Growing up in suburban Ohio, Cal Patch learned early on to make her own fun. As a budding entrepreneur, she could often be found hocking her wares (anything from painted-rock paperweights to woven ribbon barrettes) door to door from her hand-painted wagon. Patch credits her seventies childhood (the heyday of craft) with her unwavering allegiance to all things handmade.
In college, Cal chose to major in fashion design as a more practical alternative to art, rationalizing that “everyone wears clothes”. She moved to New York in 1991 and soon landed her dream job as a designer for Urban Outfitters. Eventually Cal left to pursue her lifelong goal of opening a shop to sell both her own homespun creations and those of other young designers. Set in the then-remote Lower East Side, Patch 155 gained a following among women seeking to express their individual style rather than follow the latest trend.
After nearly 4 years of shopkeeping, Cal closed the store in early 2002 to co-found MAKE workshop, a hipster craft school, where she taught for five years. Content to let others do the selling, she still creates her line of one-of-a-kind clothing for people (and dogs) under the label ‘hodge podge’, which she sells in her Etsy shop, boutiques, and at craft fairs. She also does freelance design for various clothing companies as well as projects for artists, museums, and advertising. She has contributed designs to the books Stitch‘n Bitch Crochet: the Happy Hooker, Tease: 50 Inspired T-shirt Transformations, and Applique Your Way, written how-to articles for BUST and Budget Living magazines, and developed patterns for Cutting Edge, Crochet Today, Sew Stylish, and Adorn.
In January 2009 Cal relocated to Ulster County, New York, to realize her dream of being a crafty farmer. She currently teaches sewing, crochet, patternmaking, embroidery, and lots more at Brooklyn General, Home Ec, Lena Corwin’s studio, and Treehouse in Brooklyn, and through her new upstate joint venture, Double Knot. Her own book, Design-It-Yourself Clothes will be published in September 2009.