Has long been a teacher of English Literature, after the retirement focused on freelance copywriting. She’s now our full-time writer since our website allows her to know more about the hobby of her lifetime – sewing.
A professional fashion designer and seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step instructions on how to sew a summer skirt.
Last updated: April 14, 2021
Do you want to improve your sewing experience with delicate designs? The best sewing and embroidery machine can help you create masterpieces. And if you are into sewing business – you can earn more money for the custom clothing, hats and other garments. But do such combo machines provide high-quality work? Can they become a long-lasting companion?
With so many models on the market you might feel lost. What matters most in sewing machine that can do embroidery? We’ve spent weeks testing various models and asked for professional sewists’ opinion about each sewing machine. We’ve checked speeds for both embroidery and sewing process so you’d be able to choose how much time you are comfortable to spend with the device. We’ve also looked through built-in stitches and embroidery design so you’d end up with more choices to start working asap. In our thorough guide you’ll find the one sewing embroidery machine combo that will be comfortable to create with.
It is not by chance that the word Brother is associated with world-class sewing machines. The Brother SE1900 sewing machine, which also lets you work on your embroidery and quilting projects is definitely a machine to reckon with. Its sewing speed reaches up to 850 spm, while its embroidery speed goes up to 650 stitches per minute.
There is no denying that the SE1900 brings your embroidery dreams to life. It comes equipped with 138 built-in embroidery designs, among them floral, kids, and seasons designs. With this machine, you get an opportunity to customize any of your projects using the 7 different embroidery fonts. Also, you will find 240 built-in sewing stitches that include 10 styles of auto-size buttonholes.
It is the best Brother sewing and embroidery machine not only because it affords countless stitches and cool designs, but because it allows you to import thousands of designs. This is made possible by the USB port installed on the unit. The speed adjustment and control feature and the 7 feed dog points further elevate this sewing machine in the embroidery industry. The embroidery working area of 5 x 7 inches and the 3 x 1.6 inch LCD display ensures that you will never encounter problems working on your embroidery projects or picking a stitch or design.
What we liked: One can’t deny the superiority the machine achieves because of the design editing feature, the LED lighting, and the numerous automatic features. This machine comes with impressive warranty. The number of built-in stitches and designs makes this item perfect to start working with it right out of the box.
What could be better: This machine has many functions and might scare off some users with complicated instructions.
Husqvarna Viking DesignerEPIC – Premium Pick
Sewing speed: 1050 spm
Embroidery speed: 1000 spm
Embroidery area: 14.1 x 14.1 in
Warranty: 20-year limited
More features: Advisor™ feature for fabrics, multiple device access through Mysewnet™ Cloud, automatic needle threader, LED light, 10.1-in touchscreen, even feed, Wi-Fi connection, 8 embroidery fonts, 6 sewing alphabets, 29 needle positions
There are not enough words to describe the Husqvarna Viking DesignerEPIC sewing and embroidery combo machine. But we can start by saying it affords you 1050 sewing stitches per minute. If you love embroidery, you can enjoy speeds of up to 1000 spm. This machine comes with unique world-class stitches which include dimensional, theme and sequence stitches. Regardless of the type of fabric, you’re working on, the deLuxe Stitch System gets you gorgeous results on both sides of the fabric.
This computerized sewing and embroidery machine from Husqvarna comes with close to 1300 stitches that include characters and letters. The manufacturer has included 8 programmable sewing fonts and 16 PBB buttonholes with sensor one-step buttonhole foot. As for the machine’s designs, you get to enjoy 651 embroidery designs. You also get access to 8 multi-sized fonts design appliqué, shaping and positioning features.
You don’t have to worry about working space because this machine boasts of 14.1 x 14.1-inch embroidery working area. You will not need to worry about re-hooping when working on your embroidery or quilting project. The other features that make this machine stand out are the fully automated needle threader, a 30% larger bobbin and a 10.1” capacitive tablet-like screen.
What we liked: We loved the Exclusive Sensor System that automatically and continuously senses and adjusts for fabric thickness. We cannot forget the solid 20—year limited warranty on the machine. Built-in stitches and design make it perfect for all kinds of complicated sewing projects. Big touchscreen makes this device very comfortable to work with. This machine is very fast and vast working space allows for grander scale projects.
What could be better: Other than it being pricey, the Designer EPIC sewing machine is in a class of its own.
Brother SE600 – Best Value
Sewing speed: 710 spm
Embroidery speed: 400 spm
Embroidery area: 4×4 in
Warranty: 1-year limited
More features: 7 sewing feet included, 3.2×1.8-in LCD touchscreen, automatic needle threader, 6 sewing fonts, top drop-in bobbin, 9 embroidery fonts, LED light
Many people end up picking the Brother SE600 when they go out in search of the best Brother sewing and embroidery machine. This is a solid machine that’s donned with a high sewing speed of 710 spm. It further gives you a maximum of 400 spm in embroidery speed.
With this machine, you get 80 different designs and 103 stitches, all of which are inbuilt. The large number of designs, stitches and lettering fonts helps widen your sewing experience and exposure.This is a great combo machine that allows you to mend garments, embroider your projects, try out quilting and perform all of your heirloom and craft sewing. We can say with confidence that this is a great computerized sewing and embroidery machine that will give you value for your money not only because of its countless topnotch features but also its versatility. The 3.2 inch full color touchscreen offers you a great display as well as previews of your work.
The embroidery work area is 4 x 4 inches. The expanded 6.4 x 4.1 inch needle-to-arm workspace affords you plenty of room to work on your quilts and other big bulky projects. The automatic needle threader, a top drop-in bobbin, and the many embroidery and sewing stitches and fonts let you work on denim, fabrics that fray and so much more.
What we liked: The SE600 is loved by many because of its immense capabilities. While it can sew and embroider with ease, quilting using this machine is fun and easy. This sewing machine fits as a budget option.
What could be better: we feel that the embroidery area is rather small
Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9850 – Easy to Use
Sewing speed: 1000 spm
Embroidery speed: 800 spm
Embroidery area: 6.7 x 7.9 in
Warranty: 1-year on labor, 5-year on electrical parts, 25-year on mechanical parts
More features: 7-piece feed dog, automatic thread cutter, top loading bobbin, on-screen sewing support, design editing, automatic needle threader, LCD touchscreen, LED light, 6 one-step buttonholes, USB port
Of the many features you need to test in a sewing and embroidery machine, the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9850 will score highly. With this machine, you will take pride in having a machine that can achieve a sewing speed of 1,000 stitches per minute. If you are thinking of starting a sewing and embroidery business, then you should seriously consider the Memory Craft 9850. The embroidery speed of between 60 and 800 spm further helps make this one of the best sewing and embroidery combo machines.
The Memory Craft 9850 persuades you to become creative and imaginative in any way you can think of. It offers you 175 in-built designs, making it possible for you to explore the deep end of sewing and embroidery. The 200 in-built stitches make it possible for you to sew any fabric using the appropriate stitches.
With an embroidery area of 6.7 x 7.9 inches, you can rest assured that most of your fabrics will be embroidered with ease. The easy reverse button, the 7-piece feed dog, the highly responsive LCD touch screen and the USB port further elevate the machine’s superiority.
What we liked: Janome backs the Memory Craft 9850 with a 25-year warranty on mechanical parts and a 5-year on electrical parts. We further loved it because it affords you 2 fonts with European characters and 100 editing design options among many other features. It works fast and can automatic functions make every process shorter.
What could be better: Users struggle with instructions given to operate the machine
Baby Lock Verve – Reliable Construction
Sewing speed: 850 spm
Embroidery speed: 400 spm
Embroidery area: 4×4 in
Warranty: 25-year limited
More features: 3.2×1.8-in LCD touchscreen, 11 fonts, automatic needle threader, top loading bobbin, USB port, accessory storage, twin needle setting, design editing
If you have been dreaming of entering the world of sewing and embroidery, the Baby Lock Verve sewing machine might just be the perfect place to start. This sewing and embroidery combo machine has been designed to allow you to work on all of your embroidery projects, not forgetting any sewing jobs you have. With sewing and embroidery speeds of up to 850 and 4000 spm, respectively, this is a machine designed to help you submit all your projects in a timely manner.
To many sewing and embroidery users, both hobbyists and pros, the Baby Lock verve machine comes equipped with all the essentials and much more. For starters, 95 embroidery designs and 145 frame patterns. It also comes armed with 11 font styles and a capability to do 50,000 stitches per design. When it comes to stitches, the machine comes with 191 built-in stitches, ten of them decorative satin and 41 decorative.
With an embroidery area of 4 x 4 inches, this machine is well equipped to handle any of your embroidery projects. In addition to that, a highly responsive LCD touchscreen. To add on to the features, the manufacturer has made it possible for you to adjust the stitch density on all inbuilt fonts.
What we liked: We liked the 25-year warranty the product is backed by. We also love the accessories that come with the machine such as a hardcover, embroidery hoop and grip, and thread spool insert. Built-in accessory storage is also very convenient. Sewing speeds and built-in designs come very handy.
What could be better: Very small embroidery area doesn’t really allow challenging designs to be used.
Bernette B79 – Best for Big Projects
Sewing speed: 1000 spm
Embroidery speed: 850 spm
Embroidery area: 10.2 x 6.2 in
Warranty: 10-year limited, 2-year on electrical parts
More features: 5-in touchscreen, 3 embroidery hoops, semi-automatic needle threader, LED light, 17 buttonholes, automatic thread cutter, 7 embroidery fonts, USB port
The Bernette B79 machine affords the user both functionality and creativity features. While this is the top of the range sewing machine from Bernette, you will find that the embroidery features that it is equipped with are sufficient even for a pro. It is capable of reaching 1,000 stitches per minute when sewing and 850 when embroidering.
With the B79, you will become your most creative because it is armed with a myriad of cool sewing and embroidering features. There are 208 embroidery designs to select. You can go for the Bernina ToolBox software that allows you to be creative with lettering and editing modules. The software gives you a chance to explore the BERNINA Cloud for an additional 300 embroidery designs and 100 extra fonts. As for the stitches, B79 has 500 stitches and a chance to hone your skills with the Stitch Designer further. The USB port will help you with this.
Being one of the best-computerized sewing and embroidery machines, the B79 does not compromise the embroidery area. You get a whopping 10.2 x 6.2 inches, which is a lot larger than what many other machines have to offer. The 5-inch LCD touchscreen and the LED light help make the machine stand out from the competition.
What we liked: The machine comes with an embroidery module with three hoops. You also get to enjoy 8 presser feet and a warranty of 10 years. Automatic functions make this machine very easy to work with. You have a decent choice in designs and stitches, and the embroidery area makes it perfect for bigger projects.
What could be better: This is a pricey machine and users might get intimidated
Janome Horizon Memory Craft 14000 – Best for Quilting and Embroidery
Sewing speed: 1000 spm
Embroidery speed: 1000 spm
Embroidery area: 9.1 x 11.8 in
Warranty: 25-year limited, 5-year on electrical parts, 1-year on labor
More features: 13 on-step buttonholes, LED light, free motion quilting, top loading bobbin, 13 one-step buttonholes, automatic thread tension, automatic needle threader, 7-piece feed dog, automatic thread cutter, 7.7×4.7-in touchscreen
When it comes to investing in high-quality sewing and embroidery combo machines, the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 14000 usually scores highly. Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional embroider, the Craft14000 will not put you to shame. The machine is capable of reaching speeds of up to 1,000 spm both for sewing and embroidery. The embroidery speed can be as low as 60 spm.
This Janome machine that boasts 350 embroidery designs is guaranteed to take your embroidery skills and experience to a whole new higher level. The 11 fonts and 2 &3 letter monogramming function allow you to produce the very best you envision. The manufacturer has equipped the machine with 400 stitches. The other cool features that make this product stand out to include automatic thread tension, adjustable knee foot, 13 one-step buttonholes, and a 15-inch embossed stainless steel bed.
With an embroidery area measuring 9.1 x 11.8 inches, not many machines can afford you such a big surface. The touchscreen which measures 7.7 x 4.7 inches further ensures that it remains the best sewing machine for quilting and embroidery.
What we liked: The sewing machine is backed by a 25-year limited warranty and a 5-year electrical parts warranty. What is more, it comes with numerous cool accessories such as zig-zag foot, darning foot, and optic magnifier. Stainless steel sewing bed will serve you for years.
What could be better: Even though equipped with incredible features, the machine is complex for most newbies and hobbyists.
Sewing speed: 710 spm
Embroidery speed: not specified
Embroidery area: 4×4 in
Warranty: 25-year limited, 2-year on electrical parts, 1-year limited on labor
More features: 3.7-in LCD touchscreen, USB port, 8 one-step buttonholes, 7 feet included, design editing, LED light, 200 extra embroidery design with included CD
Brother sewing machines are some of the best in the industry. As such, the Brother SE625 should provide you with the best sewing and embroidery experience, especially given that it has been equipped with 103 inbuilt sewing stitches. Also included within the machine are 8 styles of one-step, auto-sized buttonholes. For your embroidery needs, Brother has included 280 designs. In addition to this, there is a USB port that you can use to access unlimited embroidery options.
When using the S625 sewing and embroidery combo machine, you will reach speeds of up to 710 stitches per minute when sewing. When working on an embroidery project, you should not worry about the machine not being able to pierce even the toughest of fabrics. The machine comes with a 3.7-inch LCD display which allows you to operate the machine like a pro.
The embroidery area measures 4 x 4 inches. If you feel this is not sufficient, you can expand the needle-to-arm area to reach 6.4 x 4.1 inches. This means that you should have an easy time working on quilts or other bulky projects. The other cool features adorned on this machine include 7 quick-change sewing feet and a spring action zigzag foot among others.
What we liked: Plenty of accessories included with this machine plus CD with extra embroidery designs make this a very user-friendly machine. Touchscreen and USB-port add to convenience. LED light is very bright and covers the whole sewing area.
What could be better: The embroidery area does not allow for complicated designs to be added.
Brother LB5000S Star Wars – Fun Design
Sewing speed: 710 spm
Embroidery speed: not specified
Embroidery area: 4×4 in
Warranty: 25-year limited, 2-year limited on electric parts, 1-year limited on labor
More features: 3.2-in LCD touchscreen, 7 feet included, 9 fonts, 10 one-step buttonholes, automatic needle threader, Star Wars design pack, USB port
If you are looking forward to upgrading your basic sewing machine, then the Brother LB5000S Star Wars might appeal to you. This sewing machine which boasts of all the Brother prestige affords you a maximum sewing speed of 710 spm. This means that you can easily work on a commercial project using it. You can adjust the embroidery speed.
The LB5000S Star Wars machine comes with 80 embroidery designs. The manufacturer has included built-in 9 embroidery lettering alphabet fonts. Working on your embroidery projects will be fun and easy because the machine comes with curved text screen editing feature as well as automatic feed thread cutting feature. The total number of sewing stitches the machine comes with is 103. On top of this, you get to enjoy 10 buttonhole styles, reverse stitches, speed control and independent winding bobbin feature.
You will enjoy using the 3.2 capacitive LCD touchscreen. To help you become more creative and daring, the manufacturer has included the Star Wars design pack and a USB port to help you import designs from the Brother website and other sources. The embroidery area measures 4 x 4 inches.
What we liked: Given the machine’s favorable price tag, we find it ideal for a beginner. The Star Wars design makes it fun to work on this device. Sewing speeds are good and the built-in designs allow for decent work.
What could be better: Rather small embroidery area is not very comfortable to work with.
SINGER Legacy SE300
Sewing speed: 800 spm
Embroidery speed: 700 spm
Embroidery area: 10.25×6 in
Warranty: 25-year limited
More features: LCD touchscreen, automatic needle threader, USB port, 10 presser feet included, LED light, thread sensor
SINGER is a renowned global brand, and you should feel great pleasure investing in the SINGER | Legacy SE300. This sewing and embroidery combo machine boasts of embroidery speeds reaching 700 spm. With sewing speeds of up to 800 stitches per minute, you can rest easy knowing that this is a great hobbyist machine as a well as a capable professional machine.
To help you explore the world of embroidery and produce impeccable products, the machine has been armed with 200 designs. You also get 6 alphabet options, a USB stick that allows you to transfer designs and 10 snap-on presser feet. To update your designs is further made easy by the updatable software installed in the machine. The Legacy SE300 comes with 250 stitches, 118 decorative stitches, 14 fully automated buttonholes, and 22 quilting stitches.
The SE300 can be said to be the best sewing machine for quilting and embroidery given that it comes with a larger than standard embroidery area of 10.25 x 6 inches. This allows you to work on quilts and large projects with ease.
What we liked: The SE300 sewing machine is loaded with cool features such as automatic threader and thread sensor which serve to elevate the machine’s reliability and prominence. It comes with plenty of accessories and delivers great sewing and embroidery speeds.
What could be better: The one downside about this machine is that there is a lot to learn about it before you can confidently use it.
Things to Consider
A sewing machine cannot be used to do embroidery work or quilt. However, you can opt to buy one that sews, quilts and garnishes fabrics with embroidery. We look at the numerous features that you must look at before giving out your money. Even after you have bought the machine, we look at tips and tricks that will help you use your sewing and embroidery combo machine optimally. We have answered some FAQs that are often asked by buyers and users of these machines.
How to use embroidery and sewing machine combo
The first thing you are supposed to do when a sewing machine lands is read the user manual. Threading is one of the several functions described in the manual, and even though it may seem complicated at first, you should soon be able to do it while blindfolded. In the case of the Brother SE600, the manufacturer has used numbers 1 to 8 to demonstrate the threading procedure.
Another important thing to learn about your embroidery and sewing machine is how to use the software. The machine will come preinstalled with software that allows you to connect it to a computer or external storage. In some instances, you can buy software to give you some extra functions such as creating your own designs. To update your machine’s software, simply connect it to a computer and visit the manufacturer’s website.
Changing the hoop in modern sewing and embroidery machines is electronic. That means that for most machines, you needn’t buy a separate hoop. In many of the featured machines, you will start with pressing the ‘Home’ button on the LCD screen. Go to the ‘edit’ option and proceed to the ‘tools’ section. You will find several hoops options to select. Depending on the embroidery project you’re working on, you will be able to pick the preferred option. If your machine came with a single hoop, it should be sufficient but if not, you can invest in an electric hoop which is versatile and durable, though a bit expensive.
Another thing to familiarize yourself with is how to switch between sewing and embroidery mode. In many cases, all you need to do when changing is turn off the machine, slide out the sewing kit, and serve as storage, below the needle and replace with the embroidery one. Turn on the machine, and it will automatically conform to embroidery mode.
Sewing and embroidery tips and tricks
Embroidery can be intimidating, especially to a person who doesn’t know how to use a sewing machine. However, with the right attitude and machine, embroidery can be one of the most satisfying hobbies or commercial ventures. To master the art of embroidery, let us explore some tips that will transform you from just a newbie to a pro.
Always use the right needle for the job.
Strive to learn new stitches every time. This way, your embroidery skills get to grow.
Using a thread conditioner before commencing the job helps at making the thread smoother and your embroidery long lasting.
Be creative. You can explore pop embroidery or negative space embroidery.
Remember to check the backside of the fabric when you are working.
Here are some tips on threading and fabric choosing
Many of the available fabrics can be embroidered. However, the embroidery technique should align with the type of fabric that you choose. Some of the common fabrics that you can work on include aida cloth, hardanger fabric, toweling or you can work on ready-made items.
As for threading your machine, you should set the spool and the thread to come towards you. In the case of the Brother SE600 and numerous other machines, once you have inserted the spool and pulled the thread, there are instructions indicated on the machine, or you can find them in the user-manual.
Maintenance advice for computerized sewing and embroidery machine
It is imperative that you take good care of your sewing machine if you want it to continually give you spectacular embroidery results. Let us look at how to clean, oil and take general care of your machine. By following these tips, you are guaranteed to enjoy using it for years to come without encountering any hitches.
Always cover the machine when not in use. Covering it prevents dust from settling and entering it.
After use, unplug the machine. It is worth noting that the machine insurance and warranty don’t apply if a problem arises due to power outage or surge. Unplugging also helps cut down on power expenses.
Use the right needles and replace them often. To avoid breakages and to achieve neat work, use the appropriate needle. If you are using your machine at home, ensure that you change the needles every 4 hours. If used for commercial purposes, change the needle after every few hours to avoid it getting blunt.
Invest in the right thread. Though buying a cheap thread might be tempting, it comes with various issues such as a damaged bobbin case.
Oil the machine. Though every sewing machine is unique, the thumb’s rule is to oil your machine every four months. Newer models come pre-lubricated, and in some case, you may find that the manufacturer has given very specific instructions on how and when to do it. Before you oil the machine, ensure that you have cleaned it first. Once in a while,, though, drop a drop or two on the bobbin case.
Regularly clean the machine. To do this, you should first unplug the machine. Pick a nylon brush and remove all the dirt and dust on the lower part of the machine. Oil the machine and then while using a piece of cloth, preferably muslin, to wipe out any excess oil.
Price is basically the one thing that can tell you whether a sewing machine, or any other item for that matter, is premium or basic. In our review, we found every buyer will find a fitting machine that will serve them. Whether you are on a budget, a beginner, a hobbyist or a professional, there is a sewing machine for you.
On the far left, you will find beginner sewing machines that are also capable of embroidering and quilting. Here, you will find Brother SE600, Brother SE625, and Brother LB5000S, all going for $500 or less. For those who want to upgrade from basic level, there is the SINGER Legacy SE300, Brother SE1900 and Baby Lock Verve and Bernette B79. These ones will cost you between $800 and $1,600. If you are a professional or a serious hobbyist, then the Husqvarna Viking and Janome Horizon Craft 14000 are the options you have. The price range is between $6,500 and $15,000. For the quilting enthusiasts and professionals, the Janome Horizon Craft 9850 will serve you superbly.
How to pick the best sewing and embroidery machine
Picking the best sewing and embroidery machinery entails quite some research. In this review, we have explored the numerous machines that are designed for this job. We have covered miles and spent hours analyzing and testing these machines to ensure that we get the fairest picture of each one of them. We have picked a number of key features that we believe determine whether a machine is a spectacular success or failure.
When it comes to embroidery, every little thing matters. The speed you stitch with can very well determine the end product you are going to get. For a beginner, you should start at low speeds, especially when you are embroidering. The reason for this is to help prevent any of the following;
The pulling of the thread. The higher the speed, the greater the higher the chance of thread pulling. This affects the final look of your project.
There will be missing stitches at the beginning. This is caused by when the thread escapes from the needle’s eye. When this happens, the needle’s hook cannot reach the thread. Missing a stitch ultimately means that the embroidery will not look as intended. If anything, you cannot sell such an item with a distorted flower or image.
Because of the high speed, the thread is increasingly pulled, and this often leads to unintended gaps.
Fabric warping can happen when you use high speeds to sew. This is as bad as thread pulling or having gaps in your final product.
Don’t forget that needles tend to break a lot when you sew at high speeds.
This does not mean that you cannot sew at high speed. Rather, it means that as a newbie, it is better to start at low speeds. After all, even seasoned tailors tend to avoid high-speed sewing. Though the higher the speed, the better it is for you if you want to finish fast, you will find that embroidering is an art that requires patience and persistence. Some experts recommend embroidering and sewing speeds of between 500 and 650 spm, but some go as high as 700 spm.
The embroidery area or the size of the hoop determines to a great extent what stitches, and fabrics you can work with. For great results, the right hop must be used. In many of the featured machines such as the Bernette B79, you get an option of more than one hoop. This means that the machine will automatically detect the project you are working on and select the right hop for you.
You will notice that some embroidery machines can only stitch some specific designs and sizes. The smaller the throat distance or rather the space between the machine and the needle, the smaller the hoop required. The opposite is true for larger hoops. You will therefore find that the smaller embroidery area such as that of baby Lock Verve limits you to working on smaller embroidery projects. This, however, should be no reason for you to not buy the machine. If you are looking forward to working on a larger embroidery project, then buying aftermarket hoops is always an option. You can buy a magnetic hoop which though a bit costly will serve you very well.
For the everyday hobbyists, a small hoop is ideal as rarely will you ever find yourself working on a duvet cover. However, those who are looking to advance their sewing prowess or want to own a commercial embroidery machine, a larger hoop such as that of Husqvarna Viking DesignerEPIC, which measures 14.1 x 14.1 inches, should do. Remember to check whether your preferred machine comes with a variety of hoops or a single only or whether it is compatible with other hoops.
Software and connections
Almost every modern sewing and embroidery machine today is electronic. This means the machine can be connected to a computer or some external electronic device. This being the case, many manufacturers strive to make their machines compatible with the modern computers or operating systems. In the case of Brother sewing machines, you can easily connect the machine to the computer and to the Brother website where you can explore many designs and even perform some machine diagnostics and troubleshooting. For this purpose, manufacturers include a USB port. In a few machines such as the Husqvarna Viking DesignerEPIC, Wi-Fi connection is also an option.
Many of the embroidery functions and in some cases, sewing features ride on the back of a software. A software will help you pick the embroidery design, fonts for monogramming or even monogramming letters. The software gives you a chance to connect to another device or the internet and download designs of your choice. This software will allow you to select the preferred hoop like in the case of Brother SE600. The software used should ideally be that provided by the manufacturer so that you can enjoy machine software updates.
With improved experience, creativity becomes the norm. You will want to make your own embroidery designs or try to come up with a hybrid of your own. For some machines, you might need to go online and buy a software that allows you to do that. However, you should ensure that the software is compatible with your machine first.
Stitches and designs included
It follows that the more the stitches a sewing machine boasts of, the better it is for the seamstress. Unlike mechanical machines that come with a limited number of stitches, the computerized ones afford you more stitches that you could possible exhaust. You will find that a majority of the featured Brother machines come equipped with just 103 stitches. They may look few when you compare the 500 stitches the Bernette B79 sewing machine boasts of. But in practicality, 100 stitches are more than you could possibly exhaust. Among the stitches to try out are buttonholes, satin, zigzag and basting stitches among others.
The embroidery designs that you can have on your machine determines how wide your embroidery tray can be. But the good thing with designs is that you are not limited to what the machine comes with. You can use the USB port or the Wi-Fi connection to add more. Still, you’d rather have more inbuilt designs rather than download them. But if you are a beginner, or on a tight budget, picking the Brother SE600 machine should be ok. With just 80 inbuilt designs, you get an opportunity to visit the manufacturer’s website to download more. Husqvarna Viking DesignerEPIC leads the pack with 651 designs, though, followed by Janome Horizon Memory Craft 14000 with 350.
Besides downloading your preferred embroidery designs, manufacturers appreciate the need for hobbyists and pros to create their own designs. You will find many machines allowing you to create your own designs or capable of accommodating a software that lets you explore your creativity.
Dimensions and weight
Suppose you don’t have a large place to put your machine. It wouldn’t make a lot of sense to invest in the largest and the bulkiest machine in the market. Remember, the workplace you have should have enough air and enough space to store your fabrics and other sewing paraphernalia. That being the case, a sewing hobbyist living in a condo cannot afford to invest in an industrial machine. The good thing about these machines, though, is that their worktops are pretty standard and quite similar.
You should think about the dimensions and the overall weight of the sewing machine that you intend to buy. Though it might be good when working with, a bulky machine might be cumbersome when you want to store it away. Moreover, for those who participate in competitions, a small and compact machine might make more sense. The same applies to weight. The heavier the more it becomes tedious to store it away. A light machine is easier to carry around and even maneuver if the need arises. There is also the risk of dropping a heavy machine when you are moving it around.
The issue of weight and dimensions fade away when you consider a person who never intends to move the machine once they have set it up. If you have a designated room in your home, then weight and size should not really be a factor. The same goes for a person who intends to use the machine for commercial purposes. Rarely will you find yourself finding a reason to move the machine.
The warranty, your favourite sewing and embroidery machine is backed with should influence your buying decision. The longer the manufacturer’s warranty, the better and more reliable such a product is deemed to be. In our review, you will find that all sewing machines have been backed by a 25-year limited warranty save for Husqvarna and Bernette that back their machine with 20-year and 10-year warranties.
Even though the general warranty should cater for pretty much anything that can go wrong with a sewing machine, manufacturers will come with additional warranties for specific parts and items. For the Brother sewing machines, the manufacturer has added a 2-year warranty on all electrical parts and 1-year for labour. This means that if any electrical component of the machine breaks down but in accordance with the stipulated conditions, the manufacturer will replace such parts for free. If anything breaks down, whether mechanical or otherwise after the expiry of the labor 1-year warranty, you should foot the bill even though the components replaced or repaired will be free according to the given warrant. Janome has backed its machines with a 5-year warranty against all electrical parts.
Generally, when a manufacturer or seller says that a 25-year warranty backs a product, they mean the mechanical parts. However, for the purposes of validity you must read the fine print that warranty conditions and clauses are often included in.
In some instances, your decision to buy or not buy a sewing machine can be determined by the availability of accessories or lack of them. Manufacturers try to work hard to include accessories that will make your sewing and embroidering life easy and fun. If you are looking to specialize, you might want to search some more to find the machine that affords you the appropriate accessories.
There are standard accessories which should not be missing from your sewing machine. Things such as the CD or access to a software that will enable the machine to operate. The other accessories that are standard or common in embroidery machines include;
Bobbins and bobbin case
Operational manual and
For some premium sewing and embroidery machines such as Husqvarna Viking Designer Embroidery Machine, you will find accessories such as Self-adhesive glide plates, sensor Q-foot, softcover for machine and Designer Epic sampler book among others. The Janome Horizon Craft 14000 machine boasts of accessories such as ¼ inch seam foot O, embroidery foot, automatic buttonhole foot, darning foot, and optic magnifier, among others.
If you love quilting, then check out the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9850 whose accessories include zipper foot, zigzag foot, satin stitch foot, and button sewing foot. You can go for optional accessories which include border guide foot, ultraglide foot, purple nip needle, blue tip needle, ruffle and circular sewing attachment. Look for accessories that favor your style of
The sewing machine you have invested your money in must have instructions in a language that you understand. In our market, English is the standard language. That being the case, the instructions should never be in Chinese even if a product was designed and manufactured in China. At the same time, some products can be operated through trial and error especially when the user instructions are in another language or incomprehensible, an embroidery machine won’t.
In scrolling through the user instructions of various sewing machines featured, we found that all of them are in English. However, you will find that Brother SE625 and other Brother sewing machines come with instructions, which have been translated into Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
The user manual should be written such that you can set up the machine and start operating it. However, we know this can at times be very difficult, especially on the part of operating it. There are short online embroidery courses, some of which are offered by affiliate sites of the manufacturer. If you lose your user manual for any reason, you can always download a free copy from the manufacturer’s site. Such can happen with Brother and Janome machines. When you encounter a difficulty operating your sewing machine, there is a strong community online that you can ask a question and get help. Manufacturers also support these online communities.
The durability of a product is often reflected in the kind of warranty the manufacturer backs it with. If a sewing machine was backed with a 3-month warranty whereas the rest comes with a minimum of ten years, you should ask yourself many questions on the reliability of the product.
In our review, we have come across people who have been using machines made by Brother, Janome, Husqvarna and Bernette that have lasted for years. Save for the Bernette B79 sewing machine that comes with a relatively short warranty on mechanical parts of 10 years but is known for high-quality devices, the rest of the machines come with a guarantee of at least 20 years. Still, 10 years is not a short time by all standards. Moreover, the manufacturer has backed all the electrical parts with a 2-year warranty.
To enjoy the longest possible time with your sewing machine, you mustn’t rely on the warranty and the machine’s toughness alone. As previously stated, you stand to enjoy many years of using your machine if you take good care of it. This means that you should always clean it after use, oil it regularly and use a cover. With proper care, your sewing machine should long outlive the manufacturer’s warranty.
Just like is the case with accessories, extra features are unique and specific to a particular machine. Manufacturers include extra features to lure you while at the same time, providing you with an added advantage of owning this machine.
You will find LED lighting to be one of the extra features that manufacturers include. This light helps in lighting the needle area hence helping you produce better quality work. You will also find screens to be common. Though they are not necessary, they play a vital role in helping you adjust, edit or select a certain setting. The Janome Horizon Memory Craft 14000 machine boasts a 7.7 x 4.7-inch touchscreen while Brother SE625 machine comes with a moderate 3.7-inch touch screen.
The other extra features to explore and which might make all the difference in your embroidery journey is the automatic needle threader. With this feature, you get it easy when you are threading, which can be a pain sometimes. Other extras that you will come across include the editing feature that allows you to edit and preview a design. There are also some auto-size buttonholes to check out. Do not forget that some machines such as SINGER SE300 come with extra hoops, making it unnecessary for you to buy a new one.
It is important to note the difference between a sewing machine and an embroidery machine. A sewing machine is basically designed to perform regular stitching. This can also be referred to as construction stitching. A sewing machine will sew two pieces of fabric together so as to make a single functional item. In the case of embroidery machines, their main role is to employ some advanced pattern, often pre-programmed and digitized to produce a work of art.
That being said, it is easy to see why not every sewing machine can do embroidery work. Unless a sewing machine has been designed to also perform embroidery work, it is not possible.
It is not advisable to use embroidery thread for sewing. The main reason being that embroidery thread is not as strong as sewing thread and it’s only intended for decorative or embroidery purposes. However, there are instances when embroidery thread can be used to sew. On your hip pockets of your jeans, the thread normally used is embroidery thread. It is used there to ensure the edges of the pocket stay intact while ensuring that beauty is achieved. But in general, embroidery thread is not used to sew two pieces of fabric together.
For those looking to upgrade their sewing and embroidery machines and are not sure where to head to, consider investing in the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 14000. This sewing machine which boasts of sewing and embroidery speeds of 1,000 spm will help you beat deadlines always. The manufacturer has included 350 designs and you got 400 stitches to try out. You can’t go wrong with this machine because it affords you a large embroidery area of 9.1 x 11.8 inches. The colored touch screen is large enough to help you do all your maneuvers and editing. Given the price tag it carries, it is ideal for a person who is doing business from home. The Husqvarna is a great option but the price given that this Janome model boasts of almost similar features might not be ideal. Moreover, the Craft 14000 model will not only sew and embroider but will do all your quilting with ease.
For a beginner who wishes to get value for money, the Brother SE600 is the machine to go for. This sewing and embroidery combo machine is light, weighs 12 pounds, and comes equipped with 80 different embroidery designs. The 3.7” LCD touch screen serves to make you enjoy access to all that the machine has to offer. You will also have an easy time editing your work using the capacitive screen. The machine comes with variable speed controls and needle up/down features, making it a versatile machine. You can work on quilts with this machine because you can expand needle-to-arm workspace to 6.4 x 4.1 inches. With the easy to follow user manual and 103 stitches, you will certainly find this to be the easiest sewing and embroidery machine.
Embroidery fabrics are gauged according to the thread count they carry and the linen type as well as their blend. When picking your preferred embroidery fabric, you should bear in mind the embroidery technique you intend to apply. Here are the basic and common fabrics that are considered embroidery fabrics;
Ready-made garments – These are good, especially if you are looking to employ surface embroidery techniques. The items you can work on include pillowcases, blankets and t-shirts, among others.
Toweling items – These are easy to find items that you can use to make whatever you want.
Aida cloth – This popular cloth works very well with cross-stitches. This is made possible by the easy-to-count square pattern.
Evenweave fabrics – The tightly woven even-weave fabrics are very popular amongst those who do embroidery. On the other hand, the loosely woven fabrics work best for counted thread, and drawn thread techniques.
The advantage of owning a sewing and embroidery combo machine is that not only will you explore the entire embroidery world but also get a chance to try out all of your monogram ideas. A combo machine is indeed the ultimate house décor companion because you can sew an item and place on it a monogram and an embroidery pattern all while using a single machine. While you need a monogramming foot to convert your normal sewing machine into a monogramming one, with a combo machine, monogramming comes naturally.
Our editor’s choice is the Brother SE1900 sewing machine. This sewing machine not only gives you the power to stitch 850 stitches a minute but will do an embroidery job at 650 stitches a minute. It is a magnificent combo sewing and embroidery machine that will sew, quilt and do all your embroidery job perfectly.
Second place is the Husqvarna Viking DesignerEPIC machine that boasts of all the premier features that an embroidery machine can have. The machine’s maximum speeds are epic, the stitches are plenty, and the designs are out of this world. With 29 needle positions and a Wi-Fi connection feature, this is a truly premium machine.
The best sewing and embroidery machine that gives you true value for money, whether you are on a tight budget or a veteran is the Brother SE600. This machine is favorably priced yet, the features it boasts of are enough to transform a newbie into a pro within no time.