Over a decade ago my mom came storming into the living room one day with one of her sewing magazines. “Look at this!” she fumed, obviously deleting the expletive she would never have voiced and heaving the magazine down with a force that might have triggered the Madrid fault line. On the page that the magazine had miraculously stayed open to was an add for a new sewing machine. The tag-line read “The Woman’s Computer.” Only the most unconscionably porcine of male chauvanists would miss the obvious put-down, so, of course, the ad-men who put it together were oblivious.
Fast forward to today. Top of the line sewing/embroidery machines really are computers and the advertising professional who would base an advertising campaign on the concept that gender affects one’s technological ability would likely be out of work.
For some years now, sewing machines been driven by embedded processors. Adding new stitches is a function of buying a new program card, but you still have to go to the sewing specialty shop or order it on-line to do it. The new Bernina Artista 200 allows far greater and immediate customizability.
The Artista 200 is powered by Windows CE and sports accessories, as you can see from the picture, which allow you to load full patterns as well as basic stiches from CD ROM disks or though a PCMCIA card slot. It also has a USB port that works either in master or client mode. Software allows you to create you own designs and even digitize photos into a cross-stitch pattern.