THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

December 21, 2008

Mouse Masticated

Filed under: Machines,Uncategorized — phyllisc @ 7:10 pm



Here in Massachusetts we were hit with a whopper snowstorm this weekend, so I thought I’d get started on the Rucci dress.  However, that plan was sidelined when I unpacked the Christmas tree skirt and discovered that sometime over the summer $150 worth of  ball fringe trim from G Street Fabrics  had been chewed off of it by garage mice and used for nesting material.

Time for a new tree skirt.

I had some rich burgundy home dec velvet in my stash, and some great silver silk dupioni for a  binding.  The embroidery module of my Bernina 180E had not been used in a while, and I had this cool modernist snowflake design that would look just great on the velvet in various shades of silvery-grey threads.  snowflakeAnd guess what happened?  Well, my ancient (2001) Bernina 180E Artlink software is not compatible with any of the five computers we have in this house.  I didn’t want to shell out $500+ to Bernina for their true editing software because I don’t use the embroidery module all that much, and who the heck knows if it would even work on a Bernina machine from 2001 and a 2007 PC running Vista.  Intense frustration ensued.

So what did I do?  Go onto Ebay and bid on an Dell laptop running Windows ’98 so I can match it up with my 8 year old 180E and its Jurassic era Artlink software.  And sure enough – Ebay has plenty of once $1,000+ laptops for less than $60.  Hopefully I’ll get the snowflakes embroidered in time to  stow away the tree skirt till next Christmas.  Wish me luck with the laptop I’m bidding on.  If I ever sell this Bernina, which as an embroidery machine is depreciating faster than anything GM ever built; I’ll need to include a working laptop with it because no one would ever be able to use the embroidery module without a computer of similiar vintage.  And did I tell you that the sole connection from the sewing machine to the PC is a serial port???  I’d better not lose any of the cables either…


  1. I remember the first time I got a new printer and it had a USB vs. a serial drive. I just stared at it trying to figure out what it was. Good luck on the bid. That design is very cool.

    Comment by cidell — December 21, 2008 @ 9:51 pm

  2. OMG, I nearly spewed coffee reading this! That is too funny, and I hear ya on the frustration. How maddening that must be!

    Your skirt looks beautiful as it is, and I hope you win your bid!

    Comment by Gorgeous Things — December 22, 2008 @ 7:30 am

  3. Oh my. It never occurred to me to think about how those fancy embroidery machines would keep up with technology. It is probably next to impossible to upgrade them!

    Comment by Esther — December 22, 2008 @ 8:46 am

  4. LOL. That is just too much regarding the serial port. You did have a very clever and much cheaper solution, though.

    Comment by Summerset — December 22, 2008 @ 1:07 pm

  5. LOL, too funny. You can also get a serial-to-USB cable to connect legacy equipment. The latest version of Artlink should be available from your dealer (I think current is V5 but not completely sure).

    Comment by Alexandra — December 22, 2008 @ 1:40 pm

  6. Another reason why I hesitate to invest the big bucks in an EM. The obsolescence is almost guaranteed. My hands are timeless.

    Comment by Bunny — December 22, 2008 @ 8:03 pm

  7. What a great solution! I hope it works out!

    Comment by subversivesewer — December 22, 2008 @ 10:03 pm

  8. I feel lucky to be able to get my Pfaff VIP embroidery software to work with Vista. I downloaded a new driver but the real key was finding the correct cable. Thanks to someone posting on the pfaff yahoo board who listed the few types of USB to serial port converter cables that would work. Who would think the brand of USB cable mattered, but it did! I’m glad too because new software costs thousands.

    Comment by Lori — December 23, 2008 @ 11:30 am

  9. I recently bought a PowerMac 7200 on ebay for 99 cents…it toggles between Windows (real hardware, not emulator) and Mac with a hit of the control+return..I wish they still made them.

    I think I paid $1,400 for my embroidery machine in the mid-90s, and without Windows 98, I’d be out of luck. And everyone on my knitting machine group is going through the same issue…$2,300 for machine, $400 for software, and now the software company wants hundreds for a simple USB cable that works with Vista. Hang on to those old serial port laptops!

    Comment by Gail — December 23, 2008 @ 1:17 pm

  10. I too have a 180E and have yet to use the embroidery module. I keep promising myself I will – particularly when I see pretty things like that snowflake! I have a desktop running XP which is compatible with my 180e software, thank god, but I can never get rid of the computer.

    Comment by danetteriddle — December 26, 2008 @ 9:15 pm

  11. You might want to see if your embroidery machine has a software up date online. I know many of the sewing machine companies have software updates at their websites. All you would need then is a serial cable to connect your PC to your machine.

    Comment by JanS — December 29, 2008 @ 11:44 am

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