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 (just like Brother’s CS6000i sewing machine), I had to give this model a try to see if it lived up to the hype. Read our Brother SE400 sewing and embroidery machine review below to see what we think.
Brother SE400 Review – Machine Features
- 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 embroidery sewing 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 Brother SE400 sewing machine 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.
If you usually embroidery by hand then you know that choosing a design or pattern takes time. You probably do some research or even go to your local sewing store to buy a pattern. If you want to be able to start embroidering immediately, this may not be feasible. Then, once you’ve chosen your pattern you then have to do it by hand. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE hand embroider, but it is definitely time consuming and there are only so many hours in the day. This is one reason I love this machine.
This model is computerized, with built-in embroidery patterns that allow you to choose your patterns and complete complex tasks very quickly. One thing I absolutely love is that you don’t have to be stuck with just the embroidery patterns on the machine.
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 selection is truly outstanding. The store has everything from Disney characters to limited-edition designs. This was one of my most time-consuming tasks as once I started browsing it took me forever to finally decide on the design I wanted to try out. 🙂
It’s perfect for the advanced embroidery projects that you have to complete. Imagine using a Brother embroidery machine to create an adorable Winnie the Pooh 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. After I set this up on my craft table I was sewing in under 5 minutes.
LCD Display with Easy Design and Stitch Option
The LCD display is where most of the action is. This display screen is a sensitive touchscreen and will act as your central hub for all of your stitch and design options. Here is where you choose your stitches or patterns and many other features.
On the LCD screen you can choose from 67-stitches, which is more than enough to complete the most advanced sewing projects with the utmost precision. There are also many different designs available for embroidery with 70 unique pattern designs to choose from. There are so many cute options to personalize almost any project. If you find the selection missing something you want, you can always download it from iBroidery.
Your stitch options can be seen on the right side of the machine with a small diagram of each stitch. 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.
If you are interested in monogramming you’ll be happy to know that there are five different fonts are available. These are great for adding that personal touch on a gift.
If you’re like me, you might find tapping a screen with your finger annoying after a while. To help with this, 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.
All in all the LCD functionality is amazingly simple to use. Most people won’t have any issues finding what they need quickly and easily. Beginners will love the simplicity of this machine.
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. Thankfully, this model comes with an intuitive automatic needle threader. It is fast, reliable and easy to set up. It also comes with an automatic thread cutter, which is extremely useful.
There are 8 quick change sewing feet:
- 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 Brother 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 as it doesn’t take too long, but it deserves a mention because it is something you don’t want to forget about.
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 an inexpensive embroidery machine, it is the best sewing machine and embroidery combo machine 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 love the idea of a machine that can sew, embroider and monogram all in one, then you will be very happy with this machine.
If you are interested in a new quilting machine, please check out this article where we review some of our favorites.
Embroidery Machines – Updated
Please note that it is now much harder to find the SE400 in stores or online. You are probably better served purchasing one of Brother’s newer embroidery machine models. We have updated a post where we review our favorite embroidery machines you can find on the market today. You can find that post here: https://www.quiltersreview.com/best-home-embroidery-machine/