A number of Bernina 590 sewing machines were damaged during shipping and cannot be properly balanced. A specific gear also known as a “slider block” can get misaligned during shipping and prevents many of the longer satin stitches from properly sewing out. Newer machines were shipped in a “box within a box” to prevent damage during transport and should be ok. If yours came packaged in a “simple” regular box chances are your machine is affected. Stitch out stitch number #438 on a medium weight fabric with some stabilizer and compare it to the sample images below. With default stitch settings it should sew out to roughly 21mm without changing the stitch balance setting. If it looks like the first image then your machine needs to be exchanged :
You don’t need a Bernina 790 or 880 to use the Stitch Designer on your 740/770/570/590 or other 9mm Bernina sewing machine with a USB port. Just download the 790 or 880 simulator and modify or create new stitches directly on your PC ! And you can even use your mouse instead of the stylus to draw your stitches ! When you’re done simply copy the stitches from your simulator’s “virtual” USB drive to your physical USB drive and transfer them to your sewing machine.
You can also do this in reverse and modify existing stitches on your machine (like a 570/590) : save the stitch on your machine to your USB key in the favorites heart folder, then copy the stitch file over to the simulator’s virtual usb drive. Modify the stitch in the simulator and copy it back to your sewing machine !
- Download the Bernina simulator from the Bernina website
- Launch the simulator and create a new stitch, click the green “Save” check mark :
- Go to the Heart “favorites” and save the stitch to USB :
- Open the virtual USB drive by clicking the usb stick icon in the simulator.
- It will default to the virtual USB Embroidery directory (EBY_PC_CARD), so move up a level and go into the virtual USB sewing directory (SEW_PC_CARD) :
- Copy your new stitch file to your real USB drive and copy it over to your sewing machine !
If you own a modern 9mm Bernina that allows you to import stitches from a USB key (740/770/790/880/570/590/480) make sure you read my previous article about modifying Bernina stitches without using the built-in Stitch Designer on the more expensive 790 and 880 machines.
The density of many Bernina satin stitches can be changed through the “i” menu, but many are FIXED and cannot be modified so I decided to improve on many of the built in stitches. I started with #438, which is a lovely stitch currently only available on the Bernina 590, but depending on the selected thread and fabric it can sew out a little thin. I increased the density by 40% to give the stitch a much richer feel; you can download both the original and improved versions below and use them on ANY 9mm Bernina machine with a USB port.
Update : January 25, 2019
After all the problems I had with my two 590s, Bernina finally acknowledged that a number of 590s had problems during shipping; a part known as “slider blocks” that control the stitch length can get out of alignment during shipping which makes it impossible to balance all the stitches. You can do a quick test to see if your machine is affected by sewing out stitch #438. Bernina has since changed the packaging and is using a “box within a box” to prevent the machine from getting damaged in shipping.
I decided to get rid of the 590 and upgraded it to a 790+ instead – good riddance. A review of this superior machine will be posted soon – stay tuned.
A sewing machine ? Not many people know it, but yes, I LOVE to sew. And a Bernina no less. Designed in Switzerland – which is really code for SWISS NOT MADE. Maybe if it was I wouldn’t be having so many problems. You can search the web for Bernina 590 Review until you’re blue in the face, you’ll only find copy/pasted promotional material telling you how wonderful and flawless this machine is. It’s NOT.
Bernina is the ultimate FANBOY company, I’ve never seen such a devout group as Bernina owners, it’s almost like a CULT. I get it – very high end product, nice branding, excellent quality and finish. Believe you me when I tell you I want to LOVE my Bernina. The finish is fantastic and it has an endless selection of high end accessories that just make you want to BURN more money on Bernina products.
DON’T DO THAT.
I made that mistake, hopefully you won’t. Bernina is NOT Continue reading “Bernina 590 Review”