Glasgow School of Design Textile Design

Sophie Downes


Incorporation of Bonnetmakers Prize

‘A Scribbler & Sewer’

A multi-disiplinary textile designer with a focus on creating conversational, playful and ‘happy’ textiles. Specialises in Embroidery with experience in Digital Print.


CAT Digital Bursary Award 2020/21.

Shortlisted for the Applied Arts & Textiles Category, Batsford Award 2021 by Pavilion Books.



Online Portfolio
Instagram @sops_textiles
Etsy Shop @SophieDownesDesigns
‘I Spy’

‘I Spy’

‘I Spy’ … A florist, a cheesemonger, a bakery and a vegetable shop.

Playing with the unpredictability and irregular finds of this game, I aimed to celebrate the chaotic charm of this childlike pastime through a collection of conversational, heavily embellished and digitally printed textiles. With research gathered through games of ‘I Spy’, I aimed to record the general hustle and bustle of shop fronts and shopkeepers. From digital drawing and paper collage to digital print and hand embroidery and embellishments, this collection holds a focus on colour, texture, illustration and storytelling. Through research into storybook illustration and paper artists, creating ‘pop-up’ textiles in response to this, was another key focus.

‘I Spy’ is a fashion-focused collection for women and menswear. Keeping my designs gender and age neutral aimed to emphasise the inclusivity of childlike games and widespread ability to relate to childhood memories. ‘I Spy’ was responsibly designed through locally sourced, organic fabrics, upcycling of found, waste materials and incorporating fabric off-cuts as florals and ruffles in following samples. I hope that my ‘happy’ textiles communicate a sense of playfulness and evoke a form of childhood escapism.

‘Meet Bella’, a self-directed drawing project, prompted by games of ‘I Spy’ with my little sister, inspired this investigation.

'I Spy' Wearable Storybook

A collection of digitally printed and heavily embellished textile samples visualised in a fashion context.

'I Spy a Florist' Textural Embroidery Samples

'I Spy' Digital Drawings & Collages

'I Spy' Digital Drawings & Paper Collage

'I Spy a Coffee Shop' Paper Pop-Up Scene

Digital Drawings For Printing

Paper Sequin Collages: A stepping-stone to embellishments.

'I Spy a Florist'

Fashion Visualisations

Pop-Up Daisies

Florist Loops

Distorting digital prints and manipulating fabric.

Florist Loops

Florist & Vegetable Shop Mix Up

'I Spy' Fashion Visualisations

Sample Development

'I Spy a Cheesemonger'

Pop-Up Series

Oopsie Daisy Pop-Up Flowers

Pop-Up Daisy Fashion Visualisation

Collaged Veggies Repeat Print

'I Spy' Editorial

Sample Development

Blueberry Repeat & Textural Embroidery Samples

Strawberry & Pomegranate Repeats

Veggie Shop Front Close Up

Sardines & Strawbs: Digital Drawings & Prints

Florist Cutwork & Pop-Up Sample

Sustainable Flower Garden: Recycled Shopping Bags

Mixed Fabric Flower Garden

'I Spy' Novelty Badges

'I Spy a Campervan' Mini Paper Collage

Milk & Juice Box Pop-Up Greetings Cards

Pop-Up Card Development

Paper Pop-Up Daisies

'I Spy a Florist' Inspired Gift Wrap & Cards

Interior Visualisation

Kitchen Appliance & Stationery Design