If you’re looking for a multi-function machine that’s lightweight and portable, look no further! The Brother SE400 sewing and embroidery machine not only gives you lots of features, but it’s compact and modestly priced for the budget minded.
What The Brother SE400 Is And Isn’t
When you’re looking for a sewing machine, you need to determine how you’ll be using it. And, since you’re investing in something you’ll probably have for a good long while, you should think about what you may want to do in the future.
The Brother SE400 has lots of sewing stitches, as well as a lot of built-in embroidery designs and some fonts. It also has the capability to import embroidery designs you purchase or create yourself. This machine can do regular craft and apparel sewing as well as free motion quilting. This versatility makes it a good all-around machine for someone who wants to do a little bit of everything.
However, the size and scope of the machine is also a limiting factor. Its petite size makes it great for travel or for those who have limited sewing space, but it also limits the user in what she or he can produce on the machine.
The small throat size makes quilting or sewing anything of substantial size impractical. There physically is little room to get large quantities of fabric through, even with judicious folding or rolling.
The maximum size of the embroidery that can be stitched makes large designs nearly impossible. Yes, you can reposition embroideries and create multiple hooped designs, but if you’re going to be doing large size embroideries with any regularity, you’re much better off purchasing a machine that has large-design capabilities.
The Brother SE400 has 67 sewing stitches that include both decorative and utility stitches, as well as a number of different types of buttonhole forms.
It also has 70 embroidery designs, as well as five lettering fonts. The fonts and designs can be reduced or enlarged, as well as rotated or mirrored.
The computerized machine can also use PES designs you can purchase or create with embroidery design software.
Features of the SE400
This little machine is packed with features, so it will grow with you as you develop your skill and interest. Many of these features are identical to more costly Brother sewing machine models.
To start with, it weighs a mere 13.669 pounds and measures 10.94″x6.89″x15.55″, so it’s a good travel machine. It would also be great for a student with limited space or as a secondary machine for an avid sewist.
Additionally, using the provided USB cable, you can connect your machine to your computer to update its software as improvements become available through Brother’s website.
The backlit LCD touchscreen display contains all the machine’s sewing and embroidery functions, as well as providing tutorials, help screens and error messages. The screen interface is relatively simple to use, and Brother includes a DVD tutorial as well as an operations manual.
The touch screen is also your command center for selecting and editing your embroidery or font designs. This means that you don’t need a computer program to enlarge, reduce, rotate or mirror your selected pattern.
The Brother SE400 has lots of little features to make your sewing life simple. It has an automatic thread cutter that severs both the top and bobbin thread with the touch of a lever. The threading path is clearly indicated by a diagram, and once you’ve completed the threading, there’s an automatic, manual needle threader that works efficiently and easily.
Winding bobbins is straightforward and simple, and the machine has a Quick-Set™ drop-in bobbin system that’s easy to use.
The Brother SE400 has both a sewing arm and an embroidery carriage, which are easily interchanged. When the sewing arm is removed, you have a free-arm surface for sewing small items like cuffs, doll clothes and other hard-to-access areas of your sewing.
The removable sewing arm also has storage space to hold all your accessories, so you can easily transport them if you’re using this as a travel machine.
The accessories that come with the Brother SE400 are pretty standard. You’ll get a soft cover and the necessary cables and cords. You’ll also find a seam ripper, extra needles, a cleaning brush, touchpad stylus, screwdriver, spool caps and three bobbins.
There are also different presser feet for different types of sewing. They include a buttonhole foot, overcast foot, zipper foot, button fitting foot, monogram foot, blind stitch foot and embroidery foot. The presser feet are easy-to-use, snap-on style, and there are other standard feet you can purchase for other sewing needs like free motion quilting.
The unit comes with a 4″x4″ embroidery hoop, as that is the maximum size you can stitch with the machine. However, you can purchase additional hoops in other sizes.
Both the embroidery carriage and the sewing arm are included in the package, so there’s no additional major equipment to purchase.
There’s a very good set of English/Spanish manuals, as well as a DVD included for reference, and Brother provides lifetime free phone support.
This is a fine little machine that’s suitable for many, many home sewers. It has lots of features that will carry the beginner through many years of building their sewing skills and is a fine unit for back-up or travel. Its limitations are only problematic for those who aspire to create large projects or embroideries, so for the average casual user, this is a machine that’s well worth the modest price.