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Need help with Brother SE400 Embroidery!
Member since 6/6/12
Posts: 13
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Date: 6/19/12 11:41 PM

Help! I just got the Brother SE400 and am completely LOST about how to use the embroidery feature. I am totally new to this, and am hoping someone can tell me what I am doing wrong. I am trying to embroider a set of initials using the included fonts. Here are my issues:

1) I loaded the white bobbin thread and blue upper thread, but 95% of the design is being stitched with the white bobbin thread. ??? It starts by tracing the center of the letter with a single piece of blue thread and then stitches over the blue with the white bobbin thread. I had the tension set on 4 and tried adjusting it to 5 1/2 and this did not correct or improve the problem.

2) Is there a way to make the center initial bigger than the ones on the left and right?

3) I tried to increase the size of the letters to as large as it would let me go and it only embroidered letters about 1 1/4 inches tall. Is this the maximum size it will do? I expected it to be able to be able to go to just below 4 inches in height since the frame is 4x4.

4) I am using good quality thread and a medium weight tear away stabilizer on a woven fabric and the design looks horrible. The threads are loose and there are stray threads beyond the borders of the letters. The material was stretched very tight on the hoop. Could the problem be the type of stabilizer? I will admit I was unsure as to what kind to buy.

5) I am totally confused about how to use the clear grid that came with the machine, or how to tell the machine exactly where you want it to stitch on the fabric. The initials printed out not in the center of the hoop but towards the top. Any advise on this would be appreciated.

6) The hoop is a nightmare to remove from the machine. It is impossible for me to get my finger down far enough to press the little silver tab you that releases the hoop. There's got to be an easier way to do this.

If anyone out there can help me with any of these topics, I would greatly appreciate some advice! I am so frustrated right now I am afraid I might have to return the machine....


Ohio USA
Member since 12/3/06
Posts: 9031
Skill: Advanced
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In reply to lcmnichols

Date: 6/20/12 9:57 AM

Once you get the hang of it, this will be an amazing craft.

It is best to use a software program for resizing as this EM most likely does not increase/decrease the stitch count when using the built-in re-sizing function.

Try downloading fonts in the size you need.

Downloads are usually zipped/compressed for faster downloading. Save the download to a folder on your PC's hard drive or to an USB stick. Unzip, open or extract - depending on the wording used by the computer's operating system. Save in the format for your EM, if there is an option. Also, remember the design has to be within the 4" x 4" area of the hoop.

Be sure to use machine embroidery bobbin thread as it is a lighter weight than the usual 40 wt used for the top thread.

This site has many helpful techniques and tips.

As for connecting and disconnecting the hoop - I would refer back to the manual for this.


Louisiana USA
Member since 1/7/10
Posts: 169
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 6/20/12 3:28 PM

1), check your upper thread tension, i have the se350 and when embroidering i have toset tension to 0 or itll do bascally the same thing.
2), you could but would be stitching 1 letter at a time and adjusting the layout to Make it fit. You could get a monogramming or lettig programand design on computer then transfer to the machine. For my machine i had to get PEbasic which is a memory card and card writer box, and i use AmazingDesigns Digitize N Stitch, and windows paint for basic images and lettering.
3), the lettering capabilities are pretty limited,
4), havent experimented with many fabrics, i mostly embroider on denim scraps, and rarely have used stabilizer. Check tension and threading maybe?
5) i havent used the clear grid either, but i think its to lay in the hoop on top of the fabric as a guide to where the layout of the design will be, could be helpful with large lettering where you would need to rehoop the fabric to stitch the rest of the letters. 4"x4" area is very small when doing designs. There are some adjustment buttons to move the design up down left and right and flip sideways and such, go thru the manual and itll tell you how to do that.
6) releaseing the hoop from the carriage is tough sometimes, but for the price of these machines id guess that could be expected. I love my lil brother machine, does what i need it to do, even with the limitations, but if ever i could afford it and decided to REALLY get into machine embroidery, i think id get the multi needle machine and some good digitizing software.


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