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Erica Bates

Erica Bates is a textile designer and pattern maker working in the areas of sustainable and up cycled fashion, and Softie/Art doll creation.


Her designs are influenced by a lifetime of creating 3-dimensional form from 2-dimensional materials…….cloth, and pattern paper.







Her background in fashion began in the mid 1970’s when she opened her first shop at 19, selling her original designs and tat clothing and accessories ( or vintage as it’s now known) By the late 70’s she had moved into the categories of resort wear and swimwear and had her own wholesale fashion manufacturing business.

When the sport of triathlon first arrived in Australia she became the pioneer of purpose built triathlon clothing, allowing athletes faster transition times, comfort, and eye catching designs. Many of these garments were the forerunners of today’s standard athletic wear.


She has now returned to her roots, creating vintage flavoured clothing and a range of softies and patterns, within a sustainable use of textiles.


Erica runs workshops for children and adults teaching basic stitching techniques and advocating a philosophy of slow and sustainable fashion. Through rethinking our attitude to existing textiles, she teaches and encourages students to mend or upcycle existing garments rather than buying fast fashion items that generally end up in landfill.


She has a deep love for the environment and wildlife and is currently  encouraging groups and communities to have Softie Sew-Ins for Wildlife in their local area to create items for fundraising for wildlife care groups. A Facebook page has been set up to connect groups :

And Erica has created a free Koala Softie pattern for groups to download, which can be found on her website:

Wildlife carers are often forgotten heroes, and their need for support is ongoing beyond the recent drought and bushfire crises. There will always be wildlife in distress, and their carers need ongoing financial assistance and support from community.


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