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Forum > Machine Embroidery > Can any owners of a Brother SE400 help me understand if this machine would work for me? ( Moderated by Pyrose)

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Can any owners of a Brother SE400 help me understand if this machine would work for me?
littlehen
littlehen
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NY USA
Member since 5/15/09
Posts: 100
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Date: 10/24/11 7:53 PM

I love my sewing machine - a Babylock Espire - but I've never liked that the included alphabets are too small to really personalize things. I don't think at this stage that I am interested in doing any extensive embroidery designs but I still find the need to embroider names on different things I sew.

I was looking at the Brother SE400 and it looks like it has fonts but that the biggest size letter is 1 1/4 inches. Is that the biggest size letter that you can embroider with this machine? Can you embroider bigger letters if you download a font from the internet? Is the letter quality decent for this machine? I know it is not very expensive as far as machines go but if it doesn't work that well I can probably just bring my projects to a local embroiderer for much less (that was my husband's suggestion at least but it doesn't sound like nearly as much fun!). Thanks for any input you may have!

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to littlehen
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Date: 10/24/11 8:11 PM

Lettering embroidered by an embroidery machine is about 100 times better than any sewing machine and I have the Ellegante (now Ellisimo).

You can download to the largest size design/font the the machine's hoop will accept.

This model's embroidery area is 4" x 4" and that is the largest design/font that the machine will stitch out no matter what size hoop you may purchase in addition to what comes with the machine.

I mention this as some newbies think a larger hoop will allow for stitching a larger design. Wrong. The machine is designed to accept a maximum stitching area and setting up with a larger hoop cannot override this feature of the machine.

Larger designs can be split and then stitched out by section by re-hooping or by using a repositioning hoop, but that requires the purchase of software along with trial and error.

Check with your BL dealer as they may have a trade-in that is embroidery only for around the same price. This way you will have someone to help you and/or provide lessons.


-- Edited on 10/24/11 8:17 PM --

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

littlehen
littlehen
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NY USA
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Posts: 100
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In reply to PattiAnnJ


Date: 10/24/11 8:15 PM

Thanks for your reply! I am definitely a newbie so any input is very much appreciated!

littlehen
littlehen
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NY USA
Member since 5/15/09
Posts: 100
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In reply to PattiAnnJ


Date: 10/24/11 8:34 PM

Quote: PattiAnnJ
Lettering embroidered by an embroidery machine is about 100 times better than any sewing machine and I have the Ellegante (now Ellisimo).



You can download to the largest size design/font the the machine's hoop will accept.



This model's embroidery area is 4" x 4" and that is the largest design/font that the machine will stitch out no matter what size hoop you may purchase in addition to what comes with the machine.



I mention this as some newbies think a larger hoop will allow for stitching a larger design. Wrong. The machine is designed to accept a maximum stitching area and setting up with a larger hoop cannot override this feature of the machine.



Larger designs can be split and then stitched out by section by re-hooping or by using a repositioning hoop, but that requires the purchase of software along with trial and error.



Check with your BL dealer as they may have a trade-in that is embroidery only for around the same price. This way you will have someone to help you and/or provide lessons.




-- Edited on 10/24/11 8:17 PM --

Thanks also for the suggestion to check with my Babylock dealer. I did call the other day and she said that they don't get trade-in embroidery machines too often and instead talked to me about upgrading to a Pfaff combo. I really love my Espire and don't want to part with it at this point . . . Thanks again!
DisneyMimi
DisneyMimi
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FL USA
Member since 10/26/11
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Date: 10/26/11 1:51 PM

I'm not sure if you're still looking at the Brother SE400, but that's the model I picked for my first attempt at machine embroidery. I have used it for almost a year now and I'm loving it so far, although things might not have gone so well if my husband wasn't the 'fix-it-all handyman' type that he is.

I have purchased a number of fonts online. They work very well and I love the variety, but I quickly learned that I needed a software program to combine the purchased fonts into monograms or lettering (I use Embird). I have done 3 letter monograms up to 2 inches high and many embroideries with much smaller fonts spelling out names, etc.

The limitation with the SE 400 is that the total lettering is limited to your 4 x 4 space unless you want to re-hoop your fabric and then match up your lettering to continue. I have to admit I haven't gotten that brave yet which is why I am considering a machine with a bigger hoop area, now that I've gotten addicted to embroidery!

I'll be happy to answer other questions you might have about the machine, if you're still considering it.

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to littlehen
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Date: 10/26/11 4:53 PM

My Internet connection was acting up when I posted my first response and wanted to now add that Embroidery Library has great tutorials for beginners, intermediates and experts alike.

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Franksdottir

Franksdottir
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Date: 10/26/11 8:27 PM

I would also like to remark that 4x4 is a lot bigger than people think. I have the Janome 350e which I love, and its largest size is 5x7. I admit that I would love 6x10 for some things, but, seriously, I was surprised at how big 4x4 actually is.

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Barb

mssewcrazy
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In reply to Franksdottir


Date: 10/27/11 0:25 AM

I will get apples thrown at me since I have larger hoop machines living here but I mostly use the 4x4 hoop followed by the 5x7 hoop unless I am lettering a name on a huge beach towel or doing a pillow or such. I really am not terribly crazy about filling a large hoop with designs or stitching out a huge design but that is just me. Don't get me wrong I like the option of huge hoops but don't use them as much as I thought I would. When I first had a 4x4 machine I got really good at placing the designs . When the larger hoop machines came here for a while I was cramming things into the hoop too close together trying to get them all in the bigger hoop as opposed to putting them scattered on garments if that makes any sense. I think it would be better long term if in one's budget to get at least a 5x7 or slightly larger hoop as I think one would be more satisfied with the choice of designs available or adding text to designs. I never dreamed I would have multiple machines but I enjoyed machine embroidery a lot with the small machine I had initially and did some very nice things with it. I would plan if getting any machine to get some sort of software that will let you size the designs when needed and or add text and if the machine does not have a usb port a reader /writer card box so you can download designs from the internet.

littlehen
littlehen
Advanced Beginner
NY USA
Member since 5/15/09
Posts: 100
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In reply to DisneyMimi


Date: 10/29/11 12:14 PM

Quote: DisneyMimi
I'm not sure if you're still looking at the Brother SE400, but that's the model I picked for my first attempt at machine embroidery. I have used it for almost a year now and I'm loving it so far, although things might not have gone so well if my husband wasn't the 'fix-it-all handyman' type that he is.



I have purchased a number of fonts online. They work very well and I love the variety, but I quickly learned that I needed a software program to combine the purchased fonts into monograms or lettering (I use Embird). I have done 3 letter monograms up to 2 inches high and many embroideries with much smaller fonts spelling out names, etc.



The limitation with the SE 400 is that the total lettering is limited to your 4 x 4 space unless you want to re-hoop your fabric and then match up your lettering to continue. I have to admit I haven't gotten that brave yet which is why I am considering a machine with a bigger hoop area, now that I've gotten addicted to embroidery!



I'll be happy to answer other questions you might have about the machine, if you're still considering it.

Thanks for all the advice and offering to answer questions! I talked about it with my husband and we decided to look at the Pe770 because it seems to have more long-term options. I am a little intimated by the learning curve that will likely exist with either machine as well as the additional cost of all the supplies needed to use it but I love that the people on this board are such amazing resources to resolve any questions! Thanks again!
bebblanco
bebblanco
Beginner
NC USA
Member since 10/16/13
Posts: 3
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In reply to DisneyMimi <<


Date: 10/16/13 2:47 PM

I just ran across your post. I'm new to embroidery, having just purchased the SE400 about a month ago. I've been quite frustrated with the inability to make a monogram using downloaded fonts - without having to monogram each letter individually. I've seen several sites make reference to the fact that I need software. I've purchased one suggested software, but it doesn't allow the use of downloaded or other purchased fonts that are outside of the fonts available through the software. SO...your suggestion about Embird is so encouraging to me!! Can you give me a quick tutorial on how to work Embird? I've downloaded the 30-day free trial, but seem lost!

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