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Forum > Machine Embroidery > Need advice for a starter embroidery machine ( Moderated by Pyrose)

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Need advice for a starter embroidery machine
Need advice for a starter embroidery machine
daintydeb
daintydeb  Friend of PR
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Kansas USA
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Date: 6/11/13 8:59 AM

I plan to purchase my first embroidery machine. I an experienced sewist, yet have never attempted embroidery. Please recommend the best starter machine. I am interested in a mid-price machine, not the most expensive, that is sturdy and has a mid-range of features. All of my machines have been Singers, but I am open to other brands that have the price and features needed.

Delilahsews
Delilahsews  Friend of PR
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In reply to daintydeb <<
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Date: 6/11/13 2:23 PM

Hi daintydeb! I personally am not the best individual to recommend a mid-price starter embroidery machine since I started with a TOL embroidery machine.

However I feel that your best bet would be to go to a dealer that will allow you to "play" with several different machines so you can feel them out and see what interests you. Some people like certain brands because of the certain designs included. Brother is a great choice for many reasons, including if you are interested in a lot of Disney designs. Other brands are just as good if the designs included with a machine are of no importance to you.

I personally would never choose a machine based on the designs included but instead I like all of the bells and whistles. I also would recommend purchasing a machine with the biggest embroidery field you can afford. You can usually tell this by the maximum hoop size the machine can take.

Another thing to also consider is that you will need software as well. Some dealers may offer software as a package deal when you buy your machine. Other PR members on here can inform you of some great software choices to consider.

So I say go play with a few machines and then come back here to PR and ask around about the machines you found to be the most interesting. That way people that have that particular machine can give you their input on what they love or don't love about it.

Happy hunting!

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 6/11/13 2:35 PM

Go to a Brother dealer and ask for a demo of an embroidery machne with at least a 5 x 7 embroidery area (often referred by hoop size) and USB connectivity (this can be cable or flash drive, the later is the handiest).

You will also need a basic software product to view designs downloaded from the Internet......no embroidery machine is going to contain all the designs you will desire.

This software should at the very least be a catalog so you can see what is in the warehouse (your computer).

See what the dealer can do in the way of extras (software, thread, bobbin thread and stabilizers).

Bobbin thread for machine embroidery is a lighter weight than the top thread to reduce bulk and pull the top thread slightly to the back of the design.

------
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

sewplenty
sewplenty
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Date: 6/11/13 11:57 PM

Here's my two cents. For $250.00 on Amazon you can buy a Brother PE 400 sew and embroidery machine today with. I had one and it is EASY to use. Download from the Internet and start embroidering. You don't need a software program to do simple editing. The 4x4 hoop is fine for most children things and towels, napkins, etc. the sewing part is great for a backup machine. It is has all the bells and whistles as the big boys. This way you can learn about stabilizers, threads, without spending a fortune. It took me a couple of years to want to upgrade and then I sold it for good value. Anything more than this is a steep learning curve.

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Singer Quintet
Brother 1034D
Singer Stylist II Serger
Singer Heavy Duty 5532
Singer Signature (New One)
New Home Combi DX
Singer 319
Singer Featherweight 221

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/12/13 5:46 AM

I would agree w sewplenty. On top of the emb machine you may find yourself spending 2-3K on software, stablizers, designs, clubs, fonts, notions, books, classes, etc.
You can learn a lot from a 4x4 or 5x7 field. Spend that first year or so building your supplies and knowledge. Then you will know what features are a must have and can demo out the mid feature machines and make an informed choice.
-- Edited on 6/12/13 5:49 AM --

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sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

daintydeb
daintydeb  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/12/13 9:21 AM

Just saw that the PE 400 is out of stock. Does anyone have experience with the Brother SE 400?

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to daintydeb <<


Date: 6/12/13 10:04 AM

The SE stands for sewing/embroidery. The PE stands for personal embroidery - not sure the PE 400 is still being made. The PE 500 is the newest basic Brother.

------
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

aquiltersheart
aquiltersheart  Friend of PR
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In reply to daintydeb <<


Date: 6/16/13 1:05 AM

There are a few brands like Brother, babylock, and janome that are user friendly, and easy foe beginners especially. There are quite a few other top of line machines that are way to complicated and pricey for your first time. If you go to a dealer , they offer free classes to get you used to your machine. Don't let them push you into a TOL machine. Just say , I want a beginner machine, and I do recommend getting the Brother 770 or 1500. U will be able to do small 4x4, 5x7 and when you feel comfortable possibly a larger reposition all hoop. Also, most of those dealers will allow you to bring back your machine in the 1st 6 - 12 months and be able to trade up to another machine you like with maybe more bells and whistles. You might have to pay a little more from a dealer but you get classes, service, and full warranty, where as on line, you buy, you are on your own.

Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
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In reply to daintydeb <<
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Date: 6/16/13 7:44 AM

Quote:
I personally would never choose a machine based on the designs included but instead I like all of the bells and whistles.


I agree. Unless you buy one of the Brother "Disney" machines, the built-in designs are often going to be mediocre, at best.

As for maximum hoop size on a starter machine, the idea of going with the 5 x 7 (inches) field is good. But, if you choose a really inexpensive one that is 4 x 4, and know you can buy a second machine with the larger field, then go with the 4 x 4 as the starter machine. You will be limited to smaller designs, but if it turns out that you are not hooked on machine embroidery, you're not out a lot of money.

Speaking of money . . . the machine is only the start. There are the thread$, stabilizer$, more de$igns, software to re-size and edit designs.... this is not an inexpensive hobby. It's more like golf, fishing, boating .....
Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/16/13 7:48 AM

Quote:
There are a few brands like Brother, babylock, and janome that are user friendly, and easy foe beginners especially.


Good advice. Bernina's "Bernette Deco 340" is made by Janome, for Bernina, and a direct clone of the Janoame 350e machine. It reads .EXP format, which is a fairly generic format. It often sells for a slightly lower price than the Janome, which completely baffles me. I have one and it is a nice machine.
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