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|Brother:PE 70II (Embroidery Machine)|
|Viewed 735 time(s)|| |
Review rated Helpful
by 1 people Very Helpful
by 11 people
|About rubbecca |
|Member since: 2/25/08 |
|Reviews written: 22|
|Sewing skills:Advanced Beginner|
|sewing machines reviewed: 5|
|Posted on:||7/2/13 7:05 PM|
|Approx price paid:||$499|
|Had this machine for:||2 weeks|
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|What rubbecca likes about this machine|
Owning an embroidery machine has always intrigued me, but I didn't think I could afford one. But then I discovered that Brother had very reasonably priced entry level embroidery machines. I already have two sewing machines so I wanted an embroidery only machine. I was thinking of getting the PE 500 but after thinking about it, decided to get one with the 5 x 7 so I could have more options for designs. The next decision was whether to get the PE700II or PE770, the main difference was that the PE700II uses a USB cable connected directly to your desktop or laptop computer to download designs or the PE770 which uses a USB memory stick. I decided to get the PE700II because it was $100 cheaper. The owner's manual only mentions being able to download from a PC, but you can download designs from a Mac. When you connect the PE700II to a Mac, there's a device called NO NAME that appears on your desktop. You simply copy and paste your design files to NO NAME. Even the Brother customer service rep said the PE700II was not compatible with a Mac, but she was wrong.
After struggling with the machine for the first day and getting frustrated with thread jamming and needed to cut my fabric out to remove it from the throat, I found out that I was using too thin of a tearaway stabilizer with the cotton fabric scrap.
After I learned more about using the right type of stabilizers, my machine has been embroidering beautifully without any thread jams or thread breaks.
This is my first embroidery machine and my first Brother. I had always owned Janomes before so I was unfamiliar with this brand. But the machine was very intuitive. I did read the manual and although it is not the best, it was adequate to get me started. There are a lot of youtube videos showing how to use the Brother embroidery machines, mostly the PE770 but it's essentially the same machine with the only difference is how it transfers design files from the computer.
The automatic needle threader is very easy to use. It's better designed than the Janome auto needle threader. The low bobbin sensor is very useful to tell me to change the bobbin and the machine will stop if the thread is too low. I love the tracing feature where you can visually see the how large and where the design will stitch out in the hoop.
My machine came with the Brother embroidery starter kit with their own brand Pacesetter thread. I've had no problems using that thread. I've also used Guttermann, Sulky, and Mettler threads both poly and rayon without any problems.
I've only used the 90 wt. thread, winding my own bobbins with the thread spool that came with the machine. The starter kit came with 10 prewound bobbins, but I read they were 60 wt, not 90 wt. I hesitate to try the 60 wt unless I get desperate and totally run out in the middle of the night.
As mentioned, transferring designs from the computer is done using a USB cable. I initially wondered if I should have gotten the PE770 with the USB stick, but I found that it's actually nice to be able to work on the computer and transfer the designs directly to the machine. The designs that come with the machine are nice, but a little boring, so you'll definitely want to search for more designs on the internet. The built-in fonts are nice but eventually I'd like to get more variety. At that point, I'll need to get an embroidery software so I can put together words with the purchased fonts.
Ability to move forward or backward thread color or skip forward or backward stitches:
There are buttons with a thread spool icon with + or - on it. These buttons allow you to skip over a certain thread color. Depending on your design, you could skip over design elements which you do not want to be stitched, such as a word. There are buttons with a needle with a + or - and you can use these to move forward or backwards a stitch at a time. Sometimes a part of a design needs to be redone and you can use the combination of these buttons to get back to the part of the design to restitch.
Adjustable stitch speed:
You can set the stitch speed to 650 stm (stitches per minute) or 350 stm. I set mine at 350 stm because I want less chance of thread jamming or needle breaking. It does take longer to stitch out a design.
On Screen editing:
You have the ability to resize your design, rotate it 90 degrees or by 10 degree increments, do mirror images, and move your design around your hoop before starting to stitch. I recently used the built-in fonts. The large size default was too large and the default medium was too small. So I picked the large size font and decreased the size until all the letters of the name I wanted to embroider fit in the hoop. The size turned out perfect for my project.
Embroidery Card compatible:
Besides USB capability, you can use Brother Embroidery Design cards to transfer designs. However, with so many designs on the internet where I can shop for specific designs, I don't think I would ever need to use a design card. However, for those upgrading from older Brothers, you can still use your design cards.
It comes only with a 5 x 7, but I bought a 4 x 4 hoop so that I can save on using stabilizer material when embroidering smaller designs. You can also buy a larger hoop, but are limited to designs that can fit withinthe 5 x 7 field. Buying a larger hoop reduces having to rehoop your project when doing multiple designs.
What rubbecca does not like about this machine
Being an entry level embroidery machine, the screen size is small and black and white. It is hard to see which part of the design the machine is working on because they look like tiny blobs. I make sure I look at the reference picture and color chart to help me out.
I don't use thread numbers, but rather thread colors, but you do have to double check with the design's color chart because the machine could display a totally different color thread to use than the color chart. One of my downloaded designs for the face, the machine displayed moss green and the color chart said nude. If I depended on the machine's color thread name display, my design would have had a green face. LOL
Sometimes I have a hard time reattaching the hoop to the embroidery arm and sometimes it just slides right into place. Thanks to the tip below, I now place the first peg in, then the back peg and it slides into place.
You can store a few downloaded designs on the machine, but the space is very limited.
As far as I can tell, you can not combine different designs on screen. So I had to stitch out my picture first, then moved the hoop down and then stitched the name under. I know the Janome 350e can combine images on screen. You'll need to buy embroidery software to combine images for the PE700II.
Overall, I've been very pleased with the machine and the stitches are very nice. I would recommend this machine for those starting out in machine embroidery.
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