Bergen Fields traces her fascination with fashion to her mother’s much older sister who was “a real 1920’s flapper”. Her aunt had a large collection of Boudoir dolls from the period all over her home. When Bergen was older, she re-discovered the dolls. ” For years I would repair and re-dress them using period fabrics. A friend took me to our local doll club to give a talk about them and I discovered a world of dolls. I made clothes for antique dolls for years.” Bergen also had a custom drapery business for many years.
One day in 2007, at a doll show in Vallejo, CA, Bergen saw people carrying what she described as “the funkiest dolls I had ever seen. It was love at first site!” The doll owners were searching for doll clothing to fit their resin ball jointed dolls. Bergen didn’t know where to find the dolls. “That very day I knew I had to have one of these dolls to sew for, but I knew nothing about them.” but she soon found out. ” At the next doll show, Karen Werth of Contemporary Artist Dolls had rented a space, and the Elfdoll Sooah was my first.” Bergen has bought several dolls from CA Dolls since she likes to see a doll before purchasing it.
While Bergen became hooked on the BJDs of CA Dolls, Karen Werth became quickly impressed with Bergen’s costumes. “I first met Bergen at a doll show, she was at as table across from me. She was fascinated by the BJDs I had and I was taken by her, work – not BJD size, but the quality and fine fabrics she used. She was looking for a new doll to sew for, and I suggested she design for BJDs as there was a shortage of nice clothing for them. She bought her first doll, an Elfdoll Sooah, and by the time the next show rolled around she had created an amazing array of tops, pants, and dresses, all with vintage fabrics and antique items she finds as details. I and my customers became her customers. My mother and grandmother sewed and I know the quality of the details and finishing she does. Everything fits well and is finely finished inside and out. She uses buttons, trims and all types of fabric to blend into one-of-a-kind fashions that are not only beautiful but include fantasy and a sometimes sense of humor. I always look forward to each show to see what she has created.” Bergen developed a friendship with Karen and they now attend Doll shows together. CA Dolls also carries a variety of Bergen Fields outfits on her website.
Bergen, who worked for years making draperies to other people’s specifications, loves to make doll fashions based on the fabrics and her imagination. “My inspirations come from the fabric, I drape it over the doll and just let it talk to me. I purchased a pattern in the beginning to get sizing and soon realized it was just a starting point, as every doll is different. From that point, I began my search for a way to make the outfits fit all the bust sizes and still have a custom look. I use my corset pattern a lot because it can be laced up in the back to the snugness desired. Also the empire waist dress with ribbon that can be drawn up.” Bergen also now lines her bodices with white interfacing after discovering that darker linings could stain the resin. She said ” It may not be as pretty, but it protects their delicate bodies.”
Bergen makes OOAK outfits as she finds it boring repeating herself. She prefers to make girl’s outfits as she likes the “glamor of the girls.” She also likes to add accessories like hair ornaments, parasols, or baskets with flowers.” I do like accessories because I like the hands to have something to hold, again it’s matter of what I see that calls out to the outfits.” Her work is finely crafted and patiently perfected. “I love hand sewing and I put a lot of detailing in my outfits. I spend 3 to 5 days on each outfit. It is truly a labor of love. I have so many ideas in my head, I have to live to be at least 200!”
Bergen Fields BJD fashions can be purchase through doll shows and through Contemporary Artist Dolls (CA Dolls). each outfit is unique.