Brother is one of the most trusted brands in sewing. Known for quality, Brother offers both beginner and advanced sewing machines at an affordable price. One of the best sewing machines is the Brother SE400, which is a combination sewing and embroidery machine.
Being an Amazon best seller, I had to give this model a try to see if it lived up to the hype.
- Computerized sewing / 4×4 Embroidery machine
- 67 built-in stitches
- 70 built-in designs
- 5 lettering fonts
- Back-lit LCD display
- Automatic thread cutter
- Automatic need threader
- Free arm design
- Import iBroidery.com patterns into the sewer
- 7-point feed dogs
Filled with high-end features, it’s easy to see why this is rated the best home embroidery machine on the market. When testing this model, we wanted to really examine all of the features of the SE400 – even the ones we know we won’t use often.
Spacious Work Area With Easy Design Features
A lot of computerized sewing machine / embroidery machine combos are not adequate. We find that most models lack the work space needed to complete complex projects with ease. It’s something that has plagued the industry, but the SE400 is different.
First, the workspace is brightly lit so that you can see the embroidery as it happens.
The embroidery area is 4” x 4”, so you can make complex squares that you’ll later sew together. As the light floods the needle, you’ll find it easy and fun to embroider on this machine.
When using a design or pattern, you want to be able to start embroidering immediately. Unfortunately, going to the store and buying a pattern is timely. Then, you have to do it all by hand, which is even worse.
This model is computerized, so it has advanced features that allow you to complete complex tasks quickly.
Integrating with iBroidery.com, you can purchase thousands of different designs that can be downloaded directly to the SE400. Affordable, these designs are exclusive to Brother users and are purchased on a pay-per-design basis.
The store has everything from Disney characters to limited-edition designs.
It’s perfect for the advanced embroidery projects that you have to complete. Imagine using a Brother embroidery machine to create an adorable Poohbear design for your nephew, or embroidering a Disney princess on your niece’s bib – there are just so many possibilities.
Note: This is an advanced machine, but its computerized functionality makes it the perfect embroidery machine for beginners. You’ll be up and running within minutes of unpacking the machine.
LCD Display with Easy Design and Stitch Option
The LCD display is where the computerized functionality of the sewing machine is seen. This display is sensitive (touchscreen) and will act as your central hub for all of your stitch and design options.
There are 67-stitches available, allowing you to complete the most advanced sewing projects with the utmost precision.
Designs are also available for embroidery with 70 unique designs to choose from.
The stitches are seen on the right side of the machine with all stitch options in view. When choosing the embroidery designs, you’ll be able to scroll through the designs and choose the one that works best for your project. Two designs are shown at one time, so there is enough room to view the detail of the design on the screen.
In total, there are 120 frame pattern combinations to choose from.
Five fonts are available. If you’re like me, you hate tapping a screen with your finger. Brother has included a tap pen so that you can choose your settings without leaving smudges all over the LCD screen.
Stitch width and length can be chosen through the display, and there is a thread tension option for anyone that wants tight stitches for advanced projects.
Easy Setup With a Lot of Extras
When sewing or embroidering, you want to begin your projects as quickly as possible. Pricking your finger while trying to thread a needle isn’t fun, but this model comes with an intuitive automatic needle threader. It also comes with an automatic thread cutter, which is extremely useful.
- Button fitting
- Free-motion monogramming
- Blind stitch
Feet snap right into place, and can be removed and replaced within 5 seconds.
Featuring a top, drop-in bobbin, you’ll be ready to start your project within minutes. There is even a one-step buttoning hole that ensures you can sew buttons like a pro.
When it comes to editing, there are a range of editing features that can be chosen directly through the display.
If you get overwhelmed with computerized sewing machines, you’ll find that the SE400 is a breeze. The digital display also has built-in tutorials that will allow you to learn how to use your machine in just 9 easy steps.
- Computerized LCD makes it fast and easy to switch between projects.
- Offers an abundance of stitch and design options.
- Fast and easy to thread and get started.
- Includes 8 presser feet with snap-on mounting.
- Offers tutorials right through the LCD screen.
- Free arm design adds extra sewing functionality.
- Choosing stitches is tedious with 12 screens to scroll through (6 per page).
- Bobbin case needs frequent cleaning due to built-in sensors.
I want to touch on the two cons first. Cleaning the bobbin case is easy, but it is something you wouldn’t have to do as often with a manual sewing machine. This isn’t too much of an issue, but it deserves a mention.
The LCD screen is great and the stylus pen is very helpful. But, it takes a lot of scrolling to choose stitches and design patterns. There is nothing Brother could have done to avoid this because with 67 stitches and 6 displayed on a page, you’ll need to go through 12 pages of stitches when making your choice. The same issue exists with the designs.
All computerized models I’ve tried have this same issue, but it’s expected with an LCD display.
While this is a cheap embroidery machine, it is the best computerized, embroidery machine combination available. The Brother SE400 comes with all of the advanced features needed for complex projects while being easy for beginners to learn and master.
If you are interested in a new quilting machine, please check out this article where we review some of our favorites.