inspires your creativity?

I am a big fan of mid-century design, not just textiles but furniture and other homewares too. Lucienne and Robin Day have always been very inspirational to me, but also companies such as G-Plan, Stagg, Ercol and Heals. I also love Scandinavian design, I like the clean, uncluttered nature of their patterns and colours which I think have a big influence on my work.Make Up Bag

We are delighted that you are teaching ‘Make a Make-up or Project Bag’ as one of our thread workshops. What can participants look forward to in your class? What skills will the workshop help to develop?

I will be teaching how to work out the size and basic construction of a make up/project bag, which involved using a sewing machine and also a bit of hand stitching. Above all we will have fun!

You have many fans here at Farnham Maltings. They will be very pleased that you are also exhibiting in the marketplace! Please tell us more about what visitors should expect to find at your stand?

Aww fans! That’s so lovely! I always try and bring a wide range of products to fairs, as I never know what will catch someone’s eye! As usual I will bring lots of purses, cushions and lampshades, but I’ve also started making some new hair accessories and will bring lots of sparkly sequins! This year I think I’m going to bring some bundles of printed fabric that people can buy to use in their own craft projects (or to just add to their stashes!).

Chair FabricDo you have any hints or tips on how visitors can get the most out of their day to thread?

Give yourself the whole day – there’s lots to see! Also, I would do a once around, have some lunch and then go back for the things that stand out in your mind. Above all, bring a friend, have a natter, buy lots of lovely things!

What are you most looking forward to at the festival?

Seeing all the old faces and meeting new people, chatting about fabric (literally my fave thing to do) and teaching my workshop!


thread…a festival of textiles takes place on Saturday 30 September 2017 from 9am to 6pm. For £5 advance tickets click here. A day ticket includes access to the marketplace, talk programme and exhibitions.  A full schedule of bookable workshops can be found on

Miesje Chafer will be teaching Make a Make-Up / Project Bag workshop from 9.30am – 11.30am. To buy your workshop ticket click here. The ticket includes day entry to the festival. 

A full listing of marketplace exhibitors, the talk programme  and additional information is available at . Follow us on Twitter Facebook and Instagram for news and programme updates.

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