Embroidery Set Up: Brother SE400 Sewing Machine

When I unpacked my new embroidery sewing machine, I was baffled and confused, since I had never owned a machine that was computerized or that can do embroidery. Wow! Now what? I grabbed my manual trying to figure out the embroidery set up for the Brother SE 400 Sewing Machine. I just push a few buttons, and away we go, right? Not exactly…there is a little more to it than that, as I soon discovered. Although, once you understand, it is quite a simple process. I thought I would dedicate this post to giving those of you that are interested, a quick, embroidery set up guide to get you started. I am enjoying my machine so much, and continually discovering new ways to create with embroidery. It’s just so amazing to me, to watch a machine stitch out an embroidery design that I have given it, with such precision and perfection.

Get Familiar with Your Sewing Machine!

It’s important to get familiar with your machine, and the manual is a great place to start, but I admit that sometimes manuals can be hard to understand. A video gives you a much more clear idea of how the machine works, and how to set it up for specific tasks, like embroidery. In the following videos, I wanted to present the basice for embroidery set-up, with a 2 part series. I intend to add other, more advanced, video tutorials in the future, including Embrilliance Software for Mac users, so if you are interested, I hope you keep watching our YouTube channel. Or, you can find all of our tutorials right here on our blog. Our tutorials include basics for sewing, embroidery, crochet, and we are adding some fun “how to” crafty home projects.

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34 Responses to Embroidery Set Up: Brother SE400 Sewing Machine

  1. zerlene woodward July 31, 2014 at 9:58 AM #

    Iv’e not yet received mine in mail, but already concerned as someone said “buy the 3 hoops on amazon for $50.00 to use on the BrotherSE400…..so are you saying they will NOT WORK??? I would think would work & could use the large letters?? Thank you for any info on this! Zerlene

    • Rachel August 2, 2014 at 7:44 AM #

      Yes, because the sewing area programmed into the machine will only sew on a 4″x4″ area. And, Zerlene, in reference to your questions on YouTube, we are unable to reply because your comment appears “linked” and has no reply button (Google+ privacy settings?). In regards to your bobbin threads question, generally, for regular machine embroidery, you would use white bobbin thread on the bottom and your colored thread on the top. For free standing lace embroidery, you should use colored thread on both top and bottom. Most designs will have an automatic stopping point for color changes, but if not, you will have to do it manually.

  2. singer sewing machine agent April 2, 2014 at 5:46 PM #

    The best bobbin suited for this machine is the Singer 15J bobbin.

    Do you use a brand new, state of the art machine, or do you
    prefer a reliable antique Singer. The Mammoth Series has been close to
    for nearly a decade and delivers a terrific unit for a lot of predicaments.

  3. Heather @GeminiRed Creations December 15, 2013 at 12:14 PM #

    I’m new to this machine and embroidery and found your tutorial/YouTube video while trying to figure out how to do something. I am trying to do a 5-letter name in large using one of the installed fonts and I can’t seem to get it set up to allow me to do that. Given the size of the letters it should fit length wise. Ideas?

    • Bonnie December 18, 2013 at 7:44 AM #

      With a limited 4×4 hoop size, in many cases you will not be able to fit a word or series of letters across with the loaded fonts, but using the smallest option might work. I prefer using a software program to create my lettering that allows me to size and manipulate my letters. I use Embrilliance Embroidery Software. You can learn more about it here: http://www.Embrilliance.com/jamaffiliates/jrox.php?id=108
      Or right here on our website we have an Embroidery Software Page. I hope this helps.

  4. Rachel December 10, 2013 at 2:11 PM #

    Hi. I need a sewing machine that I can change out to stronger needles on in order to sew through elastic. I also need an embroidery machine that works with multiple color threads at once… or that can create a flower for instance with shadowing and a stem. I alos need a machine that allows for me to upload other embroidery other than what it comes with. Is this machine capable of all this? I want to make sure before I invest in it. Thanks

    • Bonnie December 10, 2013 at 2:41 PM #

      No, this machine will not perform the tasks you mentioned. The Brother SE 400 is an entry level, beginner Embroidery/Sewing machine with limited 4×4 hoop size. I would suggest you do further research, or contact a sewing machine company that can help you find a machine that meets your needs. Thank you for visiting our website.

  5. Rachel December 10, 2013 at 2:10 PM #

    Question! I need a sewing machine that I can change out to stronger needles on in order to sew through elastic. I also need an embroidery machine that works with multiple color threads at once… or that can create a flower for instance with shadowing and a stem. I alos need a machine that allows for me to upload other embroidery other than what it comes with. Is this machine capable of all this? I want to make sure before I invest in it. Thanks

  6. Donna August 27, 2013 at 7:10 AM #

    I am looking to purchase an embroidery machine that will embroider shirt, hats, blankets, bags and so forth. Mainly for personal use but also for friends and family. Will the brother SE400 do all of this or should I go with another machine. I’ve been looking at the PE700 (I think). Any advice?? Thanks!

    • Bonnie August 27, 2013 at 7:38 AM #

      Hi Donna
      The Brother SE 400 is a great beginner machine for sewing and embroidery. It does a great job on most embroidery projects. Keep in mind that it has a 4×4 hoop size, and you would need a special hoop for hats. The hat hoop would allow you to embroider on the front of the hat. I have never embroidered on a hat but with the special hoop I’m sure it can be done. I have provided the links below for the hoop and the Brother SE 400. Good luck, and thanks for visiting TLC Inspirations. :)
      For the hoop…
      http://amzn.to/15tg1Sl

      For the machine…
      http://amzn.to/16Kz8Xd

      • Donna August 27, 2013 at 7:51 AM #

        Thanks so much! I appreciate your help!!

  7. Steph H June 3, 2013 at 11:44 AM #

    I received my SE400 around Christmas and have been playing with it on and off the past six months. Around the beginning of April I was reading up on maintenance and realized how important it was to replace needles on a regular basis. May I ask what type of needles do you use and where you purchase them from?

    • bonnie@tlcinspirations.com June 4, 2013 at 8:24 AM #

      I just use standard multi purpose needles, unless I need ballpoint for delicate fabrics. Universal needles that work for multiple sewing machine brands. I usually get them at JoAnn Fabrics. :)

      • Steph H June 4, 2013 at 7:20 PM #

        Thank you for replying! This is probably a silly question but I’m going to assume you use the universal for both sewing and embroidery? My research on the different brands/types of needles has been confusing and I’ve started to wonder if I should buy both the universal and embroidery types and switch them out according to what part of the project I’m on.

    • bonnie@tlcinspirations.com June 5, 2013 at 6:59 AM #

      I mainly use the multi purpose, but with more intricate projects, the fine embroidery threads will feed through and embroider needle much smoother. The finer your thread, the smaller needle size should be used.

      • Steph H June 5, 2013 at 12:38 PM #

        Thank you! This has really helped to clear up my confusion.

  8. Darlene May 21, 2013 at 11:34 AM #

    I was making a baby blanket already stamped from Walmart ,can the embroidery machine do the prestamped blanket.please help.

    • Rachel May 22, 2013 at 8:36 AM #

      I’m not sure what you mean by “stamped”. Could you be more specific?

  9. Jody April 15, 2013 at 7:06 AM #

    I cannot figure out how to thread the machine I was hoping you would show that I am completely new to sewing of any kind Please help :)

    • bonnie@tlcinspirations.com April 15, 2013 at 7:18 AM #

      Jody
      I use a Brother SE 400 Embroidery Sewing Machine, and you can view our video tutorial on how to thread the machine on TLC Inspirations YouTube Channel: http://youtu.be/60tsft2ubOY
      I hope this is helpful. Thanks for your comment, and for visiting our TLC Inspirations Craft Blog.

    • bonnie@tlcinspirations.com April 15, 2013 at 8:06 AM #

      Regarding the threading for embroidery, you would need the “bobbin embroidery thread” for the bobbin, (usually comes with the machine) and then your chosen color embroidery thread in the needle. Bobbin embroidery thread is thinner, and white, and is what will be on the underside of your design after it is stitched. For further info on embroidery, there are several videos on our YouTube Channel that may be helpful.

      • haylie August 15, 2013 at 12:09 PM #

        Bonnie,
        Thank you for all your videos. Very helpful. My problem is with the bobbin and top thread. From what i understand you put the white bobbin in and then what ever color you want on the top thread. However it seems that the white is taking over the color on the embrodery design. I have read the book and messed with all the setting and can’t seem to figure it out. Any suggestions?
        Thank you for your time.

  10. Debbie February 17, 2013 at 10:23 PM #

    I can’t tell begin to tell you how useful your videos are.

  11. sharon jones January 27, 2013 at 6:20 PM #

    I would like to use a larger embroidery hoop but I don’t know where to buy one and if it has to be purchased from online. I love the videos so far but none of them tell how to use a different sized hoop other than the one that comes with the machine.Can you help please?

    • Bonnie January 28, 2013 at 5:50 AM #

      I have never tried a larger hoop because using a larger hoop will not increase the sewing field.
      If you have a 4×4 sewing field it will only sew designs that fit within that field. The only advantage of using a larger hoop would be to connect designs 4″ at a time. I have seen the generic larger hoops on Amazon. Thanks for your comment.

  12. Karen O' October 12, 2012 at 2:44 PM #

    I can’t tell begin to tell you how useful your videos are. I just purchased a Brother SE400 and was totally intimated when I opened the box.

    I just watched your videos on setting up the machine for embroidery. You make it so clear and understandable. I’m really excited about getting started. If I had some stabilizer, I would be embroidering already.

    I’m a MAC user so I’m interested to read about the MAC embroidery software. Keep up the great instructional work! It’s so appreciated!

    • Bonnie October 12, 2012 at 3:27 PM #

      Awww! Thank you so much for the compliment. This machine is my first embroidery/sewing machine, and I am loving it! You will too! If you are interested in the Embrilliance Embroidery Software, for Mac users, you can learn more at http://www.Embrilliance.com/jamaffiliates/jrox.php?id=108
      or just click on the Embrilliance graphic in our website sidebar. I will be doing more tutorials,including some about the Embrilliance Software in the near future. Thanks again, and good luck with your new adventure. :D

  13. Susan Adams October 2, 2012 at 11:05 AM #

    Could you show me how to add a space to a phrase and also add a second line? Thank you

    • Christie May 3, 2013 at 8:02 PM #

      Did you ever figure out how to do this? I just ran into this problem and hate to create a new one and upload it using software. Ugh.

      • Bonnie May 4, 2013 at 6:02 AM #

        If you are talking about adding more than one word using the machine fonts without a software program, you are limited by the preconfigured sizes (small, med, large) and how many letters will fit in the 4×4 frame. But if you want to try, use the _ key to create a space.
        It’s much easier to create phrases using a software program such as Embrilliance. There is a link in our website sidebar, if you are interested. Thanks for visiting us. :)

  14. Lexy September 14, 2012 at 4:24 PM #

    Hi Thank you for putting this video up. I have this sewing machine and will like to learn how to use the embroidery part. Also wondering do you put the bobbin in the same way as you normally would?

    • Bonnie September 22, 2012 at 8:59 AM #

      Yes, the bobbin is put in the same way, but you would use white bobbin embroidery thread that comes with the machine in your bobbin, and regular colored embroidery thread when threading the needle for ordinary embroidery designs. The bobbin thread is thinner. I hope that helps. Thank you for visiting our blog, and the comment. :)

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