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Experience with Rene Bergh

blingy | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Has anyone used this book by Rene Bergh to actually make their own pattern?  It’s called “Make your own Patterns”.  I looked at this book the other day and I thought it looked good but I have so many books that ended up being just about worthless.  Has anyone actually used this book?  Were you able to follow it and make your own pattern?




  1. stillsuesew | | #1

    I think I returned that book because it was so poorly edited - misspellings and grammatical errors - which I found amazing in a published book. I never got beyond that.

    1. gailete | | #3

      >>I returned that book because it was so poorly edited - misspellings and grammatical errors - which I found amazing in a published book<<

      I have found this to be very common in every book I read any more, across all subject lines, and I read LOTS of books. Magazines are just as bad. I think they rely too heavily upon spell check programs and don't do the nitty gritty editing that keeps a correctly spelled but wrong word from being placed were a different word should be. I have read novels that I got confused because suddenly they have changed the someone's name. Sometimes I read a sentence or paragraph several times before I realize that it isn't me not understanding, but they wrote it wrong.

      I think as we continue to graduate kids who can barely read, send them off to college were they have to take remedial classes, squeak through college and then get hired to do jobs they aren't capable of, we will see more and more of this. The worst case I saw was at a yard sale once. A grandma was selling off a lot of her sewing things (I was in hog heaven) to help raise money for her grand daughter to go to college. I asked the girl what she hoped to become. A math teacher was the reply. Then it was time to cash out my purchases. Should be an easy process for a girl that likes math well enough to want to teach it right? She could barely add the total up. I think she had to check her addition 3-4 times. Did she plan on taking basic math in college? I hate to think what happened when she got there and found that she was supposed to know how to add already. Our education tax dollars at work.

      Very sad and as I said, I think it will only get worse, so I try to think things through when reading a how to article to be sure that measurements and instructions make sense and seem to add up to be able to make a project accurately. I made a pillow off a Jenny Haskins book, trying to go step by step. Unfortunately the embroidery design combined two colors into one and I didn't catch that until it was too late, measurements for the pillow back was wrong so I had to hand whip stitch the back together and several other problems. I wrote to her through her website expecting to hear back and as of over 6 months now, haven't heard a word. This is  very disappointing for me as I spent a lot for the book using a gift card from Christmas.

      1. Ckbklady | | #5

        Hey Gail - you're singin' my song.

        There sure has been a sudden uptick in spelling and grammar errors recently. It gives me a knot in my stomach to think how this barely literate and innumerate generation is going to run the country when we're old and gray. These folks will be our doctors, lawmakers and the next generation's teachers. Yikes.

        I've always expected to see errors online in personal writing, but I'm now seeing spelling errors in TV commercials (good grammar vanished from them long ago). What sickens me is seeing errors in print - in books, as you say, and in newspaper articles. Everyone from local papers to the New York Times is guilty. Who ARE these editors and proofreaders? Did they go to school? What does that say about schools?

        There was a teacher's strike at the beginning of the month here. Not one "educator" interviewed on the news could string a coherent, grammatically correct sentence together. How as a society can we be understood if we can't be clear? And my goodness, if we can't add where are we then? I've seen mentioned in the news the problem university admissions boards are having finding qualified applicants. A growing number are not prepared for college at all, but they're letting them in. A sorry state of affairs indeed.

        I wonder if this epidemic is worldwide. Is this happening everywhere?

        :) Ckbklady

        1. gailete | | #7

          I suspect that this is how third world countries are going to take over the world. They want to know things. They want to be educated. They will work their collective tails off to get ahead while our kids sit back and play computer games instead of doing anything worthwhile.

          Back when I was a teen, TV was strictly limited at my home, but I would have rather read anyhow. But it was also during those years that I taught myself how to make my first quilt, learned hand embroidery and knitting (the knitting didn't last) and how to sew clothes. I also learned how to cook and bake. I could have run a household with one hand tied behind my back when I was 17, most girls that age now don't even know how to boil water and have no interest in the other things. With no interest in education and none in the domestic arts we are going to be in very sad shape. Nobody wants to attack the issues. No one wants to turn off the TV and computer games and get those kids learning something, probably because many parents never learned anything either, why else the proliferation of restaurants these days. It sure isn't because we all have plenty of money to go out to eat, but I think a lot of people have no clue how to cook. I could go on, but this is a sewing discussion group. I would love to see kids interested in sewing again, but I think it will be very rare any more to see. :(

          1. Ckbklady | | #8

            Hiya back,

            Yeah, I agree - the world is going to heck in a handbasket. If it was in a sewing basket, we'd be in less of a mess, giggle!

            Those of us with self-reliant skills should be grateful for them - cooking, sewing, adding....joking aside, it sure is a comfort to be able to do things for ourselves. I hope that the current fascination with Project Runway and the like leads at least a few to want to learn ALL the steps involved in sewing, as they will gain personal strength and satisfaction from mastering a skill and from their creative accomplishments.

            :) Ckbklady




          2. MaryinColorado | | #11

            Well said!  I loved the idea of the world going to heck in a sewing basket instead of a handbasket!  It puts a hopeful and positive spin on the subject!

          3. Ckbklady | | #12

            Hey, if we're goin' down, I want the last thing I do to be something I love! :)


            :) Ckbklady

          4. MaryinColorado | | #14

            oh yeah!

          5. Cityoflostsouls | | #10

            My 8 year old son (with all his difficulties) has a TV in his room but guess what?  One of his favorite programs is Discovery and the different programs he has started to watch is amazing to me.  Of course he tells me too what insurance I need to buy!  He's going beyond the junk programs that are on the tv for his age group.  I really prefer Geico because I absolutely adore watching their ads but can't have it as I have to pay my insurance monthly-I can't handle those large bills all at once!  He doesn't like Hannah Montana at all!

            All the emphasis on higher education is great I suppose but who will be left to do all those needed jobs which don't require a college education but we certainly need people to do them? They're very important jobs and we need those people.  In our family we have college and non-college-state colleges and prestige colleges (Smith and University of Chicago) but what I want from my family are honest, hard-working people.  None are better than the others and many can't or won't be able to go to college.  It bothers me when even our President (who I admire) gives everyone the idea that with hard work and diligence they can all go to Yale or Princeton.  I just wish more of my family (only2) would take up sewing!!!

          6. MaryinColorado | | #13

            Everyone has value and deserves our respect and love.  We need to motivate and encourage people in a positive way that builds their spirit.  Too many are quick to criticize and condemn the very people they depend on.  I've become intolerant of those judgemental fools and pity their lack of insight and compassion.  They are missing out on what is truly important.  Intellect or gold can't buy love, compassion, kindness, or any other virtues which are the true blessings in life.

          7. Cityoflostsouls | | #15

            You said this better than I ever could.  Thank you so much-we need more people just like you.  Sue

          8. MaryinColorado | | #16

            Thank You, just speaking from the heart.

  2. regatta | | #2

    If that book turns out not to suit perhaps you might look at "designing Patterns" by Hilary Campbell and Michael S Davis ISBN 0 7016 2556 2

    The patterns fit very well.  The book covers The Bodice, Collars, Sleeves, Skirts, Ladies Slacks, Jackets and Coats and  Underwear

    I have used the principles even to draft patterns for my granddaughter, who is now 9.   See one  dress as posted on "stopping a neck facing from falling out" on this forum.

    Hope you find a book to suit your purpose


    1. woggy | | #20

      Does this book give directions for how to alter pants pattern for a flat seat or tummy after you make the pattern?



      1. regatta | | #21

        No,  it is for drafting  patterns to your own measurements.  "Fast Fit - Easy Pattern Alterations for Every Figure" by  Sandra Betzina does cover that.

        Regard  - Marika

  3. marymary | | #4

    Blingy, I checked out  "Make Your Own Patterns" from the library to see if I wanted to purchase the book.  Could not really decide, so have not done so. 

    I just expect a certain amount of misspellings, incorrect grammar, and miscalculated instructions in recently published books.

    I recently bought the Bunka Fashion Series textbooks and am so surprised by the quality of the material.  These books are from a fashion design school in Japan translated into English.  I expected a lot of English grammar mistakes, but so far have found none.  I am in awe of the amount of detail in these books.  I have skimmed through all four of them and have started reading the first book.  There are five in the series, but the fifth has not been published, yet.  They are expensive.  The Japanese language version is about half the price.

    I have a lot of pattern drafting books.  I seem to collect them and that is why I looked at the Bergh book.  Each book seems to have something that the others don't.  Many of them have mistakes, even Armstrong's.  I hate it when I find mistakes because I always wonder where the ones are that I didn't find.

    1. jjgg | | #6

      Where did you get the books?

      1. marymary | | #9

        My daughter bought me the first book at the Kinokuniya Bookstore in Seattle.  They do have a website where you can order books from their other stores.  Kind of hard to use, but possible.  The second one I ordered from http://www.yesasia.com/us/search/bunka-fashion/0-0-0-bpt.48_q.Bunka+fashion-en/list.html.  I didn't get them in order, but after looking through the first two, I knew I had to have the others, also, and start with book #1.  Both of my orders from yesasia were not sent on the original date they said they would ship.  But, they kept me informed and did send them about a week late.  Since there was no tax and no shipping, I didn't mind waiting.  They ship from Hong Kong.

        Edited 9/27/2009 3:44 pm ET by marymary

        Edited 9/27/2009 3:44 pm ET by marymary

        Edited 9/27/2009 3:45 pm ET by marymary

  4. Tatsy | | #17

    I bought this book and thought it was salvation for the pants problem--until I actually drafted the pants. The legs were huge and very difficult to walk in. The body core was still too tight and they split the first time I had to reach for something.

    However, I did find the sections on drafting patterns for the bodice far more useful, although still not perfect. It's a very good book for drafting new styles if you already have a well-fitting sloper.

    Suzy Furrer's Architecture of Women's Clothing gives more rules to be applied instead of constants (numbers that are supposed to work for everyone). She also has extra little details that give that upscale look. The book is pricey, $80, but well worth the cost. I've made a bodice sloper that fits and am working on the skirt sloper. Too chicken to tackle pants until I have more practice.

    1. User avater
      blingy | | #18

      Thanks for all the replies to my question.  It sounds like maybe this book is not what I need afterall.



      1. Tatsy | | #19

        I loved it for everything but pants. If you are apple- or pear-shaped it probably won't work for pants without major adjustments, which are not included in the book, but it gives wonderful tips on how to draft different types of bodices, collars, cuffs, jackets, etc, and it has the advantage of being fairly cheap as these books go.

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