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Embroidery Machine Advice Needed

sewhat | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Good Morning, Everyone,

I am thinking about purchasing an embroidery machine, and would appreciate your thoughts and opinions in regard to the three machines I have narrowed my search down to.  I have sewn for years and have a Singer serger and a Brother CS8072, and want to expand my equipment so that I can start sewing for profit.  I don’t want to sink a fortune in equipment, and am really confused with some of the offerings.

Here is what I have reduced my choices to:

1.  Brother PE-150V  ($399)

2.  White 3300 ($499)

3.  Simplicity SE-3 ($599)

All three machines are limited to a 4 inch embroidery area, but the White comes with 3 different size hoops. 

How limiting is a 4-inch embroidery area, and is there a need for larger hoops with the limited embroidery area?

I am very confused about the additional equipment needed to download designs from the computer.  How does this work?  What are the designs stored on?  Do you have to have your computer hooked up to your machine?  Are the designs that can be downloaded free, and if not, how much do they usually cost?

Many of the listed accessories seem to be interchangeable with various brands of machines, such as Viking, White, Brother, etc.  How much compatibility problem does this present?

Can you provide me with more information about the “box”?   I have seen mentioned the Brother PED-Basic, the Amazing Box, the Vikant Ultimate 1 slot Box, the Brother E-100 Applique Station……..and more.  What can you tell me about using the “box” as well as selecting a good one?

I am sure there are other issues I have not mentioned but need to know, so I would appreciate any further thoughts or considerations I need to be aware of.

I will greatly appreciate any and all advice any of you have for me.  Thanks.



* * Today is the first day of the rest of your life. * *



  1. SewTruTerry | | #1

    Wow Carla you do sound really confused and so many questions.  I am fairly new to this forum but have been sewing for almost 40 years the last 5 years in the sewing and embroidery business.  I started out with a Viking Rose as it was an entry level embroidery machine and I still have it. I now also have the Designer 1. I am now looking to purchase an entry level commercial machine.  I began with Viking because I had read an article in Consumer Reports that Viking had the easiest and most reliable embroidery machines.

    Most of what you are going to be asked to do as an embroiderer will be within the 4 inch format.  No biggie there. However if you want to or are asked to do a denim jacket back for instance you will most likely want to have the larger format or hoop.

    As far as hooking your machine up to a computer I understand there are machines out there that you do have to do that.  My Viking Rose uses a special card and a box to do the embroidery.  The box is the only thing hooked up to the computer. The card is then inserted into the machine.  The Designer 1  uses a 3.5 floppy disk just like you use for the computer.  I store a lot of designs on the floppy and also have them ready to stitch out at a moments notice. I happen to have my sewing studio as I am now calling it in my basement and therefore it made more sense not to have to hook up my sewing machine to the computer any time that I wanted to embroider.  Also if I am not mistaken when you are embroidering with the computer hooked up to the machine there is nothing you can do with the computer.  Someone correct me if I am wrong there.

    As far as designs that you download from the internet there are all kinds and lots of them are free.  If they are there to be sold they will let you know up front what the cost is and whether it has to be purchased as part of a set or not.  Sets can run into some money but the designs are usually related to each other in some way.

    I hope that I have answered most of your questions if not all of them and did not confuse you more.

    1. sewhat | | #2


      Thank you for the information.  It is very helpful.  I like the idea of using the floppy disk that you mentioned.  Think I will take a look at the Designer I.  I know that Brother has come out with a new machine, but it is very expensive.  It holds a number of thread spools, eight I believe, and would be really great for a busness.  If you have not seen it yet, you can find it at http://www.brothersews.com 

      I am a little, or maybe a lot, confused.  An acquantaince showed me her machine last week, a Singer model, and said she has about $7,000 wrapped up in it.  I don't want to spend nearly that much money, especially being so unsure about everything.  I also have heard that Singer is not what it used to be.

      I, too, have sewn for over 40 years, but it has been mostly limited to personal items - clothing, home interiors, alterations, etc.  I tried to sew for money a couple of times, but found it to be very frustrating.  Actually, the first time I was doing fairly well, then we moved to another state and I didn't want to start all over.

      I would not want to tie up the computer with my machine, so I understand what you are saying.  It seems like using floppy disks would be a much better option than using cards. 

      You must have been successful with your entry level machine, as you are still in business.  We live in a college town (my husband is a professor) and I am hoping to tap the student population for some business.  Students always have money to burn!

      Hey, thanks again for your help, and good luck with continued success in your business.

      1. SewTruTerry | | #3

        Carla as a matter of fact I am looking into that Brother machine (have not had time to call salesman back yet to get the actual price).  As far as tapping into that college crowd they actually do not have the money mom and dad have it and will hold onto it as long as possible.  What money the college crowd has they do not handle well so you might actually get some.  Let me know how it goes.

        I am finishing up a formal for my dsd for homecoming this weekend and there is a lot of hand sewing involved because of beaded material that she wanted for the contrast fabric.

        As far as how much money one has tyed up with sewing machine that is a different story.  I probably have, between the different sewing machines, fabric,stabilizers,thread and my portable desk top computer,  more than $20,000.00 wrapped up in it all.  Keep in mind though I did not spend this money all at once but that is possible but I did not buy any of my machines at full price (always checking in with my dealer for latest prices) nor do I ever pay full price for material unless I am passing that on to a client. Even then I will try to get client the best price.

        It has taken me a while to realize and find the people out there that are willing to pay for quality product. Of course there will always be those that are looking for a bargain ( this type of person is easy to spot they always claim the project is easy and if they had any time at all they could easily do it themselves)  LOL  So again hang in there and persevere.

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