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Forum > Machine Embroidery > Making the Most of the SE-400 by Brother... ( Moderated by Pyrose)

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Making the Most of the SE-400 by Brother...
I'm a Mac user.
MacMorrighan
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Date: 1/2/13 2:17 AM

Hey guys, I'll be buying an SE-400 and was hoping to make the most of it. Sadly, it has limitations in that it is incapable of embroidering a space greater than 4-inches x 4-inches. I was hoping to find a variety of work-arounds over this limitation, such as software for my Mac. Other than embroider and sew, I'd like to quilt and do some digital appliqué in various sizes. Not only would I like to design and manipulate my own embroidery designs (perhaps even moving a part of one design to a different location), but to split the embroidery and appliqué so that I can re-hoop it for larger projects, etc. I also noticed that the attached embroidery arm that moves the hoop up and down or left and right seems to be the reason for the spacial limitations. Now, this is just a shot in the dark, but: Does anyone make a Universal embroidery arm to compensate for this so that one can perform large embroidery projects instead of being limited by this feature?

mssewcrazy
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In reply to MacMorrighan <<


Date: 1/2/13 7:58 AM

Some of what you are wanting to do like splitting an applique design or even an embroidery design and rehooping to finish can be very difficult to do perfectly (not being off on the rehoop slightly. I worked for a long time with the 4x4 hoop before upgrading and I learned to position and mark really well to get the look of a big hoop by doing scenes of designs but didn't do much in the way of splitting. A friend once did a huge name on a pillow and when asked how she did that with a 4x4 she said she just kept rehooping and I thought what she did was amazing in that she was pretty much eyeballing and was accurate so go figure- maybe beginner's luck. There is no universal arm available to make a 4x4 machine go bigger. There is a multi position hoop that will let you continue with a split design or add text to a 4x4 one that is helpful. Software that has the digitizing element is expensive and seems to be just coming on the scene for use with the mac but I am out of my league on using this on a mac. You will enjoy your 4x4 more if you get really precise at placing and keeping things level on the vertical and horizontal where you want to put them so you get the look of a bigger hoop size. It will always be a 4x4 hoop though no matter what you do to the machine as that is its hhop limit but you can get the look of a larger hoop by careful marking and rehooping or using a design that has been split for a 3 position hoop. I still use the 4x4 hoop often though I have much larger hoops to use when I have to do a large design or name. But like the large name the friend did on the 4x4 ,these machines can do amazing work.

schmammy
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Date: 1/2/13 9:07 AM

Have you considered the PE770?

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MacMorrighan
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In reply to mssewcrazy <<


Date: 1/2/13 9:11 AM

Yes, MSSewCrazy, I am looking for Mac compatible software that will not only allow me to manipulate an image, but digitize my own images (unless I need to search for separate software for that), and to split an image. I have found that a lot of software does not have the ability to split an image for embroidery or appliqué. So, I am searching for that type of software so that I can be a better informed consumer and acquire what is best for me after some research and viewing some tutorials.

Please tell me more about this multi-position hoop! I've never heard of it before and may have to invest in one this year. :D

MacMorrighan
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In reply to schmammy <<


Date: 1/2/13 9:19 AM

Schmammy, I would if I wanted an embroidery-only machine, but I require a dual sewing and embroidery machine. The SE-400 is all that is within my Price Range.

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to MacMorrighan <<
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Date: 1/2/13 11:56 AM

It's all in the programming.

Didn't anyone suggest a machine with a larger embroidery area?

You can get a hoop that can be repositioned, but you still have the 4" width and more length (or turn the design for 4" length and more width) for more than one design or splitting.

Chances are an applique cannot be successfully split.

As for Mac, there are machine embroidery software brands that are compatible. And a few have trials that you can test before purchasing.

You may be better off with a cheap PC and a more expensive embroidery machine; a stand alone EM and inexpensive sewing machine.

Here is the hoop you were asking about.

Machine embroidery is not an inexpensive craft. Add up all those extras and you will have the price of the PE 770 and a less expensive sewing machine.

You may also find a good deal at a dealer who has a combo that he took in for a trade-up. Do stick with Brother or Babylock.



-- Edited on 1/2/13 12:17 PM --

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loti
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In reply to MacMorrighan <<


Date: 1/2/13 12:05 PM

Here is at least one embroidery software that is compatible with a Mac.

TruEmbroidery

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MacMorrighan
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In reply to PattiAnnJ <<


Date: 1/2/13 12:36 PM

Patti, I *would* stick wit Brother but there are no Brother dealers near me. The one that was reasonably close is no longer in business.

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to MacMorrighan <<


Date: 1/2/13 12:42 PM

Where are you checking for dealers? The Brother website can find dealers within whatever range you give them.

If just looked in my local yellow pages I would not find any sewing machine dealers. But they are there, I just have to drive a little farther.

If you add a general location to your profile there may be someone in the general area who can make recommendations.

------
“I don’t give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think it’s Hell.” — Harry Truman

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

mssewcrazy
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Date: 1/2/13 4:15 PM

Yes that is the 3 position hoop that PattiannJ linked to that can be used on a 4x4 but it does not make the machine stitch any larger than that just keeps you from rehooping if you want to add a simple name or stitch a design that has been split for this purpose. You really don't see those split ones offered much anymore as many starter machines come with a 5x7 hoop now.
Software that digitizes is not inexpensive and often costs more than some stand a alone larger hoop machines and most is made for a pc or from what I understand to run on a mac that has some sort of windows type program installed. I personally run an older pc that is only used for my software programs that I have not yet bothered to upgrade. Until I want to buy newer versions of my programs I will need to keep an older pc to run them. I only keep embird software updated as the updates are not terribly expensive and I use it on my newer pc to view and organize embroidery files but don't think it works on macs but could be wrong about that. I am not buying new software until the programs get really comfortable with macs and I don't have an older pc dedicated to embroidery to run them anymore. I have a closet shelf with several older laptops and towers that the daughters left behind so I probably won't have that problem for a long while. I am now considering a mac for my internet purposes so am hoping there will be giant strides in all the newer softwares and will be hunting for at least one program that works on macs so I am following all the discussion on software that works well on them.

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