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Forum > Sewing Machines > Brother SE400 or Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Brother SE400 or Singer Quantum Stylist 9960
Which to buy?
NLT16
NLT16
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Date: 12/8/12 5:03 AM

Hi, I have never sewed or embroidered but would like to learn. Want to purchase my first sewing machine. Not sure what features I need but am looking for a machine I can grow into. I found the Brother SE400 and Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 both on Amazon for deep discounts and similar prices and wasn't sure which to get. The Singer looks like it might be better for sewing with so many features, but I don't know if this is true. The Brother looks like it has fewer sewing features and accessories included but the embroidery function seems enticing, which the Singer does not have. Does the brother handle regular sewing well? Can you do quilting with both? If one doesn't do something, is it a matter of buying additional accessories? Which would folks recommend?

RipStitcher
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Date: 12/8/12 7:23 AM

I'm a cheerleader for the Brother. Did you see my other post where the price dropped on this machine?!?! It's down to $309.99 as of the time I'm writing this! I paid $350something for this one just a few months ago. So what a deal!

I went to see the SINGER 9600 QUANTUM STYLIST on Amazon just for kicks and grins...

And honestly, if you are going to want to explore using loads of decorative stitches..... like is done in the STUPENDOUS STITCHING CLASS on CRAFTSY.COM, then the Singer is for you.

But... but... but... lol.... If you want to be able to do some embroidery, even if you just want to play and check it out, then owning the BROTHER SE400 on AMAZON has an incredible value.

I bought the SE400 earlier this year - *just* to check out doing embroidering to see if I really would like it - *before* I went out and got committed to an expensive embroidery machine.

I'm tellin' ya... I loved that little machine! I made a few embroideries on it... And I don't know if you have been over to my blog, but I do have one picture of an embroidery I did on the SE400 shown in a little mini-review I did on the machine:

Brother SE400 Embroidery Example

Either machine can get you quilting or doing garment sewing or home dec. No prob there.

I don't know about feet for Singers, but the accessory feet you can easily buy for Brother/Babylock machines are very affordable.

The 4x4 inch design area size that the Brother can handle may sound small... but it's really not - especially for this price. If you do some shopping around for embroidery designs online, you'll find an abundance of designs that are created with those 4x4 machines in mind.

IMO, you won't find a better deal than that SE400 if you want a well rounded introduction into sewing *and* embroidering. It's a sweet little machine.

Oh.. and lastly, one thing to consider if you get your feet wet on the Brother (or the Singer, for that matter) and you decide in the future that you want to get a bigger (more expensive) machine - is that either of these machines would be great for taking to classes or retreats so you can leave a more elaborate machine safely at home.

------
~~~YAY! ~~~ I finally published my first pattern!
See demo video on: www.BionicGearBag.com
My personal blog: www.RipStitcher.com

Wish list:
Bernina 550QE (for it's cute little footprint)
Sashiko
Ovation serger


Love my Babylock Ellisimo Gold & ElnaPress

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 12/8/12 12:15 PM

Make a list of what you would like to be able to do with a sewing machine (easy buttonholes, adjustable blind-hem are my top two).

The SE400 adds the option of machine embroidery, which you may want to add to your repertoire. However, machine embroidery does require more investment than just the machine; machine embroidery thread, machine embroidery bobbin thread, machine embroidery needles, stabilizers and at least $200 in software for editing and viewing downloaded machine embroidery designs.

If you decide on the Singer, this is a better deal.


-- Edited on 12/8/12 12:23 PM --

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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

RipStitcher
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In reply to PattiAnnJ <<


Date: 12/8/12 7:24 PM

Not to nitpick....

But that SE400 comes with a spool of bobbin thread... and I *still* haven't bought any embroidery software... mostly because I haven't had time to really evaluate any of it - yet.

You don't need software to download and stitch out a design.

I just think it's extra cool to have the option of playing around with embroidery and getting one's toe in the water without having to buy another whole machine.

------
~~~YAY! ~~~ I finally published my first pattern!
See demo video on: www.BionicGearBag.com
My personal blog: www.RipStitcher.com

Wish list:
Bernina 550QE (for it's cute little footprint)
Sashiko
Ovation serger


Love my Babylock Ellisimo Gold & ElnaPress

quiltingwolf
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quiltingwolf  Friend of PR
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In reply to RipStitcher <<


Date: 12/8/12 9:59 PM

Depending on the type of machine you do. The machines that hook up directly to the computer usually come with software to be able to recognize the machine. You also need some kind of editor program to view your designs. Unless you have one of these you can see the file but not a picture of the design. Rip you have a TOL machines a lot of other machines don't have the capabilities that yours does.

------
quiltingwolf.blogspot.com

SandiMacD
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Date: 12/9/12 3:33 AM

I would go with the Brother and get your feet wet. After a few years you will better know what you like and can keep or trade up.

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sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

NottaWadder
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Date: 12/9/12 8:52 AM

If you are not interested in the embroidery (or the additional expenses that can go with that!) then I recommend the Singer 9960.

I have had mine for a few months now and have made several garments with it (along with my sergers) and I just love this machine. The one on amazon comes with just about every foot you could ever want plus the hard cover and the extension table.

I really love the auto thread cutter and the needle threader too. It is a whole lot of machine for the money, IMO.

------
My Singer crew:
Sergei - Serger 14T968DC (set up as coverstitch)
Stella - Serger Stylist II 14J250 (set up as main overlock)
Quincy - Quantum 9960 (my main SM)
Newest addition: Stevie, my very first Featherweight! (221 Centennial)

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to RipStitcher <<
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Date: 12/9/12 11:36 AM

Who can download just one design? As they accumulate, they become more difficult to sort through.

And, that spool of bobbin thread will not last forever.

Did you check the needles that came with the 400 to see if they are sewing machine needles or embroidery machine needles.

------
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

RipStitcher
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In reply to PattiAnnJ <<


Date: 12/9/12 3:21 PM

A $7 spool of thread is really an issue?

To be honest... I didn't check the needles.. I just use the ones I already have in my extra-slick organizer gizmo. (I haven't used the needles that have ever come with any of my machines - they're not marked - don't know what they are - so phooey on 'em!)

I've downloaded lots of designs... they're in folders on my computer... most are available in my account on the sites that I bought them from - easy to download again if I wanted to .... and there are accompanying PDFs. So what's the problem?

I've got over 200 spools of thread... 2 extra spools of bobbin thread... and... I don't have software - yet. And.. I'm not missing having it - yet.

It just goes to show that whatever you feel is necessary is not necessarily true for the next person.

I'm glad I bought that SE400... I wouldn't have dared to get the EG if I hadn't had such a good experience playing with that starter machine.

------
~~~YAY! ~~~ I finally published my first pattern!
See demo video on: www.BionicGearBag.com
My personal blog: www.RipStitcher.com

Wish list:
Bernina 550QE (for it's cute little footprint)
Sashiko
Ovation serger


Love my Babylock Ellisimo Gold & ElnaPress

RadarRadiance
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Date: 12/9/12 7:20 PM

You can get a 5000 meter cone for less than $6 at Amazon of bobbin thread. Not a deal breaker and all I normally use is my Organ needles (buy box of 100's) on both of my brother embroidery machines. The only thing I watch is ball point or sharp and size depending on what I'm sewing. The brother handles all my threads just fine. I have the larger ULT2001 and also have the predesessor of the SE-400 which is the SE-350. Both my brother machines embroider beautiful and very intuitive. What's nice about the SE-400 is you don't need to buy extra software you can just transfer a .pes file straight from your computer to the sewing machine. My SE-350 came with lots of feet, fully featured machine and it is a 3/4 size machine so easy to tote around. Makes great button holes and is a fun machine to use. On the SE-350 you can't adjust for stitch feed, example if a closed stitch is spread too far apart you don't have the adjustment to compensate for it, other than that, it is my only real negative about the machine. It is cute and fun to use and to get an embroidery/sewing for that price is great! Heck, my first embroidery machine was over $3000 and it only had a 4.4 field and I would use my small brother any day before embroidering on the pfaff (7570)
You can get a larger hoop, it will only still stitch a 4x4 inch but you can pull together a larger design without a re-hoop. Example a 4x4 embroidery design and then you might want to add a name without removing your mat'l from the hoop. I don't use digitizing software with either of my machines but love Embird! It will let you manimulate designs, add items, delete items and wonderful fonts. I use this mostly for my larger machine but for my little brother it really isn't that needed.

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