Running a Pfaff 2144/70 with 3D File Assistant on Windows 7

I’ve been running my embroidery machine on Vista for a while, and it’s been fine. Six months ago, my husband bought me a new video card so I could have dual monitors for my desktop. Cool, right? Yep, except that means I need to upgrade that machine to Windows 7. And what didn’t want to play nice on Windows 7? My embroidery machine, of course. I have a Pfaff 2144 that’s updated to a 2170.

The trouble was, I’d plug in the USB cable from the machine to the computer and the computer would tell me that it recognized it as a Pfaff 2144 USB cable, but it didn’t have any drivers for it. I tried all the updates from the Pfaff website. Nothing worked. I tried running the programs in XP compatibility mode as an administrator since that had worked to get it running on Vista before Pfaff provided Vista drivers. No luck.

After fighting with this for the better part of a day, I finally realized that I could run a virtual machine in XP mode on Windows 7. So, I fired up Internet Explorer to go to and get the Windows Virtual Machine and XP Mode downloads. (Yes, you have to use IE to download stuff from Microsoft. It’s the only purpose for IE on my computer.) I installed XP Mode and the Windows Virtual Machine. Once installed, go to Start/All Programs/Windows Virtual PC and right click and choose “expand.” Once you expand it, you can choose XP mode. It will go through a bunch of steps the first time to create the new virtual environment.

Once that’s done, you’ll need to load the VIP software so you can connect the embroidery machine. Pop in the cd and run it in the virtual XP window. When it gets to the part where you have to insert the dongle, insert it and then at the top of the XP window, click USB and tell it to attach the dongle. It will then run through the auto detection and setup for the dongle. After that finishes, you can finish the installation of the VIP software that was requesting the dongle in the first place.

Install the 3D software the same way. When you connect the USB for the embroidery machine to the computer, you’ll need to go to the USB tab at the top of the XP window again and tell it to attach. Then you’ll be able to get the drivers for the embroidery machine from the 3D software cd.

Stretch & Sew 1250 – take 2

Hey, look, it’s another wonky swimsuit picture! (wait, it’s the picture that’s wonky, not the actual swimsuit, really!)

Stretch & Sew pattern 1250, girls swimsuit

I know, I know. Laying stuff out on the table and then trying to take a picture of it with the overhead room light hitting it in all kinds of strange ways isn’t helping me here. That’s okay, we’re not really here for the beauty of my photography, right?

Anyway, this is size 7 again, but this one is completely lined and I attached that pesky foldover elastic by straight stitching the back side of it through both layers of the suit and then folding it over and running the three step zigzag across the front, going through the swimsuit layers and the other side of the elastic. MUCH better than trying to apply this elastic in one step!

Using the foldover elastic makes the full lining a breeze since you can really just sew the suit up and then sew the lining the same way, put them wrong sides together and apply the elastic. Easy peasy!

Stretch & Sew 1250 – girl’s swimsuit pattern

The copyright on this pattern is 1967, 1975, and I think that’s part of what I love about it. This pattern has modest leg openings – read as: child’s butt is not sticking out.

After looking at the pattern measurements, I decided to completely ignore them and make a size 7. I probably could have made a size 6x, possibly a 6, but this one is pretty good and will hopefully still fit at the end of summer when the girl is half a foot taller. Seriously, it’s ridiculous how fast this child is growing.

I used foldover elastic (FOE) on this, shiny side out. As far as I know, it makes no difference if the shiny side is out, but that’s how Zoe likes it. Cuts were 12″ FOE for the leg openings, 13.5″ for the arm holes, and 28.25″ around the neck and back.

I really enjoyed seam ripping the elastic on one of the arm holes after I didn’t catch the suit fabric in it. Particularly annoying since that was a section where no stretching of the elastic is needed and it should have been a very easy application. Note: while it may seem like a good idea to attach the FOE in one fell swoop, resist the urge. The additional time needed to pick out the three step zigzag stitches negates any time saved.

This swimsuit fabric is one I pulled out of the sale bin and thought it would be good to practice on. It turned out to be one of Zoe’s favorites and this is the second year she has a suit from it.

Stretch & Sew pattern #1250

Farbenmix Quiara – again

Okay, I think this is officially my favorite top pattern for Zoe right now. Here are two more. I made these mostly when I got together with some fabulous local girls to do some sewing.

Quiara flip flops and Hello Kitty tops

The one on the left has flutter sleeves, the other is the short sleeve I usually use for this top in short sleeves.

Sudoku ruffle skirt – Spring Ottobre 01/2009

The directions for this skirt make it sound very simple. There are 3 tiers to the skirt, each tier contains 3 different sized pieces. The instructions tell you to simply cut 8 of each of the largest sized pieces from at least six different fabrics. Sounds easy enough, right? Pick out some fabrics…

sudoku fabrics

Then you need to trim some of the pieces to the smaller sizes so that you will make 8 panels, each containing a piece of length a, b and c AND so that the adjacent pieces are different heights. Maybe some of you out there are confident and amazing enough to simply start whacking apart those pieces and have it all come out beautifully. I will admit that I am not such a person.

First of all, when I’m tracing a pattern piece that has three different lengths, I’m going to trace it as three different pieces because if I don’t, I’m definitely going to mess it up later. No problem there, but that means there are now nine different pieces for the main part of this skirt. In addition to keeping the adjacent pieces different in size, I wanted them to be different fabrics.

I made the following chart to use when cutting pieces and then assembling the skirt:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 1/b 2/c 3/a 4/c 5/b 6/c 7/b 8/a
2 4/c 5/a 8/b 7/a 1/c 3/a 2/c 6/b
3 3/a 7/b 1/c 6/b 2/a 8/b 4/a 5/c

Each part of the table has the number of a fabric and the length of the piece. For the first panel, I need to cut fabric 1 using piece 1-b, fabric 4 using piece 2-c and fabric 3 using piece 3-a. For the second panel, I’d need fabric 2 cut using piece 1-c, fabric 5 using 2-a and fabric 7 using 3-b.

Since I’m using 8 fabrics, I’ll cut 3 pieces from each fabric. I simply checked the chart to see which pattern pieces to use and then cut the three pieces from each fabric and labeled them with a Post-It note. This is fabric 1, cut with piece 1-b.

sudoku post-its

Once they were all cut, I referred to my chart again to lay all the pieces out on my table in the proper order.

sudoku panel pieces

Next, I stacked each panel with its pieces, so I had 8 stacks.
sudoku piles

Since I’m using 8 fabrics, it works out conveniently and the fabric number on the pieces in the top row also correspond to the panel number. Next I assembled each panel.

sudoku first panel

Since I didn’t want to worry about mixing them up, I attached the panels to each other as I completed them. I just kept attaching them to the right side.
Sudoku skirt, attaching the panels

Now, one of the nice things about this skirt is that, unlike the usual patchwork, there is no worrying about the corners in the middle of the skirt all lining up nicely because you’ve intentionally arranged the pieces so they are different sizes. This makes putting the assembled panels together less painful. Once you have all the panels assembled and sewn together, you’ll just need to put on the waistband and bottom frill.

I wanted to use a thicker elastic, so I cut the waistband piece 3″ wide. You can see where I’ve marked the quarters so I can attach it to the skirt.

sudoku waistband

After attaching the waistband, I use my zipper foot to help me get nice and close to the edge while I topstitch around the waist.

Using the zipper foot to topstitch

So far, so good!
sudoku waistband done

We still need that bottom ruffle, though. Since I can’t just leave things alone, I also cut the bottom ruffle at a 3″ width. I hemmed it before attaching it to the skirt so I didn’t have to deal with all the fluff when hemming. For the hem, I ran one side through the serger and then pressed it under and stitched it.

sudoku hem, ready to ruffle

I put about 5 3/4 yards of bottom ruffle on this skirt, but it could have easily taken more. I used my ruffler set at 12 to gather the ruffles.

sudoku Hem attached

Press the hem

Pressed hem

and you’re ready for the last topstitching!
Top stitching the hem

It looks a little odd on the hanger, but it’s done!

Finished Sudoku skirt Ottobre 1/2009

This is a size 128, with 20.5″ of 1″ wide elastic.

Ottobre Summer 2002 (02/2002) #14 Summer dress in pink

This might be my new favorite sundress pattern. The green one I made seemed like it was a little big, so I made it again in a size 122. This time I also changed up the panels on the skirt portion, making 4 from each fabric and alternating them in twos. I think I prefer the single print version in green better, but Zoe loves them both.

Ottobre Summer 2002 (02/2002) #14 Summer dress in pink

And just because the first one went together so well, this one was one goof after another. I didn’t make enough binding, then I cut it wrong and had to make more! When I put the bodice together I twisted the elastic connecting piece in the back when I attached it, so I had to pick it apart and fix it. After doing that, I realized I hadn’t attached the loops for the back ties to go through. And where do they attach? Well, in the bodice seams, of course!

Hannah Montana meets Farbenmix Quiara

I’m not actually sure Hannah Montana is still anywhere near the cool-meter, but we’re just going to go with it because the colors are right for the skirt for which Zoe needed a shirt. This is the Farbenmix Quiara pattern again in size 128, taken up 2″ from the bottom hem and with short sleeves rather than the flutter sleeves included in the pattern. I did add the seam allowances this time. The Hannah Montana print is cotton jersey knit and the sleeves and neck cotton interlock knit. A lettuce edge finishes the sleeves and bottom hem, which will curl more after a run through the washer.

Hannah Montana meets Farbenmix Quiara

Ottobre Summer 2002 (02/2002) pattern #14 t-shirt

This shirt is a size 122, I added about an inch to the length. It’s okay, but it could use another inch. The print is a ribknit, which took the lettuce edge wonderfully, but the sleeves are a jersey knit, and I ended up running around the edge twice to get the thickness I wanted with the wooly nylon. The neck is bound with a slightly sparkly black FOE. I’m hoping the sleeves will rebound after a run through the washing machine. We’ll see.

Ottobre 2/2002 t-shirt #14, size 122

Ottobre Summer 2002 (02/2002) #14 Summer dress

I had to make over seven yards of double fold bias tape for this, but I think the end result is worth it.

ottobre 02/2002 #14 summer dress

The straps criss cross and tie in the back.

ottobre 02/2002 #14 summer dress

This is a size 128, I think Zoe could actually wear a 122. The fabrics are both nice weight quilters cottons from the Serendipity line by Piece O Cake Designs for P&B Textiles that I picked up a couple years ago. The bias tape ended up about 3/8″ wide. I used 1/4″ for the loops on the back. It’s not warm enough to wear without a shirt underneath yet, so I need to take care of that and get a shirt sewn up this week.

Ottobre 1/2009 #19 Hertta Skirt in need of a top

This has been sitting almost done on my cutting table for too long. It was one of those things that just needed another 20 minutes and, for no good reason, I’d simply lost interest in it. Zoe saw it this morning and started looking for fabrics for a shirt to go with it and I thought I should get the skirt done.

otto 200901-19 hertta skirt

This is the Hertta Skirt from the Ottobre Spring 1/2009 issue. I used the leggings from pattern #32 in the same issue to make shorts attached underneath the skirt. After attaching the waistband to the skirt, I attached the leggings in the seam allowance of the main skirt and waistband pieces. Then I put in the elastic, folded over the casing and closed it up using my coverstitch machine.

The main part of the skirt is a stretch twill. I used 20.5″ of 3/8″ elastic in the casing. The ruffles and pockets are quilter’s cottons.

If I make this skirt again, I will double the bottom ruffle so there’s enough to have a decent ruffle there, since it’s barely flouncy in its current state. And I may also leave the pockets off or change them a bit since too many skirts will heart pockets will start to look the same. Finally, though the 3/8″ elastic should be adequate, next time I’ll add 1/2″ to the width of the casing so I can use a wider elastic.

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