Brother SE400 Combination Computerized Sewing and 4x4 Embroidery Machine With 67 Built-in Stitches, 70 Built-in...

4_5stars

Brother SE400 Combination Computerized Sewing and 4×4 Embroidery Machine With 67 Built-in Stitches, 70 Built-in…

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Price: $339.99

The Brother SE400 Combination Computerized Sewing and 4x4 Embroidery Machine With 67 Built-in Stitches, 70 Built-in... was reviewed by 392 individuals. Three of those reviews are shown here.

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(This is a 5-star rated review)

I just purchased a Brother SE-400 computarized sewing and embroidery machine from Ken’s Sewing and Vacuum Center via Amazon.com. It arrived within three days. So far, I am VERY pleased with this machine.
Loving embroidery, I decided to purchase the Brother SE-400, as it had all the features I wanted and it was within my price range. Prior to my purchase, I read all the web reviews I could find on the SE-350, as there are barely any reviews yet for the SE-400 (new on the market). Noteworthy is the fact that the SE-350 and the SE-400 are the exact same machines except for the additional computer connectivity that the SE-400 possesses. The SE-400 has a port for computer connectivity and comes with a USB cable which helps connect directly the sewing machine to your computer. This is an advantage over the SE-350 as this feature allows you to upload embroidery designs directly from the web(or your computer) to your machine, and update your machine’s operational software from Brother whenever updates occur.
The SE-400 is compact enough, comes with a handle at the top, which makes it truly portable. Even though it is relatively lightweight (compared to my good 40-year old “all metal” Kenmore), the SE-400 feels sturdy while sewing and it is a very easy machine to operate. The manuals that came with the machine are very well written and the diagrams easy to follow. It took me only a few minutes to figure out how this machine operates. I love the self threading feature of the machine, as well as the built-in thread cutter, bobbin sensors, and drop in lower bobbin.
I was also delighted to find out that the embroidery part of the machine has the following built in features: You can reflect an embroidery design; and rotate the design 1 degree, 10 degrees, or 90 degrees at a time.
I appreciated all the enclosed accessories that came with my SE-400. I wished though that it came with an additional large embroidery hoop too, besides the medium hoop. I guess I will have to buy a large hoop sooner or later, if I am to become more involved with machine embroidery.
The SE-400 is a good choice for a home sewer. I give it a 5-star.
One more note. If you are looking for a hard carrying case for this machine, I highly recommend the Brother 5300 universal hard carrying case. It is the perfect fit for it.

(The following is a 3-star rated review)

I began sewing well over 30 years ago on a Singer from the late 1800’s. I purchased a new machine in the late 80’s and have enjoyed it for all of these years, and I love it to this day. Therefore my opinion is perhaps not from the viewpoint of the modern seamstress, although I do sew as a business.

While my old reliable was being repaired, I thought perhaps it might be a good time to purchase a second machine so that I would not have to endure down time, as well as take some opportunity to update. My primary purpose was to purchase a new SEWING machine, as I would never purchase just an embroidery machine. The Brother SE400 reviews very well and the embroidery combo was a bonus I had not expected to find and could not pass up, yet I feel a little disappointed that the last 25 plus years and digital technology had not made my sewing experience more pleasant.

So understanding my history and limited experience with the computerized machines, as well as the purpose for this purchase which will be reviewed mainly for its sewing ability (assembly), you may now consider the following pros and cons:

PROS:
~ Absolutely LOVE the automatic needle threader and thread cutter — who would have thought?!!
~ Feed dog is wide with a lot of rows and sewing a straight line is nearly effortless.
~ Grid guide on needle plate is large and easy to view.
~ Comes with a good variety of feet to get you going with more than just basic sewing techniques.
~ Lighting is good; bright and clean
~ Enormous selection of both utility and decorative stitches and I am particularly fond of the stitches that have a hand look about them. There is also a large variety of buttonhole stitches which I was fairly impressed with.
~ Stitch lengths and widths are highly adjustable.
~ Basting stitch automatically loosens upper tension.
~ Bobbin drops in easily.
~ No need to pull bobbin thread up through the needle plate, no need to pull out a length of thread from the needle as it never pulls out. You can start sewing with just an inch of thread.
~ Machine will still operate with buttons even if you break the foot pedal.
~ Needle can be set so that it will always land in the down position when sewing stops, or in the up position if you prefer.
~ Feed dogs are dropped with a switch so stitching on buttons is a breeze without any additional accessories.
~ Make small adjustments by moving the needle from the left, to the center, or to the right.
~ Changing most of the feet is a dream, simply press a lever at the back of the shaft and the foot pops right off.
~ Adjust the maximum speed of your stitching by sliding a switch to slow, medium, or fast; checks one’s zeal so overstitching or slipped trims are easier to prevent in situations that require more care.
~ Comes with lots of neat little accessories; tools, eyelet punch, scissors, seam ripper, even a plastic mesh to keep your spools from unwinding too quickly.

CONS:
~ There are 67 stitches on this machine and the screen pages through 6 at a time. There is a label on the front of the machine with the stitch number on each stitch, but you still have to page through to find the one you are looking for, and on the touch screen, the number of the stitch is not identified. The label would be much more useful if you could just enter the number of the required stitch. I am rather accustomed to turning a knob to engage the transmission’s required gears. In other words: You see the stitch, you turn to it. I find the paging slow and tedious.
~ While there is a great deal of versatility in the length and width of the stitches, again, you are required to continually push a button over and over until it reaches the correct measurement. Again, very slow, and I find it to be an annoying interruption in my groove.
~ The work area is small and I feel that vision is impeded, finding myself bent over in an improper posture to see in between the small space of the upper arm of the machine and my work, about an inch and a half.
~ On the other hand, the lower arm of the machine is quite wide and does not allow room to stitch a cuff on a shirt, but as I see it, this is probably a design requirement due to the embroidery attachment.
~ It is recommended to clean the bobbin case frequently as there are sensors in there that lint may affect. It is very easy to get to the area that is in front, but I had made some chenille apparel and there was quite a bit of lint that had gotten under the needle plate. Removing that is nothing short of absolutely disagreeable. The tool provided for the task is absurd, a donut shaped bit with a small protrusion on one side. The area to work in is so small, the above mentioned 1-1/2″, and unless I am thoroughly clumsy, you need two hands to turn the thing and there is just no room to get both hands in there. I think that the design for the needle plate as well as the tool in that regard is very poor. I dread using the machine so much that I would have to remove that needle plate frequently to clean it out.
~ The presser foot lever is located on the inside right of the arm. This is very awkward. When placing the work under the needle, I use my left hand to hold the back and my right hand to hold the front. Locating the foot lever on the back of the machine would only require that I pull my thumb forward to drop the lever while I keep my hand on the fabric and hold it where I want it. Because the lever is on the side and because there is such a small space to work in, I have to remove my hand from my work and I find that I am raising and lowering until I get the work in the right place — not in all instances, but particularly frustrating when I am working a narrow hem.
~ If you don’t have fingernails, you will need the stylus to operate the touch screen. I keep knocking the stylus off of my table onto the floor, but that could be a personal problem!
~ Adjust the maximum speed of your stitching by sliding a switch to slow, medium, or fast…but even the fastest setting is a bit slow, for example when you hit those long seams or you are using a close binding stitch, you want to fly, but you can’t. It is hard to bear taking such a long time to bind an edge.

I do understand that this is a combination machine and it is possible that because of the embroidery function, the above issues were unavoidable. For example, in order for the machine to embroider quickly with less likelihood of threads breaking that the work space needed to be shortened for maximum efficiency.

I have played a little with the embroidery function and I think it is fun and have a few vague ideas of how I would like to use it. I am personally more interested in the lettering and still working out how to get the words the same size when they need to be added in pieces. I may be able to comment more on that later, but I am pleased with the way everything I have embroidered so far has come out and find it to be a handy little feature. Except for the difficulty I am having understanding the sizes on groups of letters, I can find no fault with this. The needle needs to be checked periodically because the embroidery foot bangs on the needle screw, so I have had the needle fall out a couple of times. This is not a fault with the machine, this is how the foot works. It is not enough to tighten it with the thumb screw. A tool is provided to tighten it further. However, if the needle breaks, falls out, the thread runs out, something gets tangled, the repair can be made and the needle can be moved back several stitches to wherever the incident occurred and embroidery is picked up again with no sign of interruption. The patterns are adjustable in their size and in their position and rotation. Even though I do not have all of the materials recommended for embroidery, I have had a very positive experience with this attachment.

There are many, many more positive aspects to this machine than negative. The screen operation and the tight work space is very hard for me to get by so that I can really like this machine.

TO SUM IT ALL UP, in this purchase you will get a good combination sewing and embroidery machine, which is probably neither a great sewing machine, nor a great embroidery machine, but a QUALITY COMBINATION OF BOTH, where you have to sacrifice a little function and convenience of one so that you can enjoy the other. In this age you can buy a sewing machine for under $100. When it goes, a person is more likely to purchase a new machine rather than have that one fixed. I think the SE400 is a much better product and you get more bang for your buck than you will some others at even close to the same price range. I do not in any way regret the purchase of this machine, however, when I want to get down to the business of sewing I will use my old machine. When I have time to play around and be creative, the brother SE400 is definitely the machine to use, an excellent next step up for the intermediate sewer who is tired of the $99 machines. I think that if I sewed for a hobby I could have given it a higher rating.

 (The following is a 1-star review)
I was very excited to receive my new machine. Took it out of the box and carefully followed all of the instructions, including watching the video tutorial that came along with it. Tried the embroidery and it did the first color beautifully then on the second color the needle broke. I followed the video for replacing the needle, tried again and the second needle broke within about 30 seconds (yes the flat part of the needle faced away from me and yes the tension was at the recommended setting and yes I was using stabilizer etc. etc.). The packing materials in the box clearly stated not to call the place where I purchased it but to call Brother directly, which I did. They instructed me to check if the bobbin case had scratches or fragments in it. Negative, so I was told to replace it and try again. Did that, the machine went into a safety lock and the Brother help desk told me that I had to drive my brand new machine to a dealer 45 minutes from here to fix it as they could no longer troubleshoot over the phone. I’m beyond disappointed, I’m angry. This is not an inexpensive machine and this poor quality and service is unacceptable.

Conclusion Rating
Of 392 individuals who purchased and reviewed the Brother SE400 Combination Computerized Sewing and 4x4 Embroidery Machine With 67 Built-in Stitches, 70 Built-in..., 296 rated this machine to be of 5-star quality.
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